LILLIAN KAUFMAN CARTWRIGHT, PH.D.
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To the editor: Many social scientists, deeply troubled by the condition of society, are confusing their roles of citizen and scientists. In attempts to improve social institutions and overcome barriers to equality, social context becomes an overriding concern and the enemy is misidentified as those nurturing the "cult of individualism." Beuf's critique of studies on women doctors (1) is an excellent example of a well-intentioned but misguided attack on a crimeless victim.
Beuf makes some commendable proclamations: Controls are necessary, samples should not be biased, and sociological factors are important. No reasonable social scientist, regardless of discipline, would contest these
CARTWRIGHT LK. Rape of the Straw Woman. Ann Intern Med. 1978;89:149–150. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-1-149_4
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(1):149-150.
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