By The Numbers: NPR Releases 2017 Staff Diversity Data

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) Logo (NPR)

National Public Radio (NPR) has committed to inclusive hiring practices by releasing its newsroom diversity data each year. Last month, the diversity data for 2017 was released for 377 employees. All data was self-reported. I also compared these numbers to NPR’s 2016 diversity data.

Here’s the race/ethnicity breakdown:

White: 75.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – White: -.3%

Latino: 6.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Latino: .7%

Black: 8.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Black: .8%

Asian: 7.7%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Asian: -6.%

Two or More Reported: 2.1%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Two or More Reported: -.5%

American Indian: .3%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – American Indian: 0%

Here’s the gender split:

Male: 43.8%

  • Change Year-Over-Year – Male (%): -1.1%

Female: 56.2%

Change Year-Over-Year – Female (%): +1.1%

Obviously, there are some problems here. The first problem is that the data is self-reported, so we can assume that respondents self-selected to participate. The second problem is that there is not nearly enough diversity on staff. The third problem is that progress towards more diversity is proceeding too slowly. More progress needs to be made!

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How Many Men Fake Orgasms?

Couple in bed (Nairobi Today)

Couple in bed (Nairobi Today)

That headline made you do a double-take, right? “But…but only women fake it…right?!” No, apparently it’s not just women. (I’ll let that sink in for a moment now that everything in your world has come crashing down.)

A study published last month in a volume of “Sexual and Relationship Therapy” examines whether faking it, and why, is correlated with sexual and relationship satisfaction. Researchers looked at a sample size of 230 men ages 18-29 years old. Men reported faking it on average about 25% of sexual encounters within their current relationship, and mostly within penetrative (a.k.a. vaginal) sex. (Granted, this is self-reported data, so it’s highly possible some men are lying about their frequency of this act.) It’s unclear as to the sexual orientations of the subjects.

Faking orgasms were found to be related to relationship and sexual satisfaction, but could vary with motivation. Men with lower levels of attraction to their partners indicated that they faked it more frequently. But men who were happy with their partners also faked it “to support a partner’s emotional well-being.” Also, men who faked it when they were drunk correlated to higher levels of sexual satisfaction.

These results parallel a 2010 study published in the “Journal of Sex Research” that also examined rates of faking orgasm (though this one looked at faking for both men and women). And the numbers were near-identical: 25% of men reported faking orgasm, with 28% of men reporting that it occurred during penetrative/vaginal sex.

(Side note: each of these studies referred to faking orgasm as “pretend/pretending orgasm.” I tried to use that phrase in this post, but every time I typed it, I started giggling. Because I’m 12 years old.)

These are interesting stats, and definitely not something I knew before. But does this mean we’ll now have a cultural conversation regarding the faking-orgasm gap?

 

 

How Many Couples Wait Until Marriage to Have Sex?

Russell Wilson and Ciara (Wenner Media)

Russell Wilson and Ciara (Wenner Media)

Last month, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson proposed to singer Ciara. While this narrative isn’t uncommon (professional athlete gets with professional singer), one thing about their courtship has stuck out: Wilson and Ciara (I’d use her last name here if she used it herself) abstained from sex during their courtship. And they were loud and clear about it.

You may think this example is an outlier. So how many couples wait until marriage to have sex?

A 2006 study by the Guttmacher Institute took data from the National Survey of Family Growth from 1982, 1988, 1995 and 2002. Around 40K+ subjects ages 15-44 were asked about their sex lives. In 2002, around 95% reported having premarital sex (shocker <– sarcasm right here.) So that’d be around 5% who reported staying virgins til marriage. But this is all self-reported data, so I can’t tell if answers were blinded or not. (Respondents might lie if their answers aren’t blinded.)

This is a upswing from back in the day, but not a total shock. Dr. Alfred Kinsey tackled this same question in his seminal works, 1948’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male” and 1953’s “Sexual Behavior in the Human Female.” He found that 67-98% of men had had premarital sex, “depending on socioeconomic level” (I would love to know what that means!), with 68% losing it before turning 18. Women fell into a 50-50 split of whether they’d had premarital sex or not. (This kind of turns the prudish ’50s narrative on its ass, doesn’t it?)

Even thought we have some data, it’s difficult to predict the numbers of virgins-til-marriage completely accurately if the numbers are all self-reported. Some might not self-report accurately due to shame or any number of factors. That being said, nothing wrong with their decision to wait.

 

How Common is Intimate Partner Violence?

James Deen and Stoya (The Guardian UK)

James Deen and Stoya (The Guardian UK)

Late last year, adult film star James Deen was accused of rape by his former girlfriend, fellow adult film star Stoya. Other performers later came forward to accuse Deen of sexual assault, but Stoya’s two tweets on Nov. 28, 2015, started Deen’s downfall: He’s since been dropped from one major studio.

Rape can be part of a larger pattern of intimate partner violence. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), intimate partner violence “comprises 15% of all violence crimes,” and women ages 18-24 are most likely to be “abused by an intimate partner.” In addition, 46%+ of women raped are raped by an acquaintance. Of this number, 45%+ of women are raped by an intimate partner. These are scary stats.

As of 2014, women ages 18-24 comprise 4.8% of the total population.As of the 2010 Census, women comprised 50.8% of the total population, or 156.9M+ residents. We can estimate that the current number of women in this age group who’ve been raped by an acquaintance might shake out to 155K+.

Here’s the math:

  • 156,964,212 *.0048 = 753,429 (estimate of women ages 18-24 as of 2014)
  • 753,429 * .46 = 346,578 (estimate of number of women in that age range raped by an acquaintance)
  • 346,578 * .45 = 155,961 (estimate of number of women ages 18-24 raped by an intimate partner)

Obviously, this isn’t an exact estimate, due to a couple of reasons: self-reporting (not all women will probably report rape/violence), and inaccurate data (using both 2010 and 2014 numbers).

Scary, right? Unfortunately, this is the reality, so take care of yourselves.

 

Why Is the Number of Sexual Assaults Rising in New York City?

New York City skyline (The Huffington Post)

New York City skyline (The Huffington Post)

Certain types of violence are on the rise in the city that never sleeps. In addition to shooting and homicides increasing year-over-year, the number of rapes and sexual assaults has also increased.

But is it enough to panic over? Let’s look at the numbers. “The New York Times” reports:

From Jan. 1 to May 31, there were 540 rapes recorded in the city, an 8 percent increase over the same period last year, and more than 1,128 misdemeanor sex crimes, representing a rise of 18 percent.

But on the bright side, some types of sexual violence has declined within the city:

According to national data from the Centers for Disease Control in 2012, the rate of stranger rape as a percentage of all rape is 14 percent; in New York City this year, the rate is half that. Of the 540 reported rapes, 39 were committed by someone the victim did not know, according to the police.

But why are the overall numbers climbing? The phenomenon can be attributed to a simple economic principle: the complement effect. Numbers are climbing because more people are reporting them. And that’s a good thing! The more people that are aware of these crimes and can report them, the more accurate a picture we can get of just how rampant sexual assaults are.

I’m interested to see if this is, or will be, the case in other cities.

 

Bernie Sanders Essay: How Many Women Have Rape Fantasies?

Bernie Sanders (Crooks and Liars)

Bernie Sanders (Crooks and Liars)

Last week, “Mother Jones” found an essay that presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders wrote in 1972 for alternative newspaper “Vermont Freeman.” Sanders’ two-page essay observed sexual dynamics between men and women.

Here’s the part that got everyone talking:

A woman enjoys intercourse with her man — as she fantasizes being raped by 3 men simultaneously.

Sanders was positing this as a general observation that held true about all women. But is he correct in this assumption?

There’s been some research done on this fantasy.

Last year, researchers at the University of Canada, Quebec asked territory residents about their sexual fantasies and published results in the “Journal of Sexual Medicine.” Though the researchers didn’t directly ask about rape fantasies, they did ask respondents if they agreed with the statement “I have fantasized about being forced to have sex,” which can be construed as such. Over 28% of women agreed with that statement, but it wasn’t enough to hit the “normal fantasy” cutoff (which started at 50% agreement from respondents). The study didn’t examine how often the women had these fantasies.

A 2010 “Psychology Today” article on women’s rape fantasies stated that nine surveys on the topic had been published between 1973 and 2008. Here’s what that collective body of data showed:

They show that about four in 10 women admit having them (31-57%) with a median frequency of about once a month. Actual prevalence of rape fantasies is probably higher because women may not feel comfortable admitting them.

A 2009 study done by North Texas University found that answers depended on what terminology was used. Fifty-two percent of college women said they’d fantasized about being “overpowered by a man,” but only 32% of women agreed when it was labeled “rape.” It’s interesting to note that this range nestles right in the range quoted above.

There also appeared to be an inverse correlation between the number of women who reported having rape fantasies and the frequency with which they had them: 25% of women reported having the fantasy less than once a year, and 13% had the fantasy a few times a year. So while it might be a part of some women’s sexual fantasy playlist, it doesn’t pop up in the rotation with much frequency for those women.

Though Sanders was certainly on to something with his claim, the fantasy isn’t nearly as pervasive (or self-reported) as he made it seem. But Sanders did recognize the desires that that specific fantasy taps into: a woman being overpowered by a man who can’t stop himself from ravishing her. No wonder he recently compared it to “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

No Shit: People Who Have More Sex Are Happier

Couple in bed (Nairobi Today)

Couple in bed (Nairobi Today)

Happy Friday! Here comes a stat, courtesy of everyone’s favorite superhero Captain Obvious:

The more sex you have, the happier you’ll be.

Please tell me this is common sense and not an earth-shattering revelation.

According to a 2014 study from the University of Colorado-Boulder, led by researcher Tim Wadsworth, there’s a direct correlation between frequency of sexual activity and a person’s “happiness quotient.” And these two factors fed off each other:

“Those who reportedly had more sex were seen to be experience more happiness and vice versa.”

Since this is self-reported information, it’s hard to tell the degree to which subjects experienced more happiness. But hey, if they felt it, they felt it.

But Wadsworth has certainly done his due diligence in determining this assessment: He interviewed 15K+ subjects.