Category Archives: Uncategorized

Studying the impacts of sexism difficult because women normalise the fear and anxiety

Researchers recently published an article in Sex Roles examining the effects everyday sexism has on women and women’s health. It’s no surprise that they found that “some of the sexism women face makes women generally more fearful and anxious.”

Even more upsetting is the knowledge that one of the main barriers to this type of study is the normalisation process that women undergo in order to handle the variety and constancy of sexism.

Speaking to The Guardian, one of the researchers used the example of her decision to cross the road when she saw a man in a van in front of her on her daily run.

“I didn’t think twice about it,” she said.

“Over time, existing in a state of hypervigilance has a negative impact, and leads to a higher level of psychological distress.”

Most cancers caused by bad luck, not lifestyle

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that of the 31 cancers studied, only nine were found to be linked to lifestyle or genetic faults.  The majority of cancers are due to “bad luck,” which in scientific terms means “random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous stem cells.” So most cancers are beyond our control. Do you find that comforting? I do, especially when faced with what often feels like an endless list of things to do or not do, or eat and not eat, all in the name of health! The research was published in the journal Science.

Speaking while female

Sheryl Sandburg and Adam Grant writing in The New York Times

“When male employees contributed ideas that brought in new revenue, they got significantly higher performance evaluations. But female employees who spoke up with equally valuable ideas did not improve their managers’ perception of their performance.

“Also, the more the men spoke up, the more helpful their managers believed them to be. But when women spoke more, there was no increase in their perceived helpfulness.

“This speaking-up double bind harms organisations by depriving them of valuable ideas.”

“The long-term solution to the double bind of speaking while female is to increase the number of women in leadership roles.”

UN Women on why gender disaster data matters

A gender and protection advisor with the UN Women’s office in Fiji, Philippa Ross writes in The Guardian about why gathering and using gender data is essential to effective humanitarian responses to natural disasters.  She points out the different skill sets and knowledge often held by men and women and says that by ignoring one gender’s set of skills, a country’s recovery from a disaster is necessarily hindered and slowed.

She uses women’s traditional knowledge of crops, food and diet as an example. If women aren’t consulted as part of the rationing of foodstuffs, vital information won’t be shared and transmitted to those who need to know, resulting in potential wastes of resources and time.

Additionally, Ross points out that when food is scarce, women are often expected to serve men and boys first, resulting in “particular post-disaster nutritional risks for women.”

Violence against women and girls is another particular vulnerability that is exacerbated in situations of humanitarian crisis, especially as the displacement and stress of a disaster tends to “intensify pre-existing risk factors for domestic abuse.”