How Race/Ethnicity Shapes Health Care Coverage, Costs and Access

by Natalia Deeb-Sossa

In Olga Khazan’s article “All the Reasons Women Don’t Go to the Doctor, Other than Money,” published in The Atlantic, she highlighted, using a 2013 Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2907 women and 700 men ages 18 to 64, how women were more likely than men to delay health care due to cost; cost which uninsured women were more likely to face than either insured women or those on Medicaid. Continue reading “How Race/Ethnicity Shapes Health Care Coverage, Costs and Access”

Unpredictable Laws or Discrimination?

by Kristy Watkins

Despite the fact that a recent study concluded that children raised by same-sex couples fare better than their peers, gay, lesbian, and bisexual parents are still denied many legal rights in the United States. This fact becomes clear in a recent Texas case involving same-sex parents. Joe Riggs and Jason Hanna, a gay married couple, are the parents of twin boys, who were born using a gestational surrogate, an egg donor, and sperm from each of the men. DNA testing revealed each of the men’s paternity status, and the gestational surrogate signed the documents relinquishing her legal rights to the children. Continue reading “Unpredictable Laws or Discrimination?”

Can We Pull Back the Curtain on Old-Fashioned Assumptions?

by Sarah Thébaud

Time recently reported the latest statistics on the ways that American men and women spend their time. Unfortunately, the findings in this “news” story aren’t news to social researchers: like last year and the few years before that (and the few years before that), men are slowly increasing their time spent on housework and childcare, but women still do the lion’s share, especially the least enjoyable chores like cleaning the bathroom. And, even though men spend more time doing paid work than women, they also have more time for leisure, like playing sports. Continue reading “Can We Pull Back the Curtain on Old-Fashioned Assumptions?”

Putting Hobby Lobby in Context: The Erratic Career of Birth Control in the United States

by Carole Joffe

This entry is cross-posted from The Society Pages with permission.  To view the original piece, click here

Nearly 50 years ago, in the 1965 Griswold v Connecticut case, the Supreme Court declared birth control legal for married persons, and shortly afterwards in another case legalized birth control for single people. In a famous study published in 2002, “The power of the pill,” two Harvard economists reported on the dramatic rise in women’s entrance into the professions and attributed this development to the availability of oral contraception beginning in the 1960s. Several years ago, the CDC reported that 99% of U.S. women who have ever had sexual intercourse had used contraception at some point. So the recent controversial Hobby Lobby case no doubt appears somewhat surreal to many Americans who understandably have assumed that contraception—unlike abortion–is a settled, non-contentious issue in the U.S. Continue reading “Putting Hobby Lobby in Context: The Erratic Career of Birth Control in the United States”

When Migration Is Crisis, “It Is The Women Who Run Things”

by Abigail Andrews

In the Mexican village of San Miguel, Mexico, women’s effort to protect an alternative to living in the United States brought them to the center of local politics.

Until 1995, women in the Mixtec village of San Miguel, in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, were not permitted to engage in politics. On the contrary, despite San Miguel’s tradition of participatory self-governance, it was known for excluding women. While their husbands and fathers conducted civic affairs, women were expected to stay in the home. Yet, today, as one resident put it, “It is the women who run things.” In less than a decade, women, who previously could not even approach the town hall, came to be in charge of school committees, health committees, and government social programs – voting and voicing their opinions publicly for the first time. They did so in the context of mass migration to the United States. To understand the connection, I spent a year living in both San Miguel and among its migrants in the United States, and I conducted in depth interviews with more than 50 men and women, both in the home village and in the United States. I found that migration played a central role in driving women to take on these new roles. It did so not by inspiring them to echo US gender practices, but instead because they saw migration as a “crisis,” threatening their valued ways of life. Changing gender roles offered one way to respond. Continue reading “When Migration Is Crisis, “It Is The Women Who Run Things””

Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Tea Pot

by Soma Chaudhuri

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat connection does tea and women being raped, stripped, tortured and killed in the name of witch hunts have? The book Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Tea Pot, explores the connections between tea production and village level conflicts among the plantation workers that lead to women being targeted and persecuted in the name of witches. The setting of the book is in the tea plantations of Jalpaiguri, India where adivasis (tribal) were brought over from neighboring states to work as plantation laborers. It is within this labor community that witchcraft accusations take place where the primary targets are adivasi women. Continue reading “Witches, Tea Plantations, and Lives of Migrant Laborers in India: Tempest in a Tea Pot”

Intersectionality at Work

by Chenoa Flippen

Immigration from Latin America to the United States has surged in recent decades, and along with it the entry of immigrant women into the U.S. labor market. Understanding how immigrant Latinas are faring in the U.S. economy requires more than just adding women to models that were designed to explain the experiences of immigrant men. Instead, this understanding requires us to move beyond treating gender, legal status, and family structure as mere variables to be controlled for and to think more deeply about how the various constraints on women’s work interact with one another. Continue reading “Intersectionality at Work”

Off Their Rockers: Challenging Stereotypes, Reinforcing Ageism, or Both?

by Stacy Torres

On its face the hidden camera show Betty White’s Off Their Rockers seems like a welcome break from the cultural penalties associated with aging for women. An NBC promo sets up the show’s premise as old people defying aging stereotypes: “Old People. Marginalized. They’re not even in the key demographic. Now they’re fighting back with the help of some hidden cameras and Betty White.” Opening credits roll by to the tune of Twisted Sister’s defiant metal anthem “We’re Not Going to Take It.” And yet, for all of the show’s promise in upending ageist stereotypes, a closer look reveals how far we still have to go in creating media depictions of old age that transcend cheap laughs and avoid instilling fear and repulsion of aging, which harm the young, the old, and everyone in between. Continue reading “Off Their Rockers: Challenging Stereotypes, Reinforcing Ageism, or Both?”

The Link Between Slut-Shaming, Bullying, & Femininity

by Sarah Miller

Recent reports in both Slate and Time, focus on research (here) that illuminates how young women use slut-shaming to make multi-directional class distinctions. Authors Elizabeth Armstrong, Laura Hamilton and colleagues find that among white college women, those with low status judge high status peers for being “rich, bitchy sluts,” while high status women claim to be “classy” by designating low status peers “trashy.” Ultimately, while slut slander may appear to be equal opportunity, the outcomes are not: slut-shaming has less of a lasting impact on women with more resources. The research adds insight into why the slut remains a persistent threat in young women’s lives- they have something to gain from using this term against one another. However, slut-shaming does not begin in college (nor with girls themselves), and its’ ramifications can be serious, as the rape victim-blaming that generated Slutwalk, and numerous highly-publicized “bullycide” cases attest.  Continue reading “The Link Between Slut-Shaming, Bullying, & Femininity”

Athletes in the Pool, Girls and Boys on Deck

by Michela Musto

It’s a warm, sunny afternoon in southern California, and the swimming pool at the Sun Valley Aquatics Center (pseudonym) is bustling with activity. I’m listening to Coach Elizabeth explain the daily workout to a group of twenty-five highly competitive youth swimmers. Today, the eight through ten-year old boys and girls will be swimming several 200-yard Individual Medleys [IMs]. As I have learned while conducting 9 months of participant observation research and 15 semi-structured interviews with the swimmers, in this type of workout—called racing “for times”—athletes swim a distance, such as 50 or 100 yards, as fast as they can. Continue reading “Athletes in the Pool, Girls and Boys on Deck”