women’s preferences for birth control not always supported by doctors


Many Women Aren’t Using the Best Birth Con­trol Method for Them — And it’s Not Their Fault by Kyla Z. Don­nelly at RH Real­ity Check

Although many providers are firmly com­mit­ted to patient-​centered con­tra­cep­tive care, oth­ers report using infor­ma­tion fram­ing and even “scare tac­tics” to influ­ence patients about what they per­ceive is best for them, rather than engag­ing in open dis­cus­sion and delib­er­a­tion. It is not sur­pris­ing that nearly 40 per­cent of con­tra­cep­tive users report not feel­ing com­pletely sat­is­fied with their cur­rent birth con­trol method. These gaps are unac­cept­able, as research shows that when women are given the tools to iden­tify the con­tra­cep­tive method that best fits their lifestyle and goals, they are more likely to be sat­is­fied and con­tinue using the method correctly.

To address this chal­lenge, I am work­ing with a team of researchers, patient rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and clin­i­cians affil­i­ated with Dart­mouth Col­lege to engage women and providers in help­ing design a tool to repo­si­tion women’s pref­er­ences as cen­tral to their con­tra­cep­tive care.

Voice your opin­ions about con­tra­cep­tion to help us make the process of choos­ing a method eas­ier for women through­out the United States! at the Dart­mouth Cen­ter for Health­care and Deliv­ery Science

We are researchers from Dart­mouth Col­lege and are study­ing women’s and health­care providers’ views about mak­ing deci­sions about con­tra­cep­tion. This will help us develop a tool to sup­port women and their health­care providers to dis­cuss birth con­trol and make deci­sions about meth­ods of con­tra­cep­tion as a team. Our goal is to help women and their providers to have a con­ver­sa­tion about which birth con­trol method best suits meets a woman’s par­tic­u­lar lifestyle, finances, and pref­er­ences using trust­wor­thy and easy-​to-​understand infor­ma­tion that explains the ben­e­fits and draw­backs of dif­fer­ent methods.

So, we are invit­ing women aged 1545 years who use or are inter­ested in learn­ing about con­tra­cep­tion, live in the U.S., and are com­fort­able read­ing and writ­ing Eng­lish to com­plete a 10 minute online sur­vey about mak­ing deci­sions about contraception.

infor­ma­tion about the survey

Please respond by June 30, 2013.

call for papers: Rethinking Subjectivity, Power and Change



Hypa­tia: A Jour­nal of Fem­i­nist Phi­los­o­phy is ask­ing for papers from schol­ars in var­i­ous fields for a spe­cial issue ded­i­cated to the issue of eman­ci­pa­tion as it may per­tain to fem­i­nist “pol­i­tics, the­ory, and critique.”

Pos­si­ble top­ics are

• Eman­ci­pa­tion and sub­jec­tiv­ity
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and emo­tions
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, desire and sex­u­al­ity
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, power and dom­i­na­tion
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, democ­racy and the state
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, empire, and impe­ri­al­ism
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, war and peace
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and reli­gion
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and race
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, slav­ery and abo­li­tion­ism
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and the econ­omy
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and (global) mobil­i­ties
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, his­tory and time
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and fem­i­nist utopias
• Eman­ci­pa­tion and non­hu­man nature
• Eman­ci­pa­tion, sci­ence and technology

The dead­line is July 15, 2013

corporate news and “dominant ideology”


Ide­olo­gies in the News: How Pow­er­ful Ideas Become Com­mon Sense by Wayne Mellinger at the Every­day Soci­ol­ogy blog

A “dom­i­nant ide­ol­ogy” is a way of look­ing at and under­stand­ing the social world that reflects the per­spec­tives of the rich and powerful…

…Detailed analy­sis of the words, images and sounds con­tained in pub­lished and broad­cast news sto­ries high­lights how the per­sua­sive use of lan­guage and sym­bols is used by jour­nal­ists to achieve spe­cific ends, namely to advance the per­spec­tive of rich and pow­er­ful players.

The sequen­tial unfold­ing of any par­tic­u­lar story neces­si­tates that some ele­ments are included and oth­ers are excluded. The choices about what to incor­po­rate always involve a point of view. The assem­blage of words used to describe peo­ple, places and activ­i­ties equally rep­re­sent strate­gic choices, as things could always have been pre­sented oth­er­wise. Per­sua­sive rhetor­i­cal flour­ishes, emo­tional appeals, and mis­lead­ing logic are as much a part of mod­ern jour­nal­ism as they were of ancient Roman oratory…

…Jour­nal­ists draw upon pre-​existing nar­ra­tives and maps of mean­ing taken from our cul­tural myths and then assign them to a new real­ity so that the new real­ity con­forms to that cul­tural myth. For exam­ple, peo­ple draw upon back­ground knowl­edge about the “gang prob­lem” to make sense of any par­tic­u­lar gang mur­der. The new “real­ity” is pasted onto the cul­tural myth so that we do not for­get that myth.

The Ital­ian cul­tural the­o­rists and rev­o­lu­tion­ary Anto­nio Gram­sci referred to the social processes through which dom­i­nant ide­olo­gies become com­mon sense as hege­mony, empha­siz­ing how cul­tural dom­i­na­tion hap­pens through these prac­tices. As per­sua­sive ideas become accepted as sim­ply “the way things really are”, rul­ing elites gain the con­sent of the populace.

the Veteran’s Administration’s hotline for women veterans

Women Vet­er­ans Call Center

On April 23, 2013, the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Affairs (VA) launched its new Women Vet­er­ans hot­line — 1855-​VA-​WOMEN (1855-​8296636) — an incom­ing call cen­ter that receives and responds to ques­tions from women Vet­er­ans, their fam­i­lies, and care­givers across the nation about avail­able VA ser­vices and resources.

The Women Vet­er­ans Call Cen­ter is aimed at increas­ing women Vet­er­ans’ knowl­edge of all VA ser­vices and ben­e­fits that they deserve,” said Krista Stephen­son, Army Vet­eran and Women Vet­er­ans Call Cen­ter Director.

Since 2000, the num­ber of women using VA health care has more than dou­bled, from nearly 160,000 to more than 360,000 in 2012. Women now make up 15 per­cent of active duty and 18 per­cent of Guard/​Reserves ser­vice mem­bers. Based on the upward trend of women in all branches of ser­vice, the num­ber of women Vet­er­ans and female VA users is expected to dou­ble again in the next decade.

Despite this rapid growth, women con­sti­tute only six per­cent of VA’s total patient pop­u­la­tion. VA has also found that women Vet­er­ans under­uti­lize VA care, largely due to a lack of knowl­edge about VA ben­e­fits and avail­able ser­vices. In response, an out­bound Call Cen­ter was estab­lished in 2010 to con­tact women Vet­er­ans and encour­age them to try VA care. It has been expanded, and the Call Center’s tele­phone agents now receive incom­ing calls and inquiries about VA care and other ser­vices for women.

All our tele­phone agents have received gen­eral edu­ca­tion regard­ing ser­vices that the VA pro­vides women Vet­er­ans,” said Stephenson.

They are informed about eli­gi­bil­ity, ben­e­fits, health care and other ser­vices, and can route calls within VA when needed. Agents are also trained to respond to cri­sis sit­u­a­tions such as sui­ci­dal behav­ior, home­less­ness, sex­ual trauma, and domes­tic violence.

1855-​VA-​WOMEN (18558296636) pro­vides a sin­gle avenue for women Vet­er­ans to get the help they need.

secondary trauma and military families


PTSD Epi­demic Mil­i­tary Vet’s Families

In the wake of Viet­nam, 38 per­cent of mar­riages failed within the first six months of a veteran’s return state­side; the divorce rate was twice as high for vets with PTSD as for those with­out. Viet­nam vets with severe PTSD are 69 per­cent more likely to have their mar­riages fail than other vets. Army records also show that 65 per­cent of active-​duty sui­cides, which now out­pace com­bat deaths, are pre­cip­i­tated by bro­ken rela­tion­ships. And vet­er­ans, well, one of them dies by sui­cide every 80 min­utes. But even ignor­ing that though vets make up 7 per­cent of the United States, they account for 20 per­cent of its sui­cides — or that chil­dren and teenagers of a par­ent who’s com­mit­ted sui­cide are three times more likely to kill them­selves, too — or a whole bunch of equally grim sta­tis­tics, Brannan’s got her rea­sons for stick­ing it out with Caleb.

I love him,” she says.

a proposal for legislation concerning women who want to give birth

A pro­posal for moms-​to-​be (like abor­tion rules, it’s for their own good) by R. Alta Charo at The Wash­ing­ton Post

while states give such solic­i­tous atten­tion to women plan­ning to have an abor­tion, they ignore the needs of women plan­ning to give birth. Bring­ing a child into the world is also a life-​changing deci­sion. Too many women have to make that choice with­out sim­i­lar pro­tec­tions. It is time to demand equal­ity and tell our leg­is­la­tures to enact the Defense of Moth­er­hood Act.

DOMA would extend exist­ing pro­tec­tions, with small mod­i­fi­ca­tions as necessary.

In the inter­est of safety, DOMA would insist that all pre­na­tal care be pro­vided by licensed physi­cians (not nurses or mid­wives) in med­ical offices fully equipped to han­dle obstet­ric emer­gen­cies — even if that means hav­ing to wait longer for appoint­ments, pay more or drive for hours.

To ensure that the deci­sion to go through with a preg­nancy is fully con­sid­ered, there would be a 72-​hour wait­ing period between the time a preg­nant woman first sees a doc­tor and the time she can get pre­na­tal care.

Physi­cians would have to inform preg­nant women about the risks of child­birth and moth­er­hood. They would have to note that child­birth, com­pared with abor­tion, is roughly 14 times more likely to result in mater­nal death and is more often asso­ci­ated with depres­sion and other forms of men­tal ill­ness. They would also have to empha­size that work­ing women in the United States can expect to see their wages drop 9 to 16 per­cent for each child and that hav­ing a child makes it sig­nif­i­cantly less likely that an unmar­ried woman will ever marry.

structural violence


Struc­tural Vio­lence by Adam Burtle

Struc­tural vio­lence is one way of describ­ing social arrange­ments that put indi­vid­u­als and pop­u­la­tions in harm’s way… The arrange­ments are struc­tural because they are embed­ded in the polit­i­cal and eco­nomic orga­ni­za­tion of our social world; they are vio­lent because they cause injury to peo­ple … nei­ther cul­ture nor pure indi­vid­ual will is at fault; rather, his­tor­i­cally given (and often eco­nom­i­cally dri­ven) processes and forces con­spire to con­strain indi­vid­ual agency. Struc­tural vio­lence is vis­ited upon all those whose social sta­tus denies them access to the fruits of sci­en­tific and social progress.”

One key aspect of struc­tural vio­lence is that it is often hard to see. Even more dif­fi­cult than iden­ti­fy­ing struc­tural vio­lence is assign­ing cul­pa­bil­ity. When a baby dies of mal­nu­tri­tion, or from a vaccine-​preventable dis­ease, who should we blame?

Struc­tural vio­lence may lead to death, but just as often it may man­i­fest in the form of out­comes that are not as pos­i­tive as they oth­er­wise could or should be — Paul Kivel writes,

Over 20 years’ worth of stud­ies show that peo­ple of color who arrive at a hos­pi­tal while hav­ing a heart attack are sig­nif­i­cantly less likely to receive aspirin, beta-​blocking drugs, clot-​dissolving drugs, acute car­diac catheter­i­za­tion, angio­plasty, or bypass surgery. Race, class, and gen­der clearly make a dif­fer­ence in how patients are diag­nosed and treated.”

Whether those patients die at that moment, dam­age has been done. The accu­mu­lated effects of struc­tural vio­lence on an indi­vid­ual will nec­es­sar­ily mean less health and shorter life. Dr. Farmer fre­quently uses the phrase “con­straint of agency,” and I believe this is a par­tic­u­larly apt descrip­tion. To chal­lenge the notion that struc­tural vio­lence must man­i­fest in obvi­ous forms, such as civil­ians killed by bombs, or infants that die from pre­ventable dis­eases, let us con­sider the sub­tle effects of dis­trib­uted harm vis­ited upon a large pop­u­la­tion in a so-​called advanced coun­try. One such study, in 2009, con­cluded that more than 60 mil­lion extra Amer­i­cans would be alive — that is, 60 mil­lion Amer­i­cans died pre­ma­turely — due to the shorter life expectan­cies vis­ited upon those of us in the United States.

DSM-​II, schizophrenia, black men, and pathologizing anger

How Black Men Became Schiz­o­phrenic by Karen Franklin, PhD

As you prob­a­bly know, Black men in the United States (as well as in the United King­dom) are dis­pro­por­tion­ately diag­nosed with schiz­o­phre­nia. What you may not know is when this pat­tern emerged, or why.

Up until the 1950s, the over­whelm­ing major­ity of those diag­nosed with schiz­o­phre­nia were white. They were the del­i­cate or eccen­tric — poets, aca­d­e­mics, middle-​class women like Alice Wil­son in Jonathan Metzl’s The Protest Psy­chosis, “dri­ven to insan­ity by the dual pres­sures of house­work and motherhood.”

Then, in the mid-​1960s, the Long Hot Sum­mers hit urban Amer­ica. Smol­der­ing anger over racism and poverty erupted into mass riot­ing and harsh repres­sion. In Detroit, a police raid on a party trig­gered an upris­ing that left 43 dead, 1,189 injured, and more than 7,000 arrested. Con­vinced that they would never win civil rights through sit-​down strikes, a nascent Black Power move­ment became increas­ingly militant…

…The psy­cho­an­a­lyt­i­cally imbued “schiz­o­phrenic reac­tion” of the DSM-​I was an ill­ness mer­it­ing pity and com­pas­sion rather than fear. In con­trast, the DSM-II’s more bio­log­i­cally ori­ented schiz­o­phre­nia was men­ac­ing and required con­tain­ment. In par­tic­u­lar, the lan­guage that described the para­noid sub­type fore­grounded “mas­culin­ized hos­til­ity, vio­lence, and aggres­sion,” implic­itly pathol­o­giz­ing mil­i­tant protest as men­tal illness.

Almost overnight, the pre­vi­ous class of schiz­o­phren­ics at Ionia State Hos­pi­tal was rela­beled with depres­sive dis­or­ders. As the for­merly schiz­o­phrenic exited the hos­pi­tal en masse in the wake of the Com­mu­nity Men­tal Health Cen­ters Act of 1963, their places were taken by a new class of schiz­o­phren­ics — volatile young Black men from inner-​city Detroit.

A moun­tain of archived charts from the defunct asy­lum at Ionia pro­vided the raw mate­r­ial for The Protest Psy­chosis. In his four years of sift­ing through the trea­sure trove of data, Metzl found clear evi­dence of shift­ing racial and gen­der pat­terns in diag­no­sis. Because the DSM-​II was pub­lished in the days before com­put­ers, clerk typ­ists sim­ply used hatch marks (/​) to mark out the old diag­noses, leav­ing them clearly leg­i­ble along­side the new.

women, rape, and misogyny in the military

Twice Betrayed: Mil­i­tary Sex Offend­ers Rarely Pun­ished by Karisa King

From the accounts of sexual-​assault sur­vivors in every branch of the mil­i­tary, a stark panorama emerges: Many vic­tims were drugged or forced to drink and were raped, attacked as they slept, beaten uncon­scious and coerced into sex by their supe­ri­ors. They were strongly dis­cour­aged from dis­clos­ing the crimes, or forced to report assaults to com­man­ders who are closely con­nected to the accused.

Vic­tims con­front a sys­tem in which the inves­ti­ga­tors charged with pur­su­ing their cases treat them with sus­pi­cion, rape kits are lost, guilty con­fes­sions are dis­re­garded and jury ver­dicts can be vacated with the stroke of a commander’s pen.

Assault Vic­tims Strug­gle to Trans­fer to Other Posts by Karisa King