Monday, May 09, 2005

Some interesting news items (at least not the usual)

  1. If you are going to "shack up" with someone, don't do it in North Carolina (or Virginia, West Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Mississippi and North Dakota). NC has a statute in its books dating back to 1805 that prohibits cohabitation without marriage. You can read the details as reported by the Associated Press today here. The ACLU is challenging the statute, and it looks like it will succeed, but for now, here is another one of those cases of dumb laws no one has bothered to remove from the books.
  2. Gay Men Respond Different to Pheromones is the title of this AP report on a study conducted in Sweden and published last Tuesday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In the article, ' "It is one more piece of evidence ... that is showing that sexual orientation is not all learned," said Sandra Witelson, an expert on brain anatomy and sexual orientation at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada." Interesting if nothing else. It can be something more to think about when asking questions about whether there is a genetic role in determining sexual orientation. As I understand it, there may be traits that predispose towards one orientation over the other, but environmental factors can come into play as well. A search on a good database like Academic Search Premier using the terms "sexual orientation and (biology or genetics)" will yield various articles. If you need access to a good periodical database, a visit to your local public library will likely provide it. I found one written for sex therapists which seems to summarize the issue quite nicely even for those of us who are not scientists:
    Title:A therapist's guide to the genetics of human sexual orientation.
    Authors:Mustanski, Brian S.1
    Bailey, J. Michael2
    Source:Sexual & Relationship Therapy; Nov2003, Vol. 18 Issue 4, p429, 8p
  3. Why get dressed in camouflage wear, load up your guns and beer cooler and head out to the nearest nature preserve or forest to hunt when you can do it from your computer desk? The article from Sunday's The Washington Post reports on Mr. John Lockwoods Live-Shot business where you can pay to hunt online. You can read about the mounting opposition, including a rare alliance between the NRA and animal welfare activists. I don't know about most people, but I still believe some things you just have to get up and go do yourself in person.
The usual caveats apply about access to periodical articles after a given length of time.

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