Archive for January, 2013

Compensation negotiation among women in the workplace

January 31, 2013

How can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma: Relational Accounts are One Answer

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

Studies have shown that women are less likely to take the most direct approach to ensure that they receive fair pay compared to their male counterparts – simply asking. So what happens when women begin to negotiate for higher salaries? Could women begin to close the gender pay gap simply by learning to negotiate for more money? This study finds that women can successfully negotiate higher salaries, but unlike men, they have to pay attention to the approach they use in order to avoid social backlash. In part one of the study participants were surveyed and asked to watch a video in which a recently-promoted female employee negotiated her new salary. They were then asked to answer a series of questions about whether they would enjoy working with the woman and whether or not they would grant her the salary she desired. In part two of their study, the researchers surveyed college-educated Americans with work experience. The participants were asked to view short episodes in which female employees negotiated their salaries using different techniques. They were then asked to rate their willingness to work with the negotiators (both male and female) as well as their willingness to grant their compensation requests. The authors conclude “While gender constraints are real, they are not inescapable. We expect men to be in charge because they are, and we expect men to earn more because typically they do … every woman who reduces the gender gap in pay and authority reforms the social structures that keep women in their place.”


Botox beats steroids for painful foot condition, plantar fasciitis

January 30, 2013

A Comparison of Botulinum Toxin A and Intralesional Steroids for the Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis: A Randomized, Double-Blinded Study

From Foot & Ankle International

Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent cause of chronic heel pain, leaving many sufferers unable to put their best foot forward for months at a time. Now this study suggests that physicians should turn to Botox rather than steroids to offer patients the fastest road to recovery. Physicians may suggest various therapies for this condition, including applying steroids, regular stretching exercises or injecting botulinum toxin A (BTX-A), also known as Botox. The researchers set up a prospective, experimental, randomized, double-blinded, and controlled clinical trial, where patients were treated either with steroids or with Botox for their painful feet. Both groups were shown the same series of physical exercises to help their recovery. After six months, patients who received Botox injections were the clear winners, demonstrating more rapid and sustained improvement than their counterparts on the steroid regime.


On/off relationships and ‘sex with an ex’ among teenagers and young adults

January 29, 2013

Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and ‘Sex with an Ex’

From Journal of Adolescent Research

This study finds that nearly half of older teenagers and young adults break up and get back together with previous dating partners and over half of this group have sex as part of the reconciliation process. The authors studied data on 792 daters and cohabiters ages 17 to 24, also known as “emerging adults”. They found that approximately 44% of emerging adults who had been in a romantic relationship in the past two years had experienced at least one reconciliation with an ex romantic partner and 53% of those who reported reconciliations also reported having sex with their ex. Additionally, racial minorities in particular were even more likely to experience reconciliation or sexual relationships with previous romantic partners. “Emerging adults who reconcile may be prone to a behavior pattern that involves cycling through relationship formation… Furthermore, having sex with an ex may be problematic because former partners can have difficulty moving on from an old relationship or building new romantic attachments.”


At what price does traffic divert from toll roads to alternative routes?

January 24, 2013

Empirical evidence of toll road traffic diversion and implications for highway infrastructure privatization

From Public Works Management & Policy

Toll road programs were introduced in the USA to reduce congestion on America’s transportation network. Congestion pricing uses tolls to alter demand, using road pricing to manage congestion. Many tolls are used as a means to fund new and existing roadways and transfer control of infrastructure to private firms. This study asks important questions such as how do truckers respond to pricing signals? As price increases, how extensively do truckers divert from limited-access highways to secondary roads? At what price does this diversion impose costs on secondary highways? The article explores the elasticity of demand for truck traffic over time for an existing toll road it uses empirical data to evaluate the extent to which tolls divert traffic from existing highways to alternative routes. It concludes that further research could help determine whether or how to set tolls to foster good decisions by road users.


Reinventing retirement: New pathways, new arrangements, new meanings

January 23, 2013

Special issue and podcast

From Human Relations

This special issue outlines the historical and social context of retirement as a concept and identifies some of the most dramatic broad-based forces of change that in recent years have shaken this established construct to its core. Retirement involves a set of institutional arrangements combined with socio-cultural meanings to sustain a distinct retirement phase in life course and career pathways. The articles outline that recent forces of change may lead to reinvention of retirement. There are factors that must be recognized as having a significant impact such as the fact that life expectancy and health status of adults over 60 has increased dramatically in recent years. Reinvention could involve change to one or more of the institutional arrangements supporting retirement. New financial risks and uncertainties loom large, as national and corporate pension arrangements are reconfigured to deal with ongoing financial turmoil. The special issue considers the future of retirement and emphasises that understanding how retirement pathways are changing, and what is influencing them will remain a challenging research task. Institutional changes will be important, but are far from the only influences.


The impact of spending cuts on women

January 22, 2013

Special Issue: Women and the local economy

From Local Economy

This Special Issue looks at the subject of gender, an important but often neglected issue in local economic development and takes the view that gender equality is a social justice issue and has significant implications for the way we conceive both the processes and outcomes of local economic development.


Physical pain and guilty pleasures

January 17, 2013

From Social Psychological and Personality Science 

All indulgences in life are bad for us—or at least it often seems that way. We regularly desire things that provide short-term satisfaction, yet may harbor long-term negative consequences. In order to enjoy these ‘‘guilty pleasures’’ however, we often find ways to justify their consumption. Challenging or adverse experiences serve this purpose well, providing a convenient rationale for self indulgence and making us feel more entitled to a little pleasure. This paper considers two studies that support the link between adversity and self-reward. Study 1 demonstrates that pain leads to self-reward but only in contexts that frame the experience of pain as “unjust.” Study 2 shows that after pain people are more likely to self-reward with guilty pleasures (chocolate) in preference to other kinds of rewards (a pen). The studies provide evidence that simply experiencing physical pain facilitates indulgence in guilty pleasures.


Women earn more if they work in different occupations than men

January 16, 2013

The Dimensions of Occupational Gender Segregation in Industrial Countries

From Sociology

Women earn less money than men the more the sexes share the same occupations reveals this study that examines a large-scale survey of 20 industrialised countries. Findings indicate that the more women and men keep to different trades and professions, the more equal is the overall pay average for the two sexes in a country. The researchers attribute the surprising results to the fact that when there are few men in an occupation, women have more chance to get to the top and earn more. But where there are more equal numbers of men and women working in an occupation the men dominate the high-paying jobs.

Pay was most equal in Slovenia, where women on average earn slightly more than men, and in Mexico, Brazil, Sweden and Hungary, where women earn almost as much as men on average. In these countries men and women work in different occupations to a greater extent than in many of the other countries the researchers looked at. In other countries such as Japan, the Czech Republic, Austria and Netherlands, women are more likely to work in the same occupations as men, and the gap between their pay and men’s is higher than average. The UK was higher than average among the 20 countries for inequality in pay.


The Prince of Wales calls for a broader definition of health

January 15, 2013

Integrated health and post modern medicine

From Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine

HRH The Prince of Wales has called for society to embrace a broader and more complex concept of health. In this article The Prince describes a vision of health that includes the physical and social environment, education, agriculture and architecture. Emphasising that his point is not to confront accepted medical wisdom, HRH suggests reasons for encouraging a wider perspective on health. Rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease, The Prince advocates a health service that puts patients at the heart of the process by incorporating the core human elements of mind, body and spirit. Explaining that symptoms may often be a metaphor for underlying disease and unhappiness, he calls for a scientific and therapeutic approach that understands, values and uses patient perspective and belief rather than seeking to exclude them.

Reflecting on the need to restore urgently a climate of care and compassion at the heart of our health services, The Prince describes how health professionals need to be equipped with the skills and desire to listen and honour what is being said – and not said – by patients. In developing a healing empathy HRH believes that patients will be helped to find their own particular path towards better health. The journal editor concludes “The Prince of Wales is a prominent and influential voice. When he sets out his vision for health, something he clearly thinks deeply about, speaking directly to medical professionals is the best way of allowing a constructive debate to flourish. This is an important article and The Prince’s vision for health is engaging.”


Male benevolent sexism in romantic and work contexts

January 10, 2013

Prescription of protective paternalism for men in romantic and work contexts

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

Male protectiveness can be perceived as sexism. The perception depends on the situation, some protectiveness can be identified as benevolent while other protectiveness can be seen as contributing to women’s subordination. Protective paternalism, a particular form of benevolent sexism, refers to the belief that men should protect, take care of, cherish, and provide for the women on whom they depend. This paper examines 6 studies, studies demonstrating that prescription of protective paternalism for men is a complex phenomenon because it depends on contextual as well as individual variables.  The studies explore prescribed protective paternalism in the context of romantic relations and also work situations. The findings in the paper conclude that improved understandings of various ideologies, as proposed through the studies, are necessary in order to move closer toward genuine equality between the sexes.


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