Historically, the birth control pill is revolutionary. Today, it's nearly mundane. In the 50 years since its approval, the Pill has radically changed contraception, placing it directly in the hands of women, changing the way they plan their lives, the way conduct their relationships, and—of course—the way they have sex; in 1993, The Economist named the Pill one of the "Seven Wonders of the Modern World." Now, it's part of the everyday lives of 10.5 million American women.
That's not to say that the birth control pill is not beyond reproach.
Kari Luna's debut young adult novel, The Theory of Everything, is a bright, shiny antidote to the dystopias and vampire love stories that dominate today's YA shelves. The story follows 14-year old protagonist Sophie Sophia on a soul-reckoning journey from the suburbs of Chicago to New York City to find her missing father – an eccentric physicist who left Sophie nothing but a box full of '80s-music mix tapes and a propensity for bizarre visions.
One of my greatest high school regrets is that I never took an auto shop class. I would have had a chance to learn some practical skills like changing oil and changing a tire. At the time, I doubt it fit into my schedule, but entering a class of mostly boys scared me as well. It's not that I was afraid of boys—I considered myself a feminist despite not fully understanding what that meant—but it would still have been intimidating to walk into a classroom full of dudes.
When does this happen, this point where men are encouraged in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math and women are left out? My mother teaches kindergarten; in her class, all the kids seem equally excited by counting and banana slugs. But somehow, by the time women reach the higher echelons of education, there is sorting out, if you will, in which mostly men go in one direction and women in another.
A study published last week by Loyola professor Kendall J. Eskine in Social Psychological and Personality Science reports that people who eat organic food are self-righteous assholes. My main question is: What in the ridiculous research hell kind of study is this?
This conception of empiricism—what it means to do "good," "reliable," and "valid" science—constrains what work can be done in the future. The exclusions "necessitated" by these models of research aren't an accident either—broadly speaking, the conception of rationalism underpinning the Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment came out of white, Western, bourgeois and aristocratic thought. Also, the scientific and social scientific paradigm that reigns in university research (and in much of the private, state-sanctioned research programs) says that many types of studies require a certain-sized subject population in order to claim statistical validity. So studies about, say, queer people or trans people, or queer trans people, are often thwarted by the comparatively smaller numbers of folks who a) feel comfortable being out to a group of strangers in a clinical environment, b) feel comfortable exploring potentially sensitive issues in the context of their unequal status as a research subject, c) even believe in this type of research, and d) are targeted by researchers' advertisements or happen to see such adverts.
Yesterday, Republican Presidential hopeful Herman Cain clashed with Piers Morgan about whether or not people are born gay. Here's the video:
The important thing to know is that Cain sets out saying that "homosexuality is a sin" because of his "Biblical beliefs," but Morgan quickly steers the conversation into "born this way" territory, outraged that Cain won't concede his point. Cain's response: "What does science show? You show me evidence other than opinion, and you might cause me to reconsider that... Where's the evidence?"
If you're the type of person who watches shows like MythBusters or Daily Planet you might also have come across HowStuffWorks.com, a Discovery-owned website that aims to be a resource for people to get credible, accessible information on how stuff works—"stuff" being anything and everything from cell phones to molecular gastronomy to the principles of gravity. HowStuffWorks has produced a bunch of great podcasts, including a podcast aimed at discussing gender dynamics, called Stuff Mom Never Told You.
Stop the presses! Science has released a groundbreaking study! According to new research at the University of Michigan, bonding with friends makes women feel good.
Okay, so definitely not hot news, right? But what IS interesting is the way newspapers and websites reported on the study. The U of M researchers found that after emotional conversations, women release progestrone, a hormone that reduces stress.
But apparently mainstream press can only describe intense, personal conversation between women with one word: GOSSIP!
Check out the top ten most popular headlines via Google news about the study: 1. Women who gossip can live a happy and healthier life, study finds. 2. Gossiping is good for women's health 3. Gossip is good for women's health, scientists claim 4. Friendship is a mood uplift 5. Good health from a good gossip? 6. Gossiping Reduces Anxiety and Stress in Women - A Study 7. Gossipping can be healthy: Research 8. Now Women Have An Excuse 9. Idle chatter makes women healthier, happier. 10. A scientific take on female friendship.
Ouch, at 20 percent accuracy, 80 percent "Women are Gossiping Gossip Hounds" that's a failing score, headline writers.
British scientists have uncovered the truth behind one of modern culture’s greatest mysteries: why little girls play with pink toys. Is it because toy companies flood whole store aisles with the color? Or because well-meaning relatives shower girl babies with pink blankets and clothing? Nope. According to the men in lab coats, it’s purely biological.