Is Prenatal Gender Preference Healthy?

By Jolie Day

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“You have 3 sisters? Your poor dad!” This is a common reaction when I tell people that my family is almost all girls. Why my “poor dad”? Do they assume he is not happy with only daughters? Is the amount of estrogen intimidating? Do they think his life would’ve been better with the grace of a son? Why is my mom left out of this? I still can’t wrap my head around the insinuated preference for male children and the overall more positive perception of what raising a male child is like in our world.

When we think of male child preference, we tend to think of countries like India and China that have been markedly fixated on the economic prospects that a male child may bring and that a female might cost. These cultural norms are perpetuated through deeply ingrained beliefs that males will be more successful and ultimately benefit the family, whereas females are seen as a liability that may eventually lead to expenses such as a dowry, which a lot of families struggle to afford. In some cases, families will even turn to breaking the law to reveal the sex of the child during pregnancy and abort female fetuses.

In the United States, although not as severe, child gender preference has implications that not only effect how children of different genders are raised within a family, but also effects the likelihood of families staying together, proving more likely if there are male children. With new technological advances, it has also become easier for parents everywhere to potentially choose the sex of their child via preimplantation genetic diagnosis and in vitro fertilization. These preferences are affecting sex ratios, perpetuating negative stigmas about the worth of women and girls, and attributing to the different treatment of girls and boys within families.

Continue reading “Is Prenatal Gender Preference Healthy?”

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One Toy, Two Toy, Red Toy, Blue Toy— Why we need gender-neutral toys

By Madison Teuscher

 Take a walk through any department store toy aisle, and you will see labels that ensure we know which toys are meant for girls and which toys are meant for boys. Pink and purple pastels surround “girl” aisles filled with dresses, dolls, and kitchen sets. Red, blue and orange dominate the “boy” aisles—these sections have trucks, guns, and tool sets. The divides between these toy aisles go much deeper than just playthings for children—they set the patterns for socialization and behavior for a lifetime.Two children sit surrounded by toys- a girl surrounded by pink, and a boy surrounded by blue.

Admist this sea of pink and blue, there are parents (and their kids!) who appreciate gender-neutral marketing. This February, Target decided to ditch its gendered children’s home décor lines with their new collection, “Pillowfort”. The line focuses on prints and colors that can appeal to any child, with themes like “Tropical Treehouse”, “Ocean Oasis”, and “Stellar Station”. The collection’s February debut was met with positive appreciation—the line is meant for all children; “cute enough for a three-year-old, cool enough for a ten-year-old”. This is one positive step in a growing movement towards gender-neutral décor and toys for kids. Continue reading “One Toy, Two Toy, Red Toy, Blue Toy— Why we need gender-neutral toys”

The Attack on Single Moms

By Shanda Glover

On February 20, the Chicagoist reported on new legislation being filed in Springfield, Illinois. The bill, sponsored by two Republican state lawmakers, would deny a single mother financial assistance. If her child’s father is not listed on the birth certificate, she could be denied an official birth certificate.

Illinois Birth Certificate ExampleThe introduction of this bill has brought to light an ongoing judgment on our country’s single mothers.

The bill states:

“[T]hat if the unmarried mother cannot or refuses to name the child’s father, either a father must be conclusively established by DNA evidence or, within 30 days after birth, another family member who will financially provide for the child must be named, in court, on the birth certificate. Provides that absent DNA evidence or a family member’s name, a birth certificate will not be issued and the mother will be ineligible for financial aid from the State for support of the child.” Continue reading “The Attack on Single Moms”

I’ll Just Be The Fun Aunt Instead

By Sam Kennedy

I was at the register, punching in a round of drinks when an older gentleman who was sitting at the bar started asking me questions. It was general small talk and I revealed my major, my career plans for when I graduated, if I was planning on moving… etc. etc.
It started to take a sour turn though when I made an offhand joke about wishing my boyfriend and I could afford to do nothing except travel.
The gentleman laughed and replied, never_illustration_libertyantoniasadler_metro“Good luck doing that with kids!”
I know I could have easily agreed and laughed it off or politely smiled, but I wasn’t thinking about where this conversation was going.

I cheerfully responded, “Actually, my boyfriend and I don’t want to have kids.”

He looked surprised. “Oh! You guys not a very serious relationship?”
I laughed awkwardly. “No, we are. Just-”
“Ah, you kids are young. You’ll change your mind.” He cut me off and waved a hand dismissively.
This is where I nodded and smiled politely, hoping the discussion was over.
After a moment of silence he asked, “How old are you?”
“Almost 22.”
“See, you’re still a baby yourself! Couple years roll around and your biological clock will start ticking and that’s all you’ll be thinking about.” He shook his head and took a long drink from his beer. “Everyone’s more interested their career than family nowadays…You’ll see though. Just give it time. Once you actually settle down, you’ll want them.”

I know he didn’t mean any harm. I’m sure in his mind, he thought he was being nice or helpful.
But I was seething. I couldn’t help it. I have been having this discussion with people since I was 12 years old—and I’m getting tired of it.

Continue reading “I’ll Just Be The Fun Aunt Instead”

The CDC Implies That Women Are Incapable Of Making Decisions About Their Health

By Stephanie Sampson

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On Tuesday Feb. 2, the Center for Disease Control published a press release that suggested that all sexually active women of childbearing age should stop drinking alcohol if they’re not on birth control.

Continue reading “The CDC Implies That Women Are Incapable Of Making Decisions About Their Health”

“Boys Will Be Boys” is No Excuse

By Sam Kennedy

“He’s just teasing you.”
“That’s just how boys are.”
“Don’t let him get to you.”
Is it any wonder women stay in abusive relationships? From an early age young women are told that if boys are mean to you, that means they like you.
Now, an abusive relationship may seem like quite a conclusion to jump to based off of how children act towards one another in regards to crushes and flirting. Allow me to elaborate though through two scenarios:
Continue reading ““Boys Will Be Boys” is No Excuse”

Book Review- Winning the War for Talent

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I had the recent pleasure of reading a book about women in business for my 300-level Integrated Seminar (ISEM) course titled Winning the War for Talent in Emerging Markets: Why Women are the Solution by Ripa Rashid and Sylvia Ann HewlettThis book is about women in the “BRIC” countries; Brazil, China, Russia, India, and the United Arab Emirates; and how their skills are starting to become noticed. These BRIC countries have a rapidly growing GDP, which will impact the rest of the first world countries. Having women in key roles in these countries as they develop will assure women an almost equal playing field in the first world stage of development.

Continue reading “Book Review- Winning the War for Talent”