New studies show discrimination widely reported by women, people of color and LGBTQ adults

U.S. public opinion is divided over who faces discrimination. fizkes/Shutterstock.com Mary G. Findling, Harvard University; John M. Benson, Harvard University, and Robert J. Blendon, Harvard University In recent years, U.S. public opinion has been divided about the existence and seriousness of racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination. Amid growing racial divides in civil and political views, our research team at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in partnership with NPR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, asked 3,453 adults about their experiences of discrimination. We surveyed adults who identified as members of six groups often underrepresented in public opinion research: blacks, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, women and LGBTQ adults. Our studies, published in December, show that people from these groups report high levels of discrimination from both institutions and other people. Widespread reported discrimination The articles were ba…
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God made the rainbow: why the Bible welcomes a gender spectrum

The Bible affirms, in various ways, the inclusion of those who diverge from male-female gender norms. Shutterstock Robyn J. Whitaker, University of Divinity This article is part of a series exploring gender and Christianity “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve,” is a line I’ve heard more than once in Christian circles. The Bible is often evoked to support so-called traditional views about gender. That is, there are only two binary genders and that is the way God intended it. But is this really the case? Claims about gender in the Bible usually begin with the creation narratives. But the Adam and Eve story is also not as straightforward as it might appear when it comes to gender, namely because in English, we miss the Hebrew wordplay. Adam is not a proper name in Hebrew, but rather the transliteration into English of a Hebrew word a-d-m. Using the imagery of God as potter, “the adam” is a humanoid being created out of the adamah (the earth).   Read more: O…
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Right-swipes and red flags – how young people negotiate sex and safety on dating apps

For many young people, app dating is just part of regular dating life. freestocks.org/Unsplash

Kath Albury, Swinburne University of Technology and Anthony McCosker, Swinburne University of Technology

Popular commentary on dating apps often associates their use with “risky” sex, harassment and poor mental health. But anyone who has used a dating app knows there’s much more to it than that.

Our new research shows dating apps can improve young people’s social connections, friendships and intimate relationships. But they can also be a source of frustration, rejection and exclusion.

Our study is the first to invite app users of diverse genders and sexualities to share their experiences of app use, safety and well-being. The project combined an online survey with interviews and creative workshops in urban and regional New South Wales with 18 to 35 year olds.

While dating apps were used to meet people for sex and…

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Climate crisis could reverse progress in achieving gender equality

Nitya Rao, University of East Anglia People who directly depend on the natural world for their livelihoods, like farmers and fishers, will be among the greatest victims of the climate crisis. In vulnerable hotspots, such as the arid lands of Kenya and Ethiopia, farming communities are already struggling with droughts and water scarcity that kill their cattle and threaten their very survival. The glacial-fed river basins of the Himalayan mountains, or the deltas of Bangladesh, India and Ghana, are increasingly prone to floods, landslides and powerful cyclones. As a result, men are often migrating further to keep their families going, looking for casual work in neighbouring towns or villages for a few days or weeks at a time, or to cities further away. Many try to return home when they can, with whatever they have earned. But during their absence, the entire burden of maintaining the family is on women.   Read more: COP24 climate talks had a 'people’s voice', but did a…
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10-year Challenge reveals femmephobia in gay communities

Participants at the Montréal Pride Celebrations a decade ago. Researchers say there is an overemphasis on muscular and ‘masculine’ bodies in gay communities. Shutterstock Adam Davies, University of Guelph and Rhea Ashley Hoskin, Queen's University, Ontario This year, the 10-Year Challenge appeared as a social media fad on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. For the challenge (also called the 2009 vs. 2019 Challenge), people post two side-by-side photos of themselves to show how much they’ve changed: one photo is current and the other from 10 years ago. The opportunity to self-reflect on a decade’s worth of changes can be a wonderful opportunity to assess one’s development. This may be especially true for queer and trans people who may have significant changes to share as they become more open about their identity.   But for others, the posts may feel less celebratory. They may even feel self-denigrating. Many gay men describe their 2009 picture as “gross,” “unattractive” …
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Climate conferences are male, pale and stale – it’s time to bring in women

Maria Tanyag, Australian National University and Jacqui True, Monash University The COP25 climate meeting in Madrid concluded over the weekend. As in past meetings, the talks failed to make much progress on international climate action. And again, the views and needs of women were largely ignored. Among the aims of the COP, or conference of parties to the Paris Agreement, was working towards “ambitious and gender-inclusive climate action”. That is, recognising the need to integrate gender considerations into national and international climate action. The first step to achieving this aim would be gender parity at international climate conferences such as the Madrid COP. While we don’t yet know how many of the 13,000 registered governmental delegates were women, based on past numbers they are unlikely to make up more than a quarter.   Read more: Worldwide, climate change is worse news for women This is not the only forum where the experiences of women are ignored…
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Men feel stressed if their female partners earn more than 40% of household income – new research

Shutterstock/5 second Studio Joanna Syrda, University of Bath The best marriages are probably based on teamwork. But it seems individual contributions do matter – specifically, who earns how much of the household income. My research shows that in, heterosexual couples, men are happier when both partners contribute financially – but much prefer to be the main breadwinners. With stress levels high when they are sole breadwinners, men appear to be more relaxed when their wives or partners earn anything up to 40% of the household income. But their distress levels increase sharply as their spouse’s wages rise beyond that point. And they find it most stressful when they are entirely economically dependent on their partners. The findings are based on an analysis of over 6,000 married or cohabiting heterosexual couples over a period of 15 years. Levels of distress are calculated based on feeling sad, nervous, restless, hopeless, worthless, or that day to day life is an effort. M…
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How many Australians are not heterosexual? It depends on who, what and when you ask

Who identifies as non-heterosexual varies on who, what and when you ask. AAP/Joel Carrett Francisco Perales, The University of Queensland and Alice Campbell, The University of Queensland Almost two years after the heated discussions accompanying the 2017 marriage equality postal survey, LGB Australians remain at the centre of public debates. For example, there are ongoing issues around religious freedoms, and homosexuality was at the centre of Israel Folau’s controversial statements. But one aspect about the Australian LGB populations that is often ignored is who, and how many, belong to them. In fact, there is a large degree of uncertainty internationally about the share of the non-heterosexual population. The accuracy of early US studies by Alfred Kinsey has been largely discredited. More recent work by demographer Gary Gates provided more robust information, but left many questions unanswered.   Read more: Marriage equality was momentous, but there is still muc…
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Big city gaybourhoods: where they come from and why they still matter

Scott McKinnon, University of Wollongong This is the third article in our series, Cities for Everyone, which explores how members of different communities experience and shape our cities, and how we can create better public spaces for everyone. In London, there is Soho; in New York, Chelsea and Greenwich Village; and in San Francisco, there is the Castro. In Sydney, there is Darlinghurst and, more specifically, Oxford Street. These are neighbourhoods of large cities that have, since at least the 1950s and often earlier, developed a reputation as queer spaces. In more recent years, those reputations have begun to fade and the enduring meanings of the “gaybourhood” have come into question. But what each of these places represents is the centrality of urban space to the emergence of visible, “out and proud” lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities and communities.   Read more: Friday essay: on the Sydney Mardi Gras march of 1978 Queer Sydney in …
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