Dec 6, 2012

India Today Sex Survey 2012 - A view from Mizoram

(Saptawng ngatin ka han update ve ang e.. )

A survey conducted by one of the biggest media house in the country and a respected global firm across 16 cities indeed bring a shocking facts and what baffled me more was the methodology and the number of respondents ' participation (an opinion poll on 5,246 respondents (2,623 women, 2,623 men) across 16 cities.

Taking the above numbers into consideration and let us divide by the number of cities, the respondents came out 330 per city in a rough calculation. Considering these numbers as the base factors in all the cities regardless of the inhabitants, the ratio is extremely low especially in a metro city and the percentage does not show any near figure in a statistical terms. The sample is too low in order to get a reliable statistical data.

For example, Mumbai alone has a population of about 31 lakhs and a density of 20,000 per sq km (approx.) as per 2011 census with an area covering above 150 sq km. That means only 0.11% respondents participated in the survey. That shows how unreliable the findings of this survey is.

Let forego the details of demographic analaysis and social strata in the survey, an attempt to highlight the North Eastern states in the limelight of the mainstream news was a brilliant idea. I have no qualms to the survey vis-à-vis the findings yet the outcome is exceedingly inappropriate knowing the  reputation of the India Today magazine and its partner Nielsen apart from knowing that they have been doing the survey since the last ten years.

I have a few questions regarding how the survey was conducted in Aizawl, the capital of Mizoram.  Was the survey conducted by the reps of India Today Nielsen survey or was it outsourced to some NGO’s based there or the govt agency ? The rests of the findings might have been an unfound truth but what I found intriquing was “the reports of highest percentage of live-in relationships, as well as those with multiple sexual partners”.

With comparison to other cities in the survey, Aizawl has an inhabitants of about 3 lakhs. The Mizo society is a close knit society and the locality there is know one-know all kind of neighborhood. Moreover, the society is being monitored closely by NGO watchdogs  whose powers are so immense that the governent had been compelled to act as per their directives in many a times. A good example is that Mizoram has been a dry state since 1997 although a frequent outcry from many intellectuals and pressuer groups, the government does not dare to withdraw the MLTP Act. Hence, the validity of street cornered sampling and recruitment interviews is highly doubtful with respect to Aizawl city.

I still wonder the audacity of India Today Nielsen Sex Survey in publishing such an unreliable facts collected through a token coverage in their survey. I hope they do a more comprehensive research in their next survey.