Last week the well-respected Urban Institute published a study on technology, teen dating violence and cyberbullying, writes Dana Beyer in today’s Huffington Post Gay Voices in a piece about the study’s approach (and those used elsewhere) to asking questions about gender identity .
“The numbers were pretty horrifying, and they were worse for LGBTQ youth, both as victims and perpetrators. As I was looking through the documentation to study how the research was structured, I noticed something very interesting about the intake forms. The first question was, “What is your gender? Male. Female. Transgender/gender-queer.” The fourth question was, “Of the following, which do you primarily identify as? Heterosexual/straight. Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Questioning. Queer. Other.”
“This is a very rational, modern presentation, following on what we’ve learned about the independence of the two human attributes — gender identity and sexual orientation — and the primacy of gender identity over sexual orientation as a biological and social phenomenon. Putting aside polyamory, you need to know who you and you partner are before you can categorize the dyad in relationship terms.
“This is also, in its way, a classical presentation, because most official forms ask for your sex after they ask for your name. The only difference here is that “sex” is replaced by “gender,” which means the same for legal purposes. But looking a little more closely, there has been, as a result of the deliberate attempt to include trans persons, the resulting creation of a third gender. This would not be out of place in many global cultures, including early Native American/Canadian “two-spirit” (“berdache”) traditions, the Fa’afafine of Polynesia, and the hijras of the Indian subcontinent. Today Australia, New Zealand, Nepal and Germany are four nations that allow a category of indeterminate sex for birth certificates. The globalization of our understanding of trans culture has influenced our actions here in the U.S. Often we are asked how we can make medical intake documents more welcoming, to indicate a culturally competent office that would attract LGBT folks. So over the years we’ve encouraged a number of changes, including replacing “husband/wife” with “spouse,” “mother” and “father” with “parent 1” and “parent 2,” and adding a line or box to be filled in next to the two basic sexes should someone want to choose another option or explicate a bit on the choice made. Continue reading “Asking the right gender questions”
Much has changed in the past 50 years, since the height of the Civil Rights movement. But how do you teach the Civil Rights to kids who haven’t ever experienced it? In Jackson, Miss., Fannie Lou Hamer Institute’s Summer Youth Workshop tackles that question, reports NPR today.
“Take 13-year-old Jermany Gray, for instance. Gray and his fellow students are all African-American, and many of them are from Jackson. They’re familiar with the struggle for civil rights — they read about it in text books and saw it in museum exhibits. But for most, it’s a story that ended long before they were even born. Gray has no problem talking about what the Civil Rights movement was back in the ’60s, but when asked what it means to him these days, the answer doesn’t come as easily.
“What does it mean? I’ll have to think about that question,” he said. “Maybe I can answer that at the end of the week.”That’s the typical challenge, according to Michelle Deardorff who is the chair of political science at Jackson State and who also helped found the Hamer Institute. “The image I give when I talk about this is a tree, and the tree is democracy. And a chain link fence was around it,” said Deardorff, who used the idea of the fence to represent racism and slavery. “And as the tree grew, it grew around the fence. We’ve now pulled the fence out… but the tree is shaped by it forever.” Continue reading “Teaching the civil rights movement”
Brain scans of convicted felons can predict which ones are most likely to get arrested after they get out of prison, scientists have found in a study of 96 male offenders, reports Wired Science today
“It’s the first time brain scans have been used to predict recidivism,” said neuroscientist Kent Kiehl of the Mind Research Network in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who led the new study. Even so, Kiehl and others caution that the method is nowhere near ready to be used in real-life decisions about sentencing or parole.
“Generally speaking, brain scans or other neuromarkers could be useful in the criminal justice system if the benefits in terms of better accuracy outweigh the likely higher costs of the technology compared to conventional pencil-and-paper risk assessments, says Stephen Morse, a legal scholar specializing in criminal law and neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania. The key questions to ask, Morse says, are: “How much predictive accuracy does the marker add beyond usually less expensive behavioral measures? How subject is it to counter-measures if a subject wishes to ‘defeat’ a scan?” Continue reading “Brain scans that predict criminality?”
Not unlike Coke and Pepsi, two beer companies control most of America’s beer.
Who cares, you say? Apparently the federal government is mildly concerned, as reflected in its response to Budweiser’s plan to buy Corona, as discussed in a piece in today’s New York Times, as follows:
“Consumers will benefit from the Justice Department’s antitrust suit to block Anheuser-Busch InBev, the country’s largest brewing company, from acquiring one of its competitors. This kind of action was seen less frequently in the Bush administration.
“Anheuser-Busch InBev announced in June that it would pay $20.1 billion to buy the 50 percent stake in Grupo Modelo of Mexico — maker of Corona beer — that it did not already own. Continue reading “Two beers are not enough”
Over the past decade a dramatic shift has occurred in California’s immigration demographics, as Asian immigrants have begun to come to California faster than Latinos.
In 2001, 42 percent of immigrants coming to California were from Latin America, primarily Mexico, while 37 percent were from Asia. In 2011, 57 percent of new immigrants were from Asia, and just
22 percent were from Latin America, reports Huffington Post.
“’This is a pretty astounding change over a short period of time,’ Hans Johnson, co-director of the Public Policy Institute of California, told the Sacremento Bee, citing census data. The demographic breakdown of California’s swearing-in of new citizens Wednesday was as follows: 450 from Asia (100 from India, 94 from the Philippines, 63 from Vietnam, 33 from China, 29 from Laos) 160 from Latin America (119 people from Mexico)35 from Ukraine to see which countries immigrants to California came from in 2011. Continue reading “More Asians than Latinos coming to California”