(Biology at work) How Women May Have Shaped Men’s Penises

I found an online article on Smithsonian.com that reported a scientific study done in Canada based exclusively on the male anatomy. Their original finding published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science found that female preference for certain male traits have likely shaped the size and thickness of the human penis through natural selection. When first reading this article, I couldn’t help but think this study was an odd mixture of both Sex and the City and Darwin’s theory of evolution. Who knew the two could find something in common?

According to the article, human penises are longer and wider when compared to penises of other primates. Biologists know that penises of other animals reveal information about what shaped a particular species’ evolution, so why not apply this same idea to humans? Basically scientists are trying to understand why human males have developed such long penises when compared to other animals. The creators of the study setup virtual images of males combining different heights, shoulder-to-hip ratios and penis lengths. 53 life-size images were shown to 105 women. Afterwards they were asked to rate the computer-generated men by their sexual attractiveness.

A trend was discovered. Women seem to prefer taller men with larger should-to-hip ratios and (big surprise) longer penises to be the most attractive. They also found out that this preference does have its restrictions.  Images that surpassed a certain size were considered less attractive. Brian Mautz of the University of Ottawa and the lead researcher of this project believes there is a “a point of theoretical peak attractiveness.” Once that they go beyond this point the rating does begin to decline. It appears that women prefer more extreme shoulder-to-hip ratio and tallness but less extreme penis size.

Truthfully I found this whole article to be a bit on the ridiculous side. I’m surprised they found people to finance such studies, but like we discussed in class the medical industry prioritizes men’s health over that of women’s.  For example we have a variety of medicines for erectile dysfunction (Viagra, Cialis and Levitra just to name a few) but we still haven’t found a cure for breast cancer. The study does however point out an interesting insight into human sexuality. In chapter five of the textbook we talked about how women feel the pressure to alter their appearance to make themselves look more attractive to the opposite sex (nose jobs, breast enlargement etc.) Like the study points out maybe women with the help of evolution have also altered men’s bodyScreen Shot 2013-04-10 at 1.28.51 PM.

My fight for birth control

My Fight for birth control

While reading Margret Sanger’s article, My fight for birth control. I realized of the huge victory we have gained due to birth control being available to most women. We weren’t always so fortunate; women in the 17th century were struggling with poor economic and living conditions. Women were the ones that had to stretch every penny to make sure their families had what they needed including food and clothing. Most women were struggling so much with the family size they had they needed birth control. It must have been heart wrenching to find out you were pregnant and feel grief instead of happiness because you know that the child you will birth will come into this world to struggle and that your other children will struggle more as a result. Women were dying due to the lack of ability to obtain birth control because when they became pregnant, they were pressured to resort to dangerous illegal abortion procedures.  Women of low economic status suffered the most because doctors were much more likely to offer birth control options to women of higher economic stats.

Today we have many types of birth control. It can be convenient to walk into the drug store to purchase it and has been tested to make sure it is effective and safe. What makes me so proud is that women can now take charge in their lives! We can now plan our family/ or plan not to have one! We know our bodies and this is the greatest advancement we’ve had.

“Molly”

As I was driving into work one morning I was listening to the radio. I was seeking through the stations and I stopped to listen to the current news/gossip section on a local radio station. I always find it amusing to hear about the dilemmas the radio stations choose to highlight for the day but today I was quite surprised. They spoke about a rap song that was released by Rick Ross and other rappers last month. The song was about date rape.

Now I know where you think you know where I’m going with this but you might be wrong. I don’t think rap music is the problem.

The song is horrible. The lyrics of the song were something like… “Put Molly all in her champagne… She ain’t even know it… I took her home and I enjoyed that… She ain’t even know it”. I didn’t even here the song but I was disgusted. This is a huge deal.  Unfortunately it is an often occurrence for Women to be molested after a result of someone slipping the date rape drug which is a crystal form of MDMA (known as “Molly”)in a drink. Many people talk about date rape drugs to raise awareness but even if it happens to only one woman it is a huge problem.

This past week has been a huge eye opener to me about how rape is viewed in our society. I always knew that sex sells but never really noticed how much and how often women are being portrayed as commercial objects to sell products. This is happening in the music industry as well. Rap music is capitalizing on violence against women, sex and drugs.

Rap music has evolved a lot. What I believe to once have been used as a tool to express the inequalities some groups face is now being the oppressor of us women! Sometimes they are not as obvious because the rap industry has done a great job to mask these into certain terms that people might not understand such as the use of “molly” instead of date rape drug in the song by Rick Ross.

So why did I say I don’t think rap music is at fault? The rap music will continue to be produced and sent through our radio air waves because that is what the consumer wants! Why do we consumers continue to purchase and accept these songs and images in our media, that is the real problem.

Primero soy madre

 

While I was reading the textbook about power and family relationships, my grandmother kept popping into my head.

When I was growing up I heard comments from my grandmother all the time about how a woman “primero es madre” which is Spanish for “First I am a mother”and she should realize that. I never realized what she meant by that until I had my own children and my mother constantly reminded me that “primero soy madre”. I mean what else can you be?

What they meant to say was that once you become a mother even before being a woman, you are a mother and you must assume the role of being a good one. However being a good mother is kind of tricky. Everyone has their own ideas of what a good mother is. Yes there are commonalities of these ideas such as being caring, nurturing, loving and devoted to her children. Our individual cultures also have a lot of influence on our parenting as well. We guide our expectations based on traditions, what we see most common. The US society valued the stay at home mom at one point but over time the society’s expectations from mothers have changed; now society has created an ideology of a supermom character because of the rise of women in the workforce. The supermom character is the woman that tries to juggle being a mother with all the responsibilities that come along with raising caring, nurtured, successful children and also being a successful career woman… at the same time!

It sounds great and the reality is that many moms are doing this, (hooray J go supermoms!) but it is not easy. As a mom trying to do this, believe me, it’s not easy! We read about how difficult it is for women to succeed in a workforce dominated by men. We women constantly have to prove our ability to perform our jobs, may experience gender discrimination or sexual harassment and still earn less than men without men having to put in as much effort! To top it off “first we are mothers/ primero soy madre”. Many mothers feel it is their obligation to have to make sacrifices for their children and families. That is why a supermom makes it her (additional) job to maintain her household tidy, including household chores and laundry and make it her priority to nurture and love the family.

“Primero soy Madre”, this simple phrase meant/means so much to many women in my culture. It’s a constant feeling of having to sacrifice who you are to fit into an “ideal” mother mold. There is a constant struggle with society telling us we have to be independent, educated and successful women but still, above all stay dedicated and committed to our children. Um how are we supposed to accomplish it all?

My advice, regardless of your parenting style and career, never forget that you are a woman.

I am a Chicana. I am a worker.

While reading A Brief History of working Women I realized the transformation of the American workforce over the turn of the centuries. Society did a great job at trying to justify when and why women should work. If the economy was lacking help then it was justified to have more women workers… however not all women workers had the same opportunities. Our lives as women consist of interdependent roles. We can be a wife, mother, daughter, sister, cousin and the list goes on all while being a woman. Furthermore your race and class were also part of the equation. I really enjoy the reading because I was able to get a glimpse at how these complex women experienced the workforce. Women had different struggles and were even viewed with different expectations based on their race.

While reading the section about Chicana women in the workforce, I realize that women faced very serious issues in the workplace. Discrimination and low education attainment is what is highlighted in the passage to explain the struggles of Chicana women in the workplace. While reading this I couldn’t help thinking about my sophomore year in high school when I approached my counselor to discuss higher education opportunities. I went into her office and told her that I wanted to be a pediatrician. She briefly told me about a college but then shifted her attention (and the remainder of her time) to talk to me about vocational school. She told me that pursuing a career as a pediatrician would take too long and that I should take a vocational career that would only take 9 months to complete. She told me that I wouldn’t struggle as much and that and I could get a stable job with a vocational certification as a medical assistant. I became discouraged and changed my mind; I decided to settle with trying to get into nursing school. However 10 years later I realized that I am fully capable to fight through the struggles and enrolled in college.

This popped into my head, not because of how I struggled to find my career path but because society is very quick to make judgments about a person’s capacity based on a person’s race. I think the discrimination towards Chicana women might have paved the way for the struggles we would face in the workforce because of the persuasion of trying to tell you to take the job that can get you “enough” to get by, even for a Chicana woman.

Rape Culture

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Rape culture is ingrained in our society. Instead of taking action against the accused we are making excuses. One of the most disliked myths about rape is the appearance of women. Regardless of what women are wearing or how they are acting they are never “asking for it.” I hate the myth that men cannot control themselves. Please, such a lame excuse. They are not animals, even though that is what society puts in men’s heads. I love the above picture because it is so true. If we step out of the rape culture we will notice how stupid or ignorant the things we say or think are. Enough is enough and people need to start realizing that there is no excuse for rape.

Battering and Physical AbuseTammy Burt Group 4

Battering and Physical Abuse
Women of all races and classes are battered this rate is five times higher among families below poverty levels. A woman that has been physically abused is also emotionally abused due to the experience of the emotional abuse due to being physically terrorized. Women are 5 to 8 times more likely to be victimized by an intimate partner. In 2007, acceding to the Department of Justice report 85 percent of women experience The statistics for the United Sates the FBI every day about four women die as the results of domestic violence that is approximately 1,400 a year. Unemployed men are twice likely to sever abuse his wife. This shows the differences in economic vulnerability and the lack of resources such as social services which give women the opportunities to report the abuse. A study which was taken showed that between 3 to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence every year. Half of the men that abused the women also abused the child in these homes. Children that witness violence in the home are five times more likely to commit or suffer violence when they become adults. The poem entitled “She Said” written by Mariah Lockwood about the emotional abuse of battered women. The ways in which a woman internalize message about femininity, love, marriage and romance all these things can make them vulnerable to being dominated in a relationship. A woman in this situation it is importance that she has friendship and emotional support. Emotional abuse from a man telling a woman that is worthless, stupid ugly. These scars of abuse take longer to heal that the physical ones. The reason that some men physically abuse is internalized sexism and they feel they have the right to dominate they have learned to use violence as a way to deal with conflict. Some which leave an abusive partner will return about 5 to 7 time before leaving for good. There are 9 complex and interconnected reasons why women will stay in abusive relationships. (1) The feeling of shame, guilt and low self-esteem that comes with emotional abuse. The woman often feels it is her fault. (2) Become desensitized to the violence see it as normal and they should tolerate it. (3) The women tend to be physically isolated from others. Woman is prevented from visiting family and friends, no transportation no access to a phone. Not having a reality about the situation. (4) Worry about what people will think. This is a myth in the middle-class that this is a lower-class problem this does not happen to nice families that appear to have everything going for them. Some churches encourage the woman being abused to submit to their husband, neighbors look the other way, embarrassment that is associated with being abused by husband. (5) Cannot afford to leave fear the economic welfare of themselves and their children less education and to work will not be enough to support the family. (6) Some women feel that their children need a father even a bad father is better than no father at all. For the sake of her children a women is likely to leave for good when she see that her children are being hurt. (7) There is often nowhere to go. Crisis lines and emergency housing shelters women have difficulty imaging an alternative situation. (8) The woman may fear what may happen to her abusive partner in the criminal system men of color. Some women believe the man can change part of this cycle of violence is called “honeymoon phase” The buildup of tension when violence is brewing, next, is the violence episode Last, is the honeymoon phase when the man is remorseful – even horrified to have done such a thing and ask forgiveness. This is charming and manipulation woman can persuasive. (9) Women believe that their abuser might kill them or hurt or kill the children past actions enough to make the women realize this is no idle threat. Some men do kill the women or wives in these situations after she has filed a restraining order against him. While I was growing up I can recall how my best friend sister I will call her shorty was being abused by her husband. One incident is when Shorty’s husband had jumped on her this time her brother and him got into it and he kills his sister’s husband. This changed his life he went to prison and his sister was left to raise her three children on her own.

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