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Although maternal mortality is less than 1% in developed countries, with 20 deaths per 100,000 births, in Africa the mortality rate is 20 times larger.  Specifically, in Sub-Saharan Africa, the vast majority of the deaths are from fairly preventable, treatable and/or normative processes during or shortly following birth like hemorrhaging and infection.  In this area, the number of deaths peaks again, at over 40 times greater than that in developed countries.  This information was obtained from 45 African countries between 1997 and 2006 from the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and the United Nations Development Program.  Correlative data seems to suggest “education, above all for women, is higher in countries with lower maternal death rates.”  Additionally, access to medical centers, clean drinking water, and addressing economic factors all seem to be positively linked with pre- and post- natal care for both mother and child.

Development is not something that happens only intrapsychically, dydically or even solely within the nuclear or community system.  Broffenbrenner’s idea about ecological development is evident here, especially in the face of poverty.  Even with the best intentions of parents and the most balanced of communities, if a mother does not have access to medical care in the case of complications after birth, she may die.  The absence of mother may and intuitively, probably would, affect child outcomes.

In talking about dealing with poverty as an outsider, organizations often refer to the difference between relief and development.  Ideally, relief is only used immediately following disasters, has a strict timeline, and aimed at addressing immediate concerns.  An example of a relief would be bringing bottled water after the earthquake in Haiti.  Development is used to help people in their affected areas “solve their own problems” and create their own sustainable solutions.  An example of this would be training Haitian professionals to become EMTs and doctors so that they can treat their own sick.  How can countries and organizations interested in improving maternal mortality rates use a development as opposed to relief model when it comes to creating maternal clinics?  Once those sustainable clinics are created, how will locals go about allaying misconceptions about the medicine so that the services are utilized?

Plataforma SINC (2010). Most maternal deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could be avoided.  ScienceDaily.  Retrieved March 12, 2010, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100218092852.htm

I just finished putting together a curriculum on male emotional development and regulation for one of my classes and I would love it if any of you would be willing to go and check it out, let me know what works and what doesn’t, and improvements I can make.  I love the beauty of 1.0.

Naming His Feelings

A recent study put out by Binghamton University found that there seems to be correlations between being a victim of peer victimization and sexual activity.  Males who are bullied in adolescence seem to have less sex and females who are bullied seem to have more sex.  Researchers think that it may be related to an evolutionary desire to eliminate sexual competitors.  Males who are bullied don’t end up having as much sex because females end up finding them less attractive.  Bullied females end up having more sex possibly as a function of lower self esteem and greater suscebility to coercion.  Additionally, the females being bullied may be bullied because they are more attractive, thus more attractive to male peers. (It should be noted that this study did not examine levels of attractiveness.)

I wonder how this would have been different if the study looked at peer victimization among homosexual adolescents.  Additionally, I wonder how it would have been different if it had examined levels of attractiveness.

Binghamton University (2009, February 25). Peer Victimization In Middle And High School Predicts Sexual Behavior Among Adolescents. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 21, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090217104431.htm

A study put out by Kansas State University recently examined the differences between how male and female police officers experience on-the-job stress and burnout. One of the ways that officers most often blow off steam is by sharing war stories. While sharing this stories “they remove the fear and emotion that go along with it and replace it with these superhuman qualities.” When women did that, the stories were considered more suspect or less likely to be real, alienating them from their male peers. Female officers are also more likely to be put into cases that male officers consider to be the most stressful, often involving a trauma to a child. Unfortunately, those cases are generally considered lower level work in the police force. Finally, when looking at the intersection of gender, vocation, and family life, it was considered more acceptable for a male officer to need to leave a family gathering because of work or a call than for a female officer to do the same thing. All this adds up to a pretty rough outlook on female resilience in police forces, but on the other hand, it is considered career and social suicide for a male officer to demonstrate emotion when faced with a traumatizing case or situation. The expectation the females do experience emotion may be one of their saving graces.

I wonder how gender differences in stress management play out in other emotionally and physically challenging career paths, like child protection, social work, fire fighting or medicine. At your place of work, is it more acceptable for one gender to handle stress one way, but not acceptable for the other gender to handle it the same way? What differences or similarities do you notice?

Kansas State University (2009, February 27). Burnout Among Police Officers: Differences In How Male, Female Police Officers Manage Stress May Accentuate Stress On The Job. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 10, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090226110651.htm

A recent study put out by the University of Washington found that girls growing up with a parent dealing with heroin dependence, incarceration, mental illness, or violence were four times more resilient than boys growing up in similar circumstances.  Resilience was defined as “working or being in school [until adulthood], avoiding substance abuse and staying out of trouble with the law in the past five years.”  (Although that may seem like a very minimal expectation, only 30 of the 125 surveyed children demonstrated resilience of that quality.)  The sample was taken from children of parents utilizing methadone clinics in Seattle metro areas.  The major factor affecting that finding seemed to be that boys more often had criminal charges against them.

I wonder about the affect gender socialization has on that outcome.  Are males socialized more to respond in violence to adverse circumstances?  Are males actually doing more criminal activity, or are females doing more criminal activity under the supervision of pimps?  If males are doing more criminal activity, are they doing it to provide for their families?  (If you join a gang, there is an element of protection there, not to mention an opportunity to make some money.)  Also, how would the data be different if it were taken from more upper to middle class constituents, or from a third world setting?  What do you think?

University of Washington (2009, February 12). Girls Growing Up With Heroin-addicted Parent More Resilient Than Boys. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 13, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/02/090211161859.htm

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