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Emotional Openness May Be Good for Males’ Mental Health – TIME

Posted: August 31st, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

A recent study by Professor Carlos Santos found that stereotypically "girlish skills" like empathy and the desire for intimate relationships help boys lead mentally and emotionally healthier lives—and may even save young men's lives. His multi-ethnic study also found zero correlation between race and hyper-masculinity, countering media stereotypes that often depict minorities as delinquent.

But as Charlie Glickman points out, "if you read the Time article [by Eben Harrel], you'll see some of the sorts of language that reinforce the macho mindset." In yet another example of the media being part of the problem, Harrell uses phrases like "stop sniveling and 'be a man'" and "being a mama's boy," which is the headline, no less. If boys or men escape stereotypes, we risk being gay-bashed.

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Miss. lesbian student sues over rejected tux photo – Yahoo! News

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

Ceara Sturgis has been wearing masculine clothes since ninth grade, but her High School denied her the opportunity to wear a tuxedo in the yearbook photo and opted, instead, to flat-out omit her name. Now Christine P. Sun, the ACLU lawyer who represented Constance McMillen in a similar case earlier this year, "filed a federal lawsuit for Sturgis, claiming the Copiah County district discriminated against her on the basis of sex and gender stereotypes," Shelia Byrd reports. "It's unfair and unlawful to force students to conform to outdated notions about what boys and girls should look like without any regard to who they actually are as people," Sun said. Sturgis said she cried when she saw the yearbook and felt punished "just for being who I am."

This new filing comes weeks after McMillen reached a settlement against the Itawamba County School District. McMillen credits Sturgis, whose own legal battle has been going on far longer, with giving her the inspiration for her own challenge.

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Judge lifts Prop. 8 stay – gay marriages on hold

Posted: August 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

Last week, Proposition 8 was ruled unconstitutional for the should-be-obvious reason that it's an anti-gay discrimination bill. Proponents' arguments that the ruling "jeopardizes the democratic process" are forgetting that human rights aren't a democratic process, but unalienable rights that American law protects. Nevertheless, that's the argument they're using in a rambling appeal to Walker’s ruling filed before the ruling was announced.

After the ruling Judge Walker issued a stay, preventing same-sex marriages from resuming until August 18. The ban's supporters quickly appealed that ruling as well, and as the deadline quickly approaches they've become ever more anxious for a new panel of 3 Ninth-Circuit Judges, Edward Leavy, Michael Hawkins and Sidney Thomas, to extend Judge Walker's stay order. They still have no reason other than fear as to why, though.

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TransGriot: Hypermasculinity Is Killing Our Kids

Posted: August 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

An absolutely heart-breaking story of manslaughter is making headlines after 20 year old Pedro Jones confessed to punching his girlfriend's 17 month old baby boy to death. Jones said, "I was trying to make him act like a boy instead of a little girl." While the family is understandably outraged, that single quote is the only reference to transphobia in all mainstream media.

Trans activist Monica Roberts cuts to the issue's root: "One of the things I've been sickened about lately is kids who are being beaten because they aren't acting 'masculine enough' for the male adults in their lives." Indeed, Jones' crime is not the first. In 2005, 3 year old Ronnie Paris Jr. was killed by his 21 year old father by repeatedly slapping him around to ensure he wouldn't grow up to be "soft" or a "sissy." As TransGriot writes, "Homophobia and transphobia feeds into these hypermasculine attitudes, and it has got to stop."

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Stereotype: Debunked. Latinos Are MORE Progressive on Gender – COLORLINES

Posted: July 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Moral panics often seem to go along with Republican xenophobia. As Michelle Chen writes, "the country's changing racial and ethnic landscape alarms conservative elites for deeper reasons than only skin color. It's what the browning of America represents: the gradual displacement of a homogeneous status quo with pluralism by necessity."

To wit, surveys by the Center for American Progress reveal facts challenging media stereotypes: "Latinos overwhelmingly view the rise of women in the workforce as good for society." (87% of Latino women, 82% of men, 7-10 points higher than men and women overall) Also, "Latinos express some of the highest levels of support for changes to governmental…policies" like increased paid medical leave. "Maybe when it comes to some social issues, including gender," Chen opines, "hardship has a way of pushing people to embrace new ideas."

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The First Thing Young Women Do in the Morning: Check Facebook [STUDY]

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

In a sampling of 1,605 women aged 18-34, 79% of them are fine with kissing in photos, 42% think it’s okay to post photos of themselves intoxicated, and 50% of women believe that it’s just fine to date people they’ve met on Facebook, compared to 65% of men. All this and more according to a recent study released by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research, Ben Parr reports for Mashable.com.

Now, I raise my eyebrows at the fact that "49% of women believe it’s fine to keep tabs on a boyfriend by having access to his accounts (42% of men think the same way)." I'm not sure if that means 42% of men feel comfortable having tabs kept on them or if they're keeping tabs on their partners, but it does bring up an obvious question: why aren't more folks simply communicating more honestly? Reassuringly, however, 89% agree that "you should never put anything on Facebook that you don’t want your parents to see." So I guess many people don't mind their parents seeing them drinking. That's pretty chill.

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More Women Without Children – Pew Research Center

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"Nearly one-in-five American women ends her childbearing years without having borne a child, compared with one-in-ten in the 1970s," according to a recent Pew Research report. Childbearing and rearing is arguably the most telling indicator of attitudes towards gender, and this report is full of interesting tidbits of that sort: "children increasingly are seen as less central to a good marriage. […] About half the public…say it makes no difference one way or the other that a growing share of women do not ever have children. Still, a notable share of Americans…say this trend is bad for society."

The authors write, "social pressure to bear children appears to have diminished for women and that today the decision to have a child is seen as an individual choice. Improved job opportunities and contraceptive methods help create alternatives for women who choose not to have children." The issue is partially classist, as white, well-educated women are still the most likely to be child-free.

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For Women, Biological Clock is an Aphrodisiac | Miller-McCune Online

Posted: July 7th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

"27- to 45-year-old females 'think more about sex, have more frequent and intense sexual fantasies, are more willing to engage in sexual intercourse, and report actually engaging in sexual intercourse more frequently than women of other age groups,'" Tom Jacobs reports of yet-another-study. Psychologist Judith Easton asked 827 women to complete "a detailed online survey that included questions about their sexual desires and behaviors." The horniest respondents were dubbed RE or "reproduction expediting," an academic euphemism.

And why are they horny? Yet-another-evolutionary psychology theory: "women evolved a psychological mechanism…that motivated them to capitalize on their remaining fertility before likelihood of conception [became] less probable." But as Easton concedes, older womens' "increasing comfort with sexuality" may also account for some of their findings. Either way, a notion of men being driven by "spreading their seed" while women aren't similarly motivated is bogus.

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The Anti-Lesbian Drug – Newsweek

Posted: July 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Bioethicist Alice Dreger, who raised concerns of a pediatricians' female genital mutilation practice, partnered with American University philosophy professor and gay rights activist Anne Tamar-Mattis against what they call the "FIRST EXPERIMENT TO ATTEMPT PREVENTION OF HOMOSEXUALITY IN WOMB" (sic) by pediatric endocrinologist Maria New.

As Sharon Begley reports, Dreger "blew the whistle on the controversial practice of giving pregnant women dexamethasone [dex] to keep the female fetuses they are carrying from developing ambiguous genitalia." While Dreger may have made a leap, dex isn't FDA-approved, so "medical societies have signed on to a statement recommending that prenatal dexamethasone therapy…'continue to be regarded as experimental, and be pursued only' in research settings." Maria New's "aim seems to be to…make life easier for" patients. I think that could be achieved better with social acceptance of intersexuality than with drugs.

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Has Social Networking Replaced Sex? | momlogic.com

Posted: July 2nd, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Briefs | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Sounds like Bruce Sallan needs some sexual reassurance. The syndicated parenting columnist asked, "Have we sunk to androgynous roles as men and women? Are we (you?) having less sex? Are we men falling down on our jobs when it comes to making 'it' happen?" By "it," he means sex. He says, "my speculation is, there's much truth in the fact that our lives are so equal [as men and women], so focused on work and family, that sex often gets put on the back burner." Worried, he says, "my wife is often correctly critical of all the time I spend on the computer," presumably on social networking sites instead of setting the mood.

I'm not going to presume much about Sallan's situation, but to segregate one's sex life from one's online social networking activities seems, to me, like he's "doing it wrong." And by "it," I mean both sex and social networks. After all, some social networks are made for sex. Maybe he and his wife could both join FetLife. ;)

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