18-06 Segment 1: Speaking Out on Sexual Harassment

 

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Silence is no longer an answer. With movements like “Me Too” and “Times Up” surfacing all over social media and popular television, many women are beginning to take a stand against sexual harassment. Dr. Ashton Lofgreen, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University, explains that in the past, there has been a perpetuated silence that discouraged women from speaking up, but now, people are recognizing that they are not alone in their experiences with sexual harassment. While many more women are opening up, there is still a lot of confusion behind what exactly constitutes sexual harassment.

So, how does one know if they have experienced sexual harassment? Dr. Cynthia Eller, Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University and author of The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future, thinks that there are some general rules to follow that can help one address whether an action is sexual harassment. Besides understanding specific behaviors, Dr. Emily Grijalva, Assistant Professor of Organization and Human Resources at University of Buffalo, says that there is also a type of person to look out for: a narcissist. In a study done by Dr. Grijalva and her male cohorts, they found that there is a positive connection between narcissism and sexual harassment. While these are a few ways to identify behaviors or traits often associated with sexual harassment, there are other ways too.

It is possible to measure the chances that someone will commit an act of sexual harassment. Dr. John Pryor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University, states that there is a test that measures the willingness that an individual may have to behave in a sexually coercive or exploitative manner, to make gestures that are categorized as unwanted sexual attention, or participate in gender harassment. Despite the fact that these behaviors can be measured, issues of sexual harassment often slide under the radar, many times due to non-disclosure agreements and arbitration clauses that do not permit people to pursue cases within a court, according to Dr. Grijalva.

With the increase in which sexual harassment claims are being made, many people wonder about the possibility of these efforts going awry. But Dr. Lofgreen believes that these claims are fear-based and possibly another way of reinforcing the status quo that it’s better to not talk about these cases of sexual harassment. Similarly, Dr. Eller thinks that as long as a witch hunt is avoided, many people associated with these evolving movements will only benefit from coming forward.

Guests:

  • Dr. Ashton Lofgreen, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Rush University
  • Dr. Cynthia Eller, Professor of Religion at Claremont Graduate University add author of The Myth of Matriarchal Prehistory: Why an Invented Past Won’t Give Women a Future
  • Dr. Emily Grijalva, Assistant Professor of Organization and Human Resources at University of Buffalo
  • Dr. John Pryor, Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Illinois State University

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18-06 Segment 2: The High Health Cost of Sugar

 

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Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California, San Francisco, President of Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease explains that generally people believe that obesity is a calorie problem: people eat too much and exercise too little. But, he states that there is something else at play here–the enormous increase in the consumption of dietary sugar across the country.

However, it is hard to place the blame on a lack of self-responsibility. Dr. Lustig explains that evidence shows sugar is addictive and it is capable of exciting the brain in a similar way that other substances of abuse do, too. Dr. Lustig believes there are two reasons sugar has become so prevalent in the human diet: first, sugar became cheaper, and second, the food industry put an emphasis on “low-fat”and “fat-free” diets that encouraged people to eat these foods that are higher in sugar.

The negative effects of sugar are not only seen through the increase in obesity, but also in the rise of diabetes which is increasing at a far quicker pace. Dr. Lustig states that this growth in diabetes is not just affecting those who are obese, it is affecting all people who consume sugar at a high rate. He further explains that diabetes is not about obesity, but that it’s about how our bodies metabolize what enters it and the damages that these bad foods cause in the process. In order to decrease the number of people being affected by diabetes and obesity, sugar consumption must go down.

Guests:

  • Dr. Robert Lustig, pediatric endocrinologist, Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at University of California, San Francisco, President of Institute for Responsible Nutrition, and author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity and Disease

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Medical Notes 18-06

 

Medical Notes this week…

We recently reported on the age that parents should consider getting their kids a smartphone. Now comes a study in the journal Emotion finding that teens who spend more time on their phones are less happy than those who find other things to do. Researchers determined that teens who spend less than an hour a day on their smartphones are happiest. However, there’s one large caveat to the study. Scientists admit they don’t know if smartphone use makes kids unhappy or if unhappy kids use their phones more.

Experts are beginning to realize that one of the more serious public health threats of the modern world is loneliness. It’s a particular problem among older people with studies showing as many as half of those over age 60 are lonely. Other studies are showing that loneliness markedly increases heart disease risk, depression and cognitive decline. Now government is trying to do something about it.  Great Britain has appointed a minister for loneliness.

And finally, if you’re tempted to stifle a sneeze – don’t. the British Medical Journal has published the extreme case of a 34-year old man who tried to bottle up his sneeze and ended up hospitalized for a week. The sneeze ruptured the man’s throat after he held his nose and clamped a hand over his mouth leaving the sneeze’s force no place to go.

And that’s Medical Notes this week.

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