Stopping Wal-Mart’s Legacy of Second Class Citizenry

GWMCHstudents

Gender discrimination is demoralizing and being treated as a ‘second-class citizen’ has severe corollaries for women and their families.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court is slated to consider arguments in a sprawling gender discrimination lawsuit against the nation’s biggest retailer. In an unprecedented hearing, the court will determine whether the sex-discrimination claims involving Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. will evolve into a class action lawsuit. The case has tremendous financial implications for the colossal retailer, as the original suit dates back to 2001, alleging that Wal-Mart discriminated against women on matters of equal compensation and job advancement. If the lawsuit advances, the payout could exceed billions of dollars in retroactive pay and other reported damages. Moreover, the decision could spell unparalleled opportunities for businesses and employees to speak out against unjust hiring practices, employment biases and all forms of corporate discrimination.

This latest case has been gaining momentum for the past ten years and, while Wal-Mart has previously faced similar allegations involving discriminatory practices, it’s distressing that it’s taken a decade to get this issue on the radar.

While Wal-Mart remains the largest private employer in the U.S., employees have harshly criticized both the workplace environment and corporate culture that have contributed to its retail stature. This particular lawsuit alleges women were paid less than men for comparable job positions, despite having achieved greater seniority and better performance reviews.

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Gender discrimination is demoralizing and being treated as a ‘second-class citizen’ has severe corollaries for women and their families.

The consequences of gender discrimination should be recognized as an integral part of women’s health concerns. It follows as a critical and strategic consideration that if a woman is not afforded equal access to pay and benefits, there is an intrinsically negative effect on her ability to access quality health care and satisfy other elements of emotional wellbeing. The court’s ruling on the Wal-Mart case will represent a landmark decision, in terms of gaining or losing the traction necessary to eliminate gender-based job discrimination.

 

Leslie E. (author)

News Sexual Health

Average Penis Is Less Than Six Inches Long, Study Finds

Martha Kempner

Don't believe the hype. A new study finds the average penis is only 5.6 inches when erect.

A new study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has found that most men are not endowed like Dirk Diggler from Boogie Nights. In fact, most men have a penis that measures less than six inches long when erect.

The study, led by Indiana University researcher Debby Herbenick, surveyed 1,661 men, each of whom was asked to measure both the length and girth of his penis when erect. Men were also asked to tell the researchers how they attained the erection.

The largest penis in the survey measured in at 10.2 inches, while the smallest was 1.6 inches. Most men fell firmly in between, with the average penis measuring 5.6 inches in length and 4.8 inches in girth. The researchers found that characteristics such as race or sexual orientation were not good predictors of penis size.

However, men who reported attaining their erection through oral sex were on average larger than men who were alone when they became erect. Herbenick told LiveScience, “We don’t know if that means that when men have oral sex that it’s more arousing and they get a bigger erection, or means that men who have bigger penises could be getting more oral sex in the first place.”

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The data was collected as part of an earlier study comparing men’s use of a standard-sized condoms to the use of condoms specifically sized to fit their erect penis. Herbenick explained the results of that study to Rewire, saying, “We found that both standard and fitted condoms were comfortable for most men, and that some men on either end of the size continuum preferred condoms fitted to the size of their erect penis. Currently, ‘fitted’ condoms are no longer on the U.S. market. However, there’s a wider-than-ever range of condoms that are safe, effective, and pleasurable and that are available for men and their partners to choose from.”

News Sexual Health

Teen Birth Rate Hits Lowest Point Since 1946

Martha Kempner

Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest teen birth rates which found that fewer babies were born to teen mothers in 2010 than in any year since 1946. 

The positive news just keeps coming. In February we reported on the latest teen pregnancy rates which were the lowest in nearly 40 years and showed a 42 percent decrease from their peak in 1990. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the latest teen birth rates which found that fewer babies were born to teen mothers in 2010 than in any year since 1946. In 2010 there were 367,752 babies born to teens compared to 409,802 in 2009.

The 2010 birth rates was 34.3 births per 1,000 young women ages 15 to 19 which represents a nine percent drop from just the year before and a 44 percent drop since 1991 when birth rates were at their highest (61.8 per 1,000 young women). The CDC’s report calculated that if that high rate had continued, there would have been about 3.4 million additional births to teenagers between 1992 and 2010.

The teen birth rate dropped across all racial and ethnic groups but still varies widely by race; Hispanics have the highest teenage birth rates at 55.7 births per 1,000 teens in the age group, followed by black teens at 51.5 per 1,000. Asian teens have the lowest teenage birth rate with 10.9 per 1,000.

In addition, teen birth rates fell since 2007 in all states except Montana, North Dakota, and West Virginia.  Still, birth rates vary widely among different groups of states; Mississippi has the highest teen birth rate at 55 per 1,000 girls 15 to 19 years of age, New Mexico’s rate is 53, and Arkansas is 52.5.  New Hampshire has the lowest birth rate at about 16 per 1,000 women with Massachusetts and Vermont following right behind.

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Though this study does not explain why the teen birth rate has dropped so significantly, previous research suggests that a combination of less teen sexual activity, more contraceptive use, and use of more effective contraceptive methods is responsible for this positive trend.

Of course, the United States still has a long way to go if we want to catch up with other industrialized nations which have far lower teen birth rates. Lithuania, for example, has a rate of 16 births per 1,000 young women 15 to 19 and Canada has only 14 births per 1,000.