The Twitter and Google boy’s clubs

From PC Magazine: “Twitter’s global workforce is about as diverse as those of its big-name peers in the tech biz, which is to say, not very diverse at all. The microblogging site, following the lead of companies like Google and Yahoo, on Wednesday released some raw numbers about the gender and ethnic makeup of its roughly 3,000 employees. As with those companies, it turns out that Twitter’s workforce skews very heavily male and white.images

“To wit, Twitter’s workforce is 70 percent male and 30 percent female. That disparity grows even more pronounced in tech-related jobs at the company, which are held by nine times as many men as women, while leadership roles at Twitter come in at 79 percent for men and 21 percent for women.

“Google, which released its own diversity data in May, reported the same 70-to-30 ratio of men to women among its own roughly 52,000-strong workforce. Yahoo reported last month that the gender diversity among its more than 12,000 employees also skews male but not as much—the company’s worldwide workforce is 62 percent men and 37 percent women.
Facebook also recently released a breakdown of gender and ethnic diversity in its workforce, reporting similar numbers to Twitter, Google, and Yahoo.

“If gender disparities at Twitter and other Silicon Valley companies are striking, the lack of ethnic diversity at those outfits is just as pronounced, if not more so, going by the self-reported numbers.
Before Twitter joined the party, both Google and Yahoo reported that their workforces were predominantly white and Asian— 91 percent at Google (61 percent white, 30 percent Asian) and 89 percent at Yahoo (50 percent white, 39 percent Asian). African-Americans and Latinos combined to make up just 5 percent of the employees at Google and just 6 percent at Yahoo.
Twitter’s workforce came in at 59 percent white and 29 percent Asian, with African-Americans, Latinos, and people with other ethnicities representing just a fraction of those numbers.

“The current numbers may be stark, but Twitter, like Google and Yahoo before it, pledged to work to better diversify its workforce going forward.”[R]esearch shows that more diverse teams make better decisions, and companies with women in leadership roles produce better financial results. But we want to be more than a good business; we want to be a business that we are proud of,” Janet Van Huysse, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion at Twitter, wrote in a blog post.
“To that end, we are joining some peer companies by sharing our ethnic and gender diversity data. And like our peers, we have a lot of work to do.”Van Huysse didn’t lay out any specific plans for enacting more diverse hiring at Twitter but did list some “employee-led groups putting a ton of effort into the cause” at the company. These include affinity groups like WomEng (women in engineering), SWAT (super women at Twitter), TwUX (Twitter women in design), Blackbird (Tweeps of color), TwitterOpen (LGBTQ folks), and Alas (Latino and Latina employees), she said.”

 

More at: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2461300,00.asp

Pre-natal gender bias

Want to find out your baby’s sex before he or she is born? Then you’re probably either a perfectionist or have conservative views about gender, a new study suggests.images

As reported in Time, “Researchers at Ohio State University asked 182 expectant mothers to take personality tests that assessed their thoughts on gender roles and parenting perfectionism. More laid-back moms who seemed open to new experiences were less likely than perfectionist moms to ask the doctor about whether their babies would be boys or girls. “These results suggest women who choose not to learn their baby’s sex may not worry about having clothes, toys and colors for their child that match traditional gender expectations,” said Letitia Kotila, lead author of the study, which will be published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

“Finding out your child’s sex before their born, the researchers suggest, may push them towards a certain gender identity later. “If you know ahead of time that you’re having a girl, are you layering on all the pink and purple in a way that is going to push an extremely feminine ideal on your child?” Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, another researcher who worked on the study, said. Continue reading “Pre-natal gender bias”

More on the wage gap

When Jill Abramson was fired from her post as executive editor of the New York Times last Wednesday, the world took notice. The New Yorker reported on tensions between Abramson and the paper’s owner, which may have been heightened in part by an argument over her pay relative to that of her male predecessor.images-1

Whether Abramson’s pay did or didn’t have anything to do with her dismissal from the Times, one thing is certain: there is a gender wage gap. Among full-time workers, women earn 77% of what men earn. Even after accounting for the fact that women often work in different occupations and industries than men, as well as differences in work experience, union status, education and race, 41% of that gap is still unexplained. When social scientists control for every employment factor that could possibly explain the disparity, women still earn 91% of what men earn for doing the same job.

Female-dominated occupations tend to pay less, often much less, than male-dominated occupations. Women made great progress in the 1970s and 1980s in moving into careers traditionally dominated by men, but since the mid-1990s that progress has largely stalled. Today women still account for the vast majority of waitresses, retail workers, administrative assistants and nurses, but very few engineers, scientists, managers and technicians. Women also tend to work in service jobs and not-for-profit and public-sector organizations, which aren’t highly valued in a market economy. Moreover, though women lost fewer jobs than men did in therecession, they gained fewer during the recovery. And many of the gains were in sectors facing serious budget cuts, like education and social services.

What’s more, education has not effectively reduced the gender wage gap, even though women are now substantially more educated than men. Women surpassed men in college enrollment in the mid-1990s, and the gap has been growing ever since. Today 45% of young women are enrolled in college, compared with 38% of young men; 36% of young women have a bachelor’s or a graduate degree, compared with 28% of young men. Yet women with graduate degrees earn the same as men with bachelor’s degrees, and women with bachelor’s degrees earn the same as men with associate’s degrees.

What’s behind these differences? Part of the problem lies in what women study, which plays a large role in where they work later on. Women aren’t likely to choose high-paying majors like engineering; instead, they often gravitate to low-paying majors like education, psychology and social work. Women represent 97% of early-childhood-education majors but only 6% of mechanical-engineering majors. Continue reading “More on the wage gap”

Oscar’s gender

In an ideal world, there would be no Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.No Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress either. In this hypothetical Hollywood, recognition is bestowed for the most masterful performance of the year—gender regardless.

But as Pacific Standards reports today, “Obviously, we don’t live in that world. Despite all the Jennifer

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Lawrences and Melissa McCarthys, Hollywood is still dominated by a conspicuous gender bias. Swedish cinemas made news in November after several adopted the Bechdel test to identify gender bias in the material of various films—going so far as to exclude failing films from cinema lineups. It’s certainly a problem worth addressing, but perhaps the gravest examples of Hollywood gender bias lie behind the scenes.

“The New York Film Academy compiled this helpful infographic to illustrate some of the more shocking statistics. Among them:

  • In the top 500 films produced from 2007 to 2012, only 30.8 percent of speaking roles are filled by women.
  • Only 10.7 percent of those films featured a gender-balanced cast (half of the characters being female).
  • There are 2.25 working actors for every working actress in Hollywood today.
  • Ninety-one percent of working directors are male.
  • Eighty-five percent of working screenwriters are male.
  • Eighty-three percent of executive producers are male.
  • Ninety-eight percent of cinematographers are male.
  • Only 35 women were nominated for Academy Awards in 2013, as opposed to 140 men. There were no women nominated for directing, cinematography, film editing, original screenplays, or original scores.
  • Seventy-seven percent of voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are male. (Seventy-seven percent!) Continue reading “Oscar’s gender”

10% of young adults experience sexual violence

A report published today in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that nearly one in 10 teenagers and young adults has coerced or forced a peer to engage in some form of sexual activity. As summarized in WebMD,

“The study of more than 1,000 young people aged 14 to 21 found that 9 percent reported forcing or pressuring a peer to engage in sexual activity. They admitted to coercive sex, sexual assault and rape, most often involving a romantic partner.

“Perpetrators were five times more likely to have been exposed to X-rated media that showed a person being physically hurt during sex, the study found.

“From a public health perspective, the violent pornography is something we need to be concerned about in terms of our young people,” said study co-author Michele Ybarra, president and research director of the Center for Innovative Public Health Research in San Clemente, Calif.

 “The young people also recounted a disturbing lack of consequences for their actions.“Two out of three of our perpetrators said no one found out, so they didn’t get in trouble,” Ybarra said.

“Further, nearly nine out of 10 perpetrators said they felt the victim bore full or partial responsibility. The study involved a national sample of nearly 1,100 young people and focused specifically on perpetration of coercive and forced sexual behavior.”We know a bit about youth who are victims of sexual violence, but we don’t know much at all about youth as perpetrators,” Ybarra said. “It’s important we know more if we’re going to reduce the sexual-violence rate.”

 

More at: http://www.webmd.com/parenting/news/20131007/1-in-10-young-adults-admits-to-sexual-violence?src=RSS_PUBLIC

 

Who writes for the Times?

This past week 26 men and 10 women wrote for the New York Times. A new blog is keeping track of these numbers, as discussed below:images

“The glaring disparity between men and women writers contributing to large, influential media publications has reared its ugly head once again. But this time, we can watch along in real time.

“Launched this week, Who Writes For The New York Times? tracks the bylines on the Times’ online front page, breaks down the writers by gender and refreshes every five minutes.

Andrew Briggs, the creator of WhoWritesFor (its common designation), credits his inspiration for the site to reading a 2011 study by literary organization VIDA: Women in Literary Arts. “The Count,” as it is called, annually charts gender disparities across media giants such as The AtlanticBoston Review and Harper’s. From i’s beginnings in 2009 to its most recent 2012 report, VIDA has consistently found that men have more bylines, write more reviews and have more reviews written about their work than women do. Briggs explained his reaction to the study and his new site in an interview with The First Bound:

I think that was really the first time the idea of an imbalance in voice occurred to me. I don’t think [The New York Times has] deliberately imbalanced voices, but rather this is the kind of thing that happens when the people in charge aren’t really paying attention. Continue reading “Who writes for the Times?”

Gender and autism

A study has claimed that autism affects different parts of the brain depending on gender, reports The Metro

“Scientists looked at 120 brains of both sexes, including those without the disability, concluding that not ‘everything found in males with autism applies to females’.imgres-1

“Using MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans, the research revealed how ‘females with autism show neuroanatomical “masculinisation”,’ said Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, senior author of the paper.

“Shedding light on a previously under-researched area – women with autism – the scientists, from the Autism Research Centre at Cambridge University, found that the anatomy of the brain of someone with autism varied between men and women. Baron-Cohen said that the ‘masculinisation’ of a female brain with autism may ‘implicate physiological mechanisms that drive sexual dimorphism, such as prenatal sex hormones and sex-linked genetic mechanisms’. While autism affects one per cent of the general population, it is more prevalent in men. Because of this, most studies have concentrated on male-dominant samples leading to a gender bias in the understanding of autism-related neuroscience.

‘”This is one of the largest brain imaging studies of sex/gender differences yet conducted in autism. Females with autism have long been under-recognized and probably misunderstood,’ said Dr Meng-Chuan Lai, the research project leader. ‘The findings suggest that we should not blindly assume that everything found in males with autism applies to females.’ The paper, entitled ‘Biological sex affects the neurobiology of autism’, appears in the journal Brain.”

More at: http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/10/autism-affects-brains-of-females-differently-to-males-study-says-3918961/

Sex sells? Think again

images-2The backlash against sex­ual imagery in the media is gathering steam as feminists and child-protection experts make common cause with conservatives, religious groups and, yes, the Daily Mail to decry what they see as degrading attitudes to women.

A British marketing consultation firm recently ran the below story warning companies to back off on “sex sells” thinking.

“From the Prime Minister’s online porn clampdown, announced last week, to the continuing campaigns against lads’ mags and The Sun’s Page 3 models, UK media is on notice that the gratuitous use of raunchy images is becoming unacceptable.

 “David Cameron’s plan for ISPs to automatically activate filters, which users would have to turn off to access porn, sounds to many people like a sensible balance between protecting children from inappropriate material and respecting adults’ rights – and any move designed to tackle child sexual exploitation is widely applauded. But some worry that adult sexuality and child abuse are being deliberately lumped together to promote repressive and prudish attitudes to sex.

“The issue is riven with contradictions. Cameron was somewhat at a loss last week to explain why The Sun’s “tit pics” – widely seen by children across the country – are acceptable when online porn is not. However, his reply that buying the newspaper is a free consumer choice might have something to it. The Sun’s circulation has fallen by 40 per cent over the past decade to 2.25 million, arguably a reflection of the growing distaste for a publication that uses breasts to promote itself.  Continue reading “Sex sells? Think again”

Male and female alcohol recovery differences

Alcohol abuse does its neurological damage more quickly in women than in men, new research reported in Scientific American suggests.

“The finding adds to a growing body of evidence that is prompting researchers to consider whether the time is ripe for single-gender treatment programs for alcohol-dependent women and men.

“Over the past few decades scientists have observed a narrowing of the gender gap in alcohol dependence. In the 1980s the ratio of male to female alcohol dependence stood at roughly five males for every female, according to figures compiled by Shelly Greenfield, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. By 2002 the “dependence difference” had dropped to about 2.5 men for every woman. But although the gender gap in dependence may be closing, differences in the ways men and women respond to alcohol are emerging. Writing in the January 2012 issue ofAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, principal investigator Claudia Fahlke from the Department of Psychology at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden and her colleagues found that alcohol’s ability to reduce serotonin neurotransmission, was “telescoped” in alcoholic women compared with their male counterparts. Continue reading “Male and female alcohol recovery differences”

On asexuality

In 10 years, activist David Jay hopes your kids will be learning about asexuality when they’re getting “the talk.” This week an essay on Huffington Post explores this topic”

“What is ace culture going to look like in a decade? I don’t know,” he said. “Will it look like gay culture? That might happen, but I’m not invested in that. What I am invested in is that as more aces come out, a much larger percentage of the population will have access to the term ‘asexual’ than there is right now. I hope asexuality will be far more visible, with more out aces and asexual characters on TV shows and movies. I hope it becomes a part of the bigger world of sexuality.”imgres

“Mark Carrigan, 27, a PhD student at the University of Warwick who has been studying asexuality for half a decade, concurred. He’s eager to see an increase in asexuality awareness as he believes it will not just benefit the ace community but the world at large.

“More visibility for the asexual community will be very important,” he said. “And that’s not just because it’ll make their lives easier as a stigmatized group, but because there are cultural implications beyond those who are asexual themselves.”Carrigan, who is not himself ace, says he sees many similarities between the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights movement and that of the asexual struggle for broader acceptance, writes todays Huffington Post

“I’d argue that gay pride and the LGBT rights movement was a very civilizing movement,” he said. “It had broader ramifications for the culture we live in, inculcating a greater degree of tolerance and more awareness of sexual difference. Similarly, more awareness for asexuality will likely lead to awareness of a different sort of sexual difference.” Continue reading “On asexuality”

Economics of same-sex couples

As poverty rates for nearly all populations increased during the recession, lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) Americans remained more likely to be poor than heterosexual people, reports a new study from the Williams Institute:  “Gender, race, education and geography all influence poverty rates among LGB populations, and children of same-sex couples are particularly vulnerable to poverty.

“Key findings include:

• In the American Community Survey, 7.6% of lesbian couples, compared to 5.7% of married different-sex couples, are in poverty.
• African American same-sex couples have poverty rates more than twice the rate of different-sex married African Americans.
• One third of lesbian couples and 20.1 % of gay male couples without a high school diploma are in poverty, compared to 18.8% of different-sex married couples.
• Lesbian couples who live in rural areas are much more likely to be poor (14.1%), compared to 4.5% of coupled lesbians in large cities. 10.2% of men in same-sex couples, who live in small metropolitan areas, are poor, compared with only 3.3% of coupled gay men in large metropolitan areas.
• Almost one in four children living with a male same-sex couple and 19.2% of children living with a female same-sex couple are in poverty, compared to 12.1% of children living with married different-sex couples. African American children in gay male households have the highest poverty rate (52.3%) of any children in any household type.
• 14.1% of lesbian couples and 7.7% of gay male couples receive food stamps, compared to 6.5% of different-sex married couples. Also, 2.2% of women in same-sex couples receive government cash assistance, compared to .8% of women in different sex couples; 1.2% of men in same-sex couples, compared to .6% of men in different-sex couples, receive cash assistance. Continue reading “Economics of same-sex couples”

A “Ministry for Men” Proposal

Getting unfairly greater pay for equal work, having too much responsibility, occupying a disproportionately large number of leadership positions – might this be more than men can handle? Jenna Price comments in today’s Canberra Times that there may be a solution in a “Ministry for Men”images-4

“For that matter, I might just have a go at it myself.

“And if I were the Minister for Men, there are some clear areas where I could make a difference. Blokes wouldn’t have to shoulder the responsibility for occupying 90 per cent of all the board seats in the top 200 companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. That’s far too much of a burden for any one group.

“I’d slash wages for men, so they wouldn’t have to be paid more to do the same work as women any longer. Why advocate for a pay cut? Because the gender pay gap is a trick to restrict mens’ roles. When you get paid more to do the same work as someone else, it leads to all sorts of expectations. It leads to the expectation that men will never want to stay home with their kids – or work part-time – or take time off to care for their elderly parents. We know that’s just not true any more; and we can’t pigeonhole men any longer. They’re men, not pigeons*, and they have a right to live their lives as God intended. Continue reading “A “Ministry for Men” Proposal”

Abistinence only is driving up STDs

images-3Late last month I interviewed a woman who was 19 when she contracted the herpes simplex virus (HSV1) genitally while still identifying as a virgin. Yahoo News says that  “No one ever told me you could contract an STD by [having] oral sex,” she said. “I thought I was being responsible, because I was saving myself for marriage…I come from a very religious background, and that’s what I was taught. Good girls don’t practice safe sex; they don’t have sex until marriage.”

“Coming to terms with the realization that there were still risks, despite abstaining from vaginal intercourse, this young woman now knows she was lacking some basic knowledge that she needed to make informed decisions about her sexual health.What would have helped her? Comprehensive sex education would have helped.

“We weren’t told about that stuff,” she told me. “Sex ed was literally a bunch of kids giggling about gross slides and our teacher telling us not to do it. Some of us even signed a paper saying we wouldn’t until we were married. So I only had oral sex, and look where that got me.” Now 23, she wishes she’d been armed with a comprehensive sexual education program, as opposed to the abstinence-only approach she received from her high school in South Carolina.

“When I asked her if she thought more thorough sex education in school would have influenced her behavior, she replied enthusiastically. “Yes, definitely! It’s not like I didn’t listen to or respect my teachers. I just didn’t know. I mean, no one told us to use some kind of barrier with oral sex; they didn’t want us to have sex at all. Why would they tell us how to do it safely?”

 

More: http://news.yahoo.com/abstinence-only-sex-ed-driving-std-rates-203137849.html

Those naughty boomers

Some time back, researchers writing in The New England Journal of Medicine decided to ask older Americans about their sex life and discovered something interesting: very often, they have one.

When Robin G. Sawyer, an associate professor in the University of Maryland School of Public Health, shares this information with his students, some seem horrified, reports today’s New York Timesimages

“Maybe they are troubled by the thought of “wrinklies,” as a character in the Christopher Buckley novel “Boomsday” calls them, being intimate. But maybe what gets them is just how often many baby boomers boom — at least two or three times a month, the study found. “That’s better than some of my undergraduates,” Dr. Sawyer said. Continue reading “Those naughty boomers”

More on Hillary and the panda

The story revealing that FreedomWorks produced a video with an obscene scene featuring a giant panda, Hillary Clinton, and oral sex created quite a stir and, according to former officials of the influential tea party group, had staffers at the conservative advocacy group and super-PAC “freaking out,” as one put it, reports Mother Jones.images-1

“That was to be expected, especially since FreedomWorks is the target of an internal investigation mounted by its board of trustees after board members received “allegations of wrongdoing by the organization or its employees,” according to a letter the board sent in December to Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks. Continue reading “More on Hillary and the panda”

eHarmony blues

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The Christian co-founder of the popular dating site eHarmony is no stranger to sparking controversy in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.Now, however, Neil Clark Warren has gone even further, saying he’s “tired” of the same-sex marriage debate and what he perceives as its negative impact on eHarmony, reports Huffington Post.

“’I think this issue of same-sex marriage within the next five to 15 years will be no issue anymore, Warren told Yahoo! Finance. We’ve made too much of it. I’m tired of it. It has really damaged our company.’ Continue reading “eHarmony blues”

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”

Monogamy is overrated, research shows

imgresThis may sound like an old Henny Youngman joke, but long-term couples are not the world’s happiest people. Nor are they the least happy. In fact, a new study appearing in

Personality and Social Psychology Review says that monogamy doesn’t really matter very much at all. As Salon reports,

“Researchers looked at consensual non-monogamy — relationships in which both adults agree to have multiple sexual or romantic partners — among gay couples and found nearly identical levels of satisfaction as those in monogamous partnerships.

“Men reported that their open relationships accommodated their intimacy needs as well as their desires for sexual diversity. Continue reading “Monogamy is overrated, research shows”

Straight porn and gay marriage

Could watching porn make straight men support marriage equality?imgres-2

A story circulating in blogs today tells of sociologist Mark Regnerus’ latest assertion that porn watching confuses the straight mind about marriage and results in higher levels of support for greater diversity.

Regnerus got some attention earlier this year when he published a now widely discredited study that supposedly found children of gay parents are worse off than those of straight parents. As Huffington Post reports, “In his piece Regnerus states that porn ‘undermines the concept that in the act of sexual intercourse, we share our ‘body and whole self … permanently and exclusively’ and “reinforces the idea that people can share their bodies but not their inmost selves, and that they can do so temporarily and (definitely) not exclusively without harm.’ Continue reading “Straight porn and gay marriage”

LA law protects adult film industry workers

In a state famous for it’s detailed ballot initiative process, Los Angeles County yesterday passed a novel worker safety measure that supporters compare to regulations requiring construction workers to wear hard hats.

Henceforth,  performers in porn movies will be required to wear condoms while filming in LA, a decision that opponents say will leave consumers unsatisfied.

As reported in an article entitled Condom requirement for porn filming approved by voters,” in the Los Angeles Times:  “The initiative garnered 55.9% of the vote after a hard-fought campaign,’This is a major referendum on the subject of safer sex,’ said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein. Continue reading “LA law protects adult film industry workers”