Traditional Sex Roles Are Too Restrictive by Sandra L Bem (1974)

In American society, men are supposed to be masculine, women are supposed to be feminine, and neither sex is supposed to be much like the other, If men are independent, tough and assertive, women should be dependent, sweet and retiring. A womanly woman may be tender and nurturant, but no manly man may be so.

For years we have taken these polar opposites as evidence of psychological health. Even our psychological tests of masculinity and femininity reflect this bias: a person scores as either masculine or feminine, but the tests do not allow a person to say that he or she is both.

I have come to believe that we need a new standard of psychological health for the sexes, one that removes the burden of stereotype and allows people to feel free to express the best traits of men and women. As many feminists have argued, freeing people from rigid sex roles and allowing them to be androgynous (from ‘andro’, male, and ‘gyne’, female), should make them more flexible in meeting new situations, and less restricted in what they can do and how they can express themselves.

In fact, there is already considerable evidence that traditional sex typing is unhealthy. For example, high femininity in females consistently correlates with high anxiety, low self-esteem, and low self-acceptance. And although high masculinity in males has been related to better psychological adjustment during adolescence, it is often accompanied during adulthood by high anxiety, high neuroticism, and low self-acceptance. Further, greater intellectual development has quite consistently correlated with cross-sex typing (masculinity in girls, femininity in boys). Boys who are strongly masculine and girls who are strongly feminine tend to have lower overall intelligence, lower spatial ability, and show lower creativity.

In addition, it seems to me that traditional sex typing necessarily restricts behavior. Because people learn, during their formative years, to suppress any behavior that might be considered undesirable or inappropriate for their sex, men are afraid to do ‘women’s work’, and women are afraid to enter a ‘man’s world’. Men are reluctant to be gentle, and women to be assertive. In contrast, androgynous people are not limited by labels. They are able to do whatever they want, both in their behavior and their feelings.

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Turkish Astrophysicist Faces Prison for Objecting to Headscarves

A senior astrophysics professor in Turkey appears to be the latest target of what academics and scientists in that country say is an ongoing campaign by its conservative government to intimidate secular intellectuals.


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Singapore moves to develop satellite and space technology industry

Spurred on by China’s recent launch of an astronaut, Singapore is planning to put its own men into orbit.
This is necessary to maintain Singapore’s technological reputation in Asia, said Colonel Tai Kong Ren, the newly-appointed chief of the Relaunching Singapore Committee of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star).


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Bertha Harian

What’s there not to like about Budget 2013? That depends on what’s your instinctive reaction after hearing/reading DPM Tharman speech yesterday?

Aspiring first-time car owner: “What? Forty per cent cash down for a car? How can? Can those China-made cars please come back? Wait, the COE will be higher than the price of the car..’’

Rich guy: “How dare they tax my second home at the Sail, my third at Sentosa Cove and my fourth in Bukit Timah! Time to buy a building at Iskandar.’’

Befuddled economist/pseudo economist: “The government is paying employers to pay workers who get a pay rise? Why not just implement a minimum wage scheme?’’

Sandwiched class: “Damn! More income support for the lower-income. From MY taxpayer money. Why don’t just cut GST and everyone will be happy since it’s most regressive tax around and G made so much surplus already?’’

Big -flat homeowners: “Again five-roomers…

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Big drop in number of students taking literature

The decline in the number of students taking literature as a subject in school has to do with new subjects that have been introduced over the years, said Ms Indranee Rajah, Senior Minister of State for Education and Law.
She was responding to questions from Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh who asked for the main reasons for the decline.
There are currently only about 3,000 students taking literature, compared to 16,970 in 1992.
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Pope Benedict XVI is right about the dangers of moral relativism

As one of the characters in The Brothers Karamazov puts it, if there is no God, everything is permitted….The problem for atheists that has never been satisfactorily addressed is that it’s very, very hard to find a solid foundation for any moral values in the absence of a belief in God. Reason and science alone simply won’t cut it.


So what should a secular society base its morals on? Read more on:

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How To Defend Society Against Science

I want to defend society and its inhabitants from all ideologies, science included. All ideologies must be seen in perspective. One must not take them too seriously. One must read them like fairy-tales which have lots of interesting things to say but which also contain wicked lies, or like ethical prescriptions which may be useful rules of thumb but which are deadly when followed to the letter.
Now, is this not a strange and ridiculous attitude? Science, surely, was always in the forefront of the fight against authoritarianism and superstition. It is to science that we owe our increased intellectual freedom vis-a-vis religious beliefs; it is to science that we owe the liberation of mankind from ancient and rigid forms of thought. Today these forms of thought are nothing but bad dreams – and this we learned from science. Science and enlightenment are one and the same thing – even the most radical critics of society believe this. Kropotkin wants to overthrow all traditional institutions and forms of belief, with the exception of science. Ibsen criticises the most intimate ramifications of nineteenth-century bourgeois ideology, but he leaves science untouched. Levi-Strauss has made us realise that Western Thought is not the lonely peak of human achievement it was once believed to be, but he excludes science from his relativization of ideologies. Marx and Engels were convinced that science would aid the workers in their quest for mental and social liberation. Are all these people deceived? Are they all mistaken about the role of science? Are they all the victims of a chimaera?


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