Working mothers not ruining children’s lives

The Observer reports:

“The good news is that we can see no adverse effects,” said American academic Jane Waldfogel, currently a visiting professor at the London School of Economics. “This research is unique because the question we have always asked in the past has been: ‘If everything else remains constant, what is the effect of a mum going off to work?’ But of course everything else doesn’t stay constant, so it’s an artificial way of looking at things.

A good study, and I’m glad it’s getting press. Still, I think I would actually *pay* to see an article on this topic that also discusses pros and cons of fathers working.

Legal challenge to UK budget: failure to assess impact on gender equality

The Fawcett Society is seeking a judicial review of the recent UK budget: it says the budget was unlawful because there was no assessment of the impact on gender equality, and MPs should have been provided with such an impact assessment before they voted on the budget. There’s more on the Fawcett Society web page and in an article in the Observer.

This will be interesting… (Thanks, TLC!)

More on modesty

A study carried out by Corinne A. Moss-Racusin, a doctoral candidate at Rutgers, and published as a co-authored piece in the journal Psychology of Men and Masculinity, found that both men and women viewed modesty in male job applicants in a negative light. Modesty was viewed as a character weakness and an indicator of low status. The same trait was not viewed this way in women. I haven’t read the original study, so I’m not entirely sure what was classified as ‘modesty’ – although I’m presuming it wasn’t what these dudes were talking about. You can read more about the study here.

Is cheerleading a sport?

US colleges that receive federal funding have to comply with Title IX – legisltation that requires them to ensure equal opportunities for all. This translates into ensuring (amongst other things) that women have the same opportunities to participate in sport as men. Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. has recently come under fire for dismantling its female volley ball team, but introducing a competitive cheerleading squad, which it assumed would count towards its quota of female athletes. The move was designed to save money, since the competitive cheer squad would be cheaper than the volleyball team. However, a judge ruled that competitive cheerleading doesn’t currently count as a sport, because “the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganised to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.” This is despite the fact that it requires a high level of gymnastic ability. What do you think? You can read more here, and also here*.

*It should be noted that the Telegraph’s photo is a bit unfair – it shows cheerleaders shaking pom poms. This photo is a better representation of the activity: