Roundup: Severe PMS, the politics of breast milk and more

Another day, another rape controversy, Dove's self-esteem campaign and a genetic discovery.

Published October 2, 2007 7:05PM (EDT)

Everyone knows that it's not pleasant to be in a classroom in which you're one of the only people of your gender or race (hello, 10th-grade geometry). Now, an article from the Association for Psychological Science suggests that this feeling of being outnumbered may itself be negatively affecting women's expectations and performance in math, science and engineering.

Can consensual sex become rape halfway into the act? (No pun intended.) That's what Maryland's highest court is trying to decide, reports the Baltimore Sun. In the case in question, an 18-year-old girl agreed to have sex with a 16-year-old guy "as long as he stop[ped] when [she] told him to." She told him to stop, and he presumably kept going for five or 10 seconds, she said. Was it rape?

The Dove ad team is at it again with this spot, set to a song called "Here It Comes" that starts with an innocent-looking young girl who is then subjected to an onslaught of images of models on bus stops, women binging and purging, plastic surgeries and TV commercials telling her to lose weight. The tag line? "Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does" -- followed by the suggestion to download Dove's self-esteem kits. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it's an attempt to recast skin and beauty products as "self-esteem boosters," but I'll admit it: I like Dove's ads.

Broadsheet recently covered the Washington Post article about pro-breast-milk ads getting pulled and altered for political reasons. If you read that already and just can't get enough, here's a follow-up piece from the Los Angeles Times.

And finally, here's some news for anyone out there suffering from severe PMS -- that is, PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder): The first significant genetic finding in PMDD has just been reported. There still isn't a cure, but at least this is a step toward understanding the causes.

By Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

MORE FROM Catherine Price

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Broadsheet Love And Sex