- Divorce Rates Higher In States With Gay Marriage Bans - Another in a long series of data points showing that states which purport to have the highest values do the poorest in upholding them.
Overall, the states which had enacted a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as of 1/1/08 saw their divorce rates rise by 0.9 percent over the five-year interval. States which had not adopted a constitutional ban, on the other hand, experienced an 8.0 percent decline, on average, in their divorce rates. - FiveThirtyEight.com
- Gay Marriage and Abortion Facts - Yes, correlation is not causation, but boy is it interesting!
Counterintuitive as it may seem, the facts remain that abortion is most rare in countries where it is legal and readily available, and most common in those where it is illegal or difficult to obtain. This is largely because the countries where abortion is legal also have better sex education and more access to birth control. So, to some extent, the good and sincere people who call themselves "pro-life" have the blood of millions of babies on their hands. These are the facts in the real world, as it actually exists.
- Who's Afraid Of The HPV Vaccine - In another case of science proving common sense, it turns out that cultural values directly impact whether people believe "experts" or not.
A new study concludes that people tend to match their risk perceptions about policy issues with their cultural values, which may explain the intense disagreement about proposals to vaccinate elementary-school girls against human-papillomavirus (HPV). The study also says people's values shape their perceptions of expert opinion on the vaccine.
An online experiment involving more than 1,500 U.S. adults reveals that individuals who have cultural values that favor authority and individualism perceive the vaccine as risky, in part because they believe it will lead girls to engage in unsafe sex. But individuals with cultural values that favor gender equality and pro-community/government involvement in basic health care are more likely to see the vaccine as low risk and high benefit.
And, one more for a bonus.
- Top public universities faulted on financial aid - A key question for UVA's next President, how do you maintain your status as a top public university and serve those who are currently underserved by that status?
An evaluation of top public universities in the 2007-08 school year found that the University of Virginia had one of the best graduation rates for minority students. But the school ranked near the bottom when it came to enrolling low-income students in numbers that reflect the state's demographics, and it ranked in the middle for enrollment of minority students.