Category Archives: Feminism and Science

Is Womb-in-a-Box Next? Attempted Pregnancy of Women with Uterine Transplants

Four Swedish women who received uterine transplants have been implanted with embryos in an attempt to carry their own biological child to term.  Read the AP story here. As my mind attempts to grasp this medical leap, I couldn’t help … Continue reading

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Ada Lovelace Day

Even though we missed it by a day…a tribute to Ada Lovelace on her day, October 15. She’s unfortunately generally less well known as the mother of computer programming than as the daughter of George Gordon, Lord Byron and Anna Isabella Milbanke. More about remembering Ada and her … Continue reading

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U Chicago Bio Prof Demonstrates Evolutionary Theory

From Inside Higher Ed (here), this article about a U Chicago professor who took to Facebook to diss the appearances of his female colleagues: Pity the attendees at last week’s annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience who thought they … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Science | 1 Comment

To test scientist’s reactions to men and women with precisely equal qualifications, the researchers did a randomized double-blind study in which academic scientists were given application materials from a student applying for a lab manager position. The substance of the applications were all identical, but sometimes a male name was attached, and sometimes a female name. Results: female applicants were rated lower than men on the measured scales of competence, hireability, and mentoring (whether the scientist would be willing to mentor this student). Both male and female scientists rated the female applicants lower.

From Discover, where Sean Carroll writes: Nobody who is familiar with the literature on this will be surprised, but it’s good to accumulate new evidence and also to keep the issue in the public eye: academic scientists are, on average, … Continue reading

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Neuroscience and Female Sexuality: Another Critique of Naomi Wolf’s “Vagina”

Here. Below is an excerpt: Oddly, one of the few places in her book where Wolf gets the science right — in a discussion about the physiology of a clitoral versus vaginal orgasm — quashes the universalizing claims she makes … Continue reading

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Lipstick On a String?

Last week, the EU Commission on Research and Innovation launched a new initiative, the “Women in Research and Innovation” Campaign, with the slogan “Science: It’s a Girl Thing.” Apparently, it was an excellent idea marred by somewhat questionable execution. It came … Continue reading

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Assisted Reproduction and Cross Border Travel

Richard F. Storrow, City University of New York School of Law, has published Assisted Reproduction on Treacherous Terrain: The Legal Hazards of Cross-Border Reproductive Travel at 23 Reproductive Biomedicine Online 538-545 (2011). The growing phenomenon of cross-border reproductive travel has four significant … Continue reading

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Mészáros on “Young People Raping and Taping”

József Mészáros has posted to SSRN a working draft of his paper The New Pornographers: Neuroscience Justifies a Robust Regulatory Response to Young People Raping and Taping.  Here is the abstract: An increase in the occurrence of young men participating … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Medicine, Feminism and Science, Feminist Legal Scholarship | 1 Comment

Correlation is not Causation

Why, why, why do people continue to ignore this simple rule–including people who presumably know better but who invoke a correlation as a lazy rhetorical device? In The Atlantic this month, neuroscientist David Eagleman writes about biological bases for criminal … Continue reading

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Posted in Acts of Violence, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Masculinity, Prisons and Prisoners, Race and Racism | 1 Comment

“There’s a gigantic universe beyond South Carolina, and while you probably won’t ever visit a distant star or go inside a cell, there are instruments we can use to see farther and deeper than your eyes can go, and there are books that describe all kinds of wonders. Don’t close yourself off to them simply because you weren’t there.”

The above title is an excerpt from this post.

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“Women Atop Their Fields Dissect the Scientific Life”

Interview by Gina Kolata in the NYT that begins as follows: Elena Aprile, Joy Hirsch, Mary-Claire King and Tal Rabin are members of a rare breed — women scientists at the top of their fields. Dr. Aprile, a professor of … Continue reading

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When Innocence Is Pink: Why There Is A Gender Gap In Exonerations of the Wrongfully Convicted and Efforts That Might Shrink It

There are over 60 innocence projects nationwide, and they do tremendous work. According to the Cardozo Innocence Project website, “There have been 271 post-conviction DNA exonerations in United States history.” The Innocence Project has profiles of each of the exonerees … Continue reading

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Battle of the (Underwear) Bulge: Anthony Weiner, Twitter and Evolutionary Theory

I really, really want to take up Amy Wax’s call (here) to pay attention to mostly-neglected (by feminist legal scholars, that is) methodologies of economists, empirical social scientists and evolutionary theorists: Evolutionary theory seeks to offer a scientifically grounded account … Continue reading

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Where are the Women (and Gays and Lesbians)? Surgery Edition

This bizarre editorial in Surgery News has highlighted issues regarding the treatment of women and lesbians and gay men in the community of surgeons. Dr. Pauline Chen has a well-contextualized (if depressing) piece explaining the controversy over at the New York … Continue reading

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MIT Releases Third Study On Status Of Women Science and Engineering Faculty

Today, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology releases a report examining the status of women faculty in science and engineering, the third such report since 1999. The upshot: There’s progress, but more needs to be done. The number of women faculty … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Employment Discrimination, Feminism and Families, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Feminism and the Workplace, Feminists in Academia, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

Does Viewing Pornography Change the Human Brain?

I read with great interest Jim Holt’s essay Smarter, Happier, More Productive in the March 3, 2011 edition of the London Review of Books.  Holt reviews Nicholas Carr’s book How the Internet is Changing the Way We Think, Read and … Continue reading

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Does a Faculty Member’s Gender Matter? When Overt Discrimination Isn’t the Problem (Anymore)

There’s a new study out of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst that says it does, at least in science and engineeering.  Here’s how an article over at Slate breaks it down: [Jane Stout, Nilanjana Dasgupta, Matthew Hunsinger, and Melissa … Continue reading

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Chandra on “Surrogacy and India”

Mr. Smith Chandra, a student at the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research University in Hyerabad, India has posted to SSRN his working paper Surrogacy and India.  Here is the abstract: The Law Commission of India has submitted the … Continue reading

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The Law of Forgiveness

Last week’s Chronicle includes an article (here) about a rising subdiscipline in “forgiveness studies.” In Turning the Other Cheek, a Growing Scholarly Discipline, Tom Bartlett reports on several academic studies of forgiveness: At the time [of his mother’s murder], [Mr. Worthington Everett … Continue reading

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Public Forum Series in London on Gender and Scientific Advances

The University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies is holding a three public fora in London on November 2, 2010.  The theme is gender and bio-medical advances of the 21st Century.  Here’s the info: November 2, 2010: “Making Babies in the … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Science, Feminism and Technology, Reproductive Rights, Upcoming Lectures | 1 Comment

A Pill to Make Your Daughter Interested in Dolls and Boys?

Earlier this month, Time Magazine reported (here) on the off-label use of the steroid dexamethasone to treat prevent fetal development of ambiguous genitalia:  The early prenatal use of dexamethasone, or dex, has been shown to prevent some of the symptoms … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Medicine, Feminism and Science | 1 Comment

“Why are women being left out of climate decision-making?”

From this article: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced an important new climate change financing group last week, but out of the 19 people named, no women were included. This is unfortunate because women will bear the brunt of the effects … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Politics, Feminism and Science, Feminism and the Environment, The Underrepresentation of Women | Comments Off

Feminist Theory Meets Empirical Research on Surrogate Mothers

The topic of surrogacy seems to elicit strong and sometimes conflicted reactions. In particular, it has been the subject of some less than favorable discussion in posts on this blog (see here and here, both cross-posts from other blogs) and … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminism and Science, Reproductive Rights | 1 Comment

All of them?

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“Slap on a pink ribbon, call it a day” is an unfair way to characterize the debate about breast cancer screening.

Barbara Ehrenreich at Salon: … What we really need is a new women’s health movement, one that’s sharp and skeptical enough to ask all the hard questions: What are the environmental (or possibly life-style) causes of the breast cancer epidemic? … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Science, Women's Health | 3 Comments

About that study which purportedly found that “Men married to smart women live longer”

The actual title of the paper is: “Marital partner and mortality: The effects of the social positions of both spouses,” by Robert Erikson and Jenny Torssander From here: Abstract: Background: Individual socioeconomic position -like education, social class, social status, and … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Science, Women's Health | 2 Comments

Women, Happiness, and the Marketing of Positive Thinking

Barbara Ehrenreich has a great debunking of a study that purports to show that women have become unhappier since 1972 – – – as a result, most likely, of feminism.     Ehrenreich writes that the statistical variable (one percent) … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Culture, Feminism and Economics, Feminism and Politics, Feminism and Science, Links, Sexism in the Media | Comments Off

Carol W. Greider of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine was one of three women who won a science Nobel last week, and she sounds like a sister!

Excerpt from a NYT interview with Nobel Laureate Carol W. Greider: …Q. MANY REPORTERS HAVE ASKED WHY TELOMERES RESEARCH SEEMS TO ATTRACT SO MANY FEMALE INVESTIGATORS. WHAT’S YOUR ANSWER? A. There’s nothing about the topic that attracts women. It’s probably … Continue reading

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“Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak won the 2009 Nobel Prize in medicine for discovering a key mechanism in the genetic operations of cells, an insight that has inspired new lines of research into cancer. It was the first time two women have been among the winners of the medicine prize.”

From here: … Blackburn and Greider discovered the enzyme that builds telomeres : telomerase : and the mechanism by which it adds DNA to the tips of chromosomes to replace genetic material that has eroded away. The prize-winners’ work, done … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Medicine, Feminism and Science, Firsts | 1 Comment

“‘Women are getting more beautiful’ – Getting the story right”

I blogged about this previously, and found a response by the study author, Marcus Jokela via a link to my post, the title of which is misunderstood, as I was accusing the Times Online of sexism, not the researcher. Anyway, … Continue reading

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Somebody needs a brain makeover.

There is a post at the Chron blog entitled “Blonded by Science” that states: A dismal 7 percent of adult Americans are science literate, but James Trefil has a secret weapon that could send that number cartwheeling into the double … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and Science, Sociolinguistics | 2 Comments

The Science of Sexism

Abstract of new evo psych study based on yearbook photos taken in 1957 of graduates of Wisconsin high schools: “Physical attractiveness has been associated with mating behavior, but its role in reproductive success of contemporary humans has received surprisingly little … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Science | 1 Comment

“Women who drink alcohol, wear short skirts and are outgoing are more likely to be raped, claim scientists at the University of Leicester.”

Actually, that isn’t at all what the scientists found. But it is apparently what a reporter and editorial staff at the UK Telegraph wished the study had determined, for some reason. An article in the UK Guardian reports: There is … Continue reading

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Posted in Academia, Feminism and Science, Sexism in the Media | 2 Comments

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

Here.

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Male Infertility: Let’s See if the Next Study Gets Any Funding

I was looking at back issues of the  American Journal of Human Genetics for my current research project (on surrogacy and taxation – I jest not), and I came across this  article: “Human Male Infertility Caused by Mutations in the … Continue reading

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A Pole-Dancing Mother of 14: Performing Gender (Topless)

The Boston Herald reports here that Nadya Suleman, the California mother of octuplets, performed once in a topless club: Back when she was 18, Suleman was in an”investigative”stage of her life and thought she’d try out exotic dancing. “I had … Continue reading

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“Singled Out”

Scientist and science writer/blogger Sheril Kirshenbaum talks about sexism. Below is a short excerpt: Shortly after entering the blogosphere, there was a period when I stopped posting personal pictures altogether… until I stepped back and thought about why I felt … Continue reading

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Female Researchers Seek to Decode Female Desire

In this week’s New York Times Magazine, Daniel Bergner writes about research into women’s desire and arousal, in What Do Women Want?. Here is an interesting passage regarding the current focus on biological difference and sexual desire: To account partly … Continue reading

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A conference entitled “The Politics of Reproduction: New Technologies of Life” will be hosted by the Barnard Center for Research on Women in New York City on February 28, 2009

“The Politics of Reproduction” will focus on the global social, economic and political repercussions of new forms of reproduction, including assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption. These new technologies have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Feminism and Technology, Reproductive Rights, Upcoming Conferences | Comments Off

Naomi R. Cahn, “Test Tube Families Why the Fertility Market Needs Legal Regulation”

Fabulous feminist law prof Naomi Cahn, one of the best feminist legal theorists around, has a new book out: Synopsis of publisher NYU Press: The birth of the first test tube baby in 1978 focused attention on the sweeping advances … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Families, Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Recommended Books, Women's Health | Comments Off

Carol Sanger, “Seeing and Believing: Mandatory Ultrasound and the Path to a Protected Choice”

Abstract: Several state legislatures now require that before a woman may consent to an abortion, she must first undergo an ultrasound and be offered the image of her fetus. The justification is that without an ultrasound, her consent will not … Continue reading

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Posted in Feminism and Law, Feminism and Science, Reproductive Rights | 1 Comment

Sex Based Medicine

Great post here, below is a short excerpt: Now, Dr. Isis quite frequently blogs about being a girl, so a letter in this week’s Science entitled Flaunting the Feminine Side of Research Studies certainly caught the eye of the domestic … Continue reading

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On Morphing Body Standards

Great post at What Tami Said, entitled: “And here I thought my child bearing hips were just fine.” Painting from here.

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