Talk about your empirical evidence…

Have you mentored a philosopher today?   Enjoy an excerpt of this article:

Research has shown that individuals with mentors receive more promotions, have higher incomes (Dreher & Ash, 1990), report more career satisfaction (Fagenson, 1989; Turban & Dougherty, 1994), and report more career mobility (Scandura, 1992). Unfortunately, women face greater barriers to developing a mentoring relationship than their male counterparts, even though they derive equivalent benefits if they are able to acquire a mentor (Dreher & Ash, 1990; Fagenson, 1989; Turban & Dougherty, 1994).

One mustn’t pay too much attention to facebook, but…

In the “so pathetic it’s funny” category, someone’s actually asking on facebook if a woman can be as effective as a man at being the U.S. President.  (I wonder if my British colleagues on this blog are laughing or just think the States are loony?)  The answer is overwhelmingly positive, with 76% (about 57,500) of respondents saying yes; U.S. Senator David Kucinich noted, “Hello? Yes.  I don’t think a woman could be as ineffective as George Bush.”  But if you’re dismayed that the percentage isn’t higher, perhaps it’s small comfort that the data broken down by age reveals the negatives are coming from college-age young’uns, followed closely by facebook’s sage and knowledgable 13-17 year olds.  Those of us in the 35-49 bracket overwhelmingly answered Yes, and really, anyone of any age with memory (or, really, even literacy and a newspaper subscription) know that if a woman can “manage”  in England, Canada, Germany, FInland, Ireland, India, Chile and Liberia, then she can probably somehow struggle along what with the 3,366 staff members available to perhaps mail a letter or advise her to invade a country.  Me, I’m eagerly awaiting the part where the 24-hour cable news channels breathlessly devote whole segments to the opinions of facebook teenagers. (Thanks for the link, Sally!)

Outsourcing Pregnancies to India

You know, this one just renders me speechless. And yet I feel somehow I should have expected it.

Anand, India– Every night in this quiet western Indian city, 15 pregnant women prepare for sleep in the spacious house they share, ascending the stairs in a procession of ballooned bellies, to bedrooms that become a landscape of soft hills. A team of maids, cooks and doctors looks after the women, whose pregnancies would be unusual anywhere else but are common here. The young mothers of Anand, a place famous for its milk, are pregnant with the children of infertile couples from around the world. The small clinic at Kaival Hospital matches infertile couples with local women, cares for the women during pregnancy and delivery, and counsels them afterward. Anand’s surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies….Commercial surrogacy has been legal in India since 2002, as it is in many other countries, including the United States. But India is the leader in making it a viable industry rather than a rare fertility treatment. Experts say it could take off for the same reasons outsourcing in other industries has been successful: a wide labor pool working for relatively low rates.  Critics say the couples are exploiting poor women in India — a country with an alarmingly high maternal death rate — by hiring them at a cut-rate cost to undergo the hardship, pain and risks of labor.  “It raises the factor of baby farms in developing countries,” said Dr. John Lantos of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo. “It comes down to questions of voluntariness and risk.”  

(Thanks, Jender-Parents, for the link.)