What is your level of education? Poll - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: What is your highest level of education?
Less than High School 2 1.08%
High School Graduate 10 5.41%
Some College or Community College or 2 Year Degree 56 30.27%
Graduate of 4 year College Program 58 31.35%
Some Graduate School 23 12.43%
Graduate Degree 36 19.46%
Voters: 185. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was recently just wondering about education level. I have a very good friend that has asked about my decision not to vaccinate. I was trying to explain to her about my rationale and wasn't getting too far because she really didn't understand the research studies and concepts like vaccine efficacy.

She got the general gist, enough to make her want more info. but then didn't understand the additional info. She then wanted me to just tell her what to do for her children. I am not comfortable with that at all, kwim. I think every parent needs to make that decision for their own children.

So, (rambling on now) that's what got me wondering about the level of education of the mothers here on the vax board at Mothering.com

This is my first time posting a poll, so bear with me if it doesn't work right away.
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#2 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 12:30 PM
 
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You don't have trade or vocational school to choose from. Other than that, poll works great.

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#3 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 12:33 PM
 
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When DD was born, I was half way through a 4 year university degree, but "taking a break" from school. That is when I made the decision not to vaccinate. I finished my degree and 8 years later am now part way through grad school. My vaccination decision hasn't changed.

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#4 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 12:57 PM
 
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#5 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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I'm not sure what the poll has to do with your post...but you might be interested to know that there's been research done on "who" chooses not to vax their kids. I don't have a link, but I recall the research described two types of situations: the first is "undervaxed" kids whose parents have less education, lower income, and less access to medical care than average; these children typically have some vaccines but are not "up-to-date" because of a lack of resources for the parents to adhere to the standard schedule of WBVs. The second type are competely "unvaxed" kids, whose parents typically have at least a college degree and often a graduate degree, have a higher income, and have fully adequate access to medical care. Makes you think.

I agree with you about not wanting to be someone else's reason for not vaxing. If someone doesn't educate themselves, and then practices a mainstream medical approach such as using fever reducers, doesn't know how to recognize pertussis early and treat with vit c, etc., and their child gets sick and suffers complications, they are going to hear from everyone else that it all could have been prevented by a vaccine. So then who is going to get the blame for encouraging not vaxing? It is a very tricky position to be in so I always point people to resources published by doctors (the Tenpenny video, Dr. Jay Gordon's website) and tell them they need to make their own decision.
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#6 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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higher degree in UK just before moving to US. i'm now totally out of the loop, but it taught me to question everything. my distrust of vax began when the hospital wanted to inject my day old baby with gawd-knows-what.............. :
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#7 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 01:24 PM
 
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DH and I have four-year degrees, but I am considering going back for my masters.

I have a friend getting her PhD that is overwhelmed by the thought of not vaxing. I find it strange that she is so smart but can't wrap her head around reading about the dangers of vaxing. Maybe I'm holding too much respect for the idea of such an advanced degree!
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#8 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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Not that this really matters...but there are some very DUMB people who graduate from college (it's scary actually)...and there are some very SMART people who never go--or never finish (for various reasons)...

Either way, anyone can understand the issues if they want to educate themselves...I didn't understand all the ingredients or all the chemistry or all the statistics at first...but I kept reading...I kept learning...it's all a matter of WANTING to learn and WANTING to understand.

That being said...I almost graduated from college, but withdrew for various reasons...I plan on going back when we can afford it...just for fun.

I do not need the validation (nor the further outrageous debt) of any institution to tell me how smart I am, for my worth, for my identity, etc. The only reason I will be going back is for more guided learning...not because I feel I need them to show me how smart I am or for the "badge of honor" of a degree.
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#9 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Don't confuse education from the education system with the ability or desire to understand concepts! You state that your friend 'didn't understand' research studies or the concept of vaccine efficacy. Did she not understand it, as in, she's had previous exposure and couldn't grasp the concepts, or had she merely not been exposed to most of the information before?

I'm four classes short of a B.S. in Biology, which did include a class in biostats, but we certainly never discussed vaccine efficacy.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#10 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 05:28 PM
 
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#11 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 06:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoubleOven
I don't think the OP was trying to put people on the defensive if they didn't go to college or give them a platform to brag about their "badge of honor" if they did. I also find it interesting, just to see about the different backgrounds of the posters on the vax boards that I "talk to" somewhat frequently.
While I agree that I'm sure the OP wasn't INTENDING on putting people on the defensive...it's hard not to sense the underlying condescending tone (the op said that her friend basically didn't get it...but never mentioned her education level...does the OP have a higher education level than her friend? what brought on the question)...

...cause honestly, like I said in my very first sentence: there are some very STUPID people who graduate from college and some very SMART people who never go or never finish (for whatever reason)...

...I agree it's interesting to see what education levels everyone is at...but, it was a weird way to go about asking it...

I guess my point is that education (whatever level achieved) does not equal intelligence.

Sorry if I was offensive...now I must run--baby is super crabby today!
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#12 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 07:10 PM
 
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I have to agree w/mrsfatty. The post sounded very condescending. Formal education does not equal intelligence or ability to grasp any concepts - simple or complex. I'm sure you didn't intend it that way, heatherheather, but the way you described the situation really just puts me on edge. Of course, that could be because I'm touchy about the way people treat me re:my education.

I was in my senior year of college when I decided I wasn't interested in what I was doing, so I quit and went to trade school. In total, I've spent more hours on my education than I would have if I had finished my degree and I feel that I've learned a lot more as well, but it seems that too many people would consider me "better educated" if I had that stupid piece of paper to wave around.
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#13 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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Couple of graduate degrees for me, DH has three.
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#14 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TechnoGranola
When DD was born, I was half way through a 4 year university degree, but "taking a break" from school. That is when I made the decision not to vaccinate. I finished my degree and 8 years later am now part way through grad school. My vaccination decision hasn't changed.
LOL, great pp. I have a BA in Political Science and Child Development, but oh how I wish I had a medical degree just so I could position myself as an expert when discussing with our extended family our decision not to vax our ds. As it is, I have to cite the books I have read and I know that my sister (who is very pro-vax and thinks I'm crazy) will not read them. I'm debating making copies of recent articles and handing them around at the next family gathering....
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#15 of 33 Old 01-23-2006, 07:44 PM
 
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I'm "just" a high school graduate, but I would venture to guess that I know more about vaccination than many people who have graduated with Doctorate degrees. I'm not meaning that in a defensive way at all, just that my education is what it is and I choose to educate myself about things that are important to me.
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#16 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 02:48 AM
 
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Hi there:

I just wanted to agree with the PPs about education not equaling intelligence. I've been through the academic route (2 undergrad degrees and a Master's) and I've met people with advanced degrees (PhDs) who have limited life experience and have a tough time relating to info that is outside their field or outside of the library (LOL). At the same time, I've met some brillant people who never finished high school or who have done some career upgrading here and there and are just stellar in their knowledge...you can't judge a person based solely on formal education...

J

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#17 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 02:56 AM
 
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I have to agree that sometimes college really doesn't = smart. We used to call those people educated idiots when I worked at Target. They stopped promoting people in the store (even if they had worked there ten years, they weren't allowing anyone to promote with out an education). Instead they started bringing in college graduates (with no real life retail experience) to start bossing us around instead. It took about a week and a half for the store to fall apart and their profits to drop. The place has never been the same since. Just because someone has a PhD. Doesn't mean that they are interested enough in vaccines to really study them or retain the info that they read. It sounds like most of you here are pretty educated though (and I already know how most of you feel about vaxes). Feels good to hang around smart people, maybe some of it will rub off on me.

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#18 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 10:08 AM
 
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#19 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 11:46 AM
 
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Or put another way, I'm proud of earning my bachelor's degree (at age 28), but I don't think I was any less intelligent in my early 20's, when my educational status was "high school dropout." I don't think earning a particular credential (or not) is much of an indicator of a person's ability to do research and come to a reasonable conclusion.

OT, I do think however that a lot of people who went straight from high school into college and did the 4-year thing on schedule can have a tendency to take it for granted that that path is available to just about anyone, and therefore can tend to believe that people who don't go to college, on "schedule" or at all, are in some way lacking. Less intelligent, less disciplined, whatever. It's just kind of a sense I got, based on the ZILLIONS of times someone remarked on my older student status with something like, "Yeah, my brother/friend/cousin wasn't ready at 18 either, he dropped out after the first semester, but it's so great you went back, and I bet you take it more seriously now too." I always found that attitude kind of patronizing. The truth was, I had never started college "on schedule" in the first place, because my life circumstances at 18 really didn't allow for it.

Back on topic (sort of) -- I do think it's interesting that people with higher education credentials are less likely to vax (as I mentioned in my post above). Because the stereotype of the non-vaxer is a well-meaning but gullible parent who found a website railing against vaccines with exaggerated statistics and no credible references, and swallowed the whole thing without question. That stereotype doesn't really hold up when you consider that the typical non-vaxer is a college-educated (or beyond) person who at the very least has been taught how to do library research and how to determine if a particular source is credible, in their freshman english classes. And especially, if they went to school in the last ten years, had it hammered into them how to determine if a particular website should be considered credible. It's just not valid to say that all these people with bachelor's degrees and master's degrees have somehow been suckered by non-legitimate online sources.
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#20 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NAK

Sorry if I offended anyone, I really didn't mean it that way. Sometimes I think I run into trouble trying to post while my dd frantically "types" away with me on the keyboard. I have to keep backing up and fixing her input - all the while tying to finish as quickly as I can. Add to that sleep deprivation, well you get the picture.

Actually, I agree that education doesn't equal intelligence. Most of the staunch supporters of vaccinatio, that I personally know, have graduate degrees. And I certainly didn't mean to imply that if you don't have an advanced degree that you are not intelligent.

Back to my OP, my friend has a HS diploma and some vocational/technical training. I gave her some info. to read including some research studies and even after I sat down with her, she was really unable to "get" the statistics. I realized that she wasn't going to get even the basic math (percentages). She may or may not be in the minority because, right before I posted the OP, I saw this article online http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/01/19/D8F7UO204.html
Quote:
Nearing a diploma, most college students cannot handle many complex but common tasks, from understanding credit card offers to comparing the cost per ounce of food.

Those are the sobering findings of a study of literacy on college campuses, the first to target the skills of students as they approach the start of their careers.

More than 50 percent of students at four-year schools and more than 75 percent at two-year colleges lacked the skills to perform complex literacy tasks.

That means they could not interpret a table about exercise and blood pressure, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school.
Well that just got me thinking, if most college students cannot interpret a table about exercies or compare the cost of food per oz., then they don't have a chance at understanding the research on vaccination. Of course, this doesn't mean that they don't have the common sense not to inject their babies with poison once they realize that's what's in the vaccines. But I do think (on average) they would be less likely to question their babies' doctors medical jargon/authority.
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#21 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 06:58 PM
 
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I think it's an interesting poll. I would also like to see if anyone has a link to any studies that show some educational background statistics for those who delay and/or choose not to vax.

I have a couple of graduate degrees myself, but I wouldn't hold it against anyone if they didn't go the college route. Rather, it's just interesting to me to learn more about the background of some of those who choose to research and take vax's seriously like I do.

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#22 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 07:13 PM
 
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So now we need a spin-off poll on the average IQ of the posters at MDC? And then another spin-off to debate the accuracy of IQ tests?

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#23 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 07:33 PM
 
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High school diploma. Dh has some college (he's going back for a degree in the Spring).

I've never taken an IQ test, but I'm *sure* I'm a genius,lol. J/K. My Dad however tests on the genius level of IQ tests, however we have different opinions on Vaccinating! Eek!

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#24 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 10:03 PM
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My lack of education is no hindrance to my being more knowledgeable about vacc's than my Ped!

That said... EEeeeek. I had a pretty good idea I was in illustrious company, but sheesh. Y'all sure are some educated mamas. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up, but when me and DS go to college together, I'll remember that I can get four or five degrees if I still can't decide!

And darn it... how did such pretty women get to be "certified smart", too? It is so unfair!!!! By the time I have the total package, the wrapping will be all wrinkled up and dragging on my knees.

*added: Ruthla, you have no idea how much fun I think IQ tests are! I'm all for it!
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#25 of 33 Old 01-24-2006, 10:18 PM
 
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Graduate Degree

An Intelligence Quotient just below genius.

I still knew more about vaccinations than most M.D.s when I was in grammar school. Still, I often cringe in their presence. :
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#26 of 33 Old 01-25-2006, 01:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stayathomecristi
I'm "just" a high school graduate, but I would venture to guess that I know more about vaccination than many people who have graduated with Doctorate degrees. I'm not meaning that in a defensive way at all, just that my education is what it is and I choose to educate myself about things that are important to me.
you said it for me very neatly
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#27 of 33 Old 01-25-2006, 06:28 AM
 
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I have learned more from the internet and books and seeking out knowledge on my own then I have in any formal schooling situation.
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#28 of 33 Old 01-25-2006, 06:31 AM
 
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Maybe IQ number are like titers numbers, just because they are high (or low for that matter) doesnt always paint an acurate picture.
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#29 of 33 Old 01-25-2006, 11:05 AM
 
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I have an Associate degree (2-yr) in Visual Communications. I went to art school and was not required to take college-level academic courses.

I barely made it through HS science, so when I research vax stuff I have to sift and sort and wade and break it down until I understand it.

Every baptized Christian is, or should be, someone with an actual (disturbing) experience, ... a close encounter, with God; someone who, as a result, becomes a disturbing presence to others. - Fr. Anthony J. Gittins, A Presence That Disturbs
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#30 of 33 Old 01-25-2006, 11:43 AM
 
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I have a PhD in political philosophy, and was a college professor before I resigned to be a sahm (and as a former college professor I can attest to the lack of critical thinking skills among most college students). Yet, all that education didn't stop me from almost completely vaxing my first dd. Being educated is a state of knowledge about particular subjects, not a state of being. Being educated in one area does not necessarily translate into all other areas of life.

That said, my philosophy training has given me the tools for critical thinking and skepticism, and that combined with my life experience has helped me wade through vax information. I can't keep track of who here has advanced degrees, but I am constantly impressed with the willingness to engage difficult issues that I see here regularly.
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