Friday, July 27, 2001
Texas professor study shows
"hooking up" more rampant on campuses
A story published today by the Daily Texan, a
university newspaper of University of Texas-Austin, reports that a new study on sex
and dating in college indicates that the limited dating scene for college women has left
them with two choices: to "hook up" with guys sexually or engage in short but
Directed by Norval Glenn, a University of Texas sociology professor,
the Institute for American Values study, titled "Hooking Up, Hanging Out and Hoping
for Mr. Right," was unveiled Thursday at the "Campus Sex and Dating"
program in Washington, D.C.
"What's going on in campuses is [women are] either hooking up
with guys in meaningless physical entanglements ranging from kissing to having sex, or a
joining-in-the-hips deal where the couple is together in waking and sleeping hours,"
said Kimberly Schuld, director of external relations for the Independent Women's Forum, an
educational organization who released the study.
"There is no in-between, no sense of 'Let's get to know each
other,'" Schuld said. "It is all or nothing in terms of commitment."
The kind of dating that used to exist in college has disappeared,
For every 79 men, there are 100 women on college campuses, Glenn
said, and this has led men to feel less pressured to ask girls out.
"Males don't have to take the kind of initiative they used to,
and they don't, and that is understandable," Glenn said.
The study also states that 91 percent of those surveyed report
a persistent "hook-up culture" on their campuses.
"Many women said it is too much trouble to try to go out and
find those guys, and with hooking up, there is companionship and sexual gratification
without too much effort," Glenn said. "There is also no chance of
Schulb said that in a society that has become focused on immediate
satisfaction, it is no wonder random hook-ups often involving alcohol are occurring.
"It's like the whole thing about having to kiss a lot of frogs
before finding your own prince," Field said.
What is particularly interesting in the study, Schulb said, is the
overall view on marriage. Eighty-three percent of respondents said marriage is an
"Young women want to and expect to be married, but at the same
time, there is not a clear connection to them that the things they do today will influence
their future," Schulb said. "This is a generation who has high regard for
marriage, but low regard for sex."
Glenn added that the overall attitude on marriage was more
traditional than he had expected.
Thursday, July 26, 2001
Women working in Wall Street see
little progress in securities industry
A story published today by the Wall Street Journal reports
that a survey released yesterday of men and women at seven major securities firms suggests
that many women in Wall Street are dissatisfied with the extent of progress that has been
made to help them advance in the securities industry.
The findings reaffirm an impression by many women on Wall
Street that the industry remains inhospitable.
Most of the nearly 500 women who responded to the survey
conducted by Catalyst, a nonprofit research and advisory organization in New York, say
they are happy with their jobs, citing the challenging work and generous compensation.
But they also describe an industry where it is difficult to
get ahead. Two-thirds say that they must work harder than men for the same rewards, and a
third report a hostile environment where crude or sexist comments are tolerated, they are
treated unfairly or are subject to unwanted sexual attention.
The survey, which is the first extensive look at the
experiences of women working on Wall Street, also suggests that many women are making
significant sacrifices in their personal lives, similar to the ones made by lawyers and
other professionals. Only half of the women surveyed have children, compared with about
three-quarters of the men surveyed. In a 1996 survey of senior women at Fortune 1000
companies, about two-thirds had children. Two- thirds of the Wall Street women were
married or living with a partner, compared with 86 percent of the men.
While the leaders of many Wall Street firms are committed
to change, many in their organizations are not, said Alexandra Lebenthal, who heads her
family's Wall Street firm and has been in the business for about 15 years. "I think
there are a lot of people on Wall Street who do not see the need to change."
Given the resources many of the firms are pouring into
efforts to diversify their work forces and given the large number of women on Wall Street,
the lack of progress is surprising, said Dee A. Soder, an executive coach in New York who
is managing partner in the CEO Perspective Group.
"It's gotten much better," she said, "but
there is still a glass ceiling with less reason for a glass ceiling."
But some argue that the securities industry is difficult
for both men and women. "Wall Street, in general I believe, is undeservedly
maligned," said Cristina Morgan, a senior investment banker at J. P. Morgan, the
investment banking arm of J. P. Morgan Chase. Many women, and men, choose to leave Wall
Street because of the hours and the travel required, she said. The clients "pay us
lots and lots of money to be at their disposal 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," she
And juggling the demands of a family with the work is
extraordinarily hard, Ms. Morgan said, adding: "I am filled with admiration for my
women partners who are successful and have children. I am mystified to how they do
it." She indicated that she thought Wall Street was indeed a meritocracy.
But many of the women who remain in the business are
deciding to forgo having children. "I cannot imagine ever having children and doing
this business," a senior-level woman told Catalyst.
Men, of course, are also aware of the sacrifices required
to rise on Wall Street, particularly in investment banking. "It's hard to be a
middle-level vice president and not spend 90 hours a week at the firm," one man said.
"That just doesn't jibe with trying to raise a family."
Many of the women surveyed also cited as a barrier to their
moving up exclusion from important networks.
"Well, it was every broker but me that got
invited," a senior-level woman told Catalyst. "So they all got input as to maybe
what they were doing wrong, or how they could improve their business, but me."
The survey also offers a glimpse into the continued problem
of sexual harassment on Wall Street, which continues to surface from time to time. While
sexual harassment is difficult to define and to measure with any precision, with little
comparative data in private industries, the survey suggests that many women think that
inappropriate or crude comments continue to be tolerated where they work. Some men agree.
"In my experience," one said, "brokers are
the raunchiest people that you'll ever meet."
Census reveals more kids
living with grandparents
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that for more American
children, grandma and grandpa's house is no longer a house to visit but a home to live in.
The number of kids under age 18 living in a grandparent-headed home increased in nearly
every state for which the latest round of 2000 census data is available. Florida for
instance, showed 258,952 kids living in such homes, a 33 percent rise since 1990.
And for grandparents raising kids without one of the grandchild's parents living with
them, it has become an unexpected financial burden that lawmakers must ease with more
financial assistance, said Amy Goyer, a program coordinator for AARP. AARP is the
country's largest advocacy group for senior citizens.
"It's nothing you really planned for, because there is no such thing as retirement
now," said Mrs. Landenberger of Naples, Florida, who was awarded custody of their two
grandsons after their daughter -- the boys' mother -- was sent to prison and the boys'
father died. "You are doing things around school that you hadn't planned on
The figures offer another perspective into the more diverse makeup of the American
family highlighted by the 2000 census.
In Florida, for instance, the percentage of children under 18 living in a
grandparent-headed home rose from 6.8 percent in 1990 to 7.1 percent in 2000.
Data also released for Hawaii showed that 12.9 percent of children there lived in a
grandparent's home in 2000, up from 10.4 percent in 1990.
A 1997 Census Bureau survey estimated that more than half the kids living in
grandparent-headed homes had their mother living in the house with them. About one-third
of the homes did not include one of the grandchild's parents.
While previous studies have shown that grandparent-headed households occur more in
low-income families, divorce, career choices and job constraints are causing the numbers
to rise in all socio-economic groups, said Gregory Brock, director of the University of
Kentucky Family Center.
The trend is reminiscent of the pre-World War II years, when three-generation
households were not uncommon, said Gregory Brock, director of the University of Kentucky
Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Social Security plan opposed by House Democratic women legislators
A story published today by the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Democratic
women legislators in the House have signed a letter to President Bush predicting that
diverting Social Security payroll taxes to finance private investment accounts would
weaken the security of elderly women.
The letter argued that women have less money to invest because they earn less than men
and take time out from work to raise children.
It also noted that 60 percent of Social Security beneficiaries and three-quarters of
unmarried and widowed elderly women rely on Social Security for more than half of their
"Forty percent of women have pensions, compared to 44 percent of men. And only 20
percent of women who work for firms of less than 100 employees are covered by a pension
plan," Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said at a rally outside the Capitol.
Private control of Social Security also would "cut spousal benefits by
one-third," leaving wives at near-poverty levels, the letter said.
Rep. Karen Thurman (D-Fla.) objected to "the scare tactics that are being used to
put forth the commission's recommendations.
''We have to have an open, honest and fair debate that uses an accurate interpretation
of data to support effective and fair ways to improve the program," she said.
Working-class families struggle to
meet basic expenses
A story published today by the Washington Post
reports that according to a study released by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan
think tank that advocates a social safety net to help the poor, 4 million American
working-class families will wonder whether they will have enough money to meet basic
expenses at the end of the month.
The study examined how much it costs families yearly to pay for a
"basic family budget," or the minimum necessary to cover meals, rent, utilities,
transportation, health insurance, child care and other household necessities and account
In 1999, the institute figured a two-parent, two-child family needed
$ 49,218 annually in the District of Columbia, making it one of the most costly
communities in the country.
"Our goal was to really measure how many people are unable to
make ends meet," said Heather Boushey, one of four authors of the year-long study. In
1999, the U.S. Census Bureau set the poverty line at $ 17,463 for a family of the same
size, with no variation according to location.
Boushey said many people consider the Census Bureau's definition of
poverty to be too low. The bureau bases its model on the assumption that one-third of a
family's budget is spent on food and that it is the biggest expense.
According to Boushey, that assumption, while probably true in the
1960s when the formula was developed, has been eclipsed by rising housing and child care
costs. In Washington, for example, the average monthly day-care cost for a two-parent
family with two children is $ 1,042, compared with $ 510 for food. Housing is the
second-highest expense at $ 820. "In some communities, the lowest cost for housing is
actually at or above their poverty line," Boushey said.
Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, a
Washington think tank, said some of the study's assumptions about health-care costs and
housing costs may be a bit too high. Sawhill said the study is useful, especially in
comparing costs in different parts of the country, but does not examine whether the
parents work full or part time.
Since the Welfare Reform Act in 1996, Boushey said, more women are
expected to work, so the study assumed families would pay for child care. "We've
decided we're not going to support women to stay at home to raise their children,"
Most of the families whose incomes fall below the level required to
cover the "basic family budget" are white. However, about half of all black and
Hispanic families make amounts below that level, and three out of four single-parent
families with two children fall below.
Monday, July 23, 2001
Six out of every ten U.S. women
face long term care crisis
A story released today by Business Wire reports that a
groundbreaking study commissioned by the GE Center for Financial Learning, reveals that
63% of female baby boomers believe that when the time comes, their spouse will provide
them with long term care.
However, research indicates 59% of women over the age of 65 won't have a spouse to take
care of them due to divorce, widowhood and increased longevity. Conducted by the Center
for Aging Research & Education (CARE) and entitled "Secure Tomorrow's Autonomy
Today" (STAT), the study is the first in a series of GE-sponsored studies designed to
underscore the myths and realities of the retirement experience.
According to survey findings, without proper planning, women risk being burdened with
providing long term care for others, only to be faced with losing their assets and
becoming dependent upon government assistance when faced with their own long term care
"It is clear from the STAT survey findings that married mid-life women are largely
unaware of the impact that singleness will play on their ability to address long term care
needs as they grow older," said Dr. Christopher Hayes, advisor to the GE Center and
co-director of CARE. "Resources such as the GE Center are imperative to improving the
education and awareness of this population as it relates to long term care."
Although 80% of caregivers to the elderly are women, the study found that more than
half of women surveyed have no knowledge about long term care planning. Furthermore, more
than 75% of women respondents reported that they do not want to rely on their children for
their long term care needs, yet only 7% have purchased a long term care insurance policy
to preserve their autonomy.
To avoid facing a long term care crisis, women need to educate themselves about long
term care options and be aware of the risks associated with being unprepared. Cindy
Hounsell, director of the National Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement agrees.
"By taking a few small steps to educate themselves about long term care, women can
achieve peace of mind and ensure that they live the best quality of life later in their
lives - as well as do what is best for the rest of their family," she said.
Ten things to do when
An article written by Shawn Croft for Askmen.com gives 10
helpful tips to single people on how to take the many advantages of flying solo. The full
text of the article appears below:
10. Work out
Everyone knows that we tend to get lazy when we have someone. Some men shave less often,
while some women dress less sexy. These may be stereotypes, but surely you agree. If this
is so, then why not take advantage of your newfound single status and hit the gym? For
one, you will get in shape and feel better about yourself, and second, who knows, you may
meet someone that catches your eye while on the treadmill.
9. Seize the moment
I know many will blast me here, but you need to get it all out of your system, especially
if she did the dumping. Is there a female friend you always wanted to get to know better?
Well, get to know her. Is there a spot you wanted to hit? Take a trip. Did you want to try
a new haircut or style? Now is the time. Whatever you do, be careful, but go all out.
Nothing sucks more than missed opportunities.
8. Be bad
I am not going to urge anyone to have sex in a church, slap a priest, cause harm to
others, or any such deviant practice (well, the first one may be cool...), but do things
that will make you feel young and slightly carefree. While some men play the good boy next
to their bad girlfriend, most men are usually forced to tame up a bit when they are taken,
so when you are single, go crazy; it's debauchery time.
We are always caught up in our own world, rarely seeing beyond the tip of our noses. One
great way to open one's blinders is to help others. Not only will you meet interesting
people, but you'll also get some perspective into your life and will likely end up
cherishing what you have even more.
6. See your friends
My friends make fun of me for going out often... very often. They tease me even more when
I meet someone interesting because my focus changes -- drastically. While this is slightly
normal, I do urge all men to never forget the boys; the boys will be there for you when
(and if) things end, but she may not. So if you happen to be single, then make sure that
you enjoy your friends' company and always show them your gratitude.
5. See your family
One of my personal concerns is not seeing my family nearly as often, or as much, as I
should and desire. Reasons range from work and social life to other matters, so if you
happen to free up some time after saying goodbye to the ex, then take the opportunity to
visit the folks, take out the siblings and even say "hey" to the grandparents.
4. Take a vacation
While it is indeed great to take a trip with a loved one, it may be twice as good to
take a trip with friends or even by yourself. There is no better way to find yourself,
seek new avenues and clear your head. So leave the pictures of the ex at home and head out
for some adventure.
3. Improve yourself
This is an extension of working out, but it entails improving one's diet, getting rid of
nasty habits, finding your dream job, and doing what you have always set out to do but
never had the chance to. I know, easier said than done but trust me, nothing will make you
forget what's-her-name faster.
2. Explore a new world
So you limit yourself to Sports Illustrated, macaroni and cheese, and beer? Why don't you
try something else for a change? No, I am not encouraging you to read Henry David
Thoreau's Walden (although it is a good read), but you should do something new and
different. Trust me, you will thank me for it.
1. Look ahead
Yes, you should live in the moment, take the plunge and seize the opportunities. But one
must also ask where they came from to know where they are going. No one needs a 25_year
plan laid out; I don't know where I'll be in 25 days. But if you wish to attain your
goals, then you need some sense of direction
Sunday, July 22, 2001
Gay foster dad challenges
Florida's state adoption law
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that the Florida Department of
Children & Families has told a gay man challenging Florida's ban on adoption by
homosexuals that it plans to place his 10-year-old foster son with another family.
Steven Lofton learned of the department's intentions on Friday during a court hearing.
Lofton is a plaintiff in an upcoming federal court trial in Key West that will
challenge Florida's 1977 law that prohibits adoption by homosexuals.
The department's bid to find a new family for Lofton's foster son was not explained during
the court hearing. Both sides came to court to argue a motion by the department for
a summary judgment, or a dismissal under the law.
U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King called the controversy "one of the very
difficult social issues" and said he could take up to a month to rule. If he denies
summary judgment, the case would continue to trial.
While Florida bars adoption by gays and lesbians, it doesn't prevent them from being
LaNedra Carroll, spokeswoman for the Department of Children & Families in Tallahassee,
said the pending litigation restricted her comments. In general, she said the
agency's goal is to seek permanent homes for foster children.
"And if there is a case where a child is being removed from a foster home, that would
indicate permanency is not an option in that foster home," she said.
Leslie Cooper, an ACLU lawyer, said she had written the agency's lawyers asking for
assurance that Lofton's child would not be removed while the lawsuit makes its way through
the legal system.
"The only assurance they would give is that he wouldn't be removed until they found a
suitable adoptive family," Cooper said. "You can imagine how that went
Lofton declined comment when reached in Oregon, where he lives with his foster son by
special agreement with Florida officials.
Lofton's lawyers said they have asked the child welfare agency for a meeting to explore
Married Americans reveal
A story released today by the Associated Press reports a
poll conducted by Ipsos-NPD, an Illinois-based research group, shows that about 40 percent
of married Americans admit keeping a secret from their spouses, but most have nothing to
do with an affair or fantasy. The most common secret is how much they spend.
Of those with a secret, 48 percent said they had not told their spouses about the real
price of something they bought, according to the poll, being published in the August issue
of Reader's Digest.
``I don't think there's a marriage where that didn't happen,'' said one respondent, a
woman married 26 years. ``You always get those good bargains, you know?''
Another wife said: ``I don't like to tell him how much I spend when I go shopping. I'm
afraid he'll cut back on the budget.''
It wasn't just women; the percentage was about the same for husbands. One man concealed
the price of one small purchase: ``The item wasn't very big but the price of it was.''
The second most-kept secrets, at about 15 percent, are about a failure at work or a
child's behavior. ``There are times your kids do things that you know would make the other
party ballistic,'' one woman said.
Only 2 percent of all respondents, equally split among men and women, said they had an
extramarital affair that remained a secret. Fourteen percent kept quiet about being
attracted to another person.
In response to another question, 16 percent of both men and women admitted that, at
least once during their marriage, they wished they could wake up and not be married any
It also found that 20 percent of the nation's married couples have dreams or
aspirations they haven't mentioned to a spouse, ranging from living somewhere else (50
percent) to getting a dog (8 percent).
About 40 percent of the wives and 30 percent of the husbands said they wish they could
persuade their spouses to be less messy. And about a quarter of each sex said they can't
get their partners to lose weight.
Saturday, July 21,2001
South Carolina singles love
A story published today by The State reports that single residents of South Carolina
overwhelmingly responded to the papers question: Are you single and loving it? Those
who are "single and loving it" say they relish freedom and self-identity, and
deny societys myth that you need someone permanently attached to you to be
If theres one thing singles love, it can be summed up in the word Dustin Tucker, 26,
uses when asked what he likes about being single. Tucker responded with Mel
Gibsons famous cry from the movie "Braveheart"
Singles love the opportunity to pursue their careers and interests on their own.
Columbia attorney Katie Schultz loves to work on her house in her spare time, and lists
an entire catalog of freedoms she cherishes: "Something I call the
Committee of One makes decision making a breeze," said
Schultz, who has never married. "When I am ready to go, everybody is ready to go.
Everyone is happy with my evening television selection, be it
Survivor or Behind The Music The Rise and
Fall of Milli Vanilli. No one complains when take-out sushi is for dinner
again. No one complains if I hang around all day Sunday in my pajamas."
The biggest gripe among singles? By far, its the idea that theyre all
desperate to find a mate.
"You shouldn have to be set up with these crazy folks that people
think you should be with!" said Trinessa Gibson, 29, of Columbia, a phlebotomist at
Providence Hospital who has never been married.
"Theres a big misconception that you need to be connected to someone
else,"" said Elizabeth Andrews, 61, a nurse technician whose husband died in
1995. "We have this concept of Man should not be alone. I
think women these days are especially coming of age and finding they dont have
to be attached in order to have an identity."
Singles who are happy with their situation also have some good advice for people who
find themselves, for whatever reason, without a mate, and arent feeling good about
First of all, they say, learn to love yourself.
"The biggest misconception is that people think you need someone to complete
you," Gibson said. "I know women who would rather have an abusive male than be
alone. Thats just not true. You dont need another person to make you
Garnett Dulong, 89, a resident of Wildewood Downs in Northeast Columbia who has been on
her own since her husbands death in 1981 believes that the key to enjoying
singlehood is a positive attitude. She said its especially important for people who
find themselves alone after a divorce or being widowed.
"If you dont look at things positively, you dont recognize when things
are good," she said. "Some people just love to grieve, and they forget all the
good things theyve had in life. The best thing is to get out and stay busy."
Michael Wederman, a psychology professor at Columbia College, said its important
to avoid the "third wheel" syndrome.
"Even though there are an increasing number of singles, were still in a
pretty coupled society, and its important to know you dont have to
feel like a second-rate citizen, or like youre waiting for life to begin,"
Wederman said. "People who come out of bad marriages especially can discover that
theyre so much happier being single."