Infidelity

Which type of cheating is worse, sexual or emotional? It depends who you’re asking — more specifically, what gender you’re asking.

A new study published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology set out to determine how people feel about the two types of infidelity.images

Researchers from Kansas State University recruited 477 adults — 238 men and 239 women — and asked them to fill out several questionnaires on a variety of topics, including relationships and cheating. One such question was, “Which would distress you more: Imagining your partner enjoying passionate sexual intercourse with another person or imagining your partner forming a deep emotional attachment with another person?”

After analyzing the results, researchers came to a very clear conclusion: “Males reported that sexual infidelity scenarios were relatively more distressing than emotional infidelity scenarios, and the opposite was true of
females,” they wrote in the study.

Interestingly, the purpose of the study was to determine which factors — be it attachment style, feelings of trust, relationship habits, etc. — would lead someone to feel one way or the other about cheating. But at the end of the study, researches discovered that the only factor that played a role was gender. Men were most upset by physical cheating and women were more upset by emotional cheating — end of story.

What do you think: Can it really be so black and white?

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The persistence of gender pay inequity

For all the progress made on women’s rights, one measure of inequality still stands out: Females earn less than males, even in the same occupations. Closing this gender gap will require changing the way employers think about work.

It’s hard to overstate how far women have come in the last century. They are now almost as active in the labor market asmen, and equally or even better educated. They account for about half of all law and medical school enrollments, and lead men in fields such as biological sciences, pharmacy and optometry.images-1

Still, women have yet to reach the same level of pay. As of 2010, the annual earnings of the median full-time, full-year female worker stood at 77 percent of the median male’s — up from 56 percent in 1980 but still far from parity. For college graduates, the number was an even lower 72 percent.

Why the persistent difference? U.S. data provide two clues. First, the gap increases with age: Women start their careers close to earnings parity with men, then fall behind over the next several decades. Second, wage differences are concentrated within occupations, meaning that women earn less not because they choose lower-paid professions.

The earnings gap is most pronounced in occupations such as law that place a premium on the willingness and ability to work long hours, be in the office at specific times and build face-to-face relationships with co-workers and clients. In these professions, the penalty for working part time or taking time off — to give birth or care for a child, for example — is particularly large. Small differences in time away or in hours translate into large differences in pay.

Consider the case of women with master degrees in business administration. At 10 to 16 years into their careers, they are typically earning only 55 percent of what men do. Child bearing is a primary reason for the divergence. A year after giving birth, women’s workforce participation rate declines 13 percentage points. Three to four years later, the decline increases to 18 percentage points. In other words, many MBA moms try to stay in the fast lane but ultimately find it unworkable.

The huge value that so many employers place on a standard work schedule affects more than the careers of women. Anyone who, for whatever reason, needs to take time off or work flexible hours gets penalized. The broader economy suffers when businesses are unable to make full use of highly educated and productive people.

To be sure, some professions may never be able to offer much flexibility. Merger-and-acquisition bankers, trial lawyers and the U.S. secretary of state have 24/7, on-call-all-the-time jobs. That said, the universe of such jobs is probably smaller than it appears.

Many professions that once tied people to specific hours are finding ways to reduce the cost of flexibility by making employees more substitutable. Veterinarians, optometrists, pharmacists, pediatricians, anesthesiologists and primary-care providers are shifting from self-employment to group practices and corporate ownership structures that allow them to cover for one another. Smaller veterinary practices that once required staff to have weekend, night and emergency hours are giving way to larger regional hospitals. Such changes often occur because of increased economies of scale, or in response to pressure from employees.

 

More at: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-21/close-the-gender-pay-gap-change-the-way-we-work.html

Arts job report

What are the latest employment figures for working artists—both full-time and their moonlighting counterparts?Keeping My Day Job: Identifying U.S. Workers Who Have Dual Careers As Artists is the third installment in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Arts Data Profiles, an online resourceoffering facts and figures from large, national datasets about the arts, along with instructions for their use. Arts Data Profile #3 reports on employment statistics for U.S. workers who name “artist” as their primary or secondary job.imgres

According to the NEA, “The analysis springs from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a nationwide, monthly survey of 60,000 American households, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CPS is the primary source of U.S. labor statistics, as well as other data on volunteering, poverty, computer and Internet use, arts participation, and more.

“The big picture – In 2013, 2.1 million workers held primary positions as artists. A primary job is defined as one at which the greatest number of hours were worked. In that same year, an estimated 271,000 workers also held second jobs as artists. Twelve percent of all artist jobs in 2013 were secondary employment.

“Unemployment trends – For primary artists, the unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in 2013, compared to 6.6 percent of all U.S. civilian workers, but higher than the 3.6 rate for all professionals (artists are grouped in the professional category). This is an improvement over the 9 percent jobless rates in 2009 and 2010, but well above the pre-recession unemployment rate of 3.6 percent in 2006. Architects and designers were among the hardest hit occupations. While both have halved the 10-11 percent unemployment rates they faced in 2009, neither is back to pre-recession employment rates of 1-3 percent. By contrast, musicians have faced a steady unemployment rate of 8-9 percent since 2009, much higher than the 4.8 percent jobless rate in 2006. Continue reading “Arts job report”

White history month

Invariably, around February of each year, coinciding with Black History Month, you’ll hear people asking, “Why isn’t there a White history month?”

Do these people mean we should condense all the American history centering around White people to just one month and devote the other 11 to people of color?

Of course not. It’s readily accepted that White history is taught, year-round, to the exclusion of minority histories. But the literal history of Whiteness — how and when and why what it means to be White was formulated — is always neglected. The construction of the White identity is a brilliant piece of social engineering. Its origins and heritage should be examined in order to add a critical layer of complexity to a national conversation sorely lacking in nuance. I’m guessing that’s not what they mean, either. In conversations about race, I’ve frequently tried and failed to express the idea that Whiteness is a social construct. So, here, in plain fact, is what I mean:

The very notion of Whiteness is relatively recent in our human history, linked to the rise of European colonialism and the Atlantic slave trade in the 17th century as a way to distinguish the master from the slave. From its inception, “White” was not simply a separate race, but the superior race. “White people,” in opposition to non-whites or “colored” people, have constituted a meaningful social category for only a few hundred years, and the conception of who is included in that category has changed repeatedly. Continue reading “White history month”

The social commentary of Yoshua Okón’s “Salo Island”

Writing in OC Weekly, Dave Barton writes of the new exhibition at UC Irvine of a work by Yoshua Okón, entitled “Salo Island.”

“The Marquis de Sade was rotting away in the Bastille of pre-revolutionary France when he wrote one of his first pornographic novels, 120 Days of Sodom.beach

: “A mind-boggling litany of sexual perversion, the plot is about a foursome of wealthy French elite—a Judge, a Bishop, a Banker and a Cardinal—who kidnap a group of boys and girls, take them to an isolated castle, and then humiliate, rape and murder them. Heinous masturbatory material that it is, it’s also a grimly funny social commentary, with the degenerate Marquis pointing fingers at fellow travelers in his own social class, people who were doing things he only fantasized about.

“In 1975, Marxist Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini used the infamous book as source material for his film Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom, considered by many critics the most controversial movie of all time. Changing the setting from France to the last Fascist holdout of Mussolini’s Italy, Pasolini’s film doesn’t have the Marquis’ mordant sense of humor; playing things deadly serious, the bold visualization of the novel’s atrocities turns the political tract into cinema’s first torture porn.

“Shortly before the film’s release, Pasolini was brutally murdered, supposedly by a teenage male prostitute who ran over him with his own car on a desolated beach. Believed at the time to be a sex deal gone bad, the murderer (who had right-wing ties) has since recanted his confession, claiming Pasolini was assassinated for his politics, as well as his open homosexuality. Fascists apparently don’t take kindly to portrayals of themselves as ass-licking, shit-eating, child murderers. Continue reading “The social commentary of Yoshua Okón’s “Salo Island””

Why women live longer

There are many causes of women’s longevity, some apparently biological (such as their more resilient immune systems) and some more man-made (such as lower rates of accidental, homicidal, or suicidal death).But the overall survival advantage is an outcome of social dynamics. The Atlantic discusses the factors:

“In the United States, women’s advantage in life expectancy at birth is just less than five years, but it was almost eight years in the 1970s. Demographers have determined that the major driver of the 20th century trend was smoking (there is a similar pattern in much of Europe).

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“Smoking is a big issue. More than 80 percent of American men born in 1901 did by the time they were in their thirties, which accounts for the early deaths of millions of men into the 1970s (in the 1950s Americans consumed about 12 pounds of tobacco per person annually, three times current levels). In contrast, young women’s smoking rates never passed 55 percent, and their peak was later, in the 1970s. Since 1965 smoking rates have fallen by more than half, and the gender gap has dropped by more than two-thirds, so women’s survival advantage may narrow further.

“Smoking is a major factor globally, and many countries could be going through what the U.S. did in the last century. The World Health Organization reports that smoking is more common for men than for women in every country except Austria, and in many countries the difference is huge. Continue reading “Why women live longer”

Arts feminism considered

Sometimes people claim that we don’t need feminism any more. Women have rights, they argue, so what more could they possibly want or need?

A recent post from the UK office of Huffington Posts carries an essay saying: “One only needs to look around the world at the terrible situation for many girls and women to realise that feminism is still necessary and vital. But even once females have better living conditions and more rights, feminism still has a role to play as women try to shape careers.images-7

“Several recent news stories have made it clear that women are way behind when it comes to careers in the arts.

“VIDA’s overview of who got published in literary magazines in 2012 suggests that it is still – no surprise – overwhelmingly men. Not only is it men who more often get their literary work published, but it is also primarily men who get their work reviewed and who are the reviewers, too. Continue reading “Arts feminism considered”

Let’s actually talk about student loans

There is more student loan debt outstanding — $1 Trillion — than credit card debt! And the government is making a huge profit on it — an estimated 36 percent profit margin, reports the Huffington Postimages-1

“Here’s the real shame: The government gets to borrow for 10 years paying less than 2 percent interest on U.S. Treasury notes, while students must pay 6.8 percent interest on the loans they get from the government!

“The government is ripping off college students, leaving them with a burden of debt that averages $27,000, and for many exceeds $100,000, while they are forced to pay above-market interest rates.

“Students will spend so much time and pay so much interest getting out of student loan debt that most will never be able to afford to buy a home. Today’s homebuyers can get a 3.5 percent, 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. But today’s students may never get to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates, because the government demands twice that rate to pay off their student loan debt. Continue reading “Let’s actually talk about student loans”

Signorile on the Scouts

images-4“The latest decision by the Boy Scouts of America, proposing to end its ban on gay scouts but not its ban on gay and lesbian scoutmasters and den mothers, is at once ridiculous and blatantly anti-gay,” writes  Michaelangelo Signorile in today’s Huffington Post, continuing as excerpted below

“Sorry, but there’s just no middle ground on bigotry. The idea that you can end discrimination against some — and actually admit that it is discrimination — but not against others is truly breathless in its illogic. The BSA actually says in its new proposal that “no youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone,” but that the organization “will maintain the current membership policy for all adult leaders.”

“So a boy can come out as gay, be a great scout and be accepted by the organization but not even think about being a scoutmaster as an adult? And how can a boy who comes out as gay, or is simply known to be gay because of his other associations and friendships, feel that he is not stigmatized by the BSA when the organization is still discriminating against gay adults? Continue reading “Signorile on the Scouts”

Europe sees research gender gap

Addressing whether research has a “gender dimension” is to become a greater priority under new plans for European funding, reports the Times of London

“The term refers to the fact that research does not always account for differences between men and women and this needs to be woven into the fabric of research projects.images-3

“Katrien Maes, chief policy officer at the League of European Research Universities, said a failure to consider gender in research has led to medicines being less evidence-based for women and has also resulted in products and services being ill-designed for, or untested on, women.

“The issue was discussed at the Leru round-table event on “Women, research and universities: excellence without gender bias” on 22 March in Brussels, and may gain greater prominence under the next research funding framework, Horizon 2020. Dr Maes said the European Commission was considering whether to strengthen its requirements for applicants to take into account the gender dimension of research in funding applications from 2014 to 2020.

“If somebody puts in a proposal for a research project, they could ask, have you taken into account whether there is a need to have a gender dimension? Are there any gender or sex analyses that are necessary?” said Dr Maes. The Commission may also introduce specific funding for gender- related research in areas such as the environment, transport and nutrition. Continue reading “Europe sees research gender gap”

Mormons, race, and history

A newly released digital edition of the four books of LDS or Mormon scripture—the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the

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Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—includes editorial changes that reflect a shifting official view on issues like polygamy, the Church’s history of racism, and the historicity of LDS scripture, reports Salon.com

“Perhaps the most significant is the inclusion of a new heading to precede the now-canonized 1978 announcement of the end of the LDS Church’s ban on black priesthood ordination:

“The Book of Mormon teaches that “all are alike unto God,” including “black and white, bond and free, male and female” (2 Nephi 26:33). Throughout the history of the Church, people of every race and ethnicity in many countries have been baptized and have lived as faithful members of the Church. During Joseph Smith’s lifetime, a few black male members of the Church were ordained to the priesthood. Early in its history, Church leaders stopped conferring the priesthood on black males of African descent. Church records offer no clear insights into the origins of this practice. Church leaders believed that a revelation from God was needed to alter this practice and prayerfully sought guidance. The revelation came to Church President Spencer W. Kimball and was affirmed to other Church leaders in the Salt Lake Temple on June 1, 1978. The revelation removed all restrictions with regard to race that once applied to the priesthood.

 

“Church leaders have long maintained public ambiguity about the history of the ban and its end; they have rarely acknowledged the ordination of early African-American Mormons nor have they cited anti-racist teaching in the Book of Mormon in connection with the Church’s own troubled history on race. The new heading historicizes the ban (suggesting the influence of a robust Church History department) and depicts it as a contradiction to the original impulses of the faith, not corrected until 1978. The heading does, some commentators have noted, offer continuing cover to Brigham Young, whose on-the-record racist statements to the Utah legislature suggest his influence in the evolution of a non-ordination policy. Commentators also note the absence of reference to the fact that black women were not historically admitted to LDS temple worship until the 1978 announcement.”

 

Full story at:  http://www.salon.com/2013/03/09/changes_in_mormon_scriptures_to_reflect_shifting_views_partner/

Facebook hacked again

Facebook Inc has said that it been the target of a series of attacks by an unidentified hacker group, but it had found no evidence that user data was compromised, reports today’s Al Jazeera.

“’Last month, Facebook security discovered that our systems had been targeted in a sophisticated attack,’ the company said in a blog post posted on Friday afternoon, just before the three-day Presidents Day weekend. ‘The attack occurred when a handful of employees visited a mobile developer website that was compromised.’imgres

“The social network, which says it has more than one billion active users worldwide, also said: ‘Facebook was not alone in this attack. It is clear that others were attacked and infiltrated recently as well.’ Continue reading “Facebook hacked again”

demand rising for morning after pill

The use of morning-after pills by American women has more than doubled in recent years, driven largely by rising rates of use among women in their early 20s, according to new federal data released Thursday.

The finding is likely to add to the public debate over rules issued by the Obama administration under the new health care law that require most employers to provide free coverage of birth control, including morning-after pills, to female employees.imgres-1
Some religious institutions and some employers have objected to the requirement and filed lawsuits to block its enforcement.

Morning-after pills, which help prevent pregnancy after sex, were used by 11 percent of sexually active women from 2006 to 2010, the period of the study. That was up from just 4 percent in 2002. Nearly one in four women between the ages of 20 and 24 who had ever had sex have used the pill at some point, the data show.

More:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/health/use-of-morning-after-pill-is-rising-report-says.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&_r=0

Disabled philosophers

Disabled Philosophers is one of those off-the-beaten-path blogs that consistently yields thoughtful and original ideas.

We add the item below to accompany today’s story about the Brown health care policy shift, but also to highlight the often under-discussed topic of coexisting conditions that define and challenge so many of us.imgres

In one way or another, nearly everyone has at some point struggled with some experience of difference – ranging from trivial to huge.  In many cases society labels what is simply a difference as a pathology, or illness, or worse. So, as magicalersatz reflects:

“My disability is, for many, also a marker of identity. In the parlance of pop culture, I was “born in the wrong body.” In the words of the DSM, I have “evidence of a strong and persistent cross-gender identification.” While I am agnostic about the etiology of my disability, I began treatment before graduate school, which involved therapy, hormones, surgery, and navigating a lot of legal forms and paperwork.

“My colleagues don’t know about my gender history (in other words, I “pass” as the gender that’s finally on my identification), but I still view my physiological situation as a disability. I realize that there are others in my situation who would shirk this description, and I am do not mean to imply that any transsexual or transgender individual is thereby disabled. Continue reading “Disabled philosophers”

War and genocide today

imgres-2“Opposing genocide has become a sort of cottage industry in the United States,” writes Patricia Johnstone in a thoughtful essay in CounterPunch. The article then analyses how justified war has become a preferred solution to mass extermination . . .  but at what cost and in whose interests?

“Everywhere, “genocide studies” are cropping up in universities.  Five years ago, an unlikely “Genocide Prevention Task Force” was set up headed by former secretary of state Madeleine Albright and former defense secretary William Cohen, both veterans of the Clinton administration.

“The Bible of the campaign is Samantha Power’s book, ‘A Problem from Hell’.  Ms. Power’s thesis is that the U.S. Government, while well-intentioned, like all of us, is too slow to intervene to “stop genocide”.  It is a suggestion that the U.S. government embraces, even to taking on Ms. Power as White House advisor. Continue reading “War and genocide today”

American cats kill billions of birds

imgresWe know this but don’t often admit it: cats are killing machines

In all fairness, some of us like our cats for this reason – ridding our houses rodents or other pests, or at least deterring them. But if you are really, really sensitive about the issue of animal cruelty, letting kitty prowl about outside puts lots of birds and small animals at risk. A story on NPR exposed the ugly details about this. Millions of details, as it turns out:

“Previous studies had suggested that cats kill about 500 million birds a year. Marra’s group came up with something very different. ‘We estimate that cats kill somewhere between 1.4 and 3.7 billion birds a year,’ Pete Marra says. ‘For mammals, it’s upward of about 15 billion.’ Continue reading “American cats kill billions of birds”

Selling the Shootings

Finally someone is talking about this.  No, not talking about the shootings. Instead we have found a thought piece about the mushrooming “discourse” about the shootings.

It usually takes a bit of time for such a retrospective analysis to take place, but we live in a faster world. Today in Truthout, William Rivers Pitt  looks at the war-of-positions we’ve all been

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witnessing, and his thoughts are excerpted briefly below:

“A few hours before President Obama and Vice President Biden unveiled their proposals for gun reform in America, the National Rifle Associationlaunched a preemptive strike on the president’s children. To wit: an NRA-sponsored television commercial claimed that, because Sasha and Malia get armed guards in school and your kids don’t, Mr. Obama is an elitist hypocrite. Continue reading “Selling the Shootings”

The boss and his baby

“If you work for a company run by a male chief executive whose wife is about to give birth to a child—particularly his firstborn—you might want to cross your fingers they have a daughter” reports today’s Wall Street Journal.  ” And if you’re a male worker, you might get the short end of the stick no matter the gender or birth order.”

“The gender of a male CEO’s children is significantly linked to the salary of

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his employees, according to new research from Aalborg University economics professor Michael Dahl, University of Maryland Smith School of Business professor Cristian Dezso and Columbia Business School professor David Gaddis Ross. Presented Friday at the annual American Economic Association meeting here, the analysis suggests some explanations for the linkage, but doesn’t draw absolute conclusions. Continue reading “The boss and his baby”

China’s growing economic fortunes

China’s strong economy is expected to surpass that of the US by the end of the decade, with Chinese sales of goods to the rest of the world continuing at an astonishing rate.

China’s trade surplus surged 48.1china_2924_600x450 percent to $231.1 billion in 2012 from the previous year, though total trade volume grew at a much slower pace, official data showed on Thursday. This report come from today’s edition of channelnewasia.com. The story further states:

“Exports from the world’s second-largest economy rose 7.9 percent to $2.05 trillion, while imports increased 4.3 percent to $1.82 trillion, Continue reading “China’s growing economic fortunes”

Speech style and gender performance

A researcher at the University of Colorado has presented new evidence

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on how word pronunciation affects gender recognition among listeners.

While this may not be a great revelation to those who provide or receive speech training for gender reassignment, the story has significance in further documenting the social construction of gender identity.

The story appears on a noteworthy site called RedOrbit (see link below) on science and health. According to the study, “the style of a person’s speech may help listeners guess their gender just as much as the high or low pitch of their voice.” The researcher examined transgendered people during transition to figure out how humans associate gender categories with different characteristics of speech. Continue reading “Speech style and gender performance”