Thursday, March 08, 2007
A non-PC World round-up !
Prostitutes are happiest in brothels
By Nick Squires in Sydney Last Updated: 7:27am GMT 02/03/2007 Prostitutes working in licensed brothels are as satisfied withtheir lot as professional women, Australian researchers have announced. But women who sell themselves on the street, or at home, are much lesshappy and at far greater risk of rape and assault. The study, by theQueensland University of Technology, suggested that the world's oldestprofession was by no means solely the domain of women from disadvantagedbackgrounds. It compared the mental and physical health of nearly 250 prostitutes,aged 18 to 57. More than four out of five women said they took upprostitution for the money, while 52 per cent pointed to the flexibleworking hours. A quarter of the women surveyed said that they had a degree and nearlytwo thirds had regular jobs before deciding to become prostitutes. Prostitution is legal in parts of Australia and there are manylicensed brothels.
daily telegraph Ethnic diversity 'not valued by UK firms'
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent Last Updated: 1:49am GMT 21/02/2007 British business is not convinced of the value of having amulti-cultural workforce, according to a study based on interviews withnearly 300 small and medium sized UK businesses. While a third agreed that ethnic diversity contributed to performance,slightly more disagreed. The CBI-backed survey by the Policy Research Institute on Ageing andEthnicity also found that although 45 per cent said their management hadpolicies for making older workers feel more included and 42 per cent ransimilar practices for female staff, only 25 per cent did so for ethnicminority staff. Small and medium sized businesses make up the majority of the UK'sfour million companies. The findings follow a Financial Times/Harrispoll which revealed that British citizens are now more hostile toimmigration than any other western European country despite evidencethat the UK has benefited from the arrival of workers from easternEurope. More than three quarters of the companies surveyed by the institutehad workforces with less than 10 per cent from ethnic minorities and 35per cent had no such workers. Naina Patel, the institute director, said: "Diversity in itselfdoesn't guarantee improved business performance, but there is an obviouscase for small and medium sized firms to be made more aware about thepotential advantages of employing people from ethnic minorities and makethe most of a still largely untapped resource.
Why girls will be girls and boys, er, boys
By Julie Henry, Education Correspondent, Sunday TelegraphLast Updated: 1:28am GMT 17/12/2006Parents have long suspected as much. Now researchers have found thatlittle boys really do just want guns and trucks while little girls wantdolls.Children are so firmly divided along gender lines by the age of fourthat despite the best efforts of teachers to prevent stereotypicalbehaviour, when left to their own devices, boys play pirates and girlsplay house.The year-long study, which observed and interviewed pupils in receptionclasses at three primary schools in the south west, found that even ifplaytime was set in the relative neutrality of an imaginary castle, boyswould kill dragons and chop people's heads off, while girls would inventdomestic stories of mums and dads, or princesses.advertisementSue Rogers, the co-author of the report and a senior lecturer at theInstitute of Education, London University, said: "When we asked childrento draw their favourite role-play theme, there were clear genderdifferences in most cases. For example the girls preferred the 'house'and the boys preferred the 'spaceship'."Equal numbers of boys and girls chose the 'castle' but the way in whichit was represented in their drawings was strikingly different." Forexample, Sam, aged five, observed: "I like dressing up as a knight. Itried to kill a dragon and soldiers were killing it and I'm watchingthem battle."However, Shelley, also five, took a much more genteel approach. "I'veput some plants in there," she said. "This boy's going to marry all thegirls. Girls are hiding away because they don't want to be married 'costhey don't like the boy."Researchers also found that even when boys were encouraged to play"house" they swiftly turned it in to a "cops and robbers" plot.By contrast, the girls revelled in the domestic or nurturing roles. Thefindings, published in the latest edition of the European EarlyChildhood Education Research Journal, appear to confirm that genderdifferences are hard-wired into children's brains from birth. As oneparent put it: "Give my girl a truck and she will feed it and put it tobed."However, according to Jennifer Smith, a child psychologist, the study isinconclusive on the nature or nurture debate. She argues that childrenare now so socialised by the age of four, having spent time innurseries, playgroups, watching television and with adults other thantheir parents, that the gender differences that appear to be inherentcould well be constructed from what they see. "Society in general offersa very gender-specific environment and it is impossible to get beyondthat," she said."There were groups, particularly in the 1970s, that tried to get awayfrom these stereotypes but 99 per cent of the population is not doingthat. You only have to look at virtually every toy magazine and everypicture of an ironing board has a girl by it and every picture of ahammer has a boy holding it. Whatever the local expectations are,children will do it." According to Miss Smith, these early gender rolesare not something, however, that parents need to worry too much about."By the time children grow up they make their own choices," she said."There are big factors such as genetic inheritance and character thataffect where you are on the continuum of male and femaleness."The play study also warned against trying to censor children's "natural"inclinations. "Adult intervention to move children on from genderstereotypical play might be counterproductive and inhibit thedevelopment of play," it said."From the point of view of children's social development, involvement,engagement and persistence, these episodes are of educational value."ccessful women begrudge husbands who earn less, study claimsby BETH HALEIn today's modern workplace women are increasingly out-earning theirmale partners.But it seems that becoming the main breadwinner does not necessarilymake for a winner on the home front.In fact, many women begrudge their partner's lack of earning power.And while they might like the rewards of success in the workplace, manydislike the financial responsibility they have strived for.As for the man, relinquishing the traditional role of provider issomething of a dent to his feelings of independence.The findings follow a study earlier this year which showed couples whokept traditional gender roles were happier.Now new research has revealed one in five women are the mainbreadwinners in their relationships.Of female high-flyers, one in six actually resented their loved one fornot earning more cash and one in ten disliked the financialresponsibility.Among men who had taken second place in the financial pecking order, onein seven said they felt stripped of their independence and one in tenfelt like they had to always ask their partner for money.Not surprisingly resentment leads to rows.Some 20 per cent of married and co-habiting couples had rowed overfinancial imbalances, the research from Skipton Building Society found.By far the greatest source of arguments was the matter of householdbills, more than a quarter had argued about who paid the greater shareand almost as many had quarrelled because they felt the other partnerwas 'irresponsible' with money.Experts say the tension is down to the fact that while attitudes towomen in the workplace have changed dramatically over the years,attitudes in the home have failed to keep pace.Last night Christine Northam, of Relate, said the issue boiled down tothe changing role of women and their increased earning ability.'Even though there is still a way to go, women's earning ability isbetter than it has ever been. But when it comes to life at home if thewoman is earning more than the man they both have to let go of old ideasabout how the relationship is run.'Deeply held beliefs about how male-female roles should be run are beingquestioned.'It's what the couple do with those that makes a difference to theirrelationship success.'She said that even if the woman is earning more than the man when theyget married, difficulties still erupt when it comes to bringing upchildren and even breaking the traditional perception that houseworkfalls to the woman.'Couples should try different ways to manage their outgoings - and withany luck they'll settle on one that suits both partners,' she added.Tellingly the study found that relationships were far less fiery whenthe man retained his traditional breadwinning role.Only one in 14 men resented their partner for not matching his earningability. However, 18 per cent of women struggled with the loss offinancial independence.According to experts at Skipton, women need to become more financiallysavvy to cope with their new found power.'For a long time, earning and managing money was a firmly male concern,but as more and more women become the main breadwinner there is a needto ensure they are as financially savvy as possible.'Earlier this month a different study found that women were puttingthemselves under great pressure by taking on high earning jobs, andstill finding time to cook, clean and undertake most of the childcarewhen at home.The rise in the number of high-earning women comes as record numbers aregoing out to work, according to the Office for National Statistics.About 13.4million women in Britain have a job - the highest number sincerecords began in 1971 when just nine million went out to work.Almost 200,000 men are classified as 'economically inactive' as they arestaying at home to look after their children.Earlier this year sociologists as Virginia University, in the U.S study,found that those with traditional marriages, in which couples stick toold fashioned gender roles - with the husband as the main breadwinner -were happier.Entitled What's Love Got TO With It, the report showed women who workedwere more dissatisfied with their husbands than those who stayed athome, and the happiest were those whose husbands brought in at leasttwo-thirds of the household income, regardless of how much they helpedwith domestic chores.Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=419488&in_page_id=1879-- 27/11/06 - Femail section
Women talk three times as much as men,
says study By FIONA MACRAE It is something one half of the population has long suspected - and the other half always vocally denied. Women really do talk more than men.In fact, women talk almost three times as much as men, with the averagewoman chalking up 20,000 words in a day - 13,000 more than the averageman.Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat - andactually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a new booksuggests.The book - written by a female psychiatrist - says that inherentdifferences between the male and female brain explain why women arenaturally more talkative than men.In The Female Mind, Dr Luan Brizendine says women devote more braincells to talking than men.And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a floodof brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt byheroin addicts when they get a high.Dr Brizendine, a self-proclaimed feminist, says the differences can betraced back to the womb, where the sex hormone testosterone moulds thedeveloping male brain.The areas responsible for communication, emotion and memory are allpared back the unborn baby boy.The result is that boys - and men - chat less than their femalecounterparts and struggle to express their emotions to the same extent."Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while menhave a small country road," said Dr Brizendine, who runs a female "moodand hormone" clinic in San Francisco.There are, however, advantages to being the strong, silent type. DrBrizendine explains that testosterone also reduces the size of thesection of the brain involved in hearing - allowing men to become "deaf"to the most logical of arguments put forward by their wives andgirlfriends.But what the male brain may lack in converstation and emotion, they morethan make up with in their ability to think about sex.Dr Brizendine says the brain's "sex processor" - the areas responsiblefor sexual thoughts - is twice as big as in men than in women, perhapsexplaining why men are stereotyped as having sex on the mind.Or, to put it another way, men have an international airport for dealingwith thoughts about sex, "where women have an airfield nearby that landssmall and private planes".Studies have shown that while a man will think about sex every 52seconds, the subject tends to cross women's minds just once a day, theUniversity of California psychiatrist says.Dr Brizendine, whose book is based on her own clinical work and analysesof more than 1,000 scientific studies, added: "There is no unisex brain."Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired asboys. Their brains are different by the time they're born, and theirbrains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality."I know it is not politically correct to say this but I've been torn foryears between my politics and what science is telling us."I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men."If women attend to those differences they can make better decisionsabout how to manage their lives."Other scientists, however, are sceptical about the effects oftestosterone on the brain and say many of the differences between themale and female personality can be explained by social conditioning,with a child's upbringing greatly influencing their character.Deborah Cameron, an Oxford University linguistics professor with aspecial interest in language and gender, said the amount we talk isinfluenced by who we are with and what we are doing.She added: "If you aggregate a large number of studies you will findthere is little difference between the amount men and women talk."Already available in the US, The Female Brain will be available in theUK from April.Find this story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=419040&in_page_id=1879w.anywhere.demon.co.ukThu Feb 8, 2007 4:43 am (PST)
North most hostile to gays and foreigners,
according to tudyhttp://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/stories.php3?ca=9&si=1771708&issue_id=15226NORTHERN Ireland is one the most racist and homophobic places in theworld, according to a new study from the University of Ulster.The six counties beat Greece as the most intolerant place in the West,with Northerners expressing the most bigotry of any country in thewestern world.Homosexuals, immigrants and foreign workers were the main targets oftheir bigotry, according to a survey of 32,000 respondents in 23different countries, including 19 European nation states, as well asAustralia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA.The Human Beliefs and Values Survey, conducted by University of Ulstereconomics professor Vani Borooah and John Mangan, economics professor atthe University of Queensland in Australia, asked respondents theiropinions of having members of different racial, religious and socialbackgrounds living next to them.Almost half of respondents from Northern Ireland (48pc) said they wouldnot be happy having members of minority groups living beside them, withthe most intolerance shown towards homosexuals (35.9pc), followed byimmigrants or foreign workers workers (18.9pc), Muslims (16pc), Jews(11.6pc) and people of different races (11.1pc).Respondents from Greece followed closely behind with 43pc of itspopulation shunning the same groups listed. Women were found to be lessintolerant than men, while those over the age of 50 were found to be themost bigoted, and those aged between 15 and 49 found to be the leastintolerant.Homophobia was by far the main source of bigotry in most westerncountries with Northern Ireland leading anti-gay sentiment of anywhereelse in the survey, followed closely by Canada, Austria, the USA, GreatBritain, Ireland and Italy.Overall, Sweden was found to be the most tolerant of the countriespolled, with just 13pc of respondents expressing racist/homophobicattitudes.sunday telegraph
A smack can keep children from crime
says police leaderBen Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent, Sunday TelegraphLast Updated: 12:49am GMT 04/03/2007Children lack discipline and turn to crime because their parents are tooscared to smack them, says one of Britain's most senior black policemen.Superintendent Leroy LoganParents no longer use physical punishment because they fear they willend up in court facing an assault charge, according to Supt Leroy Loganof the Metropolitan Police Force.He says that the results have been a decline in respect, a rise infamily breakdowns and an increasing number of children being put up foradoption.Supt Logan, the deputy borough commander in Hackney, east London, madethe comments last week during a meeting of the all-party Commons HomeAffairs Committee, which is investigating patterns of crime among youngblack men, including last month's spate of shootings in south London.He told the committee that "lack of respect and discipline in the home"was caused by "the parent feeling a sense of helplessness or a fear ofprosecution in the moderate correction of their child".advertisementBlack families had raised with him their concerns over thelaw on smacking, he said, while some had even sent their children backto the Caribbean or Africa, where physical punishments are traditionallyused, "to regain their cultural and community values of respect anddiscipline".After the hearing, Supt Logan, who is also the chairman of the NationalBlack Police Association, said: "I was beaten by my parents. It was awake-up call to me, it's the rite of passage that you need."In law, parents may smack their children without risk of being chargedwith assault, as long as the force used is "moderate and reasonable".Three years ago, legislation was changed so that blows hard enough toleave lasting marks, which would be classed as actual bodily harm, canno longer be explained away using the defence of reasonable punishment.Supt Logan's comments drew praise from parents' rights campaigners, whosaid they applied equally to white families who were now too afraid tosmack their children.Norman Wells, the director of the pressure group Family and YouthConcern, said: "He is absolutely right, and it's not only black parentswho are feeling intimidated by social workers and child protectionagencies who equate a moderate smack with child abuse."If parents are to be held responsible for their children's behaviour atschool and in the community, it is vital that their authority toreasonably correct their children is recognised. The more parents'authority is undermined, the less responsibility they will be inclinedto take for their -children, and the more their children will grow outof -control."Parents are authority figures in their children's lives and they needto have effective sanctions at their disposal when their childrenmisbehave. If children don't learn to respect their parents, there islittle hope that they will respect other authority figures."Anne Houston, the CEO of the child protection charity Children 1st, saidthat children who are smacked by their parents may be more likely toresort to violence in later life.She said: "Supt Logan's comments suggest that if you don't hit children,you are not teaching them respect. That is not our experience."Children learn from how their parents respond. If what they learn isthat if you don't like something, you hit out, then that is not a goodlesson. If their parents have other ways of dealing with things, thatteaches children there are ways to deal with situations that do notinvolve hitting out. We help parents find alternative ways to disciplinechildren."Several European countries, led by Sweden, have banned the smacking ofchildren. Last year, the Government rejected a call from the four UKchild commissioners to introduce an outright ban, insisting that it wasup to parents to decide.The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has admitted smacking his three olderchildren but says he has never smacked his youngest, Leo.daily telegraph
'Women made weapons to compete with men'
By Martin Beckford Last Updated: 7:47am GMT 23/02/2007 Women may have developed the first weapons to compete withphysically stronger males, scientists have claimed. Research suggests that female chimps rely on weaponsto attack other animals Researchers studying chimpanzees, which share98 per cent of their DNA with human beings, found it was mainly femaleswho used crude spears to attack other animals. They now believe that early human females could also have pioneeredhunting with tools to compensate for their inferior size and strength. â€œFemales will have to come up with creative ways at getting at aproblem, whereas males have brawn,â€ said Jill Pruetz, of Iowa StateUniversity, who led the research in Senegal, west Africa. â€œThe observation that individuals hunting with tools include femalesand immature chimpanzees suggests that we should rethink traditionalexplanations for the evolution of such behaviour in our own lineage. â€œLearning more about the behaviours of chimpanzees in such anenvironment can provide important clues about the challenges facing ourearliest ancestors.â€ The researchers, watching the Fongoli community of savannah-dwellingchimpanzees, saw females stripping branches of leaves and making spearsout of them by chewing the ends to a point. The chimps then used the spears to stab into holes where bush babies,small nocturnal primates, could be sleeping. Dr Pruetz said she saw female chimps wielding the spears â€œalmostdailyâ€ during her research but never saw the adult males using them. Chimpanzees are known to use tools to crack open nuts but had neverpreviously been seen to hunt with weapons.
Israelis denounce bishops' Nazi comparisons
By Tim Butcher in JerusalemLast Updated: 4:52pm GMT 07/03/2007A group of German bishops who compared how Palestinians are treated withthe Nazi maltreatment of Jews was denounced angrily by the head ofIsrael's Yad Vashem Holocaust museum today.One bishop said Ramallah was similar to the Warsaw GhettoIn a letter addressed to Cardinal Karl Lehmann, leader of the Germandelegation, Avner Shalev said the comparison was completelyinappropriate.Members of the 27-strong bishops group did not accuse Israel ofattempting some sort of holocaust against the Palestinians but they didcriticise Israel using language which is highly emotive in the Jewishstate.In particular, one bishop referred to Ramallah, the de facto Palestiniancapital of the West Bank, as similar to the Warsaw Ghetto where theNazis persecuted hundreds of thousands of Polish jews.Mr Shalev wrote in response: "I was appalled and surprised to read thestatements some of your delegation made regarding the Holocaust andpresent day affairs in our region.advertisement"The remarks illustrate a woeful ignorance of history and adistorted sense of perspective. Israel's actions do not bear anyresemblance to the Nazis."People have different opinions as to the Palestinian-Israeli conflictand all that is encompassed therein, and it is legitimate to criticisepolicies, just as it is in every other issue."However, making analogies between the mass murder that was part of theplan to annihilate the Jewish people, carried out under the German Naziregime and the current situation in Ramallah, and using words whoserhetorical power is immense, does nothing to help us understand what isgoing on today; such words only further poison the atmosphere making itthat much more difficult to find workable solutions to deeply entrenchedand thorny problems."The Warsaw analogy was made after the bishops saw the Jerusalem Wall,the 30ft-high concrete barrier built illegally by Israel on occupiedland around the Holy City.They also witnessed the heavily fortified checkpoints at gates throughthe wall where Palestinians are subjected to intrusive questioning anddemands for Israel-approved documentation.The bishops' remarks were also criticised by Shimon Stein, the Israeliambassador in Berlin, and the Central Council of Jews in Germany."Anybody can hold different opinions about Israel's policy, and Israelmay also be criticised, but everything depends on the choice of wordsand terms and historical comparisons," said Mr Stein."Instead of resorting to demagogic usage, the bishops could have met thefamilies of more than 8,000 Israelis who have been victims ofPalestinian terrorism in the past six years, solely because they areJews."He added: "One-sided presentation of the conflict and use of a doublestandard cannot be the way of those who wish to contribute toachievement of peace."The Nazis forced some 500,000 Jews into the walled Warsaw Ghetto monthsafter invading Poland in September 1939. Some 100,000 people died insidefrom hunger and disease, and more than 300,000 were sent to death camps.--Robert HendersonBlair Scandal website: http://www.geocities.com/ blairscandal/Personal website: http://www.anywhere.demon.co.uk