There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
* Problem: girls in developing countries have a lower “school life expectancy” than boys. Is the solution as easy as sending over some sanitary pads? The World Bank has claimed that girls in developing countries “may miss up to 20 percent of school because of menstruation,” but a new study by economists Emily Oster and Rebecca Thornton suggests that “feminine problems” are not responsible for the gap:
Although girls in our sample were indeed less likely to attend school on days they had their period, the effect is very, very tiny. On non-period days, girls were in school about 85.7 percent of the time; on days they are menstruating, they were in school 83.0 percent of the time (a difference of only 3.2 percent). This means that girls missed only about a third of a day per year due to their period.
* Happy belated birthday, The Pill.
Statements made by drunken sorority girls are not facts. Statements made by sober sorority girls about an evening spent bar-hopping and drinking are not facts. Late last week I received an e-mail from a former sorority president and current advisor to a sorority. She warned me that the media were being foolish for believing the allegations of drunken 20-somethings. She explained what she’d witnessed firsthand as a student and what she now deals with as an advisor. Some young women use alcohol as an excuse to be sexually aggressive at fraternity houses and nightclubs and then quickly concoct a story of sexual assault when confronted by their disapproving peers. Most of these allegations never make it to police headquarters. The allegations are too sketchy and the accuser’s immediate jury of peers reject them.
Because if there’s anyone more credible than a “drunken sorority girl” eyewitness, it’s an anonymous sorority advisor totally unrelated to the case who has no knowledge of what happened that night, but sent Jason Whitlock an e-mail.
* If you’re a man who watches pornography, Susannah Breslin wants to hear from you.
* Via From Austin to A&M: An NPR piece on the problematic preponderance of male “experts” in journalism brings on a male expert on male expertise to talk about the issue. Th expert, Clay Shirkey, had this to say:
CLAY SHIRKY: I think one of the big impacts is that the male voice is what expertise comes to sound like. And so, even from someone who doesn’t go in with a formally sexist bias about whether men are more expert than women in general, you may just unconsciously flip through to those parts of the rolodex. Someone somewhere has to say, we have to change the fact of the representation before we change people’s mental model of what expertise sounds like because if we just wait, we will always lag the cultural change rather than leading it.
I wonder if NPR listeners had to hear this from a man in order to believe it?
Photo via freeparking, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0