Tinder Usage Up 129% Among Athletes at the Rio Summer Olympics

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

Rio Olympics 2016 (Indian Express)

By now, it’s common knowledge that Olympic athletes hook up during their time in the Olympic Village. And naturally, one way to facilitate this is via dating apps. Specifically, Tinder has proved to be the number one choice for Olympic athletes looking to get laid.

Over the first weekend of this year’s Olympics, Tinder usage spiked a whopping 129% amongst the athletes. Impressive, right? But the data is incomplete.

This is the second Olympics where Tinder has made a splash. During the Sochi Olympics in 2014, it was reported that mobile dating usage surged, and that Tinder was the app of choice. However, since this is solely anecdotal evidence, no numbers have been reported so that we can’t gauge the size of said surge. And we cannot make any year-over-year comparisons of the growth.

Another issue is that, yes, Tinder usage is up 129% among athletes, but to what are we comparing the activity? Are we comparing to the usage data to the previous Summer Olympics (which would be London in 2012) or the most recent Olympics (the aforementioned Sochi)?

Though the number raises a few questions, it’s pretty entertaining to realize that elite athletes are just like the rest of us.

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Rachel Dolezal: How Many White People Have Passed As Black?

Rachel Dolezal (Young Cons)

Rachel Dolezal (Young Cons)

This is pretty insane: It came out last week that Rachel Dolezal, the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) chapter in Spokane, Washington, isn’t black at all. Not one drop.

She’s actually white.

Her story came out after a reporter asked her point-blank if she was black. Dolezal dodged the question. Since then, other aspects of Dolezal’s life have come to light: attending Howard University, telling people her adopted black brother (who lived with her) was really her son, and teaching classes on African-American culture at Eastern Washington University. Dolezal also claimed to have received hate mail.

Dolezal began identifying as black in 2007, after years of identifying with the culture.

I wanted to see if there were any stats on white people passing as black in the larger culture. I don’t mean in terms of appropriating dress or mannerisms, but actually altering one’s physical appearance and living an elaborate lie.

And I couldn’t find anything. Shocker (but not really). This is such a strange situation that I’m not surprised there haven’t been enough subjects to be studied.

The only white person who’s done anything remotely similar was John Howard Griffin, author of “Black Like Me.” Griffin underwent physical changes, including darkening his skin under heat lamps, to pass for a black man and report on racial injustices in the South firsthand. But obviously, his motives were very different than Dolezal’s.

It’ll be interesting to see how Dolezal’s case plays out, and if she’ll drop her black identity now that she’s been exposed.

How Many Husbands Take Their Wives’ Last Names?

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Zoe and Marco Saldana (KCCI)

Happy Friday! Earlier this week, actress Zoe Saldana told “InStyle” that her husband Marco Perego wanted to take her last name, instead of having her take his. Saldana was initially hesitant:

I tried to talk him out of it. I told him, ‘If you use my name, you’re going to be emasculated by your community of artists, by your Latin community of men, by the world.’ But Marco looks up at me and says [in his Italian accent], ‘Ah, Zoe, I don’t give a sheet.’

Now, that’s a true man right there. Husbands taking their wife’s last name isn’t too common, at least anecdotally. But what about the data? Has it been tracked?

No, it hasn’t, at least not yet. I found several articles profiling couples who did it, but each article mentioned in some way that statistics weren’t tracked. Oh well. On the other hand, it’s a topic ripe for picking for a Ph.D. thesis. Any takers?

But Mr. Saldana (né Perego) made a huge impact. Meghan Blalock of “Who What Wear” puts his decision in context:

The storied history of women taking men’s last names in marriage is not just a trend or a matter of practicality—it’s a long-existing symptom of the patriarchal society in which we live, in which a marriage means that a woman is little more than a man’s property.

So his decision shows that he’s not just a traditionally masculine man, but that he has a sensitive side towards women and feminism, and isn’t afraid to show it. Pretty badass, right? Maybe we’ll see more men follow suit!

Josh Duggar Scandal: How Much Child Sexual Abuse Occurs Within Religious Cults?

Josh and Anna Duggar and their children (E! Online)

Josh and Anna Duggar and their children (E! Online)

Last month, eldest son of the “19 Kids and Counting” Duggar clan Josh Duggar admitted he’d sexually molested five girls when he was 14 years old in 2002, some of which were his sisters. (When these incidents took place, Duggar had five sisters, who ranged in age from four to 12.)

More revelations came out over the days that followed: Duggar was sent away to a friend who had a home remodeling business after he admitted what he’d done; he didn’t receive any counseling, contrary to what had initially been stated, and Duggar was given a minor talking-to from Arkansas State Trooper Jim Hutchens, who’s now in prison for child pornography. After the allegations came to light, a judge ordered the incriminating documents be destroyed, apparently on behalf of one of the alleged victims.

The Duggar family is part of the Quiverfull movement, a worldview that purports to be about Christianity and living Biblically. Earmarks of being Quiverfull include having lots of children (supplying Christian soldiers to prepare for the upcoming spiritual battle), dressing modestly and shaming victims of sexual abuse.

Until now, the fact that the Quiverfull movement is a cult has flown under the radar. But now it’s come under the scrutiny of a full-fledged public spotlight.

I wanted to find some statistics on sexual abuse, especially child/incestual sexual abuse, within cults. Unsurprisingly, I was unable to find anything. No long-range studies have been done. This makes sense: Cults usually want to cover their tracks, and make themselves look like they aren’t cults at all and are completely normal. In terms of gathering information, it’d be very hard to infiltrate and gain members’ trust to get an accurate picture of what occurs within one. Even if a member did admit to something, they might see it as totally normal.

Unfortunately, the statue of limitations on Duggar’s heinous acts has now expired. But now we have some idea of the long-ranging detrimental effects of the Quiverfull movement. There are better ways to help victims of sexual abuse and molestation, regardless of their personal viewpoint.

 

 

 

“Federal Agents Gone Wild:” The Department of Justice Has a Prostitute Problem

DEA chief Michele Leonhart (Girls Just Wanna Have Guns)

DEA chief Michele Leonhart (Girls Just Wanna Have Guns)

Yesterday, Michele Leonhart announced that she’d resign from her post as chief of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in early May. This comes after reports surfaced that some male employees were enjoying sex parties with prostitutes which were paid for by drug cartels in Colombia. And it had been going on for years. Conflict of interest much?

Earlier this month, Attorney General Eric Holder had to issue a department-wide memo for Department of Justice employees, reminding them that they are not allowed to solicit prostitutes under any circumstance. His point was that any employee who does this opens up himself, and the agency, to potential blackmail, extortion and leaking private information. (Seems like common sense to me.) I bet he never thought he’d have to write this kind of memo.

I tried to find if there were any other instances of this happening (since it was apparently uncovered during a routine Inspector General report), but couldn’t find anything. All stats I could find were more related to prostitution stats that the DOJ itself had reported on.

It’ll be interesting to watch how this all plays out, and what (if any) further punishments the DOJ partying employees will receive. (So far, employees who’ve confessed have only been suspended, but only up to a week-and-a-half.) It’s one thing to indulge in sex parties off the clock, but it’s another thing entirely to blur professional lines against those you’re supposed to be against (though I’m sure that was part of the appeal).

 

UVA Rape Story Retracted: Has It Happened Before?

UVA (Brohammas)

UVA (Brohammas)

Last week, “Rolling Stone” released an investigative report on its now-infamous piece “A Rape on Campus.” The report, produced jointly with the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, delved into fact-checking the narrative. Ultimately, the investigation found many fact-checking and methodology errors (overall termed a “systematic failing”), and “Rolling Stone” retracted the piece.

I was interested to see if any other investigative journalism pieces, specifically on rape cases, had been retracted at any time. But I wasn’t able to find any. The closest things I could find were examples of victims later recanting their stories.

This has proven to be a first for the journalism world in that such an expansive feature (on such a timely, hot-button issue, no less) has been so thoroughly demolished by its fabrications. Though the story initially drew awareness to rape victims on college campuses, it ultimately ended up casting more negative light on the publication and journalist who covered it. Let’s hope that future journalists covering sexual assault stories will be scared into performing their due diligence to get all the facts right.

 

Sex & The ’60s: Why Did Condom Usage Decline During the Decade?

Vintage condoms (Collectors Weekly)

Vintage condoms (Collectors Weekly)

This week, we’re examining sexuality data from the 1960s, in celebration of the upcoming final half-season of “Mad Men” beginning Apr. 5th.

Everyone knows that the 1960s was a game-changer in terming of blowing sexuality wide open, and that we still feel the reverberations today. But one aspect of sexuality was negatively impacted during that timeframe: condom usage.

But why? It comes down to the economic principle of substitution, which holds that when the price of one good rises, demand for a similar good rises. (Picture coffee and tea in this scenario: If the price of coffee goes up, fewer people will want, or can afford, to buy it, so they’ll want tea.) In the 1960s, other methods appeared on the scene, and they became more popular to use, so the substitution effect took hold. Though price didn’t play into it, the effects were unchanged.

One method majorly stood out. Enovid, the first birth control pill, was approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1960. (The contraceptive pioneered by Dr. Carl Djerassi, “the father of The Pill,” later got licensed under the trade name Ortho Novum.) Its popularity grew rapidly: 1.2M+ American women are on it in 1962, and then almost doubles to 2.3M+ the next year.

By the middle of the decade, 25% of couples used it, and 6.5M+ American women used it (but no data on the number of partnered versus single women who used it).

But that wasn’t the only birth control innovation. In 1968, the FDA also approved the first intrauterine devices (IUDs). Unlike today’s common T-shape, Dr. Hugh Davis’s Dalkon shield was egg-shaped with a number of dull spikes emanating from it. Within two years, the IUD had sold 600K+ in the U.S.

With these advances, it’s easy to see that the simple condom would’ve slipped out of public favor.