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shrinkykitten

"...another reason I'm intrigued with the hanged of Salem, especially the women, is that a number of them aroused suspicion in the first place because they were financially independent, or sharp-tongued, or kept to themselves. In other words, they were killed off for the same sort of life I live right now but with longer skirts and fewer cable channels." Sarah Vowell, The partly cloudy patriot.

7.24.2007

The article is actually somewhat decent...

but a lot of the comments are disgusting.

The chronicle has an article about how girls who are obese are not going to college. Here's the text.

July 23, 2007

Obese Girls Are More Likely to Avoid Going to College, Study Finds

Many obese girls skip college because of mental and behavior problems associated with their weight, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin has found.

According to a study published in the July issue of the journal Sociology of Education, obese adolescent girls are half as likely to go to college as are non-obese girls, and those who attended a high school where obesity was uncommon were even less likely to enroll.

The study, which tracked 11,000 teenagers, also found that obese teen girls were more likely to consider suicide, have negative self-images, and use alcohol and marijuana than their non-obese peers.

By contrast, the study found little difference between the college-enrollment rates for obese and non-obese boys, leading to the conclusion that body image plays a greater role in girls’ self-concept and education choices.

“Obesity has been identified as a serious public-health issue, but these results indicate the harmful effects extend far beyond physical health,” said Robert Crosnoe, an associate professor of sociology at Austin and author of the study. —Paula Wasley


I hate that last statement - I seriously do not think that is the right conclusion - rather, our attitudes towards weight issues prohibit girls, but not boys, who are overweight, to limit their options, to use substances to cope, and to become depressed. These girls (the ones who don't go to college, not all overweight girls) likely do not see themselves as being as capable as thinner girls, feel anxiety about being in new surroundings, worry they will be targeted for harassment or will be isolated, are likely depressed, etc. They may also not be encouraged by teachers or parents. They may also be less likely to get into colleges - especially if there are interviews. Some studies have shown that obese women - but not obese men - are less likely to get hired.

The comments to the article really bother me. If you consider that George W. Bush has at times been considered obese, or that some athletes are obese by BMI chart standards - you can see that we are not necessarily talking about people who are 500+ pounds - some of them may just be somewhat overweight - but are considered obese due to muscle mass or bone structure. Yet, the assumption is that these women are so busy eating, they can't do anything else - that they are so huge they are a public health threat in and of themselves - that they are disgusting and lazy. With those attitudes - by supposedly educated people within academia - is it any wonder the girls are avoiding college?

Oh, and the abortion comment is beyond disgusting.

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