Thursday, January 29, 2004

Carnival of the Vanities

The latest Carnival of the Vanities party (#71) is in full swing. Your gracious host: The American Mind. Enjoy!


Tuesday, January 27, 2004

The Menstrual Period And Women In The Military

One group of women who can greatly benefit from using menstrual management are the many brave women in the military. This is what I've discovered while I was researching this issue [yes, this is how I spend my time!]:

There are almost 200,000 active duty service women in the US military, comprising almost 15% of the total active force.

And here's how the other NATO countries compare:

Country Number Percent

Italy 0 0
Poland 239 0.1%
Turkey 917 0.1%
Germany 4530 1.4%
Norway 1030 3.2%
Czech Republic 1935 3.3%
Greece 6155 3.8%
Denmark 1033 4.2%
Luxembourg 29 4.2%
Spain 6462 5.8%
Portugal 2925 6.6%
Hungary 2957 6.8%
Belgium 3202 7.6%
Netherlands 4170 8%
United Kingdom 16623 8.1%
France 27516 8.5%
Canada 6558 11.4%

Update: Welcome to all the visitors from The American Mind.

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Saturday, January 24, 2004

Cost of Birth Control

I'm pretty sure I've found the winning campaign issue for the upcoming presidential election. Here are the key points of the study I was reading at the time I had the idea.

Over 5 years, the most cost-effective methods of birth control were:

--the copper-T IUD (intrauterine device): saving $14,122

--vasectomy (sterilization for men): saving $13,899

--Norplant (LNG implant): saving $13,813 (no longer available in the U.S.)

--Depo-Provera (injection/shot): saving $13,373

Barrier methods, spermicides, withdrawal, and periodic abstinence were the least cost-effective, but still saved from $8933 to $12,239.

Birth control pills fell between these groups, saving $12,879.

Study conclusion: Using birth control reduces health care expenditures by preventing unintended pregnancies.

My winning campaign issue idea: Just stop having sex altogether and you SAVE A LOT!


Thursday, January 22, 2004

Cost of Menstrual Disorders

According to the World Bank:

Maintaining effective control over the public sector wage bill must be an ongoing task of government. As the public sector wage bill can make up a significant portion of total public sector spending, a reduction of this wage bill can be a key macroeconomic and development planning tool.

Meanwhile, last week the U.S. Senate rejected a minimum wage bill. (Democrats for and Republicans against.)

In the spirit of international and bi-partisan cooperation I stand ready to offer a solution (my lack of any financial or economic training notwithstanding).

The costs of menstrual disorders to American industry are estimated to be 8% of the total wage bill and can impact industrial output. For example, Texas Instruments noted a 25% reduction in the productivity of female workers during menses.

Reducing period-related disorders should take care of all our country's economic problems, no?

Thomas SL, Ellertson C. Nuisance or natural and healthy: should monthly menstruation be optional for women? Lancet. 2000;355(9207):922-924.


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Menstrual Period: Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Girls

The length women go to to impress men! And we're not talking about hair, makeup, clothes, the gym, being conversant on all topics, cooking and cleaning, and sexual gymnastics. Apparently, what women also worry about is their menstrual condition.

A study looking at the effects of a social stigma on impression management concerns found:

--28 menstruating and 30 nonmenstruating women were interviewed by a male colleague who either was or was not aware of their menstrual condition.

--Menstruating women who believed that the interviewer knew they were menstruating perceived that the interviewer liked them less, yet were more motivated to make an impression on him.

--Menstruating women who thought the interviewer was unaware of their menstrual condition didn't try so hard to impress the interviewer (relative to the first group).

--Nonmenstruating women reported more self-presentational motivation and perceived the interviewer viewed them more positively than he did the menstruating women.

Someone needs to be held responsible for this! I say we blame the men while we, of course, continue to try our best to impress them.

Kowalski, Robin M. & Chapple, Tracy (Western Carolina University), "The Social Stigma of Menstruation: Fact or Fiction," Psychology of Women Quarterly, 24, (2000), 74-80 (scroll to the middle of the page)