David Finkelhor's Songs

(Tune: Be Our Guest)

Peer review, peer review
It’s a lot like Waterloo
You send off your best and finest
To come back as barbecue
It’s your pride, it’s your joy
And they treat it like bok choy
They will slice and dice and rice it
Pan it twice and sacrifice it
They’ve no heart, no respect
Their default is to reject
And they act like they’re the kings of Katmandu
They do their hatchet job. Just one more lynching mob.
It’s peer review, peer review, peer review

Peer review, peer review
It’s infernal déjà vu
Cause they all consult one textbook:
50 Shades of Misconstrue
“Doesn’t add to the lit”
And “the length doesn’t fit”
“Please restate, update and weight it”
Then they rate it. Don’t you hate it?
Did they read what you wrote?
Did they just get off the boat
With distemper or a case of stomach flu?
How can they scoff and sneer
At things you hold so dear?
It’s peer review, peer review, peer review

Peer review, peer review
It’s a court of kangaroo
Where a bunch of half-wit, has-beens
Treat your pearls like doggy do
There they hide in the dark
And apply their snide and snark
But the day of reck’ning’s coming
We’ll be drumming on their plumbing
Let’s give them a surprise
We unmask their thin disguise
We’ll pick up the phone and call ACLU
To hell with referees
We need apologies

From guess who? Peer review is me and you.

(Tune: My Favorite Things)

 T-tests and Z-tests and 3 way ANOVAs
Betas and sigmas and jaunty p-hats
These are a few of my favorite stats

Logit and Tobit and Probit and so what
Does a guy do when his tests yield a dough nut?
Maximize likelihoods, minimize errors
Inflate the alphas, best fit the least squares

When my N’s small, when my p’s large, when my skew’s aslant
I simply assemble my favorite stats and bing! It’s sig-ni-fi-cant.

Rs when they’re pseudo and logs when they’re normal
Contrasts when post-hoc and proofs when they’re formal
Bootstraps and Jackknifes and when they’re robust
These are stats that you know you can trust

Histograms, dendrograms, whiskers and boxes
Hazards proportional measure of Cox’s
Mixed effects, fixed effects, plots that show scree
Don’t forget homoskedasticity

When my n’s small, when my p’s large, when my skew’s aslant
I simply assemble my favorite stats and bing! It’s sig-ni-fi-cant.

Pearson ‘n Spearman ‘n Kruskal ‘n Wallace
McNemar, Fisher ‘n Tukey enthrall us
Cox, Bonferoni ‘n Cochran, stats-wise
These are few of my favorite stats guys

Say parametric or say asymptotic
Words like stochastic are simply narcotic
Crazy for Bayesian, gaga for Gauss
Chats that the stats brats begat at our house!

When my n’s small, when my p’s large, when my skew’s aslant
I simply assemble my favorite stats and bing! It’s sig-ni-fi-cant.

(Tune: Jamaica Farewell)

Down to NIJ
I send a grant one day
‘Bout how my family violence treatment program’s really great
And they said, “OK, Joe
We’ll give you lots of dough
But to keep it you must promise to EVALUATE.”

            And now I’m sad as heck
I’m finding no effect
And I fear that NIJ will send me no more check
So I go down the hall
To my consultant Paul
He say, “Don’t worry, man, it’s only that your N’s too small.”

So I shake the trees
Find 13 agencies
Who all agree to try my program if I pay the freight
And so we grow and add
And we recruit like mad
And of subjects now I’ve got two hundred forty-eight.

            But  I am sad as heck
There still is no effect
And I think my program’s heading for one big train wreck
But Paul, he say to me,
"Oh man, I disagree.
Your only   problem is you lack program fidelity."

And so we trim, revise
And ma-ma manualize
Just to get all our components into tip-top shape
And then we test and train
Until the staff complain
And we capture every word they say on videotape.

            But I’m sad as heck
Still we have no effect
My staff are all about to hang me by the neck
But my consultant’s wise
He give me good advice
He say now what you need  to do is meta-analyze.

And so I comb Psychlit
Until I have to quit
And then I dig up dissertations  in old libraries
And I search far and wide
Until my brain is fried
From converting all those r’s and chi-squares into d’s.

            Well now, it’s quite complex
We did find some effects
But then they disappear when we control for age and sex
Is this just too arcane
A finding to explain?
But Paul’s already pouring out the warm champagne.

So on that very day
I call up NIJ
And I tell them all our findings, well ... the happy ones
But oh I’m sad to say
They cut me anyway
Because they’re only funding research now on drugs and guns.

            So I’ll tell you straight
No matter just how great
You’ll waste your good sweet time if you evaluate
Put all your energy
Into publicity
And I think you will end up much better off than me!

            ....Energy into publicity
I think you will end up much better off than me
....Take it straight, no matter just how great
You’ll waste your good sweet time if you evaluate.

(Tune: Get me to the church on time)

 I’ve got a grant due in the morning
Whoo – ey this idea’s so sublime
I know you’re delighted, I started to write it
We’ll get it to the Feds on time

I’ve only twenty-nine more pages
Just got to think of a design
We’ll paste in some sections from last year’s rejections
And get it to the Feds on time

We’ll need endorsements. Some recommends
Some reinforcements. Get on the phone and call your friends

What implications should I proffer?
Let’s say that this will wipe out crime
Then add some twaddle, for our logic model
And get it to the Feds on time

We’ll make it sound all scientific
This funder ain’t no Guggenheim
In 30 locations say structural equations
And get it to the Feds on time

Make sure the abstract is imposing
Use lots of words like “paradigm”
Then throw in a flowchart to fill up the slow part
And get it to the Feds on time

Make up some new words, they’ll like the looks
Google reviewers, be sure to cite their books a few times

Fill up some pages full of numbers
Make like we justified each dime
Lard up the budget, so what if you fudge it
Just get it to the Feds on time

If double spacing is what they want
And it runs over, try another font like Dover

This thing has got to go out pronto
Wake up the Dean and have her sign
And get the VP, to hell if he’s sleepy
Just get it to the Feds
Drag them from their beds, but
Get it to the Feds on time

(Tune: Be our guest)
JVQ, JVQ, it’s the instrument for you
Made to understand the violence and abuse kids suffer through
It’s got norms and three forms
And the stats prove it performs
It’s the fruits of social science
So it suits your toughest clients

Sex assault, robbery, and the theft of property
Child maltreatment all in one brief interview
Check out its test-re-test, you know you’ve got the best

(Tune: If you’re happy and you know it)

Use the Conflict Tactics Scale, the CTS
On the phone or in the mail, use CTS
In the home or in the jail
With the female or the male
In New Delhi or at Yale, use CTS

With the victim or the spouse, use CTS
With the hero or the louse, use CTS
In the flat or in the house
With the cat or with the mouse
With the Gelles or the Straus, use CTS

(Tune: On Ilke Moor Battat)

Doctor, has this child  been abused (child been abused)?
Can you please figure out the story?
Do kids play doctor still at nine?
Is this abnormal or benign?
Apply CSBI, apply CSBI
Child Sexual Behavior Inventory

(Tune: Oh what a beautiful morning)

Yes, his P-d scale’s clearly aberrant
And the 4-6-8 pattern’s apparent
Hysteria’s high, 95 on S-i
With psychoticism, and a Lie that’s awry

Oh what a beautiful jargon
Perfect when you testify
Get it today, it’s a bargain
Only with MMPI

(Tune: Song of the Salvation Army)

 The telephone rings and you leap from your meal
The voice on the phone has a friendly appeal
“I'm Dr. McWhorter from UCLA
How often did you beat your children today?”

The gruesome sleuths
Are on the loose
For clues and news
Of child abuse
They come like chum
To plumb for scum
They’re the family violence researchers

You go for a leisurely stroll in the mall
A woman says hi, as you pass by her stall
“I’m not selling sunglasses, tattoos or lids.
I just want to know, do you paddle your kids?”

You rush into class for your final exam
You've been up all night, there was so much to cram
“For 65 points now, please write a review
On 10 ways your parents were nasty to you.”

It's a bright Christmas morning all covered with snow
The church choir's singing, their voices all glow
“For bringing salvation, the Christ child be thanked.” 
Comes a shout from the pews: “Do you think He was spanked?”

That heart attack hits and you spiral toward death
The ambulance comes as you're gasping for breath
The medic runs over,  “My name’s Dr. Dave;
Do you hit your children when they misbehave.”

A space craft appears from the clouds overhead
The city folk gather in wonder and dread
A Martian flies down from his ship in the air
And hands out a new child abuse questionnaire.

They’re crawling like termites all over the place
In your homes, in your schools, in your hair, in your face.
Please stop all the hitting and hasten the day
These rude nosy buggers will all go away

The gruesome sleuths
Will then vamoose
Unloose a truce
On child abuse

Goodbyes to guys
Who rise to size
The cries of fries
When victimized…

Adieus to crews
With gruesome news
S’long family violence researchers

(Tune: Battle Hymn of the Republic)

The data's in, the numbers crunched, the manuscript's been sent
Our program lowers child abuse by 93 percent
The conquest of this ancient scourge at last is imminent
Oh no
Revise and resubmit

Implications, can you be more definite?
Correlations, does your model really fit?
New citations, can you update them a bit?
Revise and resubmit

We added text, refreshed the refs, controlled for victim age
We shortened up the abstract so it fit on half a page
Detailed the change in unctuous prose the critics to assuage
Oh no
Revise and resubmit

Replication, it would surely strengthen it
Explanation, for the cases you omit
Punctuation and infinitives you split
Revise and resubmit

So we added 50 subjects, cut the p to .01
Displayed in an appendix every case that we had run
Asked Strunk and White to edit it, it wasn't any fun
Oh no
Revise and resubmit

New reviewers, and they don't like it a bit
Misconstruers, dealing death by picking nit
Evildoers, Leventhal, who is this twit?
Revise and resubmit

We sent it back just yesterday, revision 53
Our data now are old enough to join AARP
If I die soon, I only hope St. Peter says to me
Revise and resubmit

Holy editor, I hunger for thy word
Thou art mighty, and I'm but a humble nerd
What!  It's perfect!  Not to change a single word!
Glory hallelujah!
Don't change a single word.

(Tune: I am the very model of a modern major general, Pirates of Penzance)

I am the very model of a family violence researcher
I have a PhD from alma mater UNH, for sure

I knew both Kempe and Pizzey in the ancient  days most halcyon
Can quote you classic theory both Walkerian and Strausian

I’ve funded grants from OCAN, NCCAN, NIH and NIJ
When I submit an article the journals publish right away

To do forensic interviews attorneys vie to hire me
I’ve never had a protocol rejected by my IRB                       

Then I can flatter batterers to test with cocker spaniel eyes
Use varimax rotations when I data factor analyze

In short although I could have been a wealthy Wall Street mergerer
I am the very model of a family violence researcher.                                    


My population surveys all are carefully post-stratified
When I regress, normality assumptions are all satisfied

I know just how to rig the scales to make a graph most devious
In seconds, I can catalog the faults of the NCVS

And I can squeeze the CBC into the items time permits
While fully armed with confidentiality certificates

I’m called on by the media t’explain the latest wrinkle for
Reporters all confused by all the newest news from Finkelhor

Yes, I can read a Rorschach and a highly brutal batterer spot
And estimate a point two correlation from a scatterplot

I’ve always said development is neither nature/nurturer
That’s why I am the model of a family violence researcher


I am the very model of a family violence researcher
I have a massive contact list for e-mail or for e-merger

With structural equations there’s nobody  who’s more orthodox
I’m very good at telling when a Munchausen is being proxed

I’ve always known  convergent from discriminant validity
I score the double MPIs with dazzling  rapidity

Am I a genius, yes, you may reject the null hypothesis!
I know a lot of you are saying what a lot of rot this is

But I’ve briefed the Surgeon General, I often lunch him, in fact
And authored three amendments to the Violence against Women Act

In short, I’m sure you’ve heard enough about my pedigree search, sir
I am the very model of a family violence researcher.

Although I’m sure you’ve heard enough about my pedigree search, sir
I am the very model of a family violence researcher

Watch David Finkelhor sing a song about Murray Straus at the San Diego Conference on Child and Family Maltreatment.

(Tune: If I Only Had (such) a Brain)

 Once there just was silence, about all family violence
The textbooks they were mum
You could search every journal, and you’d never find a kernel
Or a tidbit or a crumb.

Then there came a scholar, unfazed by family squalor
And look how far we’ve come.
We’ve got books, websites, Oprah, even courses that we hope’ re
In the core curriculum.

He said where there is lovin, there’s hittin and there’s shovin
And crimes upon the sheets
Cause the bedroom you nap in has more punchin and more slappin
Than the barrooms or the streets.

He showed how DV can explain all kinds of wars.
Its the universal everyone ignores.
It’s all right there: Behind Closed Doors.

The experts were dismissive, you cannot research this if
Folks must their crimes confess.
He said, no, they’ll be candid, family violence is so standard
Thus was born the CTS.

He said when folks are hittin, they usually think they’re sittin
On the side of righteousness.
They say, "Oh I was sad to, but I really, really had to."
That is why they’ll tell you yes.

Please check one of these:  I kicked, I hit, I bit, I spit, I swore.
Was it once or twice or thrice or even more?
Thanks very much. And here’s your score.

So he and all his buddies, went off and did their studies
And papers filled the room
With zillion calculations of a million correlations
About who did what to whom.
It so improved our science, and helped protect our clients
From all that they’ve been through
And forlorn dissertations have been rescued by his patience
And meticulous review.

So isn’t it just nifty, that even after fifty
Long years in academe
That the things he proposes still offend so many noses
Of the status quo regime.

His CV’s still inflatin and he’s still agitatin
On all his favorite themes.
If we get rid of spankin, it is him we will be thankin
As the leader of the team.

He said don’t you see that a hit is still a hit.
Even when you say it’s for their benefit.
It scares and hurts. So let’s just quit!

So Murray don’t get tired, you’re honored and admired
By the family violence crew.
You have been our foundation and the source of inspiration
We owe so much to you.

Yes you’ve been our foundation and the source of inspiration and of infinite citation
We owe so much to you.