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Monday, July 30, 2007

Cultural barrier adds to women's lower pay

Studies by Linda C. Babcock, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, show that not only do women not negotiate for better pay and better positions as often as men, but that women are often frowned upon and penalized if they do:
So basically a Catch 22, unless women don't mind being hated. :/ My problem with the article at least, since I didn't read the studies, was they didn't offer an answer to this dilemma, they just sort of said, "Yup, women are screwed, good luck with that." Maybe they think that just by becoming aware of the issue people will not judge women as harshly for asking for what they want, but that just seems unrealistic to me. To me this falls into the same category as actively promoting Math and the Sciences to girls and being more tolerant of different cultures in schools.

Speaking of math, science, school, and girls, there was also an interesting article on MSN about Danica McKellar's (yes, from The Wonder Years) book that tries to teach middle-school aged girls that Math is cool and ways that it is applicable in their lives, apparently with lots of lip gloss: Now, while I appreciate the effort, I question whether writing it in the style of a teen magazine is really the answer. McKellar acknowledges she wrote it with a specific audience in mind, but, not to sound crass, is that audience going to voluntarily read a book like this, even if it's written in the style of Seventeen? I have no idea, and I don't think anyone else does either, so it'd be interesting to me to see how this book sells.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

What she wore

The BBC reported an incident where a woman in South Africa had her pants stolen in public and her house burned down. Why? Because she was wearing pants instead of a skirt:

Okay, I'm not going to try and be a post-modern type and say "oh, it's all relative, we need to be accepting of other people's cultures." Bull. Burning down a woman's house and stripping her naked because she's wearing pants is horrible and I can't believe people don't get more pissed off about this sort of thing. Even the article's author has this attitude of, "oh, well, she was living in a men's neighborhood, she should have known better." No, no, no! That sort of behavior is inappropriate in any society.
I know this is an extreme case, but even in 1999 the Italian Supreme Court of appeals ruled that a woman's rape was excusable because she was wearing jeans:, so obviously it is still known to happen. This sort of "she/he was asking for it" mentality is just wrong regardless of gender, regardless of culture, regardless of religious beliefs. Period.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Grown-ups and their effect on kids

This is an article about an anthropologist that contends American parents don't need to spend as much one on one time as they do, and if anything it's pretty weird:

My reaction to his hypothesis, and he actually acknowledges this with his Inuit exception, is that Americans are really isolated and we don't have a lot of friends or other kids for our kids to play with, so they're not going to get the same interaction that a kid growing up on the Serengeti might get with others. As a personal opinion, I do feel the whole "Baby Einstein" syndrome thing has gotten WAAAY out of hand.

The second one is about an anthropologist in Finland who is looking at genealogy and birth, death, and marriage records and is finding some really interesting stuff. For example: the girl in a set of mixed-gender twins will have less kids overall.

What's nice is she acknowledges the combination of biology vs. culture, like with the farmland moms versus the "wilderness" moms. I would really like to see this kind of study done in other regions too.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

rules and regulations

A psych study found that women actually have dominant roles in marriage relationships when it comes to anything involving the family unit or couple, including vacations:
This of course flies in the face of a bunch of other studies, but as the article points out most other studies looked at how much money each couple made and used that as a main variable, whereas in this study they asked each couple who makes the decisions on what subjects and used that as their main criteria. I'd like to see this study repeated several times, but at the same time anecdotally it makes sense, or to quote a very amusing movie: "Yes, the man is the head of the house, but the woman is the neck. And the neck can turn the head anyway it wants." (Bonus points to whoever recognizes that quote).

An interesting commentary on how race is perceived in Brazil and how goverment regulations there might actually be reverting the national mentality back to the way it was in the 1880s:,,2124080,00.html

We all talk good

Okay, this took me forever to get to posting, but I still thought it was interesting. A collective study done showed that men and women actually use approximately the same amount of words: