Retraction: Police Shootings Not Bad For Black Babies After All

Last week I wrote about a study showing that when police shot an unarmed black man, it affected the birthweight of black babies born nearby. The proximate cause was that shootings produced stress in the mothers, which in turn affected birthweight.

However, it turns out that there were errors in the data used by the study. The author, Joscha Legewie, describes them here. The original chart of the data is shown below on the left and the corrected chart is on the right:

As you can see, the original chart shows that nearby shootings cause birthweight to be reduced by as much as 50 grams. However, when the data is corrected the loss in birthweight is about half that and isn’t statistically significant. What’s more, the trendline for the first and second trimesters is almost identical to the trendline for the third trimester. This is suspicious since stress is known to have only a small effect on birthweight by the third trimester.

In any case, Legewie has retracted his article and, of course, I do too.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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