Thursday, January 29, 2009

Study finds earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fell by nearly one-third after their gender transitions,

...but earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increased slightly.

I came across the following, somewhere on feministing (can´t find the entry again) and thought that that is an interesting study to look at.

We use the workplace experiences of transgender people – individuals who change their gender typically with hormone therapy and surgery – to provide new insights into the long-standing question of what role gender plays in shaping workplace outcomes. Using an original survey of male-to-female (MTF) and female-to-male (FTM) transgender people, we document the earnings and employment experiences of transgender people before and after their gender transitions. We find that while transgender people have the same human capital after their transitions, their workplace experiences often change radically. We estimate that average earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increase slightly following their gender transitions, while average earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly 1/3. This finding is consistent with qualitative evidence that for many male-to-female workers, becoming a woman often brings a loss of authority, harassment, and termination, but that for many female-to-male workers, becoming a man often brings an increase in respect and authority. These findings challenge the omitted variables explanations for the gender pay gap and illustrate the often hidden and subtle processes that produce gender inequality in workplace outcomes. - from here
After reading the subject and the above we stumble upon the favorite wage gap and that its explanation is discrimination. The above implies, if you are a woman you earn 33% less, even if you have been a man before. It is not that simple. A closer look at the study:

Sample size

Page 13: Collecting a random sample of transsexuals is not possible, as the population is small and cannot be contacted directly through traditional means (mailings, telephone, calls, etc.). Instead, the survey was administrated in person at transsexual conferences and through a website advertisement.

Page 14: [T]the final sample consists of 43 respondents: 18 MTF transsexuals and 25 FTM transsexuals. [...] The higher proportion of FTM transsexuals is due to the selective nature of conferences we were allowed access. The Gender Odyssey conference at which 25 surveys were completed is almost exclusively a conference for FTM transsexuals. [...] Because the respondents we were able to contact are associated with transsexual organizations and conferences, the sample is skewed toward activists and individuals who are more open with their transsexual identity. However we are not directly interested in how representative our transsexual sample is of all transsexuals, but how this sample compares to the general population.
I don´t really have to loose much words on that one. This is not an empiric study more like a collection of anecdotes. And a group full of activist? Sounds a bit like cherry picking.

Different jobs

Page 18: In our sample, the transsexuals worked on average 5.8 years for their last employer prior to their gender change. In addition, 53.5 percent of the transsexuals remained with the same employer following their gender change.
So almost half of the sample was working in a different job after the sex change? What if they work in a completely different field? As a beginner in a new firm you usually get a starting salary and not the advances you already received while working your old job. These are all factors that could change the wages without discrimination taking place.

The difference between MTF and FTM

Page 18: [W]hile MTFs are on average about the same age as the general male population, FTMs are on average about 10 years younger than the general female population and 10 years younger on average than MTFs. As discussed below, we interpret this as evidence that MTFs may be attempting to preserve their male advantage at work for as long as possible, whereas FTMs may be seeking to quickly shed their disadvantaged female gender identity. A second important difference is that both MTFs and FTMs are twice as likely to have a college degree as the general population.

Page 21: The MTFs on average choose to remain in their male gender until age 40, whereas FTMs on average change their gender at age 30. [...] MTFs react to the loss they expect to receive from becoming women by minimizing these losses through delaying their gender change. FTMs, on the other hand, maximize their expected gains from becoming men by changing their gender earlier.
Those two parts were very telling. Do the authors really believe that the job someone has is that important on that persons sexuality or sexual identy? That someone who feels like being trapped in the wrong genders body is actually thinking about to stay a little bit longer in that body to "enjoy" male privilege? I don´t believe it works that way. But there is more

Page 25: Looking beyond earnings, MTFs in our sample seem to experience a wider range of workplace hardships in becoming women than FTMs experience in becoming men. [...] Shilt (2006a) finds that MTFs experience a much wider range of obstacles to openly transitioning and remaining in the same jobs than their FTM counterparts.

Page 28: Since transsexuals undergo a number of changes to their physical appearance in the process of their gender change, they may be adversly affected by a non-normative appearance. The effects of hormone therapy, the physical structure of male bodies, and the different levels of appearance scrutiny men and women face in society often causes MTFs to face more difficulties passing in their new gender than their FTM counterparts. With the use of testosterone, many FTMs develop thicker facial and body hair, deeper voices, and male-pattern baldness (Rubin 2003; Green 2004). With these masculine appearance cues, they are read as men in interactions often often within a few weeks of beginning hormone therapy. Estrogen has fewer feminizing effects on male bodies. MTFs may experience some breast growth, but they do not stop growing facial hair or develop higher voices (Griggs 1998). Estrogen cannot alter physical characteristics that are typically interpreted as masculine, such as height over six feet, visible Adam´s apples, and big hands and feet. MTFs can use feminine appearance cues as passing aids, such as feminine clothing, but these often cannot override masculine body cues. This difference in post-gender change appearance is clearly evident in our survey data. 56 percent of FTM respondents describe themselves as "always" passing as men. In contrast, 17 percent of MTFs describe themselves as "always" passing as women. Some MTFs who had been transitioned for over ten years still described themselves as only passing "sometimes". Some of the adverse employment outcomes for MTFs which we document above my be attributable to their changed appearance rather than to their changed gender. However we argue that gender is still likely a leading cause of the before and after differences we document for transsexuals.
The authors are seeing the problems but can not recognize them. There is even a word for it, Transphobia. If we look at the groups, MTF and FMT after the gender change, what do we have? A group of males, that look like males and act like males. And a group of females that lack feminity and still resemble males in height, hair groth, voice, hand and feet size. It is no surprise to me that the MTF group has it harder and again this has nothing to do with them being females. It has something to do with them being transwomen. This is a big difference and the main point that the feminist view (women earn less because of discrimination) does not apply in this situation.

A closer look at the results

This is where it all falls apart

Just compare both of our groups and ask yourself if they are compareable. Twice as much of our FTMs (the one who will be the big winner of our study) are self employed and work for the government, almost 30% more have a college degree.

And the numbers keep shrinking:

Page 23: Of the 43 repondents in the final sample who reported earnings before their gender change, 5 respondents did not report any employment after their gender change. The panel used to examine earning changes therefore consists of 38 observations: 14 MTFs and 24 FTMs.
but it gets worse. Let us look at the results table

and the results are very different. 6 MTFs had no loss at all (4 had a positive gain) a little more than half of it (57.14% or 8 MTFs) really had a negative loss. Not all of them. The results on the other site do just differ when it comes to the positive gain. Almost 40% of all FTMs had no change or a negative loss. That does not sound like the "Men gain, women lose" Titel we read before? One might even wonder if the additional 11 in the positive gain group all were asked during the male only conference.

And while we were talking about percentages let us take a look at the numbers again.

Ironicly after the sex change it is the women who earn more. That is right the group with the biggest problem adjusting to the new gender, the group that looses 1/3 of their wages are still those with the biggest paycheck.
College 28.72 / 23.79 - (+20%)
No College 18,50 / 14.80 - (+10%)


Page 30: There are a number of limitations to this study. The small size of our sample reduces the precision of our statistical findings and precludes extensive multivariate analysis. A second limitation is our inability to control for the non-normative appearance of post-gender change transsexuals. Because of this limitation, the outcomes we document for gender change may be conflated with appearance discrimination. In an ideal experiment, we could compare a group of transsexuals who definitely pass as women with a group who do not to gain a deeper understanding of how appearance interacts with gender to affect workplace outcomes. A third limitation of our study is that gender change does not occur overnight as in the ideal experiment, but may in fact take several years.
They say it themselves. You can´t compare the hardships of transgendered people with the average women. It is a shoe that does not fit. This study may say sth about discrimination transgendered people have to face though. Nothing more and nothing less.


Found on another blog. Very fascinating:

German sexologist Rolf Degen conducted an extensive research to find out the average duration of orgasm in humans. The average female orgasm lasts for 1.7 seconds. The average male orgasm lasts for 12.4 seconds. It just so happens that a woman spends 1 hour and 24 second in the state of bliss during her entire life, whereas a man enjoys 9 hours and 18 seconds of orgasm in total. The German research contradicts to the general opinion according to which the female orgasm is longer than the male orgasm.


Those women who reach orgasm on a regular basis laugh and smile 2.5 times more often than those who do not, French scientists said. The frequently-orgasming women have a lower level of anxiety, they sleep better and have a more extensive word stock (for some reason).

62 percent of women with higher education have difficulties with reaching orgasm, whereas this number is lower – 38 percent – with those women having secondary education only. The worse education a woman has, the better orgasms she has, Canadian and German scientists said. The scientists determined that 55 percent of university diploma holders hardly ever experience orgasms, while 70 percent of women, who never studied at high schools, did not have any complaints.

About 17 percent of women are capable of experiencing multiple orgasms that last for 20 or 30 seconds.


US psychologists were observing the lives of 300 women who cured themselves of anorgasmy for ten years. Their biographies were compared to the biographies of other women who had similar problems with orgasm, but who interrupted the course of treatment. The number of divorces considerably increased in the group of women who refused to continue the treatment. - From here

Visit that site for more interesting sex stats. 1.7 Seconds....

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Divorce makes women poorer and men wealthier

The following is about that piece:
For richer or poorer: Why divorce makes men wealthier - but women are left worse off By Emily Andrews

Women face a serious risk of being plunged into poverty after divorce – whereas men are often better off financially, a study has revealed.

Fathers in particular are left significantly wealthier, with their average available income increasing by a third. This is because most children live with their mothers after divorce.

The research was carried out by Professor Stephen Jenkins, a director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research.

His survey, called Marital Splits and Income Changes over the Longer Term, is the first to track the changing wealth levels in Britain associated with divorce.
He found that the incomes of divorced or separated men rise 'immediately and continuously' in the years following a marital split.

On average, male incomes rise by 25 per cent, whereas women's fall by a fifth, even when children are not involved.

Professor Jenkins said: 'The differences between the sexes are stark,' adding that it was often 'a parent thing' with the research showing huge differences in the effect of divorce on mothers and fathers.

Ruth Smallacombe, from law firm Family Law in Partnership, said: 'The general belief that men get fleeced by their divorces while women get richer and live off the proceeds has long been due for exposure as a pernicious myth.

'In reality, women often suffer economic hardship when they divorce.

'In addition, the resentment caused by unfair financial settlements has many knockon effects, damaging ongoing relationships with former spouses and a woman's ability to move on with her life.'

The latest research found that, when a man leaves a childless marriage, his income immediately rises on average by 25 per cent. - From AM
One only has to look at the comments of that Dailymail article to find a lot of people disagreeing with that research. And it is in special this article that further distorts the picture. For example especially this sentence "The latest research found that, when a man leaves a childless marriage, his income immediately rises on average by 25 per cent." does not make any sense to a thinking human being. Have you ever heard of a rise a company grants someone after a divorce? This does not happen. What happened here was a different rating of the income. But I´ll get to this in detail as I read the original data. Please note that when I am refering to a page I am refering to the page index in the Pdf-file. My problems with that research:

Sample Size
Page 9: It remains the case, however, that althhough subsample numbers are relatively large for this kind of study, they are relatively small by the standarts of much survey analysis, and the estimates need to be treaded with appropirate caution.
Tread it with appropriate caution does not really sound like the headline of the above article. But what can one expect?

Alimony and child support payment

This is my biggest problem with the research data and you will soon find out why "The general belief that men get fleeced by their divorces while women get richer and live off the proceeds has long been due for exposure as a pernicious myth." is by far the dumbest sentence in the Daily Mails article. But let me see if you can find the flaw:

Page 6: An indiviual`s economic circumstances in each year is measured in terms of the equivalized household net income of the household to which the indiviutal belongs. Net income is the sum across household members of income from employment and self-employment, investments and savings, private and occupational pensions, other market income and private transfers (including maintenance income), plus cash social security and socieal assistance receipts from the state, less income tax payments, employee National Insurance contributions and local taxes. Net income is the most widely used income measure in the U.K., and the basis of the official income distribution statistics (see e.g. Department for Work and Pensions 2007)
Probably not at first glance. If you look at the Daily Mail statement again you will agree with me that the "myth" that women get richer has a lot to do with alimony and child support payments. Guess what those are not considered payments by the husband according to that study. That is right. While alimony and child support payments are included in the spouses income they are NOT included as payments by the husband and therefor considered as money he still owns. I noticed this error as I read something about the "OECD Growing Unequal 2008" and "EU Study on Income and living Conditions" which apparently have the same error. So the husband´s income is after divorce seen excactly the way it was before the divorce, minus the children. Are you surprised there is a huge difference in that data? I am not. But let us look at the data again:

Page 10: By contrast, there is a large difference for separation husbands: for those without dependent children at t, the median change is 0 per cent; for those with dependent children, it is +32 per cent. As explained by Jarvis and Jenkins (1999) this differential is in part due to changes in household composition rather than changes in money income. Changes in incomes that are unadjusted for differences in household size and composition are similar for the two groups but, because children mostly live with their mother rather than their father after a maritial split, the equivalence scale factor for fathers falls markedly, thereby increasing equivalised income.

Do you see that? Look at the graph. The ones that raise husbands above the zero percentage level are husbands with kids. Those who are the ones where alimony and child support payments were not considered. We are talking about 476 of 803 husbands in total or 59% of the husband´s sample in an already small study. Someone might think the results are skewered by that calculation. Interestingly not the author:
Page 10: In principle, income gains for separating fathers may be over-estimated, because child support payments are not deducted from my definition of income. However, in practice, the bias is likely to be small: see the sensitivity analysis undertaken by Jarvis and Jenkins (1999)
I doubt this. But let us get into detail:

In essence, if your net is greater than £200 a week, you'll pay 15% of it for one child, 20% of it for two and 25% for three children. That figure can change if some of the children are living with you, if you pay the mortgage on the home where they live, school fees, or if the children regularly stay with you during the week.


There are those who make a net income of less than £200 but still have to pay child support, In those cases it's harder to figure out exactly, but as a rough guide, estimate £5 a week on top of which there's a percentage for the amount over £100 you make.

Where the net income is under £100 a week - which generally means the person is on benefits, the rate to be paid is £5 per child per week, which can be directly deducted from the benefit payments. - from here

So those husbands with children actually pay 15-25% in child support payments and this will not skewer the statistics? Not even including alimony but this will definately lower the graph by at least 15%. An example using the McClemens scale (as described in the appendix below) to calculate the equivalent net household income:

Father (0,61) earns £400 a week
Mother (0,39) earns £100 a week
Kid age 13 (0,27)
Kid age 15 (0,27)
Weekly net total -> £500 -> Via McClemens scale (1,54) -> £325

After the separation the children stay with the mother while the father pays child support (20% /£80)
Mother (0,61)
Kid age 13 (0,27)
Kid age 15 (0,27)
Weekly net total -> £180 -> Via McClemens scale (1,15) -> £156 (-52%)

Data without alimony like in the study
Weekly net total -> £400 (+23%)

Data with alimony -> reality
Weekly net total -> £320 (-2%)
And her is the crux of this study. In my example we have a whopping 23% additional net income without child support. With child support however you have -2%. It is the same sum as husbands without children have! The wife´s percentage will be closer to the percentage in the study if we calculate other values on to that number, as this is of course a very simple example. Now look at his paycheck. In the calculation he is losing 20% of his income and the study would tell us that he is actually gaining another 23%. Out of reality.

Scaling distorts

A big problem with the scaled view is that it actually confuses more than it does give answers. One example. Let us assume Paul and Mary earned the same amount before, during and after marriage. There are no children, alimony payments etc. Everyone will agree with me if there is nothing to split on and you earn the same after marriage than you earned before. But not if we use scaling again:

Before marriage:
Paul earns £400 a week
Mary earns £100 a week

During marriage with scaling
Paul (0,61)
Mary (0,39)
Weekly net total -> £500 -> Via McClemens scale (1,00) -> £500

After the separation:
Paul earns £400 a week -> -20%
Mary earns £100 a week -> -80%
If you think about it this is an absolut logicial and fair development. Why shouldn´t you earn the same after marriage than before? And of course compared to the combined income both now earn less. Basicly the one with the best paid job will have a lower change in percentage than the less earning one. Of course this skewers our view of the whole situation as well.

Another problem comes with very poor families with children. If the father is the only breadwinner, the wife and children leave him and he is too poor to even pay child support he will again be on the top of our graph and among the group of our big winners. Although we were in his case talking about poor and poorer and not, as the title suggests, about poorer and wealthier.


This really is a nonsense article and a confusing and biased study. Considering the myths Emily Andrews talks about, I guess we can all agree that as long as such cases happen:

A wife has been awarded £50,000 in maintenance for her horses as part of a £1.5m divorce package in a landmark case that could spark bitter disputes over pets.

The woman, who has not been named, was awarded the yearly sum after appeal judges agreed her three horses were a key part of her life.

They also ruled she should be given a lump sum of £900,000 from her ex-husband, a banker in the City, to allow her to buy a house with enough land for the animals.

Lawyers believe the case could break new ground in divorce cases with couples claiming maintenance for their pets as well as themselves and their children.

The talented rider's annual package came to £80,000, including the £50,000 for her three animals which the court heard were almost a child substitute.

The couple, who live in Gloucestershire, had been married for 11 years but had no children after she lost a baby in 2001...

She had given up her part-time job in a financial company after they married while her husband carried on working in the City.


Judge Segal said: 'In any event, the wife does not want a 9-to-5 job, because this would not give her enough time with her horses...' - Found here

those "myths" will always be arround. And while the article gives the impression that women have a harder time after divorce, reality is a whole different story. Considering happiness:

Divorce makes men feel devastated, confused, betrayed and even suicidal; while women are more likely to feel relieved, liberated and happy following a split, according to a report published today.


The survey, which questioned 3,515 divorced adults about the impact of their marital break-up, found that nearly three-quarters of those separating more than two years ago were happier now. Splitting up within the last 2 years had left 57% of divorcees happier.


Recent splits had left 23% of men devastated, whereas with women the figure was lower at 20%. Of recently divorced women, 46% said they felt "liberated" at being single; only 37% of the men concurred.

Among the recent divorcees, 7% of men said they were "suicidal", as opposed to just 3% of women.


Men were more likely to take time off from work (8% versus 6%) as well as being more likely to be unable to work as well as usual (13% versus 10%). More women will spend more of their time with friends (51% versus 38%), while men are more likely to turn to alcohol (33% to 23%) or casual sex (23% versus 12%).


More than two years after a divorce, 41% of men were still sad about the failure of their marriage; for women the figure was only 33%. - From here

Suicide rates after divorce:

RESULTS---For the entire sample, higher risks of suicide were found in divorced than in married persons. Divorced and separated persons were over twice as likely to commit suicide as married persons (RR=2.08, 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) 1.58, 2.72). Being single or widowed had no significant effect on suicide risk. When data were stratified by sex, it was observed that the risk of suicide among divorced men was over twice that of married men (RR=2.38, CI 1.77, 3.20). Among women, however, there were no statistically significant differentials in the risk of suicide by marital status categories.

CONCLUSIONS---Marital status, especially divorce, has strong net effect on mortality from suicide, but only among men. The study showed that in epidemiological research on suicide, more accurate results would be obtained if samples are stratified on the basis of key demographic or social characteristics. The study further observed that failure to control for relevant socioeconomic variables or combining men and women in the same models could produce misleading results. - From here
And let us not forget that women initiate 2/3 of all divorces and can legally keep his children away from him and the picture really looks different. All in all truly a misguiding article.

See also the follow up.


McClemens Scale:

1. A score was allocated to each household member, and these were added together to produce an overall household McClemens score.
Household members were given scores as follows:
First adult (head)0.61
Spouse/partner of head0.39
Other second adult0.46
Third adult0.42
Subsequent adults0.36
Dependent aged 0-10.09
Dependent aged 2-40.18
Dependent aged 5-70.21
Dependent aged 8-100.23
Dependent aged 11-120.25
Dependent aged 13-150.27
Dependent aged 16+0.36

-> From here

OECD Scale:
  • 1.0 (for the householder of any age)
  • 0.5 (for each additional member age 14 and over)
  • 0.3 (for each additional member under age 14)
-> From here

Friday, January 16, 2009

Justice is blind....

It should be, it really should be.

Sadly these days the way you are treaded in court has a lot to do with your gender. A good example are these very similar cases. Two 17 year old teenagers in Wisconsin were arrested at almost the same time (1 day difference), were both arrested for having sex with a 14-year old and both cases were filed by the same attorney. A lot of similarities. The only difference the male offender is charged with a felony while the female offender is charged with a misdemeanor. A closer look:

17-year-old Alan J. Jepsen was charged Wednesday with felony sexual assault of a child under 16. Jepson was taken into custody at his home after the girl's mother reported her as a runaway, telling police her daughter was most likely at Jepsen's house.

The girl, who is Jepsen's girlfriend was indeed at the boy's home. He admitted to investigators that he and his girlfriend had sex two or three times over a three month period, according to the arrest report.

The girl had told Jepsen that she was 16. The girl ALSO TOLD POLICE she was 16 initially. The arrest report went on to state that Jepsen was required to be charges as an adult under Wisconsin law. He now faces 25 years in prison for the sexual assault of a child under 16.


17-year-old Norma J. Guthrie was charged Thursday with misdemeanor sexual assault for allegedly having sex with a 14-year-old male. Guthrie admitted to having sex with a 14-year-old boy between 10 and 15 times, according to the arrest report.

Police became aware of the allegations when the boy's mother reported that her son might be staying overnight at the girl's home. Guthrie told investigators that the boy claimed to be 16.

She now faces up to nine months in jail, if convicted. - From theweeklyvice

A difference of more than 24 years simply for being male? But it gets worse. After the attorney is confronted with those two cases he shows us a good portion of hypocrisy:

[..] DA Jim Haasch stated that the charges were different because Guthrie had no prior record. He was seemingly unaware of Guthrie's pending charge of battery, according to court online records.

Haasch then stated that the charges are different because the 14-year-old in the Guthrie case "Is almost 15 years old" and has a birthday coming in February! - From theweeklyvice

Yes that does make sense. Almost 15 is in almost all cases almost close to almost 16. I can only shake my head in disbelief.

And this case wasn´t the exception. Here is another example:

A male teacher who had sex with three teenage female students was sentenced to 26 years in prison while the next day, a female swimming coach who had an “affair” with an 11-year-old boy and sexual “encounters” with two others got 30 days - From AM

Especially when it comes to sexual offences females are rarely receiving more than a pat on the wrist. Those cases aren´t even that rare and the weeklyvice has a nice collection of offending teachers (gender neutral, but count the cases and compare the gender / This is interesting as well). This case is truly outstanding:

A judge caused outrage yesterday after he refused to jail a woman who had sex with a 14-year-old boy and instead told her: ‘He seduced you.’
Sharon Edwards, 40, bombarded the boy with as many as 50 text messages and emails a day, offered to buy him cocaine and regularly lured him into her bed.
Yet she walked free from court yesterday after Judge Peter Fox QC said the married housewife was an unhappy woman who was unable to resist the advances of a child.
- From the dailymail

This double standards do not only apply when it comes to sexual crimes. Remeber the Mary Winkler case? She claimed that he had mistreated her. As proof, she showed the jury a pair of platform shoes and black wig that Matthew had asked her to wear during sex. A reason to murder her husband? Shooting him in the back with a shotgun while he was asleep? She received a seven-month sentence. Or this one:

When Etta Ann Urdiales was murdered in Colorado, two completely different juries convicted two different people of the crime. Both juries believed there was only one murderer. One convicted Bobbie Hogan, a woman. The other convicted Jess Jacobs, a man. She got 10 years in prison. He was put to death. - From AM

There are also studies on that double standards:

In 1988 the justice system in the Nation's 75 largest counties disposed of an estimated 540 spouse murder cases. Husbands charged with killing their wife outnumbered wives charged with killing their husband. Of the 540, 318--or 59%--were husband defendants and 222--or 41%--were wife defendants.

On average, convicted wives received prison sentences that were about 10 years shorter than what husbands received. Excluding life or death sentences, the average prison sentence for killing a spouse was 6 years for wives but 16.5 years for husbands.

Among wives sentenced to prison, 15% received a sentence of 20 years or more (including life imprisonment and the death penalty); among husbands, it was 43%.

No explanation for why State prison sentences were, on average, 10 years shorter for wife defendants than husband defendants

Wives received shorter prison sentences than husbands (a 10-year difference, on average) even when the comparison is restricted to defendants who were alike in terms of whether or not they were provoked

The average prison sentence for unprovoked wife defendants was 7 years, or 10 years shorter than the average 17 years for unprovoked husband defendants. - From AM
And apparently it applies to other crimes as well:
According to Pradeep Ramanathan, vice president of the National Coalition of Free Men (NCFM), a volunteer, non-profit organization that has explored and addressed men's issues since 1976, "All the research clearly demonstrates that gender is the most significant biasing factor in determining whether or not someone will be charged, prosecuted, indicted and sentenced, as well as determining the severity of the sentence."

And Ramanathan is right. Department of Justice figures show that being male increases a murderer's chance of receiving a death sentence by more than 20 times.

And the data repeatedly confirms that men receive higher sentences than women for the exact same crime. One study, published in Justice Quarterly in 1986, examined 181,197 felonies in California and found that, for the same crime, being male increased the chance of incarceration by 165 percent. Being black, in comparison, increased the chance of incarceration by 19 percent.

Another study, published in Crime & Delinquency in 1989, examined non-accomplice crimes and factored together the number of charges, convicted offenses, prior felony convictions, as well as the race, age, work history and family situation of the accused and found that "gender differences, favoring women, are more often found than race differences, favoring whites."

In yet another study, published in the International Journal of the Sociology of Law, researchers Mathew Zingraff and Randall Thomson found that being male increases sentence lengths more than any other discriminatory variable.

The bias applies to victims as well as the accused. When Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and Bruce Sacerdote of Dartmouth College examined 2,800 homicide cases randomly drawn from 33 urban counties by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, they found that killing a female instead of a male increased sentences by 40.6 percent. Killing a white instead of a black, in comparison, increased sentences by 26.8 percent.

Even when the exact same type of crime is accounted for, the disparities still persist. For example, a drunk driver who kills a black male receives an average sentence of two years. A drunk driver who kills a white male, four years. A drunk driver who kills a white female, six years. - From AM
And justice for all...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Vodoo ad...

This is an older one, but it is an interesting double standard.

The ads may be attention-grabbing but is it acceptable to use images of subservient men to flog products? Yes, says Voodoo's Kate Hann.

"A lot of women love [the ads]," she says. "I think every woman would like to have a selection of men available to them. It was not meant to be demeaning or sexist. It's done in a tongue-in-cheek manner.

Voodoo campaigns have always been about the Voodoo women being strong, confident and in control." - From the Sydney Morning Herald
Of course if we reverse the genders in this ad we clearly have sexism and some will also cry misogyny. Some feminists have this habit to argue that women can´t be sexist towards men.
Thus feminists reject the notion that women can be sexist towards men because women lack the institutional power that men have. - From finallyfeminism101
So what is an feminist reaction to such an ad?
Portraying women as sex objects is much more dangerous than doing the same to men, says feminist commentator Eva Cox, who lectures at the University of Technology, Sydney.

"You can't always apply the same gender analysis," she says. "Objectifying women on its own is not a problem. But part of the problem is that it feeds into the idea that women are just there to be f---ed."

"[The ad] is actually sort of spoofing something and putting women into a dominatrix position. But, apart from giving the odd bloke a slightly uncomfortable feeling from looking at it, do we really need to get our knickers in a knot?

"[Objectification] doesn't feed into men being raped, which is the main issue with women being objectified." - From the Sydney Morning Herald

Interestingly there seems to be no gender difference when it comes to the effects of objectifying:

Effects of Sexually Objectifying Media on Self-Objectification and Body Surveillance in Undergraduates: Results of Two-Year Panel Study

Sexual Objectification: A surprising finding in this study was the lack of a gender difference in this relationship. This is consistent with experimental evidence that has shown that self-objectification can be primed in both men and women (Fredrickson et al., 1998; Roberts & Gettman, 2004); thus, this study adds that the long-term
influence of media on self-objectification is also applicable to both men and women.


This study suggests that there is relative gender equity in the media’s ability to socialize people to self-objectify. In fact, judging that exposure to sexually objectifying television and magazines at year 1 increased body surveillance at year 2 for men but not for women, one might conclude that the media’s ability to increase body
surveillance was stronger for men than for women. One possible explanation for this surprising gender difference is that for women, body monitoring is normative and thus not as susceptible to influence by media exposure as it is for men. Indeed, because body-monitoring activities are considered deeply socialized components of femininity (McKinley & Hyde, 1996), it might be more influenced by interpersonal sources, such as friends, family, and significant others. Although exposure to sexually objectifying television enhanced trait SO for both men and women, the stronger effect of media exposure for men was on body surveillance. - from
To say "[Objectification] doesn't feed into men being raped, which is the main issue with women being objectified." is unfounded and simply a lie. Pornography that leads to "male-centered objectification of women" (quoting some feminists here) has not lead to more rapes.

Contrariwise some researches have concluded that there is an inverse relationship between an increased availability of pornography and a decrease in sexual crime. Since 1973, a time where there was not much pornography available compared to today, rape has diminished in frequency by some 85 percent:

according to the National Crime Victimization Surveys of the U.S. DoJ.

The hypocrisy of Ms Cox can hardly be overseen. I ask myself if "objectifying" women "apart from giving the odd woman a slightly uncomfortable feeling from looking at it, do we really need to get our knickers in a knot" about it? No not really....that would be sexist.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy Birthday

When I listen to songs in English, I noticed I can completely ignore the text while a song in German just forces it´s meaning into my head. So as I as listening to some older songs I had flying arround I wondered what that song is all about.

It is called "Happy Birthday" by the hip hop and R&B group Flipsyde. Now you can think about the song what you want, it presents a position you will almost never find portrayed in the media.

What we learn from the lyrics:
Please accept my apologies,I wonder what would have been.
Would you hava been a little angel or an angel of sin?
Tom-boy running around, hanging with all the guys.
Or a little tough boy with beautiful brown eyes.

I paid for the murder before they determined the sex,
Choosing our life over your life meant your death.
And you never got a chance to even open your eyes,
Sometimes I wonder as a fetus if you fought for your life.


I think about it every year, so I picked up a pen.
Happy birthday, I love you whoever you would’ve been.
I got a million excuses, as to why you died.
And other people got their own reasons for homicide.
Who’s to say it would’ve worked and who’s to say it wouldn’t have
I was young and struggling, but old enough to be a dad.
The fear of being my father has never disappeared,
I ponder it frequently while I’m sippin’ on my beer,
My vision of a family was artifical and fake
So when it came time to create, I made a mistake.


I’ll never tell a woman what to do with her body,
But if she don’t love children, then we can’t party.

And from the Heavens to the womb to the Heavens again.
From the ending to the ending, never got to begin.
Maybe one day we can meet face to face, in a place without time and space.

- shortend by me see full text here

A man struggling after an abortion, calling it murder comparing it to homicide and yet says he would never tell a woman what to do with her body. When it comes to abortion the role of the father is simply overseen. It is even worse. He does not even have the right to decide, nor to be informed. It is her body and her choice. But when in the abortion clinic it suddenly is her body his fault. Great another double standard:

One theme surfaces repeatedly in the commentaries: feckless boyfriends who abandon their partners in their hour of greatest need.

Hadley Arkes of Amherst College describes women having an abortion as routinely "Abandoned by the man." And Dorinda Bordlee from the Bioethics Defense Fund obliquely refers to fathers as "those who should be caring for [the mothers] and their unborn children."

So does research back up these broad pronouncements of male abandonment?

In their book Men and Abortion: Lessons, Losses, and Love, Shostak and McLouth report that 44% of single men offered to marry the woman, 18% of the couples had discussed adoption, and half the men accompanied the woman to the abortion clinic - hardly the image of wholesale male abandonment.

When these men show up at the clinic, they are met with a chilly reception. Two-thirds of the fathers want to accompany their partner throughout the experience, and nine out of 10 hope to hold the hand of their partner in the recovery room. But in most cases abortion clinics prohibit men from such expressions of support.

But the NRO panel reserves its harshest criticism for men who force their girlfriends to abort.

Walter Weber at the American Center for Law and Justice claims that "many" women (we aren't told the number) obtain abortions because "they are coerced by boyfriends, bosses, parents, etc."

Joseph Dellapenna of Villanova University states, "Significant evidence led one sociologist to conclude that 'the attitude of the man is the most important variable in a woman's decision to have an abortion." Dellapenna does not cite, however, the name of the sociologist or explain what constitutes "significant evidence."

And Frederica Mathewes-Green recounts the tales of two women who were undergoing an abortion. As they lay on the clinic table, both of them were praying that the boyfriend would burst through the doors and say, "Stop, I changed my mind." Mathewes-Green's imagery of the angelic woman succumbing to the spell of the conniving male is unmistakable.

But research paints a very different picture.

Several years ago Carol Gilligan's acclaimed study, In a Different Voice, examined the dynamics of the abortion decision. She found in only one-third of cases did the father have any influence on the woman's decision to abort.

Likewise, professors Arthur Shostak, Ross Koppel, and Jennifer Perkins recently summarized several large-scale surveys of men in abortion clinic waiting rooms. They reported that only 19% of men in waiting rooms affirmed the idea of abortion in general, and fewer than 5% of men "may have cajoled their partner into having the abortion."

The conclusion is clear: men are not dragging their pregnant girlfriends willy-nilly into abortion clinics against their will.

Abortion is one of those moral and social tragedies that seems to invite simplistic explanations. But the reality is far more complex.

For example, none of the NRO participants mentioned the fact that thanks to the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision Casey v. Planned Parenthood, women are not required to inform the father of the impending abortion. That's an important omission -- according to clinic workers, in 15% of abortions the man never finds out, or learns of the deed until it's too late.

I once met such a man - years later he was still grieving the silent loss of his precious innocent.

A growing body of research reveals that fathers suffer a variety of ill-consequences following the abortion. Dr. Catherine Coyle recently reviewed 28 studies that reveal men often suffer regret, sadness, and depression. One-third admit to a longing to see the fetus.

Coyle sums up the research with this observation: "Several authors have noted a tendency among men to defer the abortion decision to their female partners as well as a tendency to repress their own emotions in an attempt to support their partners."

Many argue that women are the second victim of the grisly abortion industry. Clearly men can be victims, as well. So when will we stop treating fathers as social pariahs? - From here

Of course we have feminist rethorics as well:

Kim Gandy, president of the National OrganizationKim Gandy, president of NOW for Women, supports Roe v. Wade for women but says about Roe v. Wade For Men:

According to the National Center for Men Web site, as a result of Roe v. Wade, "[w]omen now have control of their lives after an unplanned conception. But men are routinely forced to give up control, forced to be financially responsible for choices only women are permitted to make, forced to relinquish reproductive choice as the price of intimacy.” That's a whole lot of talk that, when you get right down to it, means "have an abortion or I get to walk away." Either way it means zero consequences and zero responsibility, and they want the courts to call it "reproductive choice for men." - Found on battlingblog

A classical example of rights without the responsibilities, undoubtly with the aid of society and a lot of men in the process as well. People need to open their eyes and so it is a good think the above song exists. Kudos to flipsyde.

Some more about after-abortion depression in men (it is not an imagined topic as some might think). A summary (click on the table to see bigger version):

- more on that one here