***Watch this hilarious video where some bunnies wonder why Emergency Contraception is still behind the counter. Here's an interesting take on it, including the very good point that taking pharmacists out of the equation eliminates conscientious objector concerns. (Hat tip Larry, who also pointed out that maybe bunnies weren't the most PC choice...) In other reproductive health news, New Jersey has decided to deal with its budget deficit partly by cutting all state funding to family planning programs. Yeah, that sounds like it won't have any unfortunate long-term consequences.... Also, an interesting new study shows that becoming a mother, not marriage, is associated with decreases in delinquent behavior. Finally, concrete evidence that marriage doesn't save society.
***because of their menstrual cycle. Despite the maddeningly cliched write-up, the research itself is somewhat interesting. It's well documented that women tend to bid in more risk averse ways (bidding more to ensure you win, for example), and the researchers found this effect. However, they found that this gender differential disappears during menstruation, when the lowest levels of estrogen and progesterone are present. As I said, I think it's interesting that hormones effect how people bid, but it drives me crazy that men are considered the baseline for "normal" bidding and that people forget that men also have a hormonal cycle throughout the day that might very well affect their behavior! Elsewhere, NYMag is speculating whether Wall Street would be better if women ran it. Yes, I definitely think there are some typically "female" characteristics that are beneficial in business, but can we please stop acting as though all women are the same, and they all bring the antithesis of maleness to business situations? There's one quote in there from a Wall Street exec who says the women he's worked with on the trading floor "Never got ruffled, never got upset." Really? They all had exactly the same demeanors, and they all were never bothered by a bad trade? Maybe they just learned to cry outside, like so many of us women have been told.
***And finally, the NFL is at last revising overtime rules that have caused the winner of the coin toss to win the game nearly 60% of the time since 1994. In the old rules, overtime was played as sudden death, with the first team to score a field goal or touchdown (yeah, right) winning. In the new rules, the team that receives the first kickoff (on offense first) cannot win by getting a field goal. They must either get a touchdown, or get a field goal and then give the opposing team one possession to win or tie. I think the new rules (which currently only apply to playoff games, but will likely be expanded) will make overtime more exciting, since before it always seemed like the team with the first possession had an unfair advantage. However, as the Trib points out, it's doubtful very many teams will go for that touchdown--most will either try to get a field goal and then stop the other team, or choose to kickoff, get the ball back, and win with a field goal.
[hat tips Larry, Woodstock, and Katherine]