Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Cloisterstudy - Or is there a biological age gap between men and women?

A data-heavy posting, more formating and translation work than anything else:

The starting point and until today the most important research project of the cloister study is the question if male excess mortality (in the industrialized countries currently 5-8 years in life expectancy at birth) is mainly caused by biological factors (genetic or hormonal differences) or non-biological factors (differences in life-style or environmental issues). The fact that non-biological risk factors can be largely ruled out inside the catholic cloistered population allows testing the impact of biological causes on female survival advantages. The works of this study have been awarded with the first prize for researches by young scholars of the German Foundation for World Population (DSW) and the German Association for Demography (DGD) in 1998 and with the Gunther Beyer Award of the European Association of Population Studies (EAPS) in 2003.
Numbers of individuals, deaths, and person-years at risk lived above age 25 of Bavarian nuns and monks during the observation periods

Bavarian Nuns                Bavarian Monks
Period      lived years      C.D.R.      lived years      C.D.R.
1955/1985     87.944,99       20,49        37.194,32       18,26
1960/1990     81.518,14       22,98        35.752,86       20,67
1965/1995     73.506,72       26,24        33.592,63       23,37
C.D.R. = Crude death rate

Life expectancy at age 25 e25 for females and males of the general German population and for Bavarian nuns and monks with prevailing sex differences
German Population                Bavarian Nuns and Monks
Mortality table  difference      Mortality table  difference
1960/1962              4,55       1946/1976             0,71*
1964/1966              5,03       1950/1980             0,99*
1970/1972              5,49       1955/1985             0,80*
1974/1976              5,73       1960/1990             1,57*
1979/1981              6,06       1965/1995             2,27*
* Statistical signifcant difference from the German 
population on the 95%-confidence-level

Numbers of individuals, deaths, and person-years at risk lived above age 25 of Bavarian nuns and monks during the observation periods
Bavarian Nuns                                                          Bavarian Monks
Period        Persons        Deaths     lived years      C.D.R.        Persons        Deaths     lived years      C.D.R.
1955/1985       4.082         1.802       87.944,99       20,49          1.788           679       37.194,32       18,26
1960/1990       3.828         1.873       81.518,14       22,98          1.744           739       35.752,86       20,67
1965/1995       3.543         1.929       73.506,72       26,24          1.702           785       33.592,63       23,37
C.D.R. = Crude death rate

Life expectancy at age 25 e25 for females and males of the general German population and for Bavarian nuns and monks with prevailing sex differences

German Population                                  Bavarian Nuns and Monks
Mortality table   Women      Men  difference       Mortality table    Women      Men  difference
1960/1962         50,33    45,78        4,55       1946/1976          49,12*   48,41*       0,71*
1964/1966         50,89    45,86        5,03       1950/1980          50,05*   49,06*       0,99*
1970/1972         51,14    45,65        5,49       1955/1985          50,95    50,15*       0,80*
1974/1976         51,79    46,06        5,73       1960/1990          51,88    50,31*       1,57*
1979/1981         53,05    46,99        6,06       1965/1995          52,88    50,61*       2,27*
* Statistical signifcant difference from the German population on the 95%-confidence-level

Life expectancy at age 25 for German females and males and for Bav. nuns and monks represented at the mid calendar year of the observation periods

Frauen = Women | Männer = Men | Nonnen = Nuns | Mönche = Monks

In conclusion, if there is a biological difference, the difference is very small (about 2 years). To answer the question why men die earlier, we have to look at many different factors and I will eventually do so in another post. Nevertheless male health does not have the same focus female health has and without a doubt the difference in mortality rates is another reason we should have a closer look at men's health.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Capitalism and feminism

More than once I have heard feminists claim that patriarchy equals capitalism and that they want to get rid of both.

Some food for thought...
"It is unfortunate today that many advocate's of women's rights mistakenly regard capitalism as their enemy. The historical truth is that it was capitalism that made it possible for a woman to earn an independent living. It was capitalism, with its underlying philosophy of individualism, that made the emergence of contemporary feminism historically inevitable." - Nathaniel Branden - The Psychology of romantic love

Obama on fathers

Barack Obama has announced that men 'need to be knocked across the head' to see the imbalance between how much work fathers and mothers put into raising children.

The U.S. president said he knew it was not fair for his wife Michelle to have to 'make sacrifices' all the time.
Recently in the Daily Mail and really nothing new by Obama as he critisized fathers before.
But if we are honest with ourselves, we'll admit that what too many fathers also are is missing - missing from too many lives and too many homes. They have abandoned their responsibilities, acting like boys instead of men. And the foundations of our families are weaker because of it.
Besides the obvious double standard (no one would suggest one should ever knock anything on mothers heads), President Obama seems to have a very simple view of things when it comes to parenthood. Overworked mothers, feckless fathers and a need to push men in the right direction.

A simple view indeed. What about trusting Joe and Jane Normal they both are able to figure out how to arrange their family life, due to their best interests and abilities (as President Obama and his wife obviously have done). And looking at time tables we find out that men actually work as much as women. So the average person already balances this out. Also keep in mind that men are doing more housework and child care than ever and a lot of working dads would consider to be a SAHD and the deadbeat dads we learn about are often "dead broke" dads. In addition, we do not have to forget injustices fathers compared to mother face when it comes to divorce courts or seeing their children after all (PAS).

So what is happening here? Obama is basicly spitting into fathers faces and saying, do more. And contrary to popular believe fathers are already doing there equal share and considering to do more child caring (and less work) if they could financially, while other fathers who want to be good parents are denied their possibility to see their own children.

Society, divorce courts and the law already regard fathers as second class parents, we don´t need another one that undermines fathers.

What he could have done would be reaching out to fathers. Realising the plights fathers are having, removing the injustices, helping to put fathers on the same podest mothers are now on (or removing this podest completely). This would have let to more fathers being with their children. But what did you expect from a guy that talks about deadbeat dads on father's day? (We don´t talk about mothers abusing children on mother's day or about the vile acts christians have done on X-mas)

It is time to say something nice about fathers.

Trafficking: Blown out of proportion?

Another post about trafficking. And I am pretty sure simply by saying trafficking you know that I actually talk about the 4% of slaves that are forced into prostituion (instead of the 96% of labour slaves).

Anyhow, a recent move against trafficking in the UK really went the wrong way (found via Glenn Sack's blog).

The Home Office estimates that there are between 6,000 and 18,000 trafficked women and girls being forced to work as prostitutes in the UK.


The UK's biggest ever investigation of sex trafficking failed to find a single person who had forced anybody into prostitution in spite of hundreds of raids on sex workers in a six-month campaign by government departments, specialist agencies and every police force in the country.


Current and former ministers have claimed that thousands of women have been imported into the UK and forced to work as sex slaves, but most of these statements were either based on distortions of quoted sources or fabrications without any source at all. a follow up post, we learn that the officials had a hard time to find any evidence for the thousands of trafficked women at all. Also another interesting comment.
Nikki Adams, for her part, has some ideas about that. She and her organization have defended sex workers in court and attempted to help them in many ways for years. She says that in all that time of helping prostitutes in the United Kingdom, she has encountered a grand total of two who had been coerced into the trade. Her very strong opinion is that essentially all prostitutes engage in sex for hire as their free choice for the purposes of earning an income. That view, of course, accords with the findings (or non-findings) of Operation Parameter Two, the police sweep of houses of prostitution, that found no traffickers whatsoever.
After reading this I was reminded of a similar case in Germany. Googling "trafficking world cup Germany" will get you many results. An example
It has been estimated that some 40,000 women, many under age, will have been be illegally trafficked into Germany for the World cup games. Germany, like most countries, has had a problem of illegal trafficking for some time but what is unusual is the scale of the trafficking and the fact that Germany is making so many plans to encourage it.

In Berlin, close to the Olympic stadium, a new mega-brothel has just opened. Covering some 400 square meters, it houses a health club, restaurants, and some 70 rooms where up to 600 clients a day may be serviced. Similar brothels in Cologne and Dortmund will open before the games begin. Other cities have set up drive-thru centers, nicknamed “ Verrichtungsbox” roughly translated as “performance boxes” where sex will be performed in small cubicles to ensure the anonymity of the clients.
One of many articles. No matter what you heard, the 40,000 under-age trafficked prostitutes where all over the net. Apparently just in the net.
Last summer, lurid headlines claimed that 40,000 women would be smuggled by sex slavers into Germany to be prostituted to World Cup football fans. The truth is very different indeed. Newly unrestricted European Union documents reveal that the German police uncovered just five cases of ‘human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation’ related to the international football tournament.

Despite a huge ‘awareness-raising’ campaign, the setting up of telephone hotlines run by non-governmental organisations, and extra police checks on Germany’s borders, the prostitution scare stories, boosted by an unholy alliance of European left-wingers, feminists, police officers, Christians, the American right and US President George W Bush, have turned out to be pure fiction.


‘The increase in forced prostitution and human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation during the 2006 World Cup in Germany which was feared by some did not materialise’, concludes one report. ‘There was no sign whatsoever of the alleged 40,000 prostitutes/forced prostitutes - a figure repeatedly reported, also in international media - who were to be brought to Germany for the 2006 World Cup.’

German police officers and border guards stepped up operations in the run-up to and during the World Cup, but the huge effort failed to find the pimps, or their victims, said to be swarming across Europe’s frontiers.


In contrast to the horror stories involving enslaved Africans, Latin Americans, Asians or Russians, the five were from countries that are members of the EU, or which were soon to be members, and all were entitled to travel freely to Germany; indeed, one was actually a German. Of the others, two were from Bulgaria, one from the Czech Republic, another Hungarian victim was a 20-year-old man.


‘Fifty-one cases of forced prostitution were discovered, 23 of those were suspicions, 28 cases proved to be cases of forced prostitution’, says the report. ‘However, all these cases, as all calls in general, were not connected to the FIFA World Cup, but to trafficking in general.’
It really makes you wonder where these high numbers come from. Probably not the most reliable sources.