Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pro-Choice Masculism

The men's rights movement is gaining some steam in good ol' Germany. One thought that I found was worth repeating (and I am really too lazy to link right here, but I believe it was from an anon interview with Arne Hoffmann on Cuncti) was the following.

If the emancipation of women meant freedom to work, the emancipation of men means freedom from work

I really like that quote although another masculist pointed out that what we are fighting for is not freedom from work but freedom of choice. That got me thinking as I have sawn this idea formulated elsewhere, too. For instance Warren Farrell:

As the book's title implied, The Myth of Male Power challenged the belief that men had the power—in part by challenging the definition of power. Farrell defined power as "control over one's life."

A similar belief was brought forward buy another article I found while looking for links on misandry:

Book Review of Anthony Synnott, Re-Thinking Men: Heroes, Villains and

Synnott’s argument is further advanced by his discussion of gender
relations in the context of power. Here, he asserts that the focus has
been particularly myopic, often pitting women against men in a struggle
for power. This conception tends to overlook the various meanings of
power, ignoring that power can be oppressive (having the power “over”)
but also liberating (having the power “to do”)
. Synnott offers a more
complex and diagonal theory of power and gender relations that consid-
ers gender and power as more “fluid” concepts, with multiple lines of
power (including gender, race, class, religion, culture, etc.) criss-cross-
ing each other, contributing to the overall power dynamic. In addition,
and perhaps most importantly, Synnott lays down a solid argument that
empowering women to achieve gender justice need not entail toppling or
bringing down men.

Certainly an interesting topic.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Fat positivity, BMI and some surveys

I am torn on the issue of fat positivity. I get what feminist do and how they try to help people, but sometimes I get the feeling health issues are overlooked. Here is some stuff I found via reddit:

Body-mass index BMI, the 200-year-old formula widely used by medical experts, health insurers and the fitness industry, may be categorising almost half of women and just over 20 per cent of men as healthy when their body-fat composition suggests they are obese, a US new study has found. [...]

To measure fatness, they used a costly diagnostic test called dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, or DXA, and calculated subjects' level of obesity based on fat-composition standards used by the American Society of Bariatric Physicians.

The results also suggest that the BMI is a poor measure of fatness in men - but not always in a way that underestimates their obesity. In all, 20 per cent of the study's men shifted from normal and healthy into the obese column under the new measure.

But far more frequently than was the case among women, men who were obese by the BMI standard were reclassified as normal and healthy when they were measured with the DXA.


Abstract Obesity, android fat distribution, and other anthropometric measures have been associated with coronary heart disease in long-term prospective studies. However, fluctuations in weight due to age-related hormonal changes and changes in lifestyle practices may bias relative risk estimates over a long follow-up period. The authors prospectively studied the association between body mass index (BMI) (kg/m2), waist-to-hip ratio, and height as independent predictors of incident coronary heart disease in a 3-year prospective study among 29,122 US men aged 40-75 years in 1986. The authors documented 420 incident coronary events during the follow-up period. Body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, short stature, and weight gain since age 21 were associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease. Among men younger than 65, after adjusting for other coronary risk factors, the relative risk was 1.72 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.10-2.69) for men with BMI of 25-28.9, 2.61 (95% CI 1.54-4.42) for BMI of 29.0-32.9, and 3.44 (95% CI 1.67-7.09) for obese men with BMI > or = 33 compared with lean men with BMI < 23.0. Among men > or = 65 years of age, the association between BMI and risk of coronary heart disease was much weaker. However, in this age group, the waist-to-hip ratio was a much stronger predictor of risk (relative risk = 2.76, 95% CI 1.22-6.23 between extreme quintiles). These results suggest that for younger men, obesity, independent of fat distribution, is a strong risk factor for coronary heart disease. For older men, measures of fat distribution may be better than body mass index at predicting risk of coronary disease.


RESULTS: We found a strong positive association between overall obesity as measured by body mass index (BMI) and risk of diabetes. Men with a BMI of > or = 35 kg/m2 had a multivariate RR of 42.1 (95% confidence interval [CI] 22.0-80.6) compared with men with a BMI < 23.0 kg/m2. BMI at age 21 and absolute weight gain throughout adulthood were also significant independent risk factors for diabetes. Fat distribution, measured by waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), was a good predictor of diabetes only among the top 5%, while waist circumference was positively associated with the risk of diabetes among the top 20% of the cohort. ----------------------------------------------------------------- RECENT FINDINGS: Current epidemiologic evidence suggests that waist circumference and waist-hip ratio, as indicators of abdominal adiposity, are positively related to coronary heart disease in men and women independently of body mass index and conventional coronary heart disease risk factors. But the magnitude and shape of the associations for these abdominal adiposity indices varied with adjustments for mediating and confounding factors. Interestingly, hip waist circumference was inversely associated with coronary heart disease after adjusting for waist circumference. Because waist and hips are positively correlated but have separate and opposite associations with coronary disease, using waist circumference alone may provide underestimated risk estimate if hip girth is not accounted for in the calculation of this risk. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Abstract Obesity is an established risk factor for non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Anthropometric measures of overall and central obesity as predictors of NIDDM risk have not been as well studied, especially in women. Among 43,581 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study who in 1986 provided waist, hip, and weight information and who were initially free from diabetes and other major chronic diseases, NIDDM incidence was followed from 1986 to 1994. After adjustment for age, family history of diabetes, smoking, exercise, and several dietary factors, the relative risk of NIDDM for the 90th percentile of body mass index (BMI) (weight (kg)/height (m)2) (BMI = 29.9) versus the 10th percentile (BMI = 20.1) was 11.2 (95% confidence interval (CI) 7.9-15.9). Controlling for BMI and other potentially confounding factors, the relative risk for the 90th percentile of waist: hip ratio (WHR) (WHR = 0.86) versus the 10th percentile (WHR = 0.70) was 3.1 (95% CI 2.3-4.1), and the relative risk for the 90th percentile of waist circumference (36.2 inches or 92 cm) versus the 10th percentile (26.2 inches or 67 cm) was 5.1 (95% CI 2.9-8.9). BMI, WHR, and waist circumference are powerful independent predictors of NIDDM in US women. Measurement of BMI and waist circumference (with or without hip circumference) are potentially useful tools for clinicians in counseling patients regarding NIDDM risk and risk reduction.

Trafficking victims in the UK

I am not really surprised judging by previous surveys I have seen. Here is the article:

Men account for more than two-fifths (41%) of adult victims of human trafficking in England and Wales helped by the Salvation Army, contrary to the public perception that the crime almost exclusively affects women.

The finding comes in a survey by the charity, which provides specialist support for the adult victims of trafficking on behalf of the Ministry of Justice.[...] The charity's survey found that 45% of those it supported had been forced into sexual exploitation, 43% were involved in labour exploitation and 8% were trafficked into domestic servitude. [...] Minister for justice, Crispin Blunt, said: "Human trafficking is often seen as predominantly affecting women – meaning that male victims are often overlooked and are forced to go without the support they so desperately need."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Most Dangerous Jobs in America

Via the NYT, Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, 2010:

“Fishers and related fishing workers” died from workplace injuries at the rate of 200 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2009, according to the B.L.S., 60 times greater than the rate of 3.3 per 100,000 for the overall American work force. For loggers, the fatality rate was 61.8 per 100,000 and for aircraft pilots and flight engineers, 57.1 per 100,000. [...] Other dangerous occupations include farming and ranching (38.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers), roofing (34.7), structural iron and steel work– those who put up the steel frames for skyscrapers (30.3) and refuse and recycling (25.2)

[...T]he fatality rate from workplace injuries is more than nine times higher for men than for women: 5.5 per 100,000 for men, compared with 0.6 per 100,000 for women. The B.L.S. reported that 4,021 men died from workplace injuries in 2009, compared with 319 women.

Can we somehow correlate this with wage data?:

Median yearly wage ( data):
Fishers and Related Fishing Workers $30,220
Loggers $32,870
aircraft pilots and flight engineers $118,070
farming and ranching $60,750
roofing $34,220
structural iron and steel work $44,540
refuse and recycling $34,420

Wiki gives us an overall median income for men and women based on US Census Bureau, 2003 data:

Male, age 25+: $33,517
Female, age 25+: $19,679

How pregnancy affects fathers

Some interesting datapoints:

Research shows that male marmosets and cotton-top tamarins—primates that, like humans, split child-rearing duties between the mother and father—gain as much as 20 percent of their body weight while waiting for the birth of their offspring. [...] The hypothesis about the marmosets and tamarins is that the pregnancy paunch prepares a dad for the extra energy he'll expend in helping to rear his baby.

In addition, dads-to-be have elevated levels of cortisol and prolactin, hormones that are also present in high levels among mothers who are attached and responsive to their children. A father's testosterone level also drops by about a third, on average, in the first three weeks after his child is born. These hormonal shifts, which are likely sparked by exposure to the pregnant woman's hormones (there is correlational evidence that dads who spend time with moms experience the changes), mirror those experienced by mothers and may similarly prepare men for parenthood. [...]

A 2006 study found enhancements in the prefrontal cortex of the father marmoset. After childbirth, the neurons in this region showed greater connectivity, suggesting that having young children could boost the part of the brain responsible for planning and memory, skills parents need when having kids gives them more to keep track of. The neurons also had more receptors for vasopressin, a hormone that has been shown to prompt animal fathers to bond with offspring. (Receiving an injection of vasopressin, for instance, prompts a male prairie vole to cuddle and groom a youngster.)

And as usual with topics about men:

And yet despite these findings, few scientists treat the physiology of fathers as a serious subject in its own right. [...] Between 2000 and 2006, the journal Hormones and Behavior published nearly three times as many studies of mothers as of fathers, and this year the count so far is 16 to three. A 2000 review framed research into physiological fatherhood as "an opportunity to better understand maternal behavior, by studying parental behavior in the absence of pregnancy and lactation." Interest in how men's bodies prepare themselves for fatherhood only seems to matter to the extent it sheds light on mothers. Meanwhile, the ways in which dads screw up their kids is a thriving area of research.

Gender identity discrimination now covered via Title VII

Via Feministing:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that employment discrimination based on gender identity is covered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. From Metro Weekly:

The EEOC decision, issued without objection by the five-member, bipartisan commission, will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation activities at the commission and in its 53 field offices throughout the country. It also will be binding on all federal agencies and departments.

In the decision, the EEOC states, ”[T]he Commission hereby clarifies that claims of discrimination based on transgender status, also referred to as claims of discrimination based on gender identity, are cognizable under Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition ….”


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Black women with a bachelor's degree outearn white women with a bachelor's degree

As the headline says:

New census figures offer dramatic evidence of education's big payback: Income for African-Americans with a four-year college degree has increased so much since the civil rights advances of the 1960s that we have almost closed our historical income gap with four-year, college-educated whites.

In 2003, the latest year for which figures are available, blacks with a bachelor's degree had a median income of $36,694, which is almost as high as the $38,667 median income of whites with a bachelor's degree.[...]

The median income of black males with a bachelor's degree was $41,916, almost 20 percent lower than the $51,138 median income of similarly educated white males. Similarly educated black women had a median income of $33,142, which was lower than black male graduates, but about 10 percent higher than the $30,082 median income figure for similarly degreed white women.

White women's income appears to be lower than that of black women partly because college-educated black women are less likely to leave their careers in order to raise children, according to Census Bureau surveys.

The GMP on the affordable care act

How the times have changed. I remember being fed up with the GMP but more recently it seems there has been a paradigm shift and with Noah Brand (from NSWTM) as new editor in chief the site is certainly much better than before. So, there have been 2 interesting posts on the ACA recently:

For the first time ever, the U.S. government will expand access to preventive health services for women without requiring equivalent coverage for men. The U.S. Affordable Care Act (ACA), sometimes labeled by critics as “Obamacare,” will be rolled out using rules likely to deny men equal access to contraception, sterilization, sexually transmitted infection prevention, domestic violence screening and counseling, and even counseling for HIV-positive men.

[...]In a nutshell, women’s IUDs, contraceptive pills and implants, tubal ligations and birth control counseling must be provided without co-pays, doctor’s visit charges, or deductibles, while insurance companies will be free to charge men for vasectomies and contraceptive counseling. Women will universally receive free counseling if they test HIV-positive, but HIV-positive men will not. HPV can result in anal cancer and genital warts in men as well as cervical cancer in women, but no-cost HPV DNA testing will be added to free pap smears for women, while men pay for HPV tests or go without. The Centers for Disease Control found that 28.5 percent of men—over 40 million men—experience rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner. Those men, unlike women, will first have to ask for help and then pay out of pocket to receive it.

In contrast, a mental health service that men disproportionately need, is not a preventive health service under this Act or HHS guidelines. Men commit suicide at a rate nearly four times that of women. Young men are at particular risk: the National Institute of Mental Health reports that the suicide rate for young men during late adolescence is almost five times that of their female peers, and by their early twenties the rate rises to almost six to one. Reminiscent of Anatole France’s remark about the majestic equality of the law, suicide prevention services are excluded from the ACA / HHS no-cost-sharing package for both women and men.

[2nd Article starts here...] In effect, the sex-neutral insurance pricing required by the ACA already shifts some of the cost of future medical services consumed by women to men. The 2012 report cited above estimated the additional premium costs now borne by women to be over $1 billion a year. Thus, under the ACA, men can expect to bear at least half of those costs—half a billion dollars a year—for services consumed by women.

The theory behind these two fundamental health insurance payment changes wrought by the ACA, is that we are all in it together when it comes to healthcare. Until, in the case of men’s access to reproductive health services and preventive care for men’s diseases, we aren’t. [...]

Erin Gloria Ryan put it well in her recent Jezebel post: “When a woman consents to sex, she is not also consenting to pregnancy.” A woman in the U.S. has a constitutional right to terminate hosting a fetus and unilaterally end any obligation to support and raise a child. A precisely opposite legal regime applies to men. When a man has heterosexual sex he is presumed to have consented to paternity and a couple of decades of child support. To control their own fertility, straight men, unlike women, are entirely dependent on complete abstinence or the highly competent use of very limited and often ineffective birth control methods.[...]

The Federal decision to mandate no-cost preventive reproductive healthcare only for women must be viewed against the backdrop of 1) the sex discrimination prohibition in the ACA; 2) gender-neutral insurance pricing and the individual mandate under the ACA; 3) widespread lack of reproductive health and suicide prevention services for men; 4) the five-year life expectancy gap that disfavors U.S. men; and 5) the 50-year drought of public or private research funding for truly effective, reversible birth control for men. Any given man is some woman’s son or grandson, just as any given woman is some man’s daughter or granddaughter. Are we in this together, or aren’t we?

It is fantastic that women have reproductive rights and many contraceptive choices. No-cost preventive care addressing women’s unique health concerns is necessary. That is not the issue. The issue is that this administration and leading health organizations that purport to believe in widespread access to health care do not seem to hold men in equal regard to women when it comes to birth control, STI services, HIV counseling and screening and counseling for intimate partner violence.

When contacted by GMP, for example, Planned Parenthood was unable to cite anything it had done—or would do—with its impressive lobbying and public affairs operation to encourage HHS to provide men with equal access to reproductive health care under the ACA. [...]

The Guttmacher Institute’s last major review of men’s reproductive health needs and barriers to meeting those needs found the following barriers to addressing the reproductive health of men in their own right: Absence of political will to turn advocacy into action; Lack of funding; Logistical challenges of incorporating men’s services into existing programs; and Inadequate staff.

Men are carefully trained from infancy not to show pain, not to complain about hard knocks and not to seek help. Men are also inaccurately assumed to be omniscient about matters of sex and sexual health. Under these circumstances shouldn’t it be the duty of HHS officials, Members of Congress, public health school deans, medical school professors, public health advocates, the philanthropists and boards who direct major foundations, and maybe even a U.S. President, to demonstrate leadership on this issue?

A breakthrough for men when it comes to contraception and prostate cancer?

I sure hope so, featuring 2 mensactivism links here:

'It is hoped the new treatment, which involves heating only the tumours with a highly focused ultrasound, will mean men can be treated without an overnight stay in hospital and avoiding the distressing side effects associated with current therapies.

A study has found that focal HIFU, high-intensity focused ultrasound, provides the 'perfect' outcome of no major side effects and free of cancer 12 months after treatment, in nine out of ten cases.


The procedure called RISUG in India (reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance) takes about 15 minutes with a doctor, is effective after about three days, and lasts for 10 or more years. A doctor applies some local anesthetic, makes a small pinhole in the base of the scrotum, reaches in with a pair of very thin forceps, and pulls out the small white vas deferens tube. Then, the doctor injects the polymer gel (called Vasalgel here in the US), pushes the vas deferens back inside, repeats the process for the other vas deferens, puts a Band-Aid over the small hole, and the man is on his way. If this all sounds incredibly simple and inexpensive, that’s because it is.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Some more Ressources on raped men.

TS recently linked a document that sparked my interest. Google scholar lead me to another study and 2 pretty good resources. Starting with the study:

Anderson; I. and Quinn, A. (2009) ‘Gender differences in medical students’ attitudes toward male and female rape victims’, Psychology, Health & Medicine, 14 (1) pp.105-110

[M]ale rape has been under-investigated, possibly because of the common belief that men could be coerced into unwanted sexual experiences (Whatley & Riggio, 1993; Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1992; Donnelly & Kenyon, 1996) [...]

Many still believe that male sexual assault is impossible because men are viewed as initiating and controlling sexual activity, not as targets of sexual assault (Anderson & Doherty, 2008). Many people question how a man can be overpowered and forced into sex, while others question how a man can achieve an erection and perform in a sexually coercive situation (Sarrel & Masters, 1982; White & Kurpius, 2002; Davies & McCartney, 2003). In direct comparisons with judgements about female victims, studies on social reactions to male victims have shown that male rape victims are frequently judged as negatively or even more so than female victims (Whatley & Riggio. 1993; Struckman-Johnson & Struckman-Johnson, 1992; Smith, Pine & Hawley, 1988) although several studies have shown the opposite effect (Anderson, 1999, McCaul, Veltum, Boyechko & Crawford, 1990; Schneider, Soh-Chiew Ee and Aronson, 1994).

A frequent assumption is that a man could or should have been able to fight off his attacker (Perrott & Webber, 1996). Although several factors appear to influence responses to male rape victims such as sexuality of the victim (Anderson, 2004; Mitchell et al., 1999; White & Kurpius, 2002; Bunting & Reeves, 1983) where a homosexual victim is blamed more for being raped than a heterosexual victim, one of the most frequently observed influences of judgements of male victims is participant gender.

The results of this study confirmed the hypothesis that male medical students have a more negative attitude toward rape victims (regardless of gender of the victim) than females. This result is in line with previous research examining medical students’ attitudes toward rape victims (Best et al., 1992; Williams et al., 1999). These authors argue for the inclusion of rape education to the medical student curriculum in the hope of challenging misconceptions by providing factual information and improving future rape victim management in the medical and health disciplines. Our results support this conclusion. We would also argue that medical curricula need to focus not only on changing attitudes toward female rape victims but male rape victims as well given the finding that male rape victims were viewed more negatively than female victims by medical students (regardless of gender).

As for the resources, there is Survivors of male rape - The Emergence of a Social and Legal issue - Abdullah Kahn and Gender, sexual orientation and victim blame regarding male victims of sexual assault - Anna DeVries Lawler.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Some studies about sentencing disparities....

The usual stuff I post about:


This paper examines 77,236 federal offenders sentenced under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 and concludes the following. First, after controlling for extensive criminological, demographic, and socioeconomic variables, I found that blacks, males, and offenders with low levels of education and income receive substantially longer sentences. Second, disparities are primarily generated by departures from the guidelines, rather than differential sentencing within the guidelines. Departures produce about 55 percent of the
black-white difference and 70 percent of the male-female difference. Third, although black-white disparities occur across offenses, the largest differences are for drug trafficking. The Hispanic-white disparity is generated primarily by those convicted of drug
trafficking and firearm possession/trafficking. Last, blacks and males are also less likely to get no prison term when that option is available; less likely to receive downward departures; and more likely to receive upward adjustments and, conditioned on having a
downward departure, receive smaller reductions than whites and females.[...]

Its primary conclusion is that after including more exhaustive controls than any previous study, large differences in the length of
sentence exist on the basis of race, gender, education, income, and citizenship. These disparities occur in spite of explicit statements in the guidelines that these characteristics should not affect the sentence length.

Second, over half of the unaccounted-for differences are generated by departures from the guidelines, rather than from differential sentencing within the guidelines. This is the first study to decompose the differences in this manner. Third, the differences by race, gender, income, and citizenship exist across offense types. The racial and gender disparities are largest for bank robbery and
drug trafficking. Most of the difference between Hispanics and whites is from two crimes—drug trafficking and firearm possession and trafficking. The educational differences are generated primarily by drug trafficking and are not statistically significant for other offenses.

Fourth, these racial, gender, income, and education disparities occur along many other margins. Blacks and males not only receive longer sentences but also are less likely to receive no prison term when that option is available, more likely to receive upward departures, and less likely to receive downward departures. When downward departures are given, blacks and males receive smaller
adjustments than whites and females. Furthermore, low-income offenders are less likely to receive downward departures and more likely to receive upward departures. When downward departures are given, the poorest offenders receive especially small reductions in their sentences. Similarly, highly educated offenders are more likely to receive downward departures, less likely to receive upward departures, and receive relatively large downward departures. Being a U.S. citizen consistently helps in all sentencing scenarios. Offenders who are citizens receive shorter sentences for most crimes, are less likely to be incarcerated, are more likely to receive downward departures, and typically receive larger downward departures than noncitizens. Previous studies have tested whether individuals of some groups receive longer sentences than those in other groups, but no other study has examined differential sentencing on these other margins.

Pretty good pretty huge study. The most important part seems to be "disparities are primarily generated by departures from the guidelines". What does that mean? Well as for discrimination against men, this means that women would receive sentencing according to the guidelines, while men receive longer sentences. This would suggest that this is sexism against men than the benevolent sexism argument brought forward by some feminists (that women receive lighter sentences due to chivalry). Next one:

Gender Differences in Criminal Sentencing: Do Effects Vary Across Violent, Property, and Drug Offenses? - S. Fernando Rodriguez, Theodore R. Curry, Gang Lee - 2006

In the early 1980s, Candace Kruttschnitt and Donald E. Green (1984:541) wondered whether, compared to males, the leniency typically
accorded females at sentencing might become ‘‘history.’’ However, the potential demise of gender-based preferential treatment has not come to fruition. To the contrary, findings that women receive milder sentences than men continue, with few exceptions, to be robust. For example, extensive literature reviews by Daly and Bordt (1995) and by Steffensmeier, Kramer, and Streifel (1993) stress the strength and consistency of the association between gender and sentencing and its relevance for scholars seeking to understand sentencing outcomes. Furthermore, when compared to other extra-legal factors, such as offender age or race/ethnicity, the influence of offender gender is touted as the most powerful by both Steffensmeier, Ulmer, and Kramer (1998) and Spohn and Holleran (2000; see also Daly and Bordt, 1995).[...]

The prediction that females will receive milder sentencing outcomes receives such consistent support from a wide range of studies done since the 1980s, and encompassing many different jurisdictions in the United States, that it may be one of the best established facts regarding criminal justice outcomes. This research shows that the greatest disparity among the sexes occurs at the ‘‘in/out decision’’—whether criminal sentences entail incarceration or some nonincarcerative sanction, such as probation. Research findings typically show that females are between 12 percent and 23 percent less likely than males to receive prison or jail time (see Farnworth and Teske, 1995; Ghali and Chesney-Lind, 1986; Gruhl, Welch, and Spohn, 1984; Johnson, Kennedy, and Shuman, 1987; Mustard, 2001; Nobiling, Spohn, and DeLone, 1998; Spohn, 1999; Spohn and Beichner, 2000; Spohn and Holleran, 2000; Steffensmeier, Kramer, and Streifel, 1993; Steffensmeier, Ulmer, and Kramer, 1998; Ulmer, 2000; Wooldredge, 1998; but see Kruttschnitt and Green, 1984). Yet, for those men and women who do receive prison sentences, gender effects, while strong, are not as consistent. Females receive shorter or less severe sentences according to the findings of Bushway and Piehl (2001), Curran (1983), Engen and Gainey (2000), Farnworth and Teske (1995), Mustard (2001), Steffensmeier, Ulmer, and Kramer (1998), and Ulmer (2000), but no gender differences in sentence length were observed by Albonetti (1991), Crew (1991), Nobiling, Spohn, and DeLone (1998), Steffensmeier, Kramer, and Streifel (1993), or Wooldredge (1998).

Our analyses employed a large, representative sample of convicted felony offenders in Texas in 1991 in what were then the seven largest metropolitan counties. Overall, the results provide a number of interesting, though somewhat complex, findings. On one
hand, when crimes are analyzed collectively, and consistent with most prior research, we find that men are more likely to receive a prison sentence than women (odds ratios 42.00), and for individuals sentenced to prison, men receive sentences that average 3.22 years longer than do women. [...] For the in/out decisions we analyzed, the odds of incarceration are more than two times higher for men compared to women for property and drug crimes, but no gender differences in incarceration likelihood are observed for violent offenses. [...] Moving to the analyses of sentence length, we again find that the effect of gender on sentencing severity shows considerable variation across crime type; however, this variation is at odds with that found for the in/out decision. Specifically, whereas gender differences at the in/out decision were nonexistent for violent crime, for the sentence-length decision, gender dif-
ferences are greatest for violent offenders. More specifically, male violent offenders receive, on average, an additional 4.49 years on their sentences compared to women, while gender differences for property and drug crime (3.14 and 2.35 years, respectively) are considerably lower. Because the more serious and more masculine crime of violence yields the largest benefit for women, these results are in opposition to the predictions of the selective chivalry and liberation theses, and more in line with previous findings re-
garding the effect of gender on sentencing for different crime types (Farnworth and Teske, 1995; Koons-Witt, 2002; Mustard, 2001; Steffensmeier, Kramer, and Streifel, 1993).

The data surrounding the differences here seem so solid, I might have to retire blogging about it as it seems most thinks worthwhile have been said. And finally, a whole book chapter:

How Do Judges Decide? - SENTENCING DISPARITY AND DISCRIMINATION - A focus on gender - Cassia C. Spohn - 2002

• Of all offenders convicted in U.S. district courts in 2003, 82.8 percent of the males were sentenced to prison but only 57.5 percent of the females. Among offenders convicted of violent crimes, 95.0 percent of the males and 76.4 percent of the females were incarcerated. For these offenses, the average sentence was 90.7 months for men and 42.5 months for women (Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online 2003 N.d., tables 5.20.2003 and 5.21.2000).

• Forty-two percent of the male offenders sentenced by state court judges in 2004 were sentenced to prison, compared with 27 percent of the female offenders. The average maximum prison sentence was 61 months for males and 42 months for females (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics 2007g, tables 2.4 and 2.6).

• There were 3,228 prisoners under sentence of death on December 31, 2006; of these, only 51 were women (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics 2007a, tables 4 and 12).

• Among offenders convicted of felonies in 1994 in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois, 28.3 percent of the females and 63.9 percent of the males were sentenced to prison. The corresponding proportions of
offenders who were incarcerated in Jackson County (Kansas City), Missouri, were 16 percent (females) and 45 percent (males). The figures for Dade County (Miami), Florida, were 60.2 percent (females)
and 69.2 percent (males) (Spohn and Beichner 2000).


We tested these underlying assumptions using data on offenders convicted of felonies in Cook County (Chicago), Illinois, in 1993. To test the assumption that gender differences will disappear when crime seriousness and prior record are held constant, we compared the sentences imposed on male and female
offenders who were convicted of the same offense (possession of drugs with intent to deliver) and who had no prior felony convictions. As shown in Part A of Exhibit 4.5, males were still twice as likely as females to be sentenced to prison; 33.6 percent of the males were incarcerated but only 17.4 percent of the females. The mean prison sentence for men (48.6 months) was also slightly longer than the mean sentence for women (45.0 months). [...]

We used logistic regression to analyze the likelihood of incarceration, controlling for the offender’s gender, the seriousness of the conviction charge (11 different types of offenses), the statutory classification of the conviction charge (Class X, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, or Class 4 felony), and the offender’s prior criminal record (the number of prior felony convictions and the number of prior prison terms of more than 1 year). We found that gender was a statistically significant predictor of the decision to incarcerate or not. In fact, judges were 2.5 times more likely to sentence male offenders to prison than to sentence female offenders to prison, even when we held these legally relevant factors constant.

We used the results of this analysis to calculate the predicted probability of incarceration for “typical” male and female offenders: offenders who had been convicted of Class 2 offenses, had been convicted of either possession of drugs or possession of drugs with intent to deliver, and had one prior felony conviction but had not previously been imprisoned for more than 1 year. As shown in Part B of Exhibit 4.5, there were large differences in the predicted probabilities of incarceration for males and females convicted of these two types of drug offenses. Nearly two thirds (61.9 percent) of the males convicted of possession with intent were sentenced to prison but only 38.1 percent of the
females. There were similar differences for simple possession: 52.7 percent of the men and 29.5 percent of the women were incarcerated.

These results suggest that gender disparities in sentence severity cannot be attributed to differences between men and women in crime seriousness, prior criminal record, dangerousness, and child care responsibilities. Holding these characteristics constant did not cause the sentence differences to disappear.

There simply was too much data to summarize, so before I come to the conclusion, the part about capitl punishment was interesting:

Williams, Demuth, and Holcomb (2007) used the data collected by David Baldus and his colleagues (i.e., the data used in the “Baldus study” that was at issue in the Supreme Court case of McCleskey v. Kemp) to examine the effect of the victim’s gender on death penalty decisions in Georgia. [...] The authors of this study found that the gender of the victim was a statistically significant predictor of death penalty decisions in Georgia, net of controls for crime seriousness, the offender’s prior record, and other legally relevant factors. Offenders convicted of crimes against females were more than two and a half times more likely to be sentenced to death than offenders convicted of crimes against males (Williams et al. 2007:877). Further analysis revealed an interaction between the gender of the victim and the race of the victim. Although offenders who killed black males faced lower odds of a death sentence than did offenders who killed black females, white males, and white females, the differences were particularly pronounced for those who killed white females. Offenders convicted of murdering white females were more than 14 times more likely to be sentenced to death than were offenders con- victed of murdering black males (Williams et al. 2007:878, table 2).

Similar results were found in Holcomb, Williams, and Demuth’s (2004) study of Ohio death penalty decisions. As shown in Exhibit 4.8, cases with white female victims made up 15.3 percent of all homicides but 35.5 percent of the cases that resulted in a death sentence; conversely, cases with black male victims made up 42.9 percent of all homicides but only 18.8 percent of all death sentences. These differences did not disappear when the authors tested a multivariate model that controlled for the race and age of the offender, the age of the victim, the number of victims, whether a gun was used in the commis- sion of the crime, whether the victim and offender were strangers, and whether the offense involved the commission of another felony. In fact, compared with cases involving white female victims, the odds of receiving a death sentence were 78 percent lower in cases involving a black male victim, 68 percent lower in cases with a white male victim, and 66 percent lower in cases with a black
female victim (Holcomb et al. 2004:892–893). These findings led the authors to conclude that “a central factor in understanding existing racial disparity in death sentences may be the severity with which those who kill white females are treated relative to other gender–race victim combinations” (p. 898).

And finally the conclusion:

There is compelling evidence of gender disparity in sentencing. Women are substantially less likely than men to be sentenced to prison, women who are incarcerated receive significantly shorter prison terms than men, and women make up less than 2 percent of the death row population. There is also evidence that these differences, which do not disappear when crime seriousness, prior criminal record, and other legally relevant factors are taken into consideration, reflect discrimination in favor of women. The fact that studies of sentencing in federal and state courts found a consistent pattern of preferential treatment of female offenders—coupled with the fact that the gender differences uncovered were large—suggests that contemporary judges evaluate female offenders differently than male offenders. There also is evidence that jurors evaluate cases involving female victims, especially white female victims, differently from cases involving male victims: They are more likely to sentence those who kill females to death. Although some judges and researchers claim there are legitimate reasons for treating women differently from men and for treating those who victimize females differently from those who victimize males, these results suggest that gender discrimination in sentencing is not a thing of the past.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What is off-limits?

I have been looking for definitions of a safe space and found a gem via Shakesville's Melissa Mc Ewan:

It’s all about intrinsic nature and choice. One has no control over one’s gender, sexuality, or race. The mentally disabled, chronically ill, disfigured, disabled, and victimized have no control over their circumstances. Some overweight people may; many don’t. Some poor people may; many don’t. And we don’t know by looking at them whether fat people are gluttons, or healthy but naturally overweight, or bloated by medication or disease, whether poor people are unmotivated, or lacking opportunity, or consigned by misfortune, so we don’t turn them into punchlines.

On the other hand, Bush has a choice whether to be a shit. Christian Supremacists have a choice about whether to try to force their views down everyone else’s throats. Certain conservatives / Republicans / Democrats have a choice about the way they approach politics and culture. Hypocrites, the avaricious, the willfully ignorant, have all made choices to lack integrity, self-indulge, or wallow in ignorance. Joe Lieberman has made a choice to take the positions he has.

To mock them is to mock behavior, not attributes outwith their control.

Which is pretty spot on!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

An explanation for homophobia?

From Science Daily:

ScienceDaily (Apr. 6, 2012) — Homophobia is more pronounced in individuals with an unacknowledged attraction to the same sex and who grew up with authoritarian parents who forbade such desires, a series of psychology studies demonstrates.

The study is the first to document the role that both parenting and sexual orientation play in the formation of intense and visceral fear of homosexuals, including self-reported homophobic attitudes, discriminatory bias, implicit hostility towards gays, and endorsement of anti-gay policies. Conducted by a team from the University of Rochester, the University of Essex, England, and the University of California in Santa Barbara, the research will be published the April issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

"Individuals who identify as straight but in psychological tests show a strong attraction to the same sex may be threatened by gays and lesbians because homosexuals remind them of similar tendencies within themselves," explains Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex and the study's lead author.

"In many cases these are people who are at war with themselves and they are turning this internal conflict outward," adds co-author Richard Ryan, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester who helped direct the research.

The paper includes four separate experiments, conducted in the United States and Germany, with each study involving an average of 160 college students. The findings provide new empirical evidence to support the psychoanalytic theory that the fear, anxiety, and aversion that some seemingly heterosexual people hold toward gays and lesbians can grow out of their own repressed same-sex desires, Ryan says. The results also support the more modern self-determination theory, developed by Ryan and Edward Deci at the University of Rochester, which links controlling parenting to poorer self-acceptance and difficulty valuing oneself unconditionally.

Discouraging boys

I nice post over body image from here, found via the gmp:

Boys are discouraged from open acknowledgement of doubts, insecurities and fears. Fears of self-disclosure and the secrets of one’s shameful inferiorities- physical, sexual, emotional- breed social and emotional isolation. In their mutual silence about common concerns, they lose the opportunity for social amelioration and modulation of shameful experience.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Breaking news, boys not sex addicted animals!1!

Who would have thought:

Today, though more than half of unmarried 18- and 19-year-olds have had sexual intercourse, fewer than 30 percent of 15- to 17-year-old boys and girls have, down from 50 percent of boys and 37 percent of girls in 1988. And there are virtually no gender differences in the timing of sexual initiation.

[...T]he 2002 National Survey of Family Growth found that more than one-third of teenage boys, but only one-quarter of teenage girls, cited wanting to avoid pregnancy or disease as the main reason they had not yet had sex. Fear about sex was intensified by the AIDS crisis and by sex education that portrayed sex outside of heterosexual marriage as risky. Combined with growing access to pornography via the Internet, those influences may have made having sex with another person seem less enticing. [...]

In a large-scale survey and interviews, reported in the American Sociological Review in 2006, the sociologist Peggy Giordano and her colleagues found teenage boys to be just as emotionally invested in their romantic relationships as girls.[...]

[T]he most recent research by the family growth survey, conducted between 2006 and 2010, indicates that relationships matter to boys more often than we think. Four of 10 males between 15 and 19 who had not had sex said the main reason was that they hadn’t met the right person or that they were in a relationship but waiting for the right time; an additional 3 of 10 cited religion and morality.

Boys have long been under pressure to shed what the sociologist Laura Carpenter has called the “stigma of virginity.” But maybe more American boys are now waiting because they have gained cultural leeway to choose a first time that feels emotionally right. If so, their liberation from rigid masculinity norms should be seen as a victory for the very feminist movement that Rush Limbaugh recently decried.

Hatttip to reddit.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I hope he dies / I hope she dies - Topsy analysis

Now that was interesting. The blogger on the Men Matterz blog used Topsy (a site to analyze tweets) to see how common advocating violence towards men were. The results from the last 30 days:

“cut off his dick” – 646 instances
“chopped off his balls” – 102 instances
“chopped off his dick” – 60 instances
“chop off his dick” – 232 instances
“rip his dick off” – 31 instances
“going to kill him” – 374 instances
“I hope he gets raped” – 34 instances
“I want to stab him”- 66 instances

If retweets are taken into consideration, just on these phrases alone which only represent a fraction of the variations out there, the number exceeded well over 4,000 genuinely disturbing comments in just 30 days.

I have no clue how twitter works when it comes to retweets but found this pretty interesting. I asked myself, of course, but what about women, as compared to men. So I used Topsy as well as Google to find some results for phrases that include kill, die and rape. The Results:

                              Topsy (All Time)      Google
"I hope he gets raped"         121                 385,000
"I hope she gets raped"         56                 184,000
Gender Ratio (F:M)            0.46                    0.47

"I want to rape him"           241                  99,300
"I want to rape her"            62                 139,000
Gender Ratio (F:M)            0.25                    1.39            

"I hope he dies"              1937               1,790,000
"I hope she dies"             1181                 603,000
Gender Ratio (F:M)            0.60                    0.33            

"I want to kill him"          3642               3,360,000
"I want to kill her"          1915               1,420,000
Gender Ratio (F:M)            0.52                    0.42

"I hope he gets killed"         54                 627,000
"I hope she gets killed"        45                 223,000
Gender Ratio (F:M)            0.83                    0.35

Pretty interesting results. Especially for the rape items where I did not suspect to be more hateful comments against men, on Twitter. The Google result for "I want to rape him/her" is the only item where the female version got more hits. I played around with "rape her / rape him" which is in favor of the female version, however most of the results listed seem to come from news reports so these findings are not surprising and I was looking for people advocating for violence.

The rich husband effect

Found via Genderama. The Reuters link:

It shows that between 1993 and 2006, there was a decline in the workforce of 0.1 percent a year on average in the number of college-educated women, with similarly educated spouses. That contrasts with growth of 2.4 percent a year between 1976 and 1992. The result: the labor force in 2008 had 1.64 million fewer such women than if the growth rate had kept up its earlier trend, slightly more than 1 percent of the total workforce in that year. [...] Albanesi links the decline in the number of well-educated, married women entering the labor force to a sharp rise in salaries for top earners in the United States, and in particular, for men. In 1975, college graduates of both sexes were making 43 percent more than non-college graduates. By 2008, the figure had risen to 92 percent for men and to 70 percent for women. "In the last 20 years, wages for highly educated males increased so much that they dwarfed the family's second income, usually the one of their wives," said Albanesi, who co-authored the study with Columbia University graduate student Maria Prados. "The result was that sometimes married women exited the labor force mid-career, exactly around the time their husbands are promoted to more senior roles. They stopped getting income they didn't need and so they left the labor force forever." [...] But as the economy stabilized in the past two years, there have been signs that the retreat has resumed, Albanesi said. Of all working-age women, 58.6 percent were either working or looking for a job in 2010, down from 59.2 percent in 2009. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expected the rate to fall further by 2020. According to Albanesi, it's not the tug of looking after young children that makes most educated women give up their career. "These women usually give up their jobs when their children are school-age and not babies any more," Albanesi said. Studies by the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Harvard support that view.[...] But the trend is not limited to top earners. It has been detected among households earning around $80,000 per year.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Female board members take more risk than male board members?!?

Found via this article:

The German central bank's research found that female board members were more likely to take risks with a bank's finances than their male counterparts.

It urges financial institutions to be cautious when re-addressing the gender balance: "Employing a higher proportion of female board members significantly increases risk taking."

[...T]hose women who have scaled the corporate ladder and smashed through the glass ceiling tend to be less experienced than men in a similar position.

In more technical terms as this study is available online:

Executive board composition and bank risk taking - Allen N. Berger, Thomas Kick, Klaus Schaeck - 2012

The socio-economical composition of a company’s executive board is highly relevant for economic and social policy. For example, gender quotas are often advocated to improve career outcomes for females and ‘break the glass ceiling’. Similarly, educational requirements for bank boards have been proposed in the past as a means to improve corporate governance. However, little is known about the effects on firm outcomes of having more female, more educated or older board members. Do female board members really force a less risky conduct of business? Do educated board members increase or reduce bank risk-taking? And does the age of executive board members matter?

We construct a unique dataset for the entire population of German bank executive teams for the period 1994 – 2010. Exploiting this dataset, we examine how the age, gender, and education composition of banks’ executive boards affect bank risk taking. In our first test, we empirically establish that age, gender, and education affect the observed volatility of bank profits. In a second step, we compare banks which experienced changes in board structure to similar banks without such a change. Generally, changes in board structure could be symptoms of underlying trends in a bank’s business model. For example, shareholders might appoint directors with similar views regarding the bank’s optimal strategy. Such underlying trends would confound our analysis, as we would attribute the changes in risk taking to the new board structure. We circumvent this problem by only considering board changes due to the retirement of a board member. This strategy allows us to capture the impact of a younger, more female or more experienced board.

We obtain the following key results. First, we show that younger executive teams increase risk-taking. Second, board changes that result in a higher proportion of female executives also lead to a more risky conduct of business. Third, if board changes increase the representation of executives holding Ph.D. degrees, risk taking declines. This has important policy implications: while quotas regarding the age, gender and education of an executive directly affect the representation of different groups on executive boards, they have a knock-on effect on corporate outcomes.

This should debunk some stereotypes frequently found online.

Cheating revisited

As I am categorizing the posts of my blog in the "Short fact list" (that is far from being a short list) I came across an older article by me about cheating. An older article that mostly consists of opinion pieces. Horrible. So, here we go again, this times with better data:

The first one gives us a good overview.

Sex Differences in Self-reported Infidelity and its Correlates - Rebecca J. Brand & Charlotte M. Markey & Ana Mills & Sara D. Hodges - 2007

One of the most common findings in infidelity research is that males commit more acts of infidelity. These sex differences apply to the prevalence of infidelity (the number of individuals who report having cheated), and although studied less exhaustively, the incidence of infidelity (the number of cheating liaisons in which an individual engages). [...]

When definitions of cheating include non-intercourse behaviors such as kissing or dating, sex differences appear to be attenuated or disappear (Drigotas et al. 1999; Glass and Wright 1985; Wiederman and Hurd 1999). These behaviors, which are sexual or romantic in nature but fall short of intercourse, are still likely damaging to the relationship and certainly violate many people’s
expectations for their relationships. As evidence for this, Drigotas et al. (1999) asked college students if emotional and physical intimacy behaviors, including flirting, sharing feelings, and kissing, constituted infidelity. Most (76%) reported that they did. [...]

In addition, sex differences in infidelity may be changing in recent years. Wiederman (1997) for instance, found that 23% of men and 12% of women had had an extramarital sexual affair. However, when they examined their data separately for participants under the age of 40, the sex differences in infidelity disappear. Allen et al. (2005; see also Oliver and Hyde 1993) reviewed several studies
showing a shrinking sex difference in successively younger cohorts. Therefore, any attempt to understand sex differences in the predictors and consequences of infidelity requires an up-to-date assessment of incidence and prevalence.

In short, cheating has been a different beast in the past and is now getting (more) equal. There is however difference in the perception of emotional and physical cheating which we will analyze in different surveys soon. To continue with the above study.

In fact, in both Study 1 and 2, women appeared to be the more likely sex to report a higher prevalence of infidelity. Our findings seem to indicate that past sex differences reported in this literature may be misleading or outdated. The specific definitions of cheating used in this research and the inclusion of non-intercourse behaviors as cheating behaviors may at least partially account for the finding that women were likely to report infidelity. It is also possible that we are picking up on a cohort effect. The expression of female sexuality is increasingly depicted in popular culture (e.g., television) as appropriate; virginity is not prized as it once was (Buss et al. 2001; Hoyt and Hudson 1981). Thus, women may find themselves feeling free to partake in not
only multiple sexual relationships throughout their lifetime, but perhaps multiple romantic and sexual relationships at the same time, regardless of their current relationship status. [...]

While approximately equal numbers of men and women in our study appear to be cheating, typically, men who were unfaithful cheated many times [...] Women seem more likely to engage in long-term (although adulterous) relationships while men are more likely to engage in one-night stands (Schmitt 2003). Despite this change in measurement tactic, we found that men reported more episodes on average, even though they did not have higher prevalence overall. [...]

Consistent with our hypothesis, women’s relationships were more likely than men’s to break up after their own infidelity. Further [...] we have some evidence [...] that women may be more likely to begin a new relationship with their extra-pair partner than are men. Both of these findings support the idea that women are cheating to mate-switch. [...] Although men and women reported many of the same reasons for cheating (that they were attracted to the extra-pair partner, that they were bored or unhappy in the current relationship), there were also some telling differences. One of men’s top-five responses that did not appear in women’s top-five was that they cheated out of opportunity. This is consistent with the possibility that at least some men are pursuing a strategy of quantity, mating with multiple partners without a lot of regard for quality. On the other hand, women were significantly more likely than men to report cheating because they were unhappy in the current relationship and because they were made to feel attractive by the extra-pair partner. Both of these reasons are consistent with women cheating as a way to find a better, more attentive partner than their current mate.

The conclusion:

Popular culture conceptualizes women as loyal, faithful caretakers of the men in their lives, while men are conceptualized as creatures with uncontrollable urges that force them to “sow their seed.” Past research has also suggested that men are more likely to be unfaithful than women. However, the present findings suggest that this notion may be old-fashioned and outdated. Our findings
suggest that women do not appear to be altogether less likely to be unfaithful than men. [...] Despite equal prevalence of cheating, our findings support the idea that men and women may cheat for different reasons. Men who cheat seem likely to be pursuing a quantity-over-quality strategy; if they select cheating as a strategy, they may do so merely out of opportunity, with many different women.

Women, on the other hand, may be using infidelity to mateswitch; rather than cheating indiscriminately with a large number of men, they may be selective in choosing a better potential long-term mate, specifically one who will make them happier than their current partner and will validate their attractiveness. Thus, while infidelity may have devastating consequences for both men and women in relationships, different measures may be effective in preventing men’s and women’s cheating behaviors and different ramifications may follow men’s versus women’s acts of infidelity

Before we start with the other studies, in retrospect it is interesting to me to see how these all fit together. I will spoil it, to women it seems the emotional connection is more important than the sexual one. So what does the next study tell us:

Sex differences (and similarities) in jealousy The moderating influence of infidelity experience and sexual orientation of the infidelity - Brad J. Sagarina, D. Vaughn Beckerb, Rosanna E. Guadagnob,
Lionel D. Nicastleb, Allison Millevoib - 2003

Thus, ensuring that putative offspring are indeed one’s own is an adaptive challenge for males, whereas a female faces the different challenge of ensuring that the father invests resources into her children rather than those of rivals. These considerations suggest that male and female sexual jealousy will be qualitatively different (Daly, Wilson, & Weghorst, 1982; Symons, 1979).
Accordingly, Buss, Larsen, Westen, and Semmelroth (1992) predicted that men and women would differ in their responses to emotional and sexual infidelity, with women being relatively responsive to the former and men to the latter. Both survey and physiological evidence supported this hypothesis: when asked which type of infidelity would distress them more, men were much more likely than women to select the sexual infidelity, and when subjects were instructed to fantasize about one type of infidelity or the other, measures of electrodermal activity and heart rate supported the conclusion that the sexes differed in the two types of infidelity’s relative emotional impacts.[...]

Male victims of infidelity were significantly more likely than male non-victims to report greater distress in response to a sexual infidelity. Furthermore, in contrast to the typical 40–50% ratio
for men on the forced-choice question, nearly two-thirds of male victims of infidelity indicated that a sexual infidelity would cause greater distress. For women, experience as a victim of infidelity did not serve as a moderator, but experience as a perpetrator did. Women who reported cheating on a past romantic partner were significantly more likely to indicate that a sexual infidelity would cause greater distress compared to women who had not cheated. [...] From this evidence, we suggest that it is inaccurate to view men and women as manifesting a gross, context-free sex difference in jealousy. Our results suggest that when men and women face differential adaptive challenges—when their partners become involved with members of the opposite sex—they display a large, reliable sex difference, but when conception is not a possibility—when their partners become involved with members of the same sex—the differential adaptive challenges disappear, and so do the sex differences.

And finally.

Forgiveness or breakup: Sex differences in responses to a partner’s infidelity - Todd K. Shackelford, David M. Buss, Kevin Bennett - 2002

Although many factors contribute to the complex decision to forgive or break up following a partner’s infidelity, work guided by an evolutionary perspective suggests that the decision may hinge on the nature of the infidelity (e.g., Buss et al., 1992; Daly, Wilson, & Weghorst, 1982; Symons, 1979). Among human ancestors, a single instance of sexual infidelity could jeopardise a man’s certainty in paternity, with the attendant reproductive risk of investing a couple of decades of effort in a rival man’s child rather than his own (see Geary, 2000, for a recent discussion of paternal investment). From an ancestral woman’s perspective, a single sexual infidelity committed by her husband would not have carried this magnitude of risk, since her genetic maternity is not thereby compromised and hence her investments would still have been channelled toward her own genetic children. If her husband became emotionally involved with another woman, on the other hand, such affective infidelity would signal the long-term diversion to that other woman of her husband’s energy, commitments, and investments, and hence would be more reproductively costly.

If these selection pressures recurred over human evolutionary history, selection could have created decision-rules to forgive or break up depending on specific features of context such as the nature of the infidelity and the sex of the person committing the infidelity. [...]

The results of this research support the hypothesis that forgiveness or breakup depends on the sex of the respondent and the nature of the infidelity. Men, relative to women: (a) find it more difficult to forgive a partner’s sexual infidelity than a partner’s emotional infidelity; and (b) are more likely to break up in response to a partner’s sexual infidelity than in response to a partner’s emotional infidelity. Conversely, women, relative to men, find it more difficult to forgive and are more likely to break up with a partner who is emotionally unfaithful. These sex differences remain even after controlling for effects attributable to ethnicity and to age. Over human evolutionary history, both sexes incurred reproductive costs as a result of
a partner’s sexual infidelity and emotional infidelity. These costs are sex-differentiated, however. A partner’s sexual infidelity placed men, but not women, at risk of investing resources in a rival’s offspring. A partner’s sexual infidelity therefore represents a potentially more costly adaptive problem for men than for women. Modern men have psychological mechanisms that are exquisitely sensitive to a partner’s sexual infidelity (Buss et al., 1992; Daly & Wilson, 1988).

Women also are sensitive to a partner’s sexual infidelity, but accumulating evidence suggests that women become more upset in response to a partner’s emotional infidelity, which signals the long-term diversion of a partner’s commitment and investment (Buss et al., 1992; Buunk et al., 1996; DeSteno & Salovey, 1996; Geary et al., 1995; Wiederman & Allgeier, 1993; Wiederman & Kendall,

Not that is a much better post on cheating.

The differences of DV studies in a few numbers

As seen here:

Between 600,000 and 6 million women are victims of domestic violence each year, and between 100,000 and 6 million men, depending on the type of survey used to obtain the data.
(Rennison, C. (2003, Feb). Intimate partner violence. Us. Dpt. of Justice/Office of Justice Programs. NXJ 197838.
Straus, M. & Gelles, R. (1990). Physical violence in American families. New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers.
Tjaden, P., & Thoennes, N. (2000). Extent, nature, and consequences of intimate partner violence. National Institute of Justice, NCJ 181867.)

The surveys with the low incident numbers are likely crime surveys while the surveys with the high numbers are likely family violence surveys. Note the difference in incidence numbers and the difference in gender ratio. Family violence surveys find 10 times as many victims and have a ration of 1:1 while crime surveys have a ratio of 6:1. Both kind of studies measure different things. It is dishonest to use both of the statistics together in a way like this: 6 Million women have been victims of DV this year (family violence survey), while 85% of DV victims are women (crime survey).

That is all.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Son/Daughter Double Standard in Parenting

I do not usually post articles without data / scienc-y stuff, but well, this F&F article is pretty interesting:

[M]others and fathers both parent boys differently than they do girls. In short, girls tend to get more of their parent’s affection, attention and protection while boys tend to be taught to not need same and to “man up.” [...]

It is indeed a double standard and the idea that even boys who are young enough to just be starting school find themselves holding the short end of the maternal affection stick should give anyone pause. And if it’s true for boys of five or six, who’s to say it’s not true for even younger ones. Come to think of it, I reported not long ago on a study out of the University of Chicago that found that sons of single mothers receive less in the way of “parental investment” than their sisters do.

But what Dell’ Antonia is writing about isn’t just single mothers, but married ones as well. There seems to be a generalized concern that boys won’t grow up to be strong, autonomous men. Needless to say, the fear that they’ll be gay is part and parcel of that.

And it comes as no surprise that popular culture is there on the sidelines cheering every dysfunctional concept of masculinity.[...]

But the main point of Dell’ Antonio’s article [the original NYT article this is all about] is the hesitancy many mothers have about showing “too much” affection to their sons. They don’t have the same problems with their daughters because our culture tells us that love and tenderness toward girls and women is OK, but the same toward boys and men can be suspect.

Obviously the problem is less one of sexual politics than it is of how best to raise children. Whatever your take on gender equality, little boys need and deserve as much love as little girls do and it’s wrong of parents not to give it to them.

If parents hesitate to do that because they fear little Andy won’t grow up to be a manly man, they need to take a closer look at what being a man is all about. Here’s a hint: they won’t find it at the movies. The usual cast of tough-guy heroes and anti-heroes that Hollywood spews out are almost exclusively bad examples of masculinity. The simple fact is that 99.9% of men bear no resemblance to them and that’s usually a good thing.

If parents need to educate themselves about what it means to be a man, they need to broaden their scope considerably. They need to look around and remember that Jesus and the Buddha were men as well as Mozart, Darwin and Einstein. So were Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Plato and Confucius. The point being that men have always come in an astonishing array of types from the King to the Warrior to the Priest to the Poet. The failure of a boy to be Rambo may just mean his success at being Rilke.

Parents should not allow themselves to be deluded by a pop culture that blinds itself to the wonder of boys and men. Few parents will produce the next Bard of Avon, but each child needs his/her parent’s love. That should never be withheld because a boy seems to be insufficiently “manly.” “Man” has a million definitions, all of which are valid and many of which are wonderful. Parents who try to confine their male children into a pinched, narrow idea of manhood do themselves and their children a grave disservice. That goes double for parents who withhold their affection from boys out of strange concern that giving it is in some way detrimental to him.

I wanted to find some data on this and went to google scholar. One study I found was not that promising in terms of sample size:

Risk Factors for Violent Behavior in Elementary School Boys: Have You Hugged Your Child Today? - Jonathan L. Sheline, MD, MS, Betty J. Skipper, PhD - 1994

The parenting practices most strongly associated with violent behavior in our study were lack of affection shown by either parent, especially fathers, and use of spanking for discipline.

As said before small sample size. I however came also across this:

Handbook of Parenting Volume 1 - Children and Parenting - Chapter 7 - Parenting Girls and Boys - Campbell Leaper - 2002

First, mothers may be more verbally stimulating than fathers when interacting with their young children. The meta-analysis of Leaper et al. (1998) indicated that across studies mothers tend to
be more talkative with their children than are fathers. In this way, mothers and fathers may offer different role models to their children about the importance of verbal expression —which might both maintain and perpetuate the stereotype that women are more talk oriented than men. Second, the meta-analysis indicated that mothers tended to be more talkative with daughters than with sons. [...]

Besides the differential amounts of talkativeness that parents may demonstrate with daughters versus sons, there may be differences in parents ’ reactions to girls ’ and boys ’ communication initiatives. Fagot and Hagan (1991) found that, among parents of 18-month-old toddlers, sons received more negative comments in response to communication attempts than did daughters. Consequently, the authors suggested, boys may find it less enjoyable to initiate talk than do girls. [...]

More physical contact has been observed in mother– daughter than in mother –son pairs during the toddler years (Austin and Braeger, 1990; Clarke-Stewart and Hevey, 1981; Lamb, Frodi, Frodi,
and Hwang, 1982) and early childhood (Benenson, Morash, and Petrakos, 1998). Fathers may also be more likely to make physical contacts and maintain closer proximity with daughters than with
sons during the toddler years (Snow, Jacklin, and Maccoby, 1983) and possibly into adolescence and adulthood (Barber and Thomas, 1986; also see Barnard and Solchany, in Vol. 3 of this Handbook; Parke, in Vol. 3 of this Handbook).

In addition to physical touch, simply talking to a child may foster a sense of closeness. If so, mothers appear to engage in more talk with daughters than with sons—as seen in the meta-analysis
of Leaper et al. (1998). The effects were especially large from infancy through early childhood — which is notable because these are the years when children typically spend the most time with their mothers. To the extent that sons are engaging in fewer conversations with their mothers, they may develop a greater sense of separateness and independence. Once again, we must be cautious when interpreting the causal direction in the pattern of results.

A third way that parents may express affection is through the use of supportive statements. The meta-analysis of Leaper et al. (1998) uncovered some trends across studies. There was a small yet significant overall trend for mothers to use more supportive statements with daughters than with sons. The pattern of results is consistent with the relatively greater emphasis on affiliation associated with the socialization of girls compared with that of boys (e.g., Block, 1983; Leaper, 2000b; Leaper, Hauser, Kremen, Powers, Jacobson, Noam, Weiss-Perry, and Follansbee, 1989).
In sum, the research literature suggests that parents may express more physical and verbal affection with daughters than with sons. In these ways, parents may both initiate and encourage interpersonal closeness during girls ’ development. [...]

Whereas the evidence for parent-gender differences in emotion talk may be mixed, studies more reliably show that parents’ talk tends to be different with daughters and sons during early childhood.
First, parents tend to discuss more emotional experiences and use more frequent and varied emotional words and references with their daughters than with their sons (Adams et al., 1995; Dunn, Bretherton, and Munn, 1987; Eisenberg, 1999; Fivush, 1998; Flannagan and Perese, 1998). Thus, parents may give their daughters more opportunities to practice emotion talk than they give their sons (see Melzi and Fern ´andez, 2001, for a possible exception under different cultural conditions).

Second, in addition to differing in the amount of emotion talk, parents tend to vary in the type of emotional talk used with girls and boys. References to sadness or discussions of sad events are
more likely with daughters than with sons (Adams et al., 1995; Fivush et al., 2000). In contrast, parent–child conversations about anger are more likely with sons than daughters (Brody, 1999;
Fivush, 1991). Anger is a self-assertive emotion, and therefore its expression is congruent with the traditional masculine role. In contrast, sadness is a more passive and self-reflective state.

A third gender-related pattern seen in the literature is that parents may teach girls and boys to think differently about emotions. With daughters, parents may tend to emphasize the emotional situation and experience itself (Fivush, 1989); with sons, they tend to discuss the causes and consequences of the emotions (Cervantes and Callanan, 1998; Fivush, 1989). Parents may thereby strengthen the notion in their children that girls should be more emotionally sensitive and understanding, whereas boys should be in control of their emotions.

Is there any evidence that variations in parents ’ emotion talk with daughters and sons may affect their children ’s own emotional development? One study suggests that there may be a relation. Dunn, Brown, Slomkowski, Tesla, and Youngblade (1991) looked at mothers ’ conversations about feelings with their 2-year-old toddlers. They found that mothers tended to discuss and explain feelings more with their daughters than with sons at this age. Approximately half a year later, there was a correlation between mothers ’ earlier emotion talk and the older child ’s level of emotion understanding. Of course, it is possible that daughters were already more advanced in emotional development at the younger age and that this influenced the mothers ’ behavior. Nonetheless, the findings of Dunn and her colleagues suggest that parents ’ behavior may have an impact on the child. Three more studies provide some corroborating evidence for the potential influence of parents on the development of gender differences in emotion expression. First, Fuchs and Thelen (1988) examined school-age children’s expected outcomes from their parents for expressing particular emotions and their stated likelihood of expressing emotions. Boys were more likely than girls to expect negative reactions for expressing sadness, and negative expectancies were related to being less likely of expressing sadness. Thus, boys may have internalized from their parents a display rule about the expression of sadness.

A second source for inferring possible parental influences comes from Bronstein, Briones, Brooks, and Cowan (1996). They carried out a longitudinal study of emotional development in children
from fifth grade (11 years of age) into late adolescence. Overall, adolescent girls reported more support for emotional expression than did the adolescent boys. [...]

Finally, Brody (1997) offered evidence suggesting that nontraditional upbringings may influence girls ’ and boys ’ emotional development. She looked at the relation between fathers’ amount
of involvement with their children and the children ’s emotional expression. Fathers ’ involvement appeared to influence daughters and sons differently. Sons of highly involved fathers were more
likely to express nontraditional emotions such as fear and warmth. Daughters of highly involved fa-thers were less likely to express fear and sadness. Thus, it would seem that involved fathers fostered tenderness in sons and self-confidence in daughters. [...]

Gender-role options are more rigidly defined for boys than for girls during child-hood, as illustrated by the different connotations that the terms sissy and tomboy evoke (Martin, 1990).

That was a lot and that was a book full of studies which I skimmed through and copied interesting tidbits in. However, there seems to be a scientific basis for those claims, I have my data and can finally publish this post.....YEAAAAAAAH.

Shorter work days and flexibility vs creating wealth

Found via a link in a link in a link or so. Sometimes I wonder if I even should give credit. The first link was via Reddit though. Anyhow we are talking about what different things men and women want in the context of work:

The study found that while 5.6 percent of men would opt for fewer work hours, 10.1 percent of women would prefer less time spent in the office. The gap might reflect women’s disproportionate share of household responsibilities, the researchers say. Another explanation might be that women just feel they need to spend more time at home with their children.

The results, detailed in the April issue of the U.S. Department of Labor's Monthly Labor Review, have implications for understanding why women’s participation in the labor force, which had climbed in the early 1990s, has leveled off over the past five to 10 years, said the study’s lead author Lonnie Golden, a Penn State University economist.[...]

Golden analyzed data from the 2001 U.S. Current Population Survey, in which more than 57,000 individuals responded to supplemental questions involving work-hour preferences. The survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, produces monthly and annual-average estimates of the nation’s employment and unemployment.[...]

The findings related to women in the workplace point out a need for re-structuring of the workplace, Golden said. Economists and other labor researchers have debated whether women leave the workforce because they are happier at home or because the workplace is too rigid and prevents a balanced work-home life.

There was also this study:

Differences between women and men MBA entrepreneurs: exploring family flexibility and wealth creation as career motivators - Richard DeMartino, Robert Barbato - 2002

The purpose of this study was to compare male and female entrepreneurs with similar backgrounds; in particular, all received MBA degrees from a top-tier business school. [...]

Although the male and female entrepreneurs have similar backgrounds, demographics, and timing and age of their businesses, several differences were found. When asked about the career motivators that were most important, women entrepreneurs preferred a career that gave them flexibility and allowed them to balance their career with their family obligations. While these were the most important considerations for women entrepreneurs, they were among the
least important for male entrepreneurs. In contrast, the male entrepreneurs were most motivated by careers that would allow them to create wealth, while female entrepreneurs indicated that creating wealth and career advancement were the least important motivations. The differences between these two groups were large and meaningful. This confirms the findings of previous researchers (Geoffee and Scase, 1983; Scott, 1986; Kaplin, 1988, Buttner, 1993) who also found similar differences. This finding also contradicts the findings of previous research by Fischer et al. (1993), who found that women entrepreneurs were more motivated by financial considerations than male entrepreneurs.

These differences became even larger when the comparison was between married women and men entrepreneurs with dependent children. This helps to explain the findings of Caputo and Kolinsky (1998), who found that the presence of children increased the propensity of women to start their own businesses. The percentage difference between the two groups increases in every career motivator in this study with the largest increases occurring in the motivations to meet family obligations and have family friendly policies. Most of the increase in difference occurs, however, because of the effect of dependent children on women entrepreneurs. For the most part, married male entrepreneurs with dependent children do not differ from unmarried male entrepreneurs in terms of their career motivations.
Conversely, an alternative dynamic appears to emerge when comparing single women and men without dependents to married women and men without dependents. When this comparison is made, gender differences emerge in only one of the six variables tested, i.e., wealth creation. This finding reinforces the importance of dependent status on career
motivators for women entrepreneurs and confirms the research of Still and Timms (2000).

In summary, the findings of this study support previous research that women are using entrepreneurship as a career choice that provides them flexibility to manage family obligations. It provides a nuanced view of these differences when the motivations of men and women are compared by marital and dependent status. Overall, women differ from men by possessing a higher intensity of preference for family-related motivators. The most significant differences, however, emerged when comparing married women with dependents and married men with dependents. Comparisons between single and married men and women without dependents did not demonstrate statistically significant differences. It is important to underscore that the gender differences detected in this study, which compares MBA graduates, are similar to those reported in other studies. This is an important point, because some researchers suggest that previously reported differences could be a result of women having less business knowledge and education and lower potential for advancement. This study, however, concludes that these differences can also be explained by differences in career motivators. The study provides evidence in support of those studies that suggest that women entrepreneurs are more motivated by the need to balance work and family responsibilities.

Entrepreneurship as a career can offer a degree of flexibility and balance that some other careers do not offer. This study provides some clues as to why women-owned businesses now make up 40% of all businesses and why women continue to start businesses at twice the rate of men.

To highlight one sentence from the above study "Comparisons between single and married men and women without dependents did not demonstrate statistically significant differences". This, as well as the wage-gap for single childless women, teaches us an interesting lesson, when it comes to the wage gap as well as motivations behind it, we will find less blatant discrimination and more different life choices. So everyone who points out the 77c number is missing the mark. It those differences come from nature or nurture is a different question. I am sure the answer is both, to what degree is debatable. As for nurture, one thing I'd like to mention as well which often is forgotten in feminist discussion on this topic, it goes for both men and women. We raise men to be the provider and raise women to be the nurturer. Depending on the influence of nature (I always like to cite a women's experience during pregnancy / breast feeding, which gives women an edge when it comes to bonding, as an example) we might not be able to produce equal results (= no pay gap), we should however work hard to make both roles for everyone acceptable. Feminists did a good job in opening up the provider role for women, it is time we do something for men/fathers.