What Would You Do?

An interesting experiment was done in a small town Texas diner to see how citizens of the conservative and anti-LGBTQ rights leaning state would react to the harassment of an LGBTQ couple. I was shocked and almost moved to tears by this video. What are your thoughts?

Study links anti-LGBT bullying with health risks

A study was recently published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing, which links adolescent bullying about someone’s gender identity or sexual orientation and overall health risks. The study, titled “Family Acceptance in Adolescence and the Health of LGBT Young Adults”, is the first of its kind to make connections between adolescent bullying experiences with a range of negative health outcomes later in life. Some of the negative health outcomes  include suicide attempts that require medical care, depression,  STIs and STDs and risk of HIV. Pop on over to the Family Acceptance Project to learn more about the study and efforts being done to prevent LGBT bullying.

Special thanks to Feministing.com for posting about the study.  Jos made some additional great points about bullying among youth:

“I also think it’s important to note that, while this survey focused on LGBT young adults, it’s not just folks who come out as queer, trans, or gender non-conforming who experience anti-LGBT bullying and its negative impact. Literally anyone can experience anti-LGBT hate regardless of their actual sexuality or gender identity. Bullying’s about the bullies perception, and really more about their own problems, a way to throw the hate inside of them at someone else. Queer, trans, and gender non-conforming young people are sadly an easy target.”

This brings us back to some of the same questions posed in an earlier post – How can we address this group in the context of larger prevention efforts and programs? How do we adequately address the topic in an already full curriculum and in less than sympathetic environments?

Racism and ‘Science’

Sunday, Psychology Today published an article titled “Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The article was taken down after a overwhelming backlash about the piece. However, it has been reposted here and is definitely worth the look. The article talks about how African American women are “objectively” less attractive than other women, but “subjectively” find themselves more attractive. Frankly, I have no idea what it’s trying to say other than blatantly racist nonsense. It’s also very unsound in terms of ‘scientifc’ research. Who are the people polled? How were they identified? And most importantly, how can a broad generalization and conclusion such as this be drawn from a sampling of people’s opinions? Furthermore, I don’t understand why or how the author, Satoshi Kanazawa, got the article published. I also don’t understand how he could be a professor of evolutionary psychology at the London School of Economics. Maybe I’m off base in thinking that at the very least such an individual would make for some bad press for your learning institution. You can read more criticism of the article at Feministing.com.

What are your thoughts on the entire fiasco? What does this mean for working towards equality and social justice? How can we use this as a teaching tool or stepping stone?

Gender stereotypes easing for some?

As progressive individuals reproduce and begin to socialize their own children, there’s a push to overcome rigid traditional gender stereotypes. Yet, this deviation from the norm is consistently met with backlash and hostility. Are we damaging our children by allowing little girls to play sports, enjoy building toys, or encouraging our little boys to play with dolls, allowing them to like the color pink, etc? This argument is at the forefront (yet, again) after the creative director of JCrew, Jenna Lyon’s, ran a promotion depicting her 5 year-old-son’s toenails painted with pink nail polish. The caption read, “Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink.” The promotion sparked huge backlash as well as overwhelming support as the debate about how to best parent raged on. You can read the article in its entirety here.

The debate posed a great question, are gender stereotypes easing for girls more so than boys? If so, in what ways? What are your thoughts?

On the other side of the argument, I beg to differ that pressures to conform to rigid gender roles are easing at all. With examples such as Suri Cruise, I almost think quite the opposite.

Eastside High School student, 19, accused of raping 15-year-old girl in auditorium

One of our local high schools, Eastside High School, had a horrific incident happen last week. During school hours, a 15-year-old female student was lured into the auditorium by two male students, molested by one and raped by the second. You can read the story in its entirety here. One male student is facing sexual battery charges, while the other is facing lewd and lascivious molestation. While the article leaves the reader with a lot of unanswered questions (which is often the case with violent crimes and youth), the most puzzling aspect is that the incident took place during school hours. Why wasn’t the auditorium locked if it wasn’t in use? How was there an unsupervised opportunity for this to take place?

Regardless of why/how this was able to happen during school hours, it is a startling reminder that we have a ton of work left to do. What would be your first step? How could this negative and horrible experience be utilized for positive change?

The Man’s Guide to Love

There’s a new forum online called The Man’s Guide to Love. Sneak a peek at the video below:

What are your thoughts? Do you think this is sharing healthy relationship skills and tips? Wy? Why not? No matter what your gender, what advice would you give about relationships?

Teen Dating Violence App

There’s an app for that?! Apparently so! The smart phone ‘app’ was developed and made available to help young people recognize the signs of abuse, and learn what they can do to stop it. According to the WTNH.com article, “Most teenagers spend a lot of time on their smart phones, and now there’s a new app, a ‘td4-1-1’, that’s available to help them address a real concern for too many of them, teen dating violence.” It was just released in Hartford, Connecticut. You can read more about the free download here.