Slipped through the cracks

Stories we missed: Military sexual assaults may be underreported by half; babies' gender no longer secret in South Korea; and lo, it must be camp season.

Published August 1, 2008 10:20PM (EDT)

The war on women: The dangerous plight of women in the military is, unfortunately, not anything new. And a new ABC report suggests that sexual assault and rape in the military may be underreported by half. Mary Lauterbach, whose murdered daughter requested a transfer after her car was vandalized and she was punched in the face, said, "They didn't believe it was anything … They said, 'Don't bother. It's not going to happen.'" We've said it before, but it bears repeating -- as quoted in the article, Rep. Jane Harman's chilling words reveal a haunting truth: "Women serving in the military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than be killed by enemy fire in Iraq."

Let's talk about the sex of your baby: The gender of unborn babies will no longer be kept secret in South Korea, where the government has banned doctors from informing parents of the sex of their children for 21 years. The law was originally passed to protect unwanted female fetuses from abortion, but the South Korean Constitutional Court claims the country has outgrown its Confucian preference for sons, who were traditionally believed to continue a family's legacy. Today, the proportion of newborn girls to boys, at 100-to-106, is approaching a natural balance. The ban will be officially overturned at the end of the year, but abortion remains illegal.

Notes on camp, Part 1: Packing for Tech Trek Camp? Don't forget your calculator. And who needs a raincoat when you've got a lab coat? Tech Trek Camp at Stanford University is a seven-day camp for eighth-grade girls designed to introduce them to math and science careers that, despite the nonexistent gender gap in math ability, are disproportionately held by men.

Notes on camp, Part 2: New York Times blogger and "Perfect Madness" author Judith Warner offers a thoughtful response to last week's Times piece on devilishly demanding parents who expect the royal treatment for their kids at luxury sleepaway camps. Warner diagnoses these pampering playgrounds as breeding grounds for "affluenza," which leads to "alienation and distress" in parents and "overindulgence and attitudes of entitlement" in their children. Warner is less worried about the unimaginably spoiled children of affluenza-ridden parents and more worried about everyone else: "My worry is for the rest of us. For the parents who try to teach our children to play by the rules … And for our children, who are likely to come out the losers in a society dominated by sharks."

By Logan Scherer

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