There you have it: a prime example of why we're losing the rankings race. Other cities are going the extra mile, asking the tough questions and gaining a competitive edge.

What, precisely, do we have to do in order to win back that "Most Dangerous" moniker we rightfully deserve?

"You have to look at the individual statistics and see how the city fared," Krasney explains. "The rankings as a whole are just a starting point; you have to look at what crimes affected those rankings and what you can do about it."

CQ's methodology has become a model for other list-producing publications. The authors, Scott and Kathleen O'Leary Morgan, tally five separate statistical categories — murder, robbery, aggravated assault, larceny and auto theft — calculate the total number of violent crimes per capita, assign each city a score and — voilà! — danger is determined.

Trouble is, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, source for the crime stats, cautions against using the figures to compare one city to another.

The Census Bureau offers the same caveat with its population data.

"Each city has its own issue," says Rich Gerdes, an assistant regional manager with the Census. "It's definitely difficult to compare city versus city. We just put the statistics out there and let people do what they want with them."

(Gerdes, though, happily informs Unreal that St. Louis' 65 percent response rate to the Census mailings puts the city well ahead of many other urban areas. "You're definitely better than Detroit," he enthuses. Ha! Suck it, Detroit, we got you beat in crime and Census response rate.)

"From our standpoint," CQ Press' Krasney responds to the criticism, "it is important to say, 'You have X number of crimes per population. Is that good? Is that bad?' The only way to tell is comparing it to other cities."

The publishing firm also ranks crime in the largest 332 metropolitan areas. St. Louis came in at 103. (Pine Bluff, Arkansas, had the highest crime rate, while State College, Pennsylvania, home of Penn State, had the lowest.)

Perhaps the best approach is for local governments to develop some sort of crime-sharing program. The city could claim all St. Louis County's crime stats as its own and blow the competition out of the water in the "Most Dangerous" rankings. On the flipside, the county eradicates crime on paper, making it the safest metro area.

It's a win-win!

As for STDs, the only solution is to get more people wearing condoms.

As luck would have it, the CEO of condomania.com says that's also the best way to improve our penis-size ranking.

"Getting more guys of different sizes and shapes and dimensions using condoms just as a general rule," Glickman says. "That would probably help the numbers." 

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