By The Numbers: Interracial Marriage Data

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York (The Huffington Post)

FILE PHOTO – Kim Kardashian and Kanye West arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York, U.S., August 28, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

The 50th anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia case is soon approaching. The case struck down bans on interracial marriage, and continues to resonate today. With that in mind, I was curious to see any data on interracial marriages: Has the number gone up? Has societal disapproval gone down?

Let’s take a look:

Who’s Marrying Out?

  • In 1970, less than 1% of all married couples were interracial.
  • In 1980, 6%+ of newlyweds were interracial, and only 3% of all marriages were interracial.
  • In 2013, 12% of newlyweds (a record high) married someone of a different race, and 6.3% of all marriages were interracial.
The Absolute Rise of Intermarriage (Priceonomics)

The Absolute Rise of Intermarriage (Priceonomics)

Who’s Down with Marrying Out?

  • In 1986, only 30% of survey respondents felt interracial marriage is acceptable for everyone. But that same percentage of respondents did not feel interracial marriage was acceptable for anyone.
  • In 2009, 83% of survey respondents were accepting of interracial marriage.
  • In 2012, 93% of people approve of interracial marriage.

And let’s end on one more noteworthy statistic that warms my heart and gives me hope for the future:

“More than four-in-ten Americans (43%) say that more people of different races marrying each other has been a change for the better in our society.”

 

 

How Many U.S. Adults Have Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Mamiverse)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) (Mamiverse)

In answer to the headline, quite a few. In fact, the number might be higher than you think.

The answer: Almost 50% of U.S. adults have human papillomavirus (HPV).

In case you’re blissfully unaware, HPV is “the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI).” The virus is most commonly transmitted during vaginal and anal sex. In worst cases, HPV can morph into genital warts and cause cancer.

A report published by the National Center for Health Statistics revealed that 42%+ of U.S. adults ages 18-59 had genital HPV. Certain strains of the virus affected 25%+ of adult men and 20%+ of adult women. These strains caused 31K cases of cancer per year.

The report also found that 7%+ of U.S. adults had oral HPV, and 4% had HPV strains associated with mouth and throat cancers.

Rates of HPV broke down along demographic lines:

The highest rate, 33.7 percent, was found among non-Hispanic blacks; the lowest, 11.9 percent, among Asians. The prevalence of genital HPV infection was 21.6 percent among whites and 21.7 percent among Hispanics.

The study was the first of its kind to examine HPV in adults.

This study really drives home the need for HPV vaccination. Yet despite a push for getting adolescents vaccinated, the HPV vaccination rate remains stubbornly low: “Only 30-40% of teens who should be getting immunized receive the three-dose shot, and only 10% of men do.”

Google Trends: “Birth Control” vs. “Male Birth Control”

Birth Control Pill Container (The Holy Kale)

Birth Control Pill Container (The Holy Kale)

With the news that a new form of male contraception could soon be on the horizon, I was curious to see how Google searches were reflecting that.

The parameters I used were looking at the last five years worldwide.

First, here’s the trend for searches for “birth control:”

Google Trends: 'Birth Control' searches, worldwide 2012-2017

Google Trends: ‘Birth Control’ searches, worldwide 2012-2017

Not surprisingly, the interest in the topic remains consistently high throughout the timeframe. In terms of regions, the top three regions that searched the term were Jamaica (100%), Trinidad & Tobago (88%), and the United States (82%).

Since birth control is through to be traditionally the woman’s responsibility  (*eyeroll*), let’s see what happens when we put “male birth control” searches against “birth control:”

Google Trends: 'Birth Control' vs. 'Male Birth Control' worldwide, 2012-2017

Google Trends: ‘Birth Control’ vs. ‘Male Birth Control’ worldwide, 2012-2017

Wow. I didn’t expect the difference to be that great.

One thing that’s really interesting: Google Trends also pulls up related searches. The third most popular search was for “snopes male control.” Of course, Snopes is a site educated to debunking myths, so it appears that some users were curious to see whether male birth control was even a legit thing or not.

I tried searching “vasalgel” (the male contraceptive gel being tested) against “birth control” and “male birth control,” and the search for the former basically mirrored the trendline for “male birth control.”

As more options for male contraception hit the market, hopefully more users will be searching for male birth control. And also believe male birth control actually exists.

 

Male Contraceptive Gel 100% Effective in Primate Trials

Vasalgel rendering (The Guardian)

Vasalgel rendering (The Guardian)

If you’re yearning for male birth control that isn’t a condom, you’re in luck! Scientists have been making progress on Vasalgel, a male contraceptive gel. A recent trial of the product on primates found the gel to be 100% effective at preventing pregnancy.

It’s pretty simple how Vasalgel works: the gel prevents sperm from exiting the penis. If a man decides he’d like to stop using the gel, the effects can be eradicated by using ultrasound waves to dissolve the gel. Vasalgel doesn’t affect “sperm levels or hormone production.”

Here’s how the study, conducted by scientists at the California National Primate Research, was set up:

For the study, 16 rhesus monkeys were selected to undergo the procedure before being placed back into groups with fertile females during mating season. After being monitored for six months, the researchers found that no pregnancies had occurred—the typical pregnancy rate in such unaffected conditions is usually around 80 percent.

The Parsemus Foundation funded the research for the study. Results were published in Basic and Clinical Andrology journal.

Vasalgel isn’t the only contraceptive gel being tested right now. In India, reversible inhibition of sperm under guidance (RISUG) is being tested on men. This gel works differently in that it seeks to injure swimming sperm. RISUG has shown to be effective for up to 10 years within the 200 men on whom the product was tested.

Black Actor Oscar Nominations: By The Numbers

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

7 Best Supporting Actress Nominees Octavia Spencer, Viola Davis and Naomie Harris (The Wrap)

Remember how the last couple of Oscar ceremonies were plagued by a lack of diverse nominees, especially in the major categories? The Academy has appeared to learn from that. The change has become especially clear in the acting categories. This year, each acting category has at least one Black nominee.

Here are the stats:

Best Actor: Denzel Washington (“Fences”)

  • Washington is now the most nominated Black actor in Oscar history. He’s had six previous nominations, two for Best Supporting Actor and four for Best Actor. He won Best Supporting Actor in “Glory” in Best Actor for “Training Day” in 2001.

Best Actress: Ruth Negga (“Loving”)

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”)

Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (“Fences”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), Octavia Spender (“Hidden Figures”)

  • This year is the first time an acting category has had three Black nominees. The last time an acting category had two Black nominees was in 1985, when Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey were both nominated for “The Color Purple.”
  • This is the second time the Best Supporting Actress category has had three non-white nominees. The first time was in 2007, with Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls,” and Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi for “Babel” nominated.
  • Davis made history this year by becoming the first Black actress to score three Oscar nominations. Previously, Whoopi Goldberg was the only Black actress to have two Oscar nominations. She won the Oscar for her second nomination for her performance in “Ghost” in 1991.

Obama Signs Bill That Requires Babies’ Changing Tables in Every Public Bathroom

U.S. President Barack Obama and baby (Winwes)

U.S. President Barack Obama and baby (Winwes)

Earlier this month, President Obama signed a very important bill. The Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act requires government and federally-run buildings to provide babies’ changing tables in every restroom on the the premises. That’s right, babies’ changing tables will now be in both women’s and men’s bathrooms.

Previously, there was no such act that mandated changing tables in public bathrooms. And it’s common knowledge that changing tables are a much more common sight in women’s bathrooms than in men’s.

The BABIES Act was proposed in April by Rhode Island Democratic Representative David Cicilline. The measure was co-sponsored by 26 fellow Democrats and one Republican.

It’s fitting that the act was introduced and passed now: The move comes as parental leave, gender equality and division of household labor (which includes childcare) have become top of mind to many people, and a hot topic during this election season.

The new changing tables must be added within the next two years.

Apple’s iOS 10 Emoji Will Bust Gender Stereotypes

iOS 10 Emoji (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

iOS 10 Emoji (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Apple’s iOS update will also bring a slew of emoji changes to the Messages app. But these emoji will now be more diverse and gender-inclusive.

Women will now be represented with professions that had previously only be available for men, such as surfing, police officers and doctors. The reverse will hold true for the men, who will now have the option to use emoji depicting haircuts and massages.

There will also be new family emoji, showing single mothers and fathers with their children. A rainbow flag has also made it into the mix, signifying Apple’s support for marriage equality (insert hallelujah-hands emoji here).

This spring, Google first brought new emoji designs to the Unicode Consortium, the committee that oversees the selection, development and implementation of new emoji. Apple is also a member of the Consortium, and moved forward in developing its own emoji.

This isn’t the first time emoji have been updated for diversity. Last year’s release of iOS 9.1 included the debut of multiple skin tones. This upcoming batch of new inclusive emoji will have 100+ iterations, taking skin tone into account.

iOS 10 will debut later this fall.