It's a Man's Recovery

The gender skew to the recovery has meant that the decades-long trend of women making up an ever-increasing portion of the workforce has stalled for the first time since the ’50s. In fact, a smaller percentage of women over 20 are working today than at the bottom of the recession. Last month, 54.6 percent of women over the age of 20 had jobs, compared to 67.6 percent of men.

Women ages 20–24 are faring the worst, but you can see from the rest of the charts that women across the board are still lagging men in terms of new jobs in the last three years.

Study: The Sexes Aren't So Different After All

A study recently compiled by Bobbi Carothers and Harry Reis, who analyzed data from 13,301 men and women, finds significant overlap between the sexes on a number of characteristics commonly thought to be split fairly evenly by gender. Examples include:

  • desire to have sex with multiple partners

  • frequency of masturbation

  • willingness to have sex outside of a relationship

  • empathy for others

  • caring about close relationships

  • closeness with a best friend

  • fear of being too successful (as measured by agreement with statements like “Often the cost of success is greater than the reward”)

  • interest in science

The entire study is here, if you’re curious.

Via XX Factor.

America Has an Incest Problem

Okay, actually, this op-ed piece by Mia Fontaine for The Atlantic is scary:

Here are some statistics that should be familiar to us all, but aren’t, either because they’re too mind-boggling to be absorbed easily, or because they’re not publicized enough. One in three-to-four girls, and one in five-to-seven boys are sexually abused before they turn 18, an overwhelming incidence of which happens within the family. These statistics are well known among industry professionals, who are often quick to add, “and this is a notoriously underreported crime.”

You don’t want to click on the words “an overwhelming incidence”. You really don’t. It will make you feel so sad and helpless. But we can’t afford to be helpless:

Ninety-five percent of teen prostitutes and at least one-third of female prisoners were abused as kids. Sexually abused youth are twice as likely to be arrested for a violent offense as adults, are at twice the risk for lifelong mental health issues, and are twice as likely to attempt or commit teen suicide. The list goes on. Incest is the single biggest commonality between drug and alcohol addiction, mental illness, teenage and adult prostitution, criminal activity, and eating disorders. Abused youths don’t go quietly into the night. They grow up—and 18 isn’t a restart button.

First They Came For Me, and I Did Not Speak Out

A Barna Group poll published Wednesday has found that conservatives fear that religious freedom is under attack—and think the solution is more Christianity:

The poll of 1,008 adults showed that 29 percent of respondents were “very” concerned that religious liberties are under threat, and 22 percent “somewhat” concerned. Evangelicals were the religious group most likely to be concerned, at 71 percent.

Asked for their opinion as to why religious freedom is threatened, 97 percent of evangelicals agreed that “some groups have actively tried to move society away from traditional Christian values.”

It never fails to baffle me that Christians worry constantly about being persecuted (or actually think they are currently being persecuted) but never see that the solution is to secure religious liberty for everyone.

What Local Abortion Laws Look Like Now

Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and The Atlantic Wire has re-published a chart from Bloomberg Businessweek showing the number and kind of the various anti-abortion laws introduced in different states during the last two calendar years. Interesting way of representing the data, although I think it would have worked better in linear, not circular form.

Most People Oppose Overturning Roe v. Wade

Results from The Pew Forum’s most recent survey, published on Wednesday:

As the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision approaches, the public remains opposed to completely overturning the historic ruling on abortion. More than six-in-ten (63%) say they would not like to see the court completely overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, which established a woman’s constitutional right to abortion at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Only about three-in-ten (29%) would like to see the ruling overturned. These opinions are little changed from surveys conducted 10 and 20 years ago.

How does that jibe with the increasing prevalance of anti-abortion legislation being enacted? I think this at least partly explains it:

White evangelical Protestants are the only major religious group in which a majority (54%) favors completely overturning the Roe v. Wade decision.

You can see from the link above that nearly half of the anti-abortion provisions passed in 2012 came from the same six states, five of which are red states. While Republicans are almost evenly split on overturning Roe v. Wade, white evangelicals—the GOP’s go-to group—support it. The survey results indicate that this group is also more likely than any other to think that abortion is a “critical issue”.

I often wonder what would happen if the Republican party leadership started legislating based on what all of their constituents want instead of relying on a few hot-button issues they know will win the support of conservative Christians.

Anyway, the survey doesn’t take a terribly long time to read, so check it out if you’re at all interested in the topic of abortion legislation.

Via the Feminist Majority Foundation Blog.

"False Accusations" v. "False Reports"

On Monday I posted an infographic purporting to show the ratio of false rape accusations to actual rapes. Yesterday, Amanda Marcotte of XX Factor debunked several of its claims and the rationale by which its creators arrived at their conclusions.

I agree with her reasoning, so it does seem like the infographic is misleading and could be greatly improved. But, as Marcotte says, the fundamental message remains true:

It is true that most rapes go unreported, that the public believes false accusations are exponentially more common than they actually are, and that a man’s chances of being falsely accused of rape are incredibly small. All these things are important to convey, and an infographic is a great way to do it. Just fix the graphic, and the public will learn a lot.

Why the "Nice Guys Commit Rape Too" Conversation Is Not Helpful

Jill Filipovic of Feministe—writing this time at The Guardian—brings the story of The Good Men Project’s recent unfortunate posts about rape culture into the mainstream with a relatively balanced, unassuming explanation of what, exactly, The Good Men Project is getting wrong:

We actually know quite a bit about why men rape, and especially about the kinds of rapes that the media often calls “date rape” or “acquaintance rape”—rapes where the perpetrator knew the victim, or at least ran in the same social circles. Academics, researchers and sociologists have done in-depth studies on sexual assault and found that it’s actually a small number of men who commit large numbers of acquaintance rapes. Most of those men intentionally target intoxicated women. They socially isolate them, ply them with alcohol to incapacitate them and intentionally push their boundaries to make them vulnerable.

These repeat rapists are more likely to have rigid views of gender roles and are more angry at women than the non-rapist men. They perpetrate their crimes intentionally, but use our social narratives about rape to avoid prosecution.

So, in general, nice guys are much less likely to commit rape. This does not mean that our society is conducting a constructive conversation on the subject of rape culture; our error, though, seems on the whole to be in thinking that unknown predators attack women in dark alleys. But clarifying that most raped women know their rapists personally does not indicate that those rapists are totally normal men who just “made a mistake” or “didn’t realize what they were doing”.

I particularly encourage you to click through to the link in the quote above for more information and statistics.

High Maternal Mortality Rates for Black Moms Still a Mystery

The harsh reality is there is no national standard or federal requirement on reporting maternal deaths and scant national data. The last national data was compiled in 2007 by the CDC’s Pregnancy Mortality Surveillance System, which uses data from 52 U.S. reporting areas—50 states, New York City and Washington, D.C.

The surveillance system indicated wide disparities in pregnancy-related mortality ratios in the U.S., with the pregnancy-related ratio for white women at 11 deaths per 100,000 live births and 34.8 deaths per 100,000 live births for black women. The ratio was 15.7 deaths per 100,000 live births for women of other races.

Shocking statistics, and the cause appears to be so multi-faceted as to defy easy analysis.