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Today’s Lady News: Abstinence-Only Sex Ed Going Limp

  • What? Could this be? You mean school kids will actually learn useful stuff about sex? Like how their own bodies work and how not to get pregnant? CRAZY TALK. But if the rumors are true, Congress recently passed the 2010 Omnibus Appropriations spending bill, which eliminates funding for abstinence-only sex ed. And yesterday, President Obama signed the bill, which means $115 million will be allocated to comprehensive sex ed programs that teach both birth control and abstinence, as well as teen pregnancy programs. That sounds totally rational, for once. [Reproductive Health Reality Check]

  • Sarah Palin: you either love her or you hate her. A Gallup poll taken after Palin wrapped up her Going Rogue book tour found the ex-Alaskan governor had a 44 percent approval rating but a 47 disapproval rating. [Politics Daily]
  • Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE), one of the men behind the Nelson-Hatch Amendment, which would restrict abortion in the Senate’s version of the health care reform bill, has rejected a possible compromise. “The basic question about funding of abortion has not been fully answered yet,” Sen. Nelson said. Come on, dude. [AP]
  • The New York Times interviewed Pearl Meyer, who works in statistics, for their feature about bosses: She dished about being the only woman in the room in her mostly male career field. “For years I was the only woman in board rooms, which was difficult,” she said. “I kept wishing that I were a middle-aged man in a gray flannel suit. On the other hand, it gave me a unique opportunity because I stood out from the crowd.” [New York Times]
  • “No duh!” news: A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found flirtatious facial expressions on men help most with the mating dance when a woman is at the most fertile point of her monthly cycle. [BBC]
  • Good idea: In a new bill, Ohio introduced a “confidentiality” program for survivors of domestic violence who want to keep their address hidden from their abuser. Survivors would be allow to have their mail (including election-related mail, which can be kept on public record) forwarded to Ohio’s Secretary of State Office, where it would then be forwarded to their real address. [Ohio State Journal]
  • This Double X headline about Time magazine’s Person of the Year (Ben Bernanke) says it all: “Time Honors A Carbon-Based Life Form Who Just Happens To Be a Man.” [Double X]
  • Only 22 percent of advance ticket sales for the big-budget, sci-fi action flick “Avatar” were by women. Unsurprisingly, considering what we’ve learned about gender and box-office sales. [The Hollywood Reporter]
  • A historian for The New York Times answered questions today about the year it finally became “acceptable” for women to dine in public without male accompaniment. Hint: it involves booze. [New York Times]

INTERNATIONAL

  • Over a thousand men who belong to a religious sect in India have vowed to be “wedding volunteers” and marry female sex workers who say they want to escape exploitation. [BBC]
  • Portugal’s government has drawn up a bill which would allow gay marriage if passed. Despite the country’s Catholic leanings, supporters believe the liberal-leaning government could pass such a bill and the president might not veto it. [AP]
  • A British court has sentenced father Mehmet Goren to 22 years in prison for the so-called “honor killing” of his 15-year-old daughter, Tulay, in 1999. Goren allegedly killed his daughter because he disapproved of her choice of boyfriend. [BBC]
  • The Taliban destroyed an elementary school in Pakistan on Monday by detonating bombs in five school rooms. No one was hurt in the bombing. Shocking, yes, but it’s just one of hundreds of schools destroyed by the Taliban in the past few years. [Ms. Magazine]
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