'Fraternities offer their members opportunities for community service, friendship, and leadership. They also create environments that seem to breed hazing, binge drinking, and sexual assault. Universities have struggled to harness fraternities’ power for good and diminish their capability for evil, but so far little has worked. So what can universities do to stem the flow of fatalities, injuries, and sexual assaults at fraternities? Instead of threatening fraternities with everything from limited rush week activities to double secret probation, some think the solution is to end the reign of fraternities on American campuses altogether. Last month, Bloomberg’s editors called for college administrations to abolish fraternities. Caitlin Flanagan called for the “shuttering” of fraternities in a 2011 Wall Street Journal piece. Other writers have penned similar pieces.
These articles take for granted that Greek life can be dethroned, but the reality is more complicated. It would take more than angsty editorials to push fraternities off of the American college campus. Fraternities and universities share a centuries-long history, a student body eager to find the collegiate promise land of keg-fueled parties, and a relationship that is, in many ways, mutually beneficial. If deaths, binge drinking, and sexual assault haven’t been enough to bring them down, what would have to happen to dismantle fraternities? Here are some possible scenarios:'
'A central Ohio principal says she suspended a 10-year-old boy from school for three days for pretending his finger was a gun and pointing it at another student's head.
The boy's father says it's the adults who are acting childish for suspending the boy from Devonshire Alternative Elementary School in Columbus last week.
The fifth-grader said he was "just playing around." But district spokesman Jeff Warner told The Columbus Dispatch ( HTTP://BIT.LY/1JO1RL7* ) that Devonshire Principal Patricia Price has warned students about pretend gun play numerous times this year, and everyone should know the rules by now. He said warnings have been included in three newsletters sent home with kids.
Warner says the boy put his finger to the side of the other student's head and pretended to shoot "kind of execution style."
"The kids were told, `If you don't stop doing this type of stuff, there would be consequences,'" Warner said. "It's just been escalating."'
'It is a challenge that runs throughout the nation’s industrial heartland, in farm states and across the South, after a half-century of economic, demographic and cultural shifts that have reshaped the electorate. Even in places like Michigan, where it has been decades since union membership lists readily predicted Democratic votes, many in the party pay so little attention to white working-class men that it suggests they have effectively given up on converting them.
No Democratic presidential candidate has won a majority of white men since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all prevailed with support of the so-called rising electorate of women, especially single women, and minorities. But fewer of those voters typically participate in midterm elections, making the votes of white men more potent and the struggle of Democrats for 2014 clear.
Democrats generally win the votes of fewer than four in 10 white men. But they win eight of 10 minority voters and a majority of women, who have been a majority of the national electorate since 1984, while white men have shrunk to a third, and are still shrinking.
Some white men have proved to be within reach: single men, college students and graduates with advanced degrees, the nonreligious, and gay men. But working-class married men remain hardest to win over and, unless they are in unions, get the least attention — to the dismay of some partisans.
Democrats’ gloom about white men was eased temporarily by Mr. Obama’s 2008 election when he won 41 percent of white male voters — the first time a Democrat exceeded 40 percent since Mr. Carter in 1976. But their support for his re-election fell to 35 percent, roughly what Democrats have gotten since they lost to Richard Nixon.'
'The largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among U.S. military personnel today released its first findings related to suicide attempts and deaths in a series of three JAMA Psychiatry articles. Findings from The Army Study to Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (Army STARRS) include: the rise in suicide deaths from 2004 to 2009 occurred not only in currently and previously deployed soldiers, but also among soldiers never deployed; nearly half of soldiers who reported suicide attempts indicated their first attempt was prior to enlistment; and soldiers reported higher rates of certain mental disorders than civilians, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), intermittent explosive disorder (recurrent episodes of extreme anger or violence), and substance use disorder.
The articles reflect different strategies to evaluate information on suicide risk and potentially protective factors. An article by lead author Michael Schoenbaum of NIMH examined the suicide and accident death rates in relation to basic socio-demographic and Army experience factors in the 975,057 regular Army soldiers who served between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2009. This study found that the suicide rates increased during this time period, even among those who had never deployed, and also found that being deployed increased suicide risk for women more than it did for men. However, suicide risk still remained lower for deployed women than for deployed men.
Although the root causes for the rise in Army suicides still remain unknown, these three studies point to risk factors, which may help identify potential protective factors, focus existing prevention programs, and foster the development of novel efforts to reduce suicide and suicidal thoughts and actions among service members at higher risk.'
'Two decades after the passage of a landmark law mandating that women be represented in government-funded medical research, a new report reveals that the world of science is still ignoring women's unique health issues far more than it should.
While women are now more routinely included in clinical trials and an entire field of women's health has emerged beyond reproductive health, "there are still enormous gaps in the scientific process as it relates to women," said Johnson, who is executive director of The Connors Center for Women's Health at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.
However, Gordon said, a lot of researchers don't want to do studies on women of childbearing age due to their monthly hormonal fluctuations, for example.
"When you're doing animal studies, you want to make things as standardized as possible," she explained. "If you add in gender, how do you standardize, especially considering the hormone issues," but that doesn't excuse the disparity, Gordon noted.
Gordon said pregnancy and safety to unborn children are concerns, too. "Again, I'm not excusing it or saying it's an appropriate reason, but it is a concern investigators have," she pointed out.
Women need to drive the conversation, said Dr. Eve Higginbotham, vice dean for diversity and inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia.
"We still have a lot of bias embedded in academic medicine, and certainly it comes down to the people actually doing the studies," said Higginbotham. "Women are still struggling to get to the highest levels of academic medicine. In many cases, women are not the primary drivers in many of these studies."
Higginbotham noted that the highest levels of academia in medical schools are still slim on women -- women only represent 5 percent of medical professors in the United States.'
'A shocking illustration of unintended consequences -- the long-term analysis of 1200 domestic violence cases in Milwaukee marks the greatest challenge yet to the “mandatory arrest” policies that were adopted across North America and Britain in the 1980s. Those policies, for domestic assault without serious injury, came after years of police minimizing domestic violence as a private family matter, and are broadly supported as key to reducing harm.
Based on an experiment in Milwaukee, it shows a four-fold increase in early death for victims who were employed at the time of the violence, with an even stronger effect among African-Americans. The findings are to be presented jointly in the U.S. and at a policing conference in the U.K.
“It remains to be seen whether democracies can accept these facts as they are, rather than as we might wish them to be,” writes Lawrence W. Sherman, a criminologist at Cambridge University, in an article co-authored with Edward Flynn, Milwaukee’s chief of police.
“It should be a warning to Canada, where there’s never been this kind of experiment,” Prof. Sherman said, but added neither the Canadian government nor police “have shown any interest in using rigorous testing methods to develop evidence about the effects of police decisions, or to compare the effects of two possible ways of dealing with a policing situation.”'
Article here. Or perhaps it is equally due to older mothers - or the increased incidence of diagnosing psychiatric illnesses. Excerpt:
'Children born to fathers over the age of 45 are at greater risk of developing psychiatric problems and more likely to struggle at school, according to the findings of a large-scale study.
The research found that children with older fathers were more often diagnosed with disorders such as autism, psychosis, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. They also reported more drug abuse and suicide attempts.
"We were shocked when we saw the comparisons," said Brian D'Onofrio, the first author of the study at Indiana University in the US. But he added that it was impossible to be sure that older age was to blame for the problems.
Researchers at Indiana University and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm studied medical and educational records of more than 2.6 million babies born to 1.4 million men. The group amounted to nearly 90% of births in Sweden from 1973 and 2001.
Ryan Edwards, who studies the economics of health and ageing at the City University of New York, said the study revealed "some evidence that paternal age may worsen children's psychiatric, behavioral and educational outcomes."
But he warned that the results hinged on the scientists' comparisons between siblings. "In that setting, it is difficult to separate the overlapping effects of paternal age, children's age, and birth order in a convincing way," he said.
'Girls are better than boys -- in literacy, at least. And the gender gap keeps getting wider.
Males have been doing worse compared to their female classmates when taking the Grade 10 Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) during the last five years -- from 6.6% below the girls in 2009 to 9% last year, according to this year's Fraser Institute Secondary School Report Card.
"That's a fair increase -- almost 50% increase from where it was before," said the Fraser Institute's Peter Cowley.
Meanwhile, the Grade 9 math gender gap favoured boys at 45% of schools across the province. The sexes performed evenly at 32.4% of schools.
Education research analyst Terri Thompson said girls seem to be doing better in all academic areas except math. The reading gap between boys and girls has been a long-standing issue for the past few decades.
"One of the reasons why girls are starting to do better in science is because literacy is becoming more embedded in the curriculum across the board," she said. "Narrative fiction is what girls tend to enjoy, whereas boys often don't enjoy that as much," she added. "But they have a wide range of material they often do enjoy, but are often not represented in schools -- like non-fiction and some graphic novels."'
'The fact is that “rape culture” is a form of popular mania like so many others before it. It does not exist. Or if it does, nobody has yet brought forward evidence of it. What we have seen is ideology attached to a great deal of personal narrative regarding unwanted or regretted sex. Some of those narratives have been compelling, but unsupported by evidence. Some have been compelling and found to be false allegations. Many of the narratives are based in recollection hazed over by alcoholic smog. And most of them would not stand up for two minutes in a criminal court of law.
Many observers have become more, not less skeptical with the mounting hysteria. One such observer has done something useful to validate our skepticism. Chad Hermann, a writer and management communication professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, has published an article in communityvoices.post-gazette.com assessing both the claims and the actual statistical evidence for rape culture, in which he illuminates some glaring contradictions.
Hermann set the typical projected figure of 20-25% of women as victims of forced sex against the reported sexual assault offenses over three years at Pittsburgh’s three largest residential universities: the University of Pittsburgh (UP), Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Duquesne University (DU). In 2009: At UP, with 14,800 female students, four sexual assaults were reported. At CMU, with about 3,900 female students, six sexual assaults were reported (a three-year high). At DU, with 5,700 females, three were reported.
'Special considerations have to be made to address modesty concerns so that the Muslim girls can swim and not reveal too much of themselves.
During the hourlong swim practice, all other swimmers are cleared out of the pool. The men’s locker room is locked. Female life guards are brought in. The pool, which is on the building’s third floor, has no windows so they don’t have to worry about prying eyes from outside.
St. Paul Police Chief Tom Smith had discussions with Britts to let the Y know that, through the department’s connections with the Somali-American community, they had learned that such a group was needed.
“We have to have privacy,” said Ubah Ali, Dhamuke’s mother.
For years, Ali said she has been trying to find a place where her daughter could swim, but nothing seemed to work. Not knowing how to swim is a safety risk, especially in the state of 10,000 lakes, Ali said.
Hani Hussein, who volunteers at the Al-Ihsan Islamic Center in St. Paul, said she looked into reserving public pools for girls, but it was too expensive.
Other metro YMCAs have water safety programs, but they don’t specifically cater to the needs of Somali girls. However, Britts recalled that a YMCA in north Minneapolis did have a Somali girls swim group about a decade ago.
Funding for the group comes from two metrowide water safety grants from Hawkins Inc. and Abbey’s Hope Charitable Foundation. The police department helps provide transportation for the girls to the YMCA.'
Due to problems with user accounts being used for spam, we require all new user account requests to be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please let us know what username you would like in your email. Thanks for your patience while we look for a more permanent resolution to our spam problems.
We encourage everyone to feel free to further distribute the information found on our site, and we only ask that you help to spread the word about Mensactivism.org in the process: so please, say you saw it on Mensactivism.org!
Mensactivism.org - Tracking Men's Rights News Around the Globe!