Today’s Lady News: Study Says “Baby Brain” Does Not Exist

  • Chalk it up to another old wives’ tale? Researchers writing in The British Journal of Psychiatry say that “baby brain” — the rumored memory lapses a woman experiences while she’s pregnant — definitely does not exist. Australian National University followed 1,241 women over four years to track the quality of their memory and half the women in the sample became pregnant. However, researchers found that the expectant mommies were no less likely than other women to have memory difficulties, or to have a worse-off memory than when they weren’t knocked up. [BBC]
  • A 23-year-old woman who was jailed in Dubai after reporting a sexual assault has finally spoken out about the incident. The woman, who has withheld her identity, allegedly passed out drunk in a hotel bathroom over New Year’s and was sexually assaulted by an unknown assailant. But when she and her fiancé reported the incident, they were arrested for having sex out of wedlock, which is illegal in Dubai. “It never occurred to us that, as an unmarried couple, we might end up in jail,” the woman told The Sun newspaper. [Telegraph UK]
  • When the Super Bowl airs this Sunday, more women are expected to tune in than ever before. That news, of course, has advertisers majorly psyched! [Forbes]

  • The Associated Press obtained an email yesterday in which jailed anti-abortion activist Shelley Shannon wrote to another activist and said physicians who continue to perform abortions will “continue to be stopped.” In 1993, Shannon shot at and wounded abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, who was murdered by anti-abortion extremist Scott Roeder last May. Shannon, who is presently serving time in a Minnesota prison for abortion clinic arsons, also referenced the recent guilty verdict against Roeder last Friday in her email. [Washington Post]
  • Another rape joke on “Family Guy.” Find a new shtick, please? [Feministing]
  • For every $1 that Iowa spends on family planning services it saves $4 in the first year of an avoided pregnancy and $15 in the first five years, according to a study on behalf of an agency promoting birth control. [Des Moines Register]
  • A recent study of girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has found that they are at risk for mental illnesses. [Reuters]
  • The mortality rate of California women who died from pregnancy-related causes has nearly tripled in the past 10 years. Many of the deaths are apparently related to obesity or complications from cesarean sections. However, the CA Department of Public Health has declined to release a report detailing the trend. In 2007, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the national maternal mortality rate had a reason, although it was unclear as to whether the rate had actually risen or whether deaths were just being reported better. [California Watch]
  • What will women gain from President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal? Blogger Megan Carpentier breaks it down. [Women’s Media Center]
  • Here’s a shocker: Economic stress is leading to an increase in reported domestic violence incidents across the country, anti-violence advocates say. Money troubles do not cause domestic abuse, advocates say, but it exacerbates existing situations of abuse. [Boston Globe]

INTERNATIONAL

  • South African President Joseph Zuma has always been open about his polygamous relationships with three wives, but the news recently hit that Zuma has also fathered a child out of wedlock with a fourth woman. Some critics say it is irresponsible for the president of a country suffering from the HIV/AIDs epidemic to have so many partners, while others say his sex life should be his own business. [BBC]
  • Contrary to stereotypes of young women in the Arab world, two delegates to the Second Arab Women’s Leadership Forum in Dubai say the city is filled with young, well-educated, entrepreneurial Arab women who are breaking barriers like never before. [Bloomberg]
  • A new “glass ceiling” survey by the New Zealand legal newsletter “Law Fuel” discovered that at top NZ law firms, only 17 percent of women are made partner. In NZ, 40 percent of law school graduates are female. [NewZealand.Co.NZ]
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