The importance of Gender Identity and the ramifications of misrepresenting them forcibly.

David Ipavich (primary author)
Isabelle Murphy
Samantha Delgrosso
Blog Post 2
October 29, 2018

As of mid-October, the trump administration has taken an alarming stance on the transgender community. As reported by the New York Times, by redefining scientifically accepted beliefs about gender fluidity, they intend to make the ability to refer to ones’ gender identity as transgender impossible, and the self-identifying as anything other than the sex you were determined as at birth unlawful. This blatant infringement of American citizens’ rights to free speech, protection from discrimination, and freedom of expression are egregious enough as is, yet this pales in comparison to the psychological harm that will come from Trumps inaccurate misrepresentation of these people’s genders. Gender is the collection of characteristics we associate a person with given their sex, this means that while one’s sex is uniform, and may be defined by genitalia and hormones, gender is a construct, an artificial boundary created through ideology, rather than biology, and that as humans, we define what is stereotypically male and female. Through millennia of growth we have defined what is and isn’t acceptable of people to do and say given their sex, creating gender norms that people fear breaking. These norms are needless restrictions on people, and are oppressive to all people, and their abilities to express themselves and how they feel, which is an important part of life that we as a society are finally exploring after years of scrutiny. The way in which one wishes to express their gender is part of their own unique identity, and scientifically proven to be unrelated to mental illness or psychological trauma, and in many cases, is a disposition the person in question developed or was born with naturally. There are innumerable cases in which a person’s gender identity strongly reflects the norms of the opposite sex, and in these cases, we see many people seeking professional aid in the process of transitioning into the opposite sex. This provides incredible relief and freedom to the individual, and allows true and honest self-expression of a person and of their emotions. Professor D. Swaab’s autopsies on the cadavers of deceased transgendered women showed that their BNST (bed nucleus of the stria terminalis), a crucial structure in the brain which aids in the prompting of sexual behavior, resembled that of ciswomen, rather than that of cisgender men. These findings would later be corroborated by Professor Julie Bakker, of the VU University Medical Center, in a study where the brain activity of specific portions of the brain were studied and recorded separately during a special reasoning test. During these tests different sections of men and women’s brains were primarily active, however when the men who had transitioned, or were in the process of transitioning to the female sex, their brain activity closely resembled that of the cisgender women, not that of the men. This proves that it is not simply a choice one makes, or the upbringing of a given person, but the disposition they are born with, or develop naturally given the structure of their brain at birth.
President Donald Trump’s leadership style is one without compromise. His radically conservative ideas and lack of filter create very polarized and aggressive policies which often ignore the opinions and needs of many individuals in the name of protecting the collective. This greatly entices those who support his views, while further angering those who refute his positions. This is why Trump embodies an incredible transformational leadership; those in favor in his ideals wish to peddle his policies for the sake of longstanding and religious views, while those against him wish to consider the progressive new ideas that science and society have begun accepting as fact. Transformational leadership is the result of our most charismatic leaders, who through their policies, speeches and propaganda, gets a rise to action from their citizens. While many transformational leaders encourage change by inspiring their citizens, Trump inspires change by justifying close minded and selfish viewpoints. This specific issue is no different; for years people have viewed the self-identification as transgendered as a symptom of mental illness, or as some sinful act, and despite the scientific proof refuting this, and the success the process of transitioning has had, he continues to push for the suppressing of the rights of private citizens with no concern for the effects suppressing their identity, gender, and true sex, will surely have.

By Erica L. Green, Katie Benner and Robert Pear. ‘Transgender’ Could Be Defined Out of Existence Under Trump Administration.
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/21/us/politics/transgender-trump-administration-sex-definition.html : The New York Times; 2018

Mike Colagrossi. Transgender brains more closely resemble brains of the sex they align with, rather than what they were born with.
https://bigthink.com/community/mike-colagrossi : Big Think; 2018

 

Ignorance

After a decade at Fox News, Megyn Kelly was lured by a contract estimated to be worth $20 million per year and the show was debuted in September of 2017. Many articles were talking about the Megyn Kelly issue that was on national television at the end of October. I picked the article from Cosmopolitan titled “[UPDATED] Megyn Kelly’s Show ‘Today’ Has Been Canceled After Blackface Comments.” Kelly was the former host of NBC Today show, she recently got fired by defending blackface Halloween costumes. It had caused massive backlash that led to her to apologize for her comments the next day. It all started as a discussion about a proposed ban of offensive Halloween costumes. To that discussion topic she said, “isn’t the whole purpose of Halloween to dress up and pretend your something other than yourself.”These commentaries were made on national television which embarrassed herself and probably others. During the round table discussion with other people Megyn had a lack of self-awareness because she mentions the blackface Halloween and how she doesn’t see anything wrong about she is saying. She should be more aware on what she says while being video tapped because there is supposed to be an increase of self-control, and their actions more clearly reflect their attitudes.It might not have such an effect on her since she has been on television for so long that she censors things less and she is more comfortable around the cameras. What is racist?” she said. “You do get in trouble if you are a white person who puts on blackface for Halloween, or a black person who puts on whiteface for Halloween. Back when I was a kid, that was okay just as long as you were dressing as a character.” She acted like everything that she was talking about was completely normal and it was just like any other regular topic. She also kept defending and making excuses on her end for a discussion that turned into more than it was actually supposed to be.

We humans want to evaluate our opinions and abilities by comparing our views with others and this is social comparison. Megyn has a poor sense of social comparison because she sounded like she wasn’t thinking about her replies to others it just came out without hesitation. “I’ve never been a ‘pc’ kind of person but I understand that we do need to be more sensitive in this day and age,” she said in an email to her colleagues. By how she wrote the email, it sounds a bit sarcastic and still stands by her beliefs. After the fact that everything went down she realized she needed to apologize on television which is always a point from the viewers perspective if you are meant to believe it or not. Although we think that she has a poor sense of social comparison, her inner circle might have the same beliefs or on the same page as her. So, I think she believed that everyone else that she was talking to had her same viewpoint. If she talked to her colleagues beforehand about the topic she would’ve knew that what she was saying was wrong and would not have made the mistake on saying it.

With everything you have to be aware of what you are saying around people because at the end of the day it can disrespect someone. From what Megyn Kelly did, it cost her job and future in which this is a lesson to learn if others are in this situation because you have to make sure everyone is on the same page as you before you say anything. Everyone has diverse viewpoints. 

Citations:

Baty, E. (2018, October 26). [UPDATED] Megyn Kelly’s Show ‘Today’ Has Been Canceled After Blackface Comments. Retrieved from https://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a24112684/megyn-kelly-blackface/

 

 

Khabib’s Aggression vs McGregor’s Social Comparison

Aggression is a very common behavior to have in the Ultimate Fighting Championship or otherwise known as UFC. Aggression is the physical or verbal behavior intended to hurt someone, not only in the ring but also outside of it, and we as spectators see the aggression build up before the match and sometimes even after. There are also different types of aggression such as Emotional aggression which refers to aggression with small amount of forethought or intent and that is determined primarily by impulsive emotions (Stangor, 2014). Another example would be instrumental or cognitive aggression this is the intentional and planned aggression (Stangor, 2014). Social comparison is also a very common behavior to see in the UFC. Social comparison is when an individual evaluates one’s abilities and opinions by comparing oneself to others (Social Comparison). It is important in this type of sport to look at your opponent and compare oneself to them. By doing this the athletes are able to use their strengths to attempt to beat their competitor’s weaknesses.

This year all eyes were locked in on October 6th when Conor McGregor was getting ready to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov (MMA, 2018). As many know McGregor is perceived as having very high self-confidence and made it very clear he “knew” he was going to win this fight, Khabib on the other hand was seen as the underdog. There was a lot of aggression building up to this fight. Verbally, McGregor made multiple announcements about how he knew he would win (Official, 2018). Khabib was able to use social comparison to understand why he was going to be the true winner. Khabib started wrestling at a very young age and knew that McGregor didn’t have the same advantages or talents in the wrestling aspect of fighting (Official, 2018). Khabib was able to use this advantage in the fight to take control and win. The ability to size up your competition and then view your own abilities is a key aspect when trying to win in the UFC.

Aggression is seen throughout the UFC during fights but after the actual competition is when the aggression became even more prominent, it no longer became about the sport but about the athletes own personal aggression. After Khabib had won against McGregor, Khabib jumped out of the ring and kicked one of McGregor’s trainers in the face to celebrate his win (Official, 2018). This is a very obvious example of physical aggression. There were also many instances in this match where verbally abusive and aggressive behavior was used as well.

In this match there are many prime examples of verbal and physical aggression; from McGregor verbally telling the world he was going to beat Khabib, to Khabib kicking one of McGregor’s trainers in the face after his victory. Social comparison made a large impact on the results of this match as well, in the instance of McGregor, he was unable to accurately compare himself to Khabib which resulted in his loss. Khabib, on the other hand, was able to view his own abilities and McGregor’s and make an accurate comparison. Khabib then used his own strengths to fight McGregor’s weaknesses and win the match.

This type of behavior is unsportsmanlike and should be discouraged, as of October 2018 there was disciplinary action taken and it was announced that both fighters received a suspension for ten days and half of Khabib’s payout be released and appear for a hearing in December (MMA, 2018). It is important that poor and unsportsmanlike behavior be called-out and offenders are held accountable. The sports world in general, needs to be a role model for society and for the youth of society to take part in sports that are ethical and have boundaries.

-Leigha Kosakowski

Sources

MMA Fighting Newswire. (2018, October 07). Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Conor McGregor full fight video highlights. Retrieved from https://www.mmafighting.com/2018/10/7/17946604/khabib-nurmagomedov-vs-conor-mcgregor-full-fight-video-highlights-ufc-229’

Official, W. (2018, October 18). Khabib Vc Conor McGregor Highlights. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmzMPcdmnQI.

Social Comparison Theory. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/social-comparison-theory

Stangor, C. (2014, September 26). Principles of Social Psychology – 1st International Edition. Retrieved from https://opentextbc.ca/socialpsychology/chapter/defining-aggression/

You Know How You Feel About Nike… Have You Ever Thought of Why?

Have you ever been to a Super Bowl party or been in a bar when rival teams are squaring off? Have you ever been to Boston and worn Yankee apparel? I strongly suggest you don’t do the latter if you’re not secure with yourself. Part of America’s charming culture is its indelible connection to athletics and the passion people have when partaking. Journalist Kim Ann Zimmerman wrote, “The United States is a sports-minded country… football has eclipsed the poll in America’s favorite pastime.” Being such an essential part to so many people’s lives, athletics can enact certain social psychological behavior without the mass majority realizing.

Recently there has been uproar, both positive and negative, about the Colin Kaepernick Nike ad. Colin Kaepernick was stripped of his football career after protesting police violence on black Americans by kneeling during the national anthem. Across America millions took offense and started protesting the NFL for “allowing” him to do that. It ended in the NFL enforcing their players stand, Colin Kaepernick getting fired from the 49ers, and no other team extending an offer. Since then, the issue had mostly been quiet until Nike hired Kaepernick to be the face of their new television ad.

Fundamental Attribution Error is common place in society. We attribute characteristics to something based off of our perspective on the subject without factoring in the past or situational circumstance. This situation with Nike has newly awoken both the people who were angered at the kneeling and those who supported him. Enraged people are attributing characteristics to the Nike brand that aren’t necessarily there making them act in ways of dissent. At first, this made Nike’s stock drop a bit until people who supported the movement went out and started buying. As more people dissented the ad, more videos of sneaker burning and Nike cursing were posted. Protesters against Nike were cutting the checks off of their socks, burning their sneakers, and posting things on line degrading the brand of Nike because they attributed ignorance and disloyalty that went against their morals to the brand. They are fundamentally attributing ignorance and unpatriotic behavior to the Nike Brand. It is evident their use of fundamental attribution error when they say how Nike is choosing Colin Kaepernick’s “side” and disrespecting America. The dissenters “stand with their country” unlike the brand of Nike who is “forcing them to choose between their favorite brand and their country”. They are attributing what themselves and other people who agree with them as moral people and true Americans. The people who dissent attribute disloyalty and hatred for our country to the brand of Nike and act according to their rage due to this attribution. It is more comfortable for people to attribute something to a person’s trait rather than their situational influences because that means we could possibly act in such a way. (Dr. Joel Frederickson and Zachariah Berry, 2015, p.47). Their identity as unproblematic patriot may be challenged which can cause severe anxiety they would rather avoid. Jimmy Kimmel even had a skit dedicated to it on his talk show where he reenacted actual angered peoples.

 

Doctoral student Zachariah Berry and Dr. Joel Frederickson from Bethel University wrote an article to explain this fundamental attribution error. The write about and discuss the explanations for its place in society and the implications it can have. One explanation is people comfortability with categorizing and separating from themselves because they would feel anxiety if they think about it situationally. What struck me as particularly interesting was an implication in their report of fundamental attribution error affecting moral development and judgement. Berry explains, “We tend to rely first on our intuitions when making a judgment of a situation… information received regarding an event, however, may be corrupt when committing the FAE. In situations where the behavior observed requires a moral judgment, committing the FAE may cause us to form moral judgments using inaccurate information…” (p.52-53). This is exactly what is going on in most cases with the Kaepernick backlash. Certain citizens feel Nike is against their morals and acting in unfavorable behavior based on inaccurate information therefore leading to the fundamental attribution that Nike hates America and believes you shouldn’t stand when hearing the national anthem.

The ability to fundamentally attribute characteristics incorrectly is available in all human beings. According to Berry, this is the innate way people make judgements. We want to automatically categorize which leads to insufficient reasoning.  Is Nike an America hating, flag burning company? Most likely, not. Their message was “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.” Nike always serves to inspire through athletics in all of their “Just Do It” ad campaigns. In 2002, Nike won an Emmy for their ad that year showcasing amateur and professional athletes in a moving video with gracious and beautiful motions that would bring tears to any sport participator’s eyes. The brand is about inspiration, not hatred for America.

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G4Yn9eWgNmk

Sources

·       Dr. Joel Frederickson and Zachariah Berry. “Explanations and Implications of the Fundamental Attribution Error: A Review and Proposal.” Journal of Integrated Social Sciences, vol. 5, no. 1, 2015, pp. 44–57.

·       Harris, S. J. (2018, September 04). Reactions to Nike’s Colin Kaepernick ad range from applause to burning shoes. Retrieved from http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/colin-kaepernick-nike-advertisement-reactions-burning-shoes-social-media/fzb4dh8x6bpr1nqv3wph15bb7

 

“The Difficult Journey of Women in Medicine”

The medical field is full of highly-skilled and demanding occupations that require strong mental health and acuity. Using social psychological concepts we can understand that this requirement for women, in a profession that’s predominantly made up of and tailored for men, needs extra strength and resilience. All newly-minted doctors have a significant amount of depression and anxiety due to the demanding and exhaustive work they do, but according to JAMA Internal Medicine it is far more difficult and present in women (Khullar).

One of the reasons behind this is that a woman, even though a medical professional, still shoulders the majority of household duties. Still fulfilling gender and societal norms women endure a work-home conflict that their male colleagues don’t experience. The medical field today promotes equal opportunity by law, but the institution, even though not driven by prejudices, exhibits sexism within the institutionalized practices that subordinate women (Myers, 254). Arguments for this is in the article by Dhruv Khullar. She states that little has changed in medical training procedures. Its reminiscent of days passed when almost all residents were men with few household duties. “Support for those trying to balance home and work life hasn’t kept pace with changing demographics, nor has the division of domestic labor shifted to reflect the rise of women in the medical work force. “(Khullar). The trend of accepting of women in the medical field has drastically changed, but unfortunately gender attitudes towards women have done little to support their personal lives which in turn affect their professional lives.

Our next reason and concept is implicit prejudices that usually occur automatically from preconceived notions about women. On many occasions in the article women are subjected as in-subordinates, not only by their male colleagues, but by patients alike. Women doctors who acknowledge their male counterparts formally don’t receive the same acknowledgement or aren’t called by their titles. Even women doctors who lead panels and studies with male counterparts are often referred to by their first name. Furthermore, women doctors in full medical assemble (white lab coat, professional attire, etc.) are called nurses or assumed to be medical assistants by patients. Another strong example of the implicit biases towards women was detailed by Heather Sarsons, Ph.D. who did a study to find out if surgeons’ gender affects their referrals after a good or bad patient outcome:

Ms. Sarsons finds that physicians are much less likely to refer patients to a female surgeon after a patient death, but barely change their referrals to a male surgeon. A bad experience with one female surgeon also makes physicians less likely to establish referral relationships with other female surgeons. There was no similar effect for men. (Khullar)

Not only does this show a prime example of implicit prejudices towards women but gives light to the fact that prejudices tend to over-generalize groups of people with stereotypes.

More than a third of medical physicians are women compared to just 7% of women back in the 1960s (Khullar). The opportunity in our time and day are abundant and encouraged for women, but the medical field was designed for men and remains implicitly and even possibly explicitly sexist towards women. We have to evaluate every action and policy to balance the odds, generate awareness, and create a supportive and enriching journey for women doctors everywhere. -FRANK JAMES CASILLAS III

Khullar, Dhruv. (2017, Dec 7). Being a Doctor Is Hard. It’s Harder for Women. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/07/upshot/being-a-doctor-is-hard-its-harder-for-women.html

Myers, D. G. (2012). Exploring Social Psychology (Seventh Ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Violent Relationships Can Result From Childhood Corporal Punishment

A recent article published by CNN brought up the issue of how spanking and other types of violent punishments effects a child’s future relationships. The article was focused around a study published in the past couple of weeks in the Journal of Pediatrics. The basis of the study was to ask seven hundred and fifty-eight kids between the ages of nineteen and twenty how often they had been spanked or slapped as form of punishment when they were younger. The study’s lead author, Jeff Temple, a psychiatry professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch, stated that, “Kids who said they had experienced corporal punishment were more likely to have recently committed dating violence.”

Dr. Bob Sege, a spokesman for the American Academy of Pediatricians who specializes in the prevention of childhood violence, commented to CNN about the published study stating that the results, “were not surprising.” The study was factual proof that children who experience any type of violence at home will be more likely to use violence later on in their lives. Social learning theory, for example, suggests that children who are spanked may become more likely to adopt aggressive behaviors because their parents have modeled aggression to them as an acceptable form of behavior. This theory is defined by Exploring Social Psychology by David G. Myers as a theory that we learn social behavior by observing and imitating and by being rewarded and punished. By observing and experiencing corporal punishment at such a young age, a child will be more likely to imitate the act continuing into their adult life.

Parents are extremely important and looked up to in a child’s eyes. They learn from their parents social norms and how people should behave toward each other. The article continued to state the obvious negative effects of spanking. Thirty-six studies of spanking were analyzed and it was found that parents who said they had spanked their children were three times more likely to say their children had aggressive behavior in the following years.

Parental spanking can be seen as a form of instrumental aggression. This type of aggression is a type that aims to injure, but only as a means to some other end. It is motivated by goals other than harming the target. This relates very well to the idea of spanking because the underlying goal of spanking would not necessarily be to harm the child to a large extent, but to prompt reaction from the child showing that they learned some sort of lesson. The key word of this concept is “aggression.” The ultimate goal of this article was to give evidence as to why any type of aggression, such as spanking, should not be shown or taken out on a child of all people.

Spanking is a form of corporal punishment. The article states that the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has taken action against all types of corporal punishment. The committee’s Global Initiative has persuaded fifty-three countries since 2001 to pass laws banning corporal punishment, even in the privacy of a home.

 

References:

LaMotte, Sandee, and Carina Storrs. “Can Spanking Lead to Relationship Violence?” CNN, Cable News

Network, 6 Dec. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/12/05/health/spanking-dating-violence-study/index.html.

Myers, David G. Exploring Social Psychology. 7th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2012. Berlin, Lisa J., et al. “Correlates and Consequences of Spanking and Verbal Punishment for Low-IncomeWhite, African American, and Mexican American Toddlers.” Child Development, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2009, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2987237/.

Trump Vs Ball

In today’s news or sports reports it is common to see the faces of either President Donald Trump making news in sports for all the wrong reasons or the father of NBA rookie Lonzo Ball Lavar Ball. These two names have been the headlines of news for their respective reasons whether on twitter or through media influence and branding of his children in each case. All of that came to a head when these two brash and cocky individuals collided on the case of Lavar’s son Li Angelo Ball who was arrested in China for shoplifting a pair of expensive glasses along with two other teammates.

Trump claims to be the reason for the UCLA basketball players release taking to twitter to look for credit in his role of getting the kids out of the prison. Trump displayed mediation and arbitration as a neutral third party to find a basis to have the kids released from the prison. Lavar on the other hand wanted nothing to do with Trump claiming his role was over-hyped in the freedom of the children. He also believed Trump’s warrant for thank you wasn’t necessary in his interview with ESPN saying “who?”, “What was he over there for?” When asked further comments on the situation Lavar declined to answer but also continued to deny Trump’s role on how the kids were able to come back to the states. Trump’s attempt to help the family with a deal with Lavar and the Chinese government. It did warrant a thank you if Trump did play a role in the release of the kids but the ego of Lavar seems to refuse to let anyone get the upper hand on him. This later resulted in a response from Trump saying that he should have let the kids sit in jail. Trump later did receive a thank you from the three basketball players at a press conference held by Ucla.

Donald Trump’s actions showed a sense of integrative agreement in which he could put himself in the spotlight as a public hero to the world and by saving Li Angelo and the other two kids from a hefty jail sentence would do the Ball family a huge favor. In this case it ultimately did not turn out the way Trump wanted do to the character of the man he was dealing with in Lavar Ball who is never afraid to stand up in front of a camera and say what he wants to say.

In my opinion I believe that these two men let their pride take over when it comes to what they do. Everything move they make today is viewed in the public and they seem to love the attention and making sure people know what they are up to. They are both going to be attracting this type of noise whether as the president or the NBA in terms of media. The two of them made sure they made headlines together when it came to this recent collision course.

-Paget Bramble

Citations

Hoffman, Benjamin. “Trump blasts Lavar Ball: I should have left them in jail” (2017, November 19) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/19/sports/lavar-ball-trump.html

Haynes, Chris. “Donald Trump responds to LaVar Ball by tweeting he should have left UCLA players in jail”(2017, November 19) http://www.espn.com/mens-college-basketball/story/_/id/21471202/us-president-donald-trump-tweets-response-lavar-ball

 

Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health

In a recent article released on November 11, 2017 by National Public Radio: Health News, there was an overview of some instances in which a man named Dr. Roberto Montenegro had been subject to hurtful displays of discrimination against him.

He speaks of the night that he had gone out with friends to celebrate the great achievement of receiving his PhD, which brought him one step closer to his dream of becoming a physician-scientist. At the end of dinner, Dr. Montenegro and his girlfriend left to pick up their car from the valet. While waiting in line, a Jaguar pulled up to the curb. A woman got out of the Jaguar and passed two other couples before stumbling upon Dr. Montenegro and his girlfriend. She dropped her keys in Dr. Montenegro’s hands, assuming that he was a valet because of his race. The other valet’s were Latino, like Dr. Montenegro and so the woman made an incorrect assumption. This happened twice that night.

Discrimination is unjustified negative behavior toward a group or its members. There is a clear show of discrimination and stereotyping. In this situation, Dr. Montenegro experienced an instance in which the woman in the Jaguar made an overgeneralization. She presumed that all Latino people hold low paying jobs and in this case, that Dr. Montenegro could not have been a highly educated and professional Doctor. Her behavior was clearly discriminatory because she directly singled out Dr. Montenegro as a valet.

Another concept that could be at play in this situation is a process of stereotyping called subtyping. Subtyping occurs when a person responds to a member of a target group who disassociates from their stereotype by seeing them as “exceptions.” They put this member of the target group in a separate subcategory apart from members who confirm the stereotype. For instance, the woman driving the Jaguar, after realizing that Dr. Montenegro was not a valet, could’ve simply believed that he was an “exception,” to her personally confirmed belief in the stereotype that all Latino people.

Dr. Montenegro explains how he has endured many other instances of discrimination and felt just as confused and shocked each time. He now has an M.D. in addition to his Ph.D. and is a postdoctoral fellow in child psychiatry at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He seeks to find out if repeated experience of discrimination has effect on the human body and what those effects would be.

“Assessing mediators between discrimination, health behaviours and physical health outcomes: a representative cross-sectional study,” is one of the first studies to demonstrate that discrimination is associated with physical health outcomes and behaviors through distinct pathways. The results of the study helped to demonstrate that stress, lack of control and feeling powerless as a reaction to racism emerged as significant mediators of the relationship between racism and self-rated general mental health.

Dr. Montenegro, similarly to the results of the cross-sectional study, hypothesizes that chronic stress might be a key way racism contributes to health disparities. The idea is that the stress of experiencing discrimination over and over might wear you down physically over time. The study stated previously has found proof to this idea. Dr. Montenegro, after experiencing continuing experiences with discrimination, may suffer similar symptoms later on in life just as the participants in this study. It was shown that discrimination was negatively related to many health behaviors in the participants. For example stress levels were elevated and people were less likely to engage in leisure time, physical activity, and fruit and vegetable consumption due to prolonged depressive moods. Hopefully, with more knowledge on this subject Dr. Montegro and others will be aware of the health issues and seek ways to fight it.

 

CITATIONS

Bichell, Rae Ellen. “Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health.” NPR, NPR, 11Nov. 2017, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/11/11/562623815/scientists-start-to-tease-out-the-subtler-ways-racism-hurts-health.

Myers, David G. Exploring Social Psychology. 7th ed., McGraw-Hill, 2012.

Bastos, J. L., Celeste, R. K., Silva, D. S., Priest, N., & Paradies, Y. C. (2015). Assessing mediators between discrimination, health behaviours and physical health outcomes: A representative cross-sectional study. Social Psychiatry And Psychiatric Epidemiology, 50(11), 1731-1742. doi:10.1007/s00127-015-1108-0

 

 

How Social Media Affects Our Behavior

The media has completely taken over and is now a basic part of everyone’s life. Everywhere you look there’s someone somewhere that’s looking at their phone, ipad, etc… and they’re either reading or sending something. There’s been many studies done that looks into the medias affects on social behavior where people have been tested on how being exposed to violent content triggers them to therefore conduct violent acts. According in D.G. Myers’ Exploring Social Psychology,

Many people now spend more screen time in front of their computers than in front of the television. In many ways, the Internet allows an even greater variety of options for viewing violence than television does, including violent videos, violent pictures, and hate-group websites (Donnerstein, 2011). It also allows people to create and distribute violent media themselves, and to bully others through e-mail, instant messaging, or on social networking websites (Donnerstein, 2011). Among U.S. youth, those who frequently visited violent websites were 5 times more likely to report engaging in violent behavior (Ybarra & others, 2008).

There was a major controversy presented throughout sports media where the fans took advantage of the power they had through media to voice their opinions and express how they felt about the player’s decision to protest the national anthem. The issue initially presented itself last season with Colin Kaepernick taking a kneel during the national anthem as it was his silent protest fighting against racial injustice in this country. Kaepernick had then told the Media in an exclusive interview after the game “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” he continued explaining “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder” (Arthur, Kenneth, Rolling Stone, 2017). After the President decided to voice a couple of his thoughts on to twitter such as “Sports Fans should never condone players that do not stand proud for their National Anthem or their Country. NFL change Policy!,” for example along with calling Kaepernick “a son of a B” for his actions encouraged a huge social uproar.

      The NFL being one of the most popular sports to be watched by people in this country was dealing with a big social conflict between two extreme sides who have completely opposite outlooks on what should be done. One side views the protest to be very disrespectful to the veterans and people who risk their lives to serve our country; as a response these patriotic people took to the media by video tapping themselves burning team merchandise, no longer supporting any corporations associated with the NFL, and taking a stance against viewing the sport itself. Since the organization was being viewed as doing nothing to fix this issue, fans begun to get somewhat more hostile by harassing the league to make a fix immediately. In other words, people are demanding the NFL to basically shut down the player’s first amendment, the right to freedom of speech, in order to bring their viewers back and calm the angered fans down. The aggressive push from the fans and with the help of certain corporations such as Papa John’s who blamed the football organization for their decline in sales due to them being the main sponsors of the league and took to the media to say that the NFL should’ve “nipped things in the butt” when they had a chance. Leading to the NFL commissioner and the players compromising on an agreement where the league would give “nearly $100 million” to various charities that focus on social justice and causes important to African-American communities, ESPN reported. This initiative would surpass all of the NFL’s current charitable campaigns, including its support for the military and breast cancer awareness. The NFL also hopes this would put an end to the players’ protests during the national anthem (Masisak, Corey, NYpost, 2017).

Researchers have explored how viewing violent media triggers violent behavior and considered three possibilities thus providing evidence that social media has a great influence on social behavior. People are (a)aroused based on their personal stance on the protest and conform with the others that act and speak up the way they do. Then the media (b)disinhibits people – inhibiting violent thoughts where in these cases people consider displaying themselves disrespecting player’s jerseys as well as harassing the league. Lastly it also evokes (c)imitation which is somewhat like (b) but the violent thoughts become actual actions people are taking to make their point; conforming with the rest of the upset fans doing what the majority does. Another example of imitation, is that there’s a video online of the Seattle Seahawks’ defensive end Michael Bennett who was harassed but Las Vegas police even after  calmly letting the officer know who he was and complying with everything asked validates imitation as evidenced by the officer’s actions whom after provided with proper identification and any other information asked for still proceeded to act with hostile force towards the player possibly because Bennett is known to be a player who protest the national anthem and the officer presumably being a patriotic person took advantage of the power he had being protected under the badge.

-Gary Pace

 

 

References

Arthur, Kenneth. “Why Fan Reaction to NFL Protests Is About Racism, Not Patriotism.” Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 26 Sept. 2017, www.rollingstone.com/sports/news/fan-reaction-to-nfl-national-anthem-protests-about-racism-w505387.

Masisak, Corey. “NFL’s $100M Plan to End Anthem Protests Is Dividing Players.” New York Post, New York Post, 29 Nov. 2017, nypost.com/2017/11/29/nfls-100m-plan-to-end-anthem-protests-is-dividing-players/.

Myers, David G. Exploring Social Psychology 7th Edition . McGraw-Hill, 2004.

Rapaport, Daniel. “Watch: Police Release Videos of Michael Bennett Incident.” SI.com, 29 Sept. 2017, www.si.com/nfl/2017/09/29/police-video-michael-bennett-las-vegas.

Trump’s America

Throughout President Donald Trump’s rise to fame and power, he’s proven, again and again, the terrible influence he has on his citizens. Under the Trump Administration, there has been a rise in conformity. Author David Myers explains conformity as a change in behavior or belief as the result of real or imagined group pressure. United States history shows us how extreme cults have formed out of conformity. Cults such as Manson Family, Heaven’s Gate, Peoples Temple ended many lives because they believed everything their leaders told them. It’s as if these cult leaders put their followers under a spell, mesmerizing people, whether willing or unwilling, to do harmful things to others and eventually end their lives. The followers were very compliant in that they would publicly act in accord with an implied or explicit request, all while privately disagreeing.

This football season, Trump has continued to tweet negativity about players taking a knee on the field during the national anthem. The movement was started by NFL player Colin Kaepernick to bring attention to the injustices suffered by people of color, particularly black individuals, following the unjust killings of several innocent black men by the police (#BlackLivesMatter). Trump has criticized many players who have kneeled since the movement started. A tweet by President Trump stated, “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem. If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!” Trump has also condoned this movement during many of his speeches, stating comments such as, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out. He’s fired. He’s fired!’. As President of a great country that has values and amendments, he believes that someone should be fired for peacefully protesting gross injustice. President Trump is demanding conformity by not approving of Kaepernick and other players’ actions. Trump is demanding that the citizens of the United States abandon any opinions that are not in line with his, rather than supporting freedom of expression.

As Trump continues his “trail”, many religious rights groups have begun to form and showcase the conformity that Trump is looking for. The Alt-right movement and the rebirth of the Nazis Party have been popular and very open to the media since the beginning of Trump’s presidency. They are no longer afraid to be vocal because the president supports their evil ideologies. Alt- right and Nazis joined forces and made national headlines in Charlottesville in August when they held a public “freedom” march at the University of Virginia. They chanted, “Jews will not replace us”, “Death to Antifa”, “White lives matter”, “One people, one nation, end immigration”, “blood and soil”. These “messages” immulate the president’s same hateful rhetoric. Trump encourages division, making discriminatory promises such as “building the wall”, so Mexicans can’t enter the country and “destroy it” and banning Muslims to stop “terrorist attacks”.

White Nationalists Use Tiki Torches to Light up Charlottesville March.

Trump has his ways of persuasion that leads to emersion of hate groups who believe and thrive on conformity. These groups believe in one thing and persuade others to believe in it without questioning anyone. These groups are heavily influenced by Trump and what he promised his followers.

-Sami Dhital

Colin Kaepernick .thenypost.files.wordpress.com/2016/12/161208-admiral-speech-kaepernick-embed.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&strip=all.

Lind, Dara. “Nazi Slogans and Violence at a Right-Wing March in Charlottesville on Friday Night.” Vox, Vox, 12 Aug. 2017, www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138132/charlottesville-rally-brawl-nazi.

Obeidallah, Dean. “Trump’s NFL Comments Prove He Doesn’t Get American Values.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 Sept. 2017, www.cnn.com/2017/09/24/opinions/trump-nfl-american-values-opinion-obeidallah/index.html.

White Nationalists Use Tiki Torches to Light up Charlottesville March. cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/170812092920-03-charlottesville-white-supremacists-0811-restricted-super-tease.jpg.