Thursday, December 30, 2004

Married men are fat and healthy

This Wash Times story says:
Married adults are more likely to be healthier — physically and mentally — than divorced, widowed, cohabiting or never-married adults, a new federal report says.

Regardless of age, sex, race, education, income or nationality, married adults were least likely to be in poor health, suffer serious psychological distress and smoke or drink heavily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) says in its new report, which reviews health data gathered from more than 127,000 adults from 1999 to 2002.

The only category in which married adults fared poorly was weight — and this was primarily because married men were more likely to be heavier than other men, the study says. ...

"Wives are especially good at what social scientists call 'social support' and ordinary people call 'nagging,' " said columnist Maggie Gallagher, who heads the District-based Institute for Marriage and Public Policy.

"And it turns out the nagging works: People who are reminded to do healthy things like wear your seat belts, eat vegetables, exercise or go to the doctor, actually do them more often than people who aren't reminded," said Mrs. Gallagher ...

If Gallagher's theory were correct, then why can't wives nag their fat husbands into losing weight? Here is an alternate theory:
Do you know why single men are skinny and married men are heavy?

The single man goes to the fridge, doesn't see anything good, so he goes to bed.
The married man goes to bed, doesn't see anything good, so he goes to the fridge.
There are other theories for the health difference also. Maybe most women will only marry a healthy man, and divorce him if his health goes bad.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

No more school milk cartons

This AP story says that the school milk carton is being abolished:
Encouraged by a milk industry study that shows children drink more dairy when it comes in round plastic bottles, a growing number of schools are ditching those clumsy paper half-pint cartons many of us grew up with.

"Those ... square containers are awfully hard for kids," says New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor, who has watched the trend spread to some 320 schools in New England. "Teachers say you can spend the whole lunch period just walking around and opening those containers."
My local Si Valley paper has this story along with a story about more and more teenage girls are getting breast implants. No, there is no connection.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The supposedly-gay penguins

People keep citing gay penguins in zoos as justification for human homosexuality. Here is another story.

I guess that it is possible that animal studies might illuminate human behavior. It would be interesting if animals with a homosexual orientation could be found. Most penguins mate for life. Apparently zoo penguins will choose a mate of the same sex if none of the opposite sex are available. If the gay penguins really had a homosexual orientation, then they'd prefer a mate of the same sex even when there are plenty of the opposite sex available. No one has observed that.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Exploding the Self-Esteem Myth

Scientific American says:
Boosting people's sense of self-worth has become a national preoccupation. Yet surprisingly, research shows that such efforts are of little value in fostering academic progress or preventing undesirable behavior.

Some findings even suggest that artificially boosting self-esteem may lower subsequent academic performance.
I expect that the worthless practices to continue.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Realizing rape, 13 years later

32-year-old singer Jill Scott remembers how she was 19 years old when her boyfriend of 4 years made love to her. She also remembers smiling all the way home.

Now this USA Today story says:
Scott says that she didn't realize what had occurred until she was recently writing in her journal.
Now Scott has come to the sudden realization that it was rape. The woman is crazy, and so is anyone else who takes her seriously.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Provocative women get noticed

This CNN story says that a couple of casino security men got fired for ogling women with low-cut blouses from hidden surveillance cameras. I thought that women who wear revealing clothes like to be noticed.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Child support guidelines are too high

The Glenn Sacks show has an economist who says:
Child support guidelines currently in use by the U.S. states typically generate awards that are three to four times what they should be if based on economically sound cost tables and on a true equal duty of support standard for both parents.
A lot of people think that child support has to be spent supporting children. It is mostly just a tax on fathers to support mothers.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

96% of women are liars

This Scotland paper says:
NINETEEN out of 20 women admit lying to their partners or husbands, a survey on attitudes to truth and relationships has found.

Eighty-three per cent owned up to telling "big, life-changing lies", with 13 per cent saying they did so frequently.

Half said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby’s real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

And an alarming 31 per cent said they would not tell a future partner if they had a sexual disease: this rises to 65 per cent among single women.
It is my experience that men are much more truthful to women than women are to men.

Friday, December 10, 2004

UK men are helpless victims

A UK forensic psychologist says that a British subject must never defend himself when a criminal invades his home:
From a police perspective, the advice to potential victims of burglaries is unequivocal and clear-cut and you should never "have a go", so to speak, but for the victims of crime this is a very difficult thing to put into practice, especially when your natural instincts are to defend yourself, your family and your own property - the very pillars of your life that are being violated and potentially destroyed by criminals.
He suggests active passivity (trying to avoid the attacker), total passivity (offering complete cooperation with the attacker), and afterwards seeking professional "counselling to develop effective coping strategies".

No, he does not mean buying a gun or learning martial arts. He means that men must learn to accept the fact that they are helpless victims who can do nothing to defend their families.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Boys are dropping out

Andy writes:
Meanwhile, I see that there is another argument to use against Title IX quotas. Boys are dropping out of school like flies. Newspapers don't report on this, but the situation has reached crisis level. In 2003, 712,000 women earned bachelor's degrees while only 531,000 men did. In 2001, 18.9 percent of boys dropped out of high school while only 14 percent of girls did, according to Postsecondary Education Opportunity.

What's this have to do with Title IX? Boys programs need to be improved, not girls'. The big football college Penn State does attract and retain boys, unlike other schools lacking strong mens' sports program. Colleges in places like Maine and South Carolina, which have weak mens sports programs, have only 40% male enrollment. But Penn State, in contrast, is 55% men.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Men coach college girls

Girl's ice hockey is growing in American colleges, and increasingly they are coached by men. The girls should be happy -- there are far more good male coaches available than female coaches.

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Andy writes:
Charges of shaken baby syndrome (SBS) are the latest rage among prosecutors. Newspapers are reporting charges or convictions at a rate of two per day nationwide. Unless a juror lost an infant due to natural causes, which prosecutors can screen for, convictions are essentially guaranteed. That's pretty rough considering that there is no real evidence that SBS (without impact) is even possible, and that analysis of the physics suggests it is impossible. One medical skeptic puts it this way: shake an egg as hard as you can and you still will not ever break the yoke.

Here are five examples of SBS prosecutions from just the past ten days:

1. Boyfriend faces 25-years to life for SBS of a girl who had fallen to a pavement days earlier.
2. Father faces 1st degree murder for SBS; denied child abuse but admitted "bouncing" baby.
3. Boyfriend charged with SBS despite lack of any external injuries.
4. Pregnant babysitter charged with SBS: "no evidence that anyone [else] caused the ... death."
5. Father sentenced to nine years for SBS that he adamantly denies.

These common themes underlie the prosecutions:

1. Mothers are very rarely tried for SBS, but fathers, boyfriends and babysitters frequently are. Prosecutors are clearly exploiting juries' prejudices.
2. Possible natural causes of death by infants are ignored. As in the fourth story below, prosecutors take the view that defendant must be guilty because no one could have done it.
3. The "confessions" to shaking are usually descriptions of an attempt to revive the infant, or merely routine jostling ("bouncing") of a baby. Sometimes the confessors speak poor English.
4. Childrens' hospitals, which rely on child abuse funding, seem more likely to allege SBS than other hospitals.