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Revista Estudos Feministas. 2006 May-Sep; 14(2):509-521.The civil union between persons of the same sex is analyzed in this essay through the discussion of the roots of the anti-homosexual prejudice and the fight for the citizenship of gays, lesbians and transgenders in Brazil, and through listing the different manifestations of homofobia in our social environment. We deconstruct the contrary opinions against the homosexual marriage, justifying with etho-historical evidences the extending of equal rights to the couples of the same sex, including the legal recognition of the civil union. (author's)
Human Rights Quarterly. 2004; 26:873-878.Leonard S. Rubenstein offers a thoughtful response to my article on how international monitoring and advocacy organizations that use a methodology of public shaming can best advance economic, social, and cultural (ESC) rights. His article makes three basic points. First, he notes that such organizations can make useful contributions beyond exposing government misconduct and subjecting it to public opprobrium. Namely, he suggests that they can provide technical assistance to governments on implementing ESC rights and help with capacity building for national or local NGOs that seek such rights. Second, he contends that such international organizations need not be as concerned with advocating tradeoffs among competing ESC rights because fears of limited resources— a “zero-sum game”—are overblown. Third, he disagrees with my perceived preference for condemning “arbitrary” government conduct to the exclusion of violations of particular ESC rights. On the first point, I largely agree with him. On the second, I regretfully suspect he has an overly sanguine view of the problem. And on the third, I fear he has misunderstood me. (excerpt)
TRANSITIONS. 1999 Mar; 10(3):12-3.US adults are generally uncomfortable with the subject of adolescent sexuality. As such, they either pretend that teenagers do not have sex or try to control and limit the information which young people receive about sex and contraception. Sexual abstinence until marriage is the US Congressionally mandated message to students. In contrast, adults, and society in general, in the Netherlands, France, and Germany are comfortable with adolescent sexuality, and understand that teens have sex as a natural part of growing into sexually healthy adults. Perhaps paradoxically, adolescents in these 3 countries have first intercourse 1-2 years later than do US teens. The US also has a higher teen birth rate than the Netherlands, France, and Germany, as well as Morocco, Albania, Brazil, and more than 50 other developing countries. The teen birth rate in the Netherlands is almost 8 times lower than that of the US. Adolescent HIV and STD rates are also higher in the Netherlands, France, and Germany than in the US. At the heart of these 3 European countries' success in achieving low teen pregnancy and HIV/STD rates is a cultural openness and acceptance of adolescent sexuality which respects young people's rights and responsibilities as sexually maturing members of society. Rather than following the American model of trying to prevent young people from having sex, the Dutch, Germans, and French teach and empower their youths to behave responsibly when they decide to have sex. The US could learn from the Dutch, French, and German experiences with adolescent sexuality in developing and implementing a more balanced approach to adolescent sexuality.
INFACT CANADA NEWSLETTER. 1996 Summer; 3.In British Columbia, Canada, a mother was asked to stop breast feeding her 9-month-old son during a special lunch at her daughter's primary school. The mother refused and requested that a policy be created on breast feeding in elementary schools. In 5 months a policy was drafted, and the local newspaper became a battleground over breast-feeding rights. In another case, a woman who was asked to cease breast feeding at work has carried a 6-year dispute to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, which has agreed that the time and location of breast feeding in the workplace should be free from discrimination. These examples point to the fact that communities must promote and protect breast feeding as a natural activity. As one breast-feeding supporter wrote to a newspaper, "My suggestion for people who can't handle the sight of an innocent baby having its lunch is: go eat in the bathroom." The breast-feeding mothers with the courage to come out of the "watercloset" are to be commended.
[Words of Isis Duarte in presenting the text, "The Political Culture of Dominicans, between Authoritarianism and Democracy"] Palabras de Isis Duarte en la presentacion del texto "La Cultura Politica de los Dominicanos, entre el Autoritarismo y la Democracia.
REVISTA POBLACION Y DESARROLLO. 1995; (5):57-60.The National Survey of Political Culture and Democracy (DEMOS-94), under the auspices of the Project for the Assistance of Democratic Initiatives funded by USAID, assessed the situation of democracy in the Dominican Republic during the period of 1978-92, including the knowledge, perceptions, attitudes, and practices of citizens with respect to democracy. When asked a question about the intervention of the Catholic Church in politics, 46.0% of respondents disagreed with such intervention and 29.0% found it justifiable only in moments of great crisis. Although 6 out of 10 Dominicans had faith in the Church, only 2 of every 10 respondents agreed with its direct intervention in politics. Regarding the presence of Haitians in the country and the voting rights of their children and grandchildren, 46.0% said that Haitian should be repatriated because there is the threat that they would swamp the country, while 53.5% said that the two groups should live together peacefully. Regarding the voting rights of various categories of people, 84.3% said that Dominicans living abroad should have the right, 34.6% said that the military and the police should have the right, and 69.6% said that the children and grandchildren of Haitians should have such a right. These findings indicate that there is a general acceptance of civic rights including for Dominicans of Haitian origin.
JOURNAL OF SCHOOL HEALTH. 1991 Aug; 61(6):279-80.Despite strong protests from a minority group of critics, the New York City Board of Education adopted a measure February 27, 1991, approving universal availability of condoms in city high schools to students without the need for parental consent. This expanded HIV education program allows the system's 261,000 students in 120 public high schools to procure condoms from any of 17 clinics and any teacher or staff member volunteering for the program. While a few, small U.S. school districts have implemented such programs in efforts to curb the incidence of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases infections, and unwanted pregnancies, this move by New York city's enormous school district could set the trend for similar action by other large school systems. The Centers for Disease Control document 691 cases of AIDS in youths aged 13-19, and 7,303 among those aged 20-24. More than 20% of U.S. AIDS cases are among those aged 20-29. Given the long incubation period for HIV, many if not most of these case probably stem from HIV infection during the teenage years. New York City accounts for 20% of all reported AIDS cases among youths aged 13-21, placing New York teens at disproportionate risk for infection. The number of infected adolescents doubles every 14 months. More than adults, these youths are likely to have contracted HIV through heterosexual contact instead of through IV-drug use or homosexual intercourse. Making condoms readily and confidentially available to adolescents, youths vulnerable to HIV infection will no longer fail to procure them due to embarrassment, fear of resistance from store clerks, and cost. The Youth News Service reveals youths to have been most supportive of the new program for several months, and anxious for its implementation. A random poll of adults found support for condom distribution in high schools and junior high schools to be 64% and 47%, respectively.
TIME. 1991 Nov 25; 46.The article reviews national debate over abortion law in the context of approaching 1992 general elections. While reluctant to discuss the issue, U.S. President George Bush has nonetheless vetoed legislation expanding abortion rights 5 times. As the White House, the Republican party, and the nation prepare for the next round of Presidential elections, Bush's failure to make proper choices on abortion legislation over the short to medium term could reduce his chance of gaining re-election. Specifically, Bush will have to consider a recent Congressional decision to overturn the federal regulation forbidding doctors of federally-funded family planning clinics to mention abortion as an option for pregnant women. He may also have to endure the resultant political fallout from the potential overturning of Roe vs. Wade by the Supreme Court prior to elections. White House and Republican campaign advisors are split over the political repercussions for the President and the Party, realizing in effect that economic problems facing the nation are sufficiently problematic in and of themselves. Republicans for Choice describes the issue as one of freedom from governmental tampering with individual rights, and hopes to find numerous supporters within the party. They emphasize that the Republican party can accommodate ideological diversity, and that being pro-choice does not necessarily equate with being pro-abortion. Where a majority of 1988 Republican convention delegates are pro-choice, they supported a pro-life stance in 1988 out of loyalty to Bush. Republicans for Choice will encourage these delegates to vote with their conscience in 1992, without recrimination from the Party. Regardless, Party members should not wait for leadership on this issue from President Bush, for his position will vacillate in murk for as long as possible, defining itself only in accordance with what he perceives to be most helpful in gaining re-election.
New York, New York/Montreux, Switzerland, Gordon and Breach, 1989. xi, 117 p.This is a collection of articles by different authors writing about the AIDS pandemic from an anthropological perspective. Chapters are included on metaphors of sex and deviance in the representation of disease; the social classification of AIDS in U.S. epidemiology; sexual behavior and the spread of AIDS in Mexico; surveys on the prevalence of HIV infection in central and eastern Africa; strategies for dealing with AIDS based on those used for hepatitis B; the role of a community-based health education program in the prevention of AIDS; preventing AIDS contagion among intravenous drug users; human rights and public health; the legal status of AIDS in the workplace in the United States; and the politics of AIDS at the microlevel, using the example of a gay rights ballot measure proposed in Houston, Texas, in 1985.
St. Paul, Minnesota, Greenhaven Press, Inc., 1988. 223 p. (Opposing Viewpoints Series)This book presents opposing viewpoints on AIDS issues such as its seriousness, its control ability, civil rights, governmental response, and its effects on society. The design of this book is to encourage critical thinking on the topic. The 1st chapter debates the vulnerability of society to AIDS. From the writings in this chapter, it appears that no consensus is reached concerning the seriousness of AIDS. The 2nd chapter discusses the need to control the transmission of AIDS. >1.5 million people are infected with the HIV virus, and about 5 million people are estimated to be carriers of the disease. Means of control debated in this chapter include education, mandatory testing, and illegalizing homosexuality. The issue of civil rights and controlling AIDS is presented in chapter 3. On one side, it is debated that controlling for AIDS promotes discrimination against AIDS patients. However, the opposing view argues that control is needed through legal measures, restrictions, and behavioral changes. Chapter 4 addresses the government's response to AIDS. Problems encountered by the government include assessing AIDS' impact on society and its sexual transmission. The last chapter discusses ways in which AIDS has affected our society. As a result of AIDS, sexual behavior has changed and the number of deaths have risen.
San Diego, California, San Diego State University Press, 1988. ix, 110 p. (Third Distinguished Graduate Research Lecture, San Diego State University)America started are as an immigration society, but in 1924, the Government decided to stop immigration. Between 1924 and 1945 there was almost no immigration to the country. American public opinion concluded that America was completed. The consensus in American immigration that we wanted no more people in the US can be underlined and documented by the case of Jewish refugees from Germany and occupied Europe. In 1965, a new act was passed in which we did not discriminate against countries as to how many each could send--each was allowed 20,000--and in which the major emphasis was family reunification. The bill currently under discussion is the Simpson-Mazzoli bill, which has 2 major components: 1) amnesty for those who are here, and 2) control of immigration by leaving it up to the businessmen to not hire aliens. This is unlikely to work because employers will have the political influence to not get caught or a lack of resources to find out who is and who is not an alien. It just won't work. The issue is that, by an accident of history, a rich country like the US lives next to a poor country like Mexico. Nowhere else in the world is there a land border between a developed country and a developing country. And the time will come when the source of immigration from Mexico will reach further and further into the society as more and more knowledge is created through the mass media and through word of mouth. Probably nothing can be done about this, but we do have things to worry about.
INTERNATIONAL QUARTERLY OF COMMUNITY HEALTH EDUCATION. 1988-89; 9(2):111-24.This retrospective examination looks at the strengths and weaknesses of anti-sterilization abuse organizing in the US, and draws out lessons for other areas of work. It begins by exploring the problem of sterilization abuse and the history of the movement against it. Theoretical concepts of community organizing, such as, the concept of community and the concept of movement, are defined and discussed. Issue selection and strategy, 2 crucial aspects of any successful organizing effort, are examined as are organizational forms and coalition building. An evaluation indicates that the anti-abuse efforts were successful and rich with lessons for reproductive rights and other popular health struggles today. (Author's modified)
MILBANK MEMORIAL FUND QUARTERLY. HEALTH AND SOCIETY. 1986; 64(Suppl 1):168-82.This article outlines some of the potential societal consequences of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic. The epidemic hit the US after a long process of affirming certain rights to privacy and decriminalization of certain victimless private acts. Now US society is faced with the possibility of having to alter private behavior to halt the advance of a very serious disease. From a liberal point of view, measures designed to restrict personal freedom must be justified by a strong showing that no other path exists to protect the public health. The public health departments in the 2 US cities most affected have shown remarkable restraint in the face of demands for very strong measures to control the infection's spread, including strict quarantines, mostly on the part of conservative elements and press. Actually, the practical aspects of separating great numbers of people (adequate testing, transportation, feeding and housing, forcible containment), preclude this solution, even assuming these people were not overwhelmingly opposed. An alternative suggestion: mass screening, would also present immense logistical and civil-liberties obstacles, even in modified versions, i.e. government-mandated workplace testing, and mass-screening with the sole purpose of education and counseling would be inconceivable: the logic leads inevitably to mass quarantine. Quarantine or similar control exerted over AIDS-antibody positive individuals who continue to behave in ways exposing others to infection risk (e.g. male and female prostitutes) has historical precedents, but would probably have little impact on the epidemic, especially since it would not affect those who, in private, continue to engage in dangerous behavior. Mass education, though legally, morally, and politically palatable, has often not shown results in campaigns to eliminate other types of dangerous behavior. However, innovative efforts especially by gay community groups to educate for safe sex seem to have been dramatically successful.
Quarterly Journal of Speech. 1984 Nov; 70(4):410-24.This article traces agruments about abortion during the crucial decades of the 60's and 70's and shows major changes in the public arguments used to discuss the topic. The controversy hs evolved through 7 identifiable stages, from emotional narrative to squabbling implementation and stalemate. 1) A "professional" stage of argrument conducted in nonpublic arenas shaped and encouraged a public debate. The issues of argument during this stage were narrow and related mainly to the specific concerns of the various professions. 2) The early public argument began with a "narrative" phase, in which stories of the horrors of illegal abortion were recounted. 3) In interaction with the Civil Rights issue and as a result of weaknesses in the narrative argument, the "auxiliary ideographic" stage focusing on "discrimintion" developed. 4) Feminist concerns spurred the stage of "ntrinsic ideograhic" argument, as the ideograph "choice" became central. 5) In the mid-70's came the complicated stage of "normalization" following legal intervention. Some parties attempted to work out the details of legal abortion, while others escalated the arguments against it. 6) The next stage saw the "stalemate"; 2 mature ideological components presented themselves to the public and compared their values and practices to each other. Finally, the arguments on each side began to reach out for new audiences, and in so doing, to fracture, becoming multi-vocal. 7) The current stage, "fragmentation," signals that elements of a new ideological structure have become widely accepted by the public: abortion is legal, a majority favor a woman's choice, and millions of women are exercising the option of legal abortion. However, this structure is tightly hedged by other values, and choice is thus limited by "life" and "family." The American process of public argument has led to a reaffirmation of the core of each of these values and interests by broadening the vocabulary and altering legal and medical conditions. This study indicates the need for several lines of further research. A fuller explanation of the relationship between the arguments of the women's movement and the abortion controversy is worthy of examination, and an investigation of the generalizability of the 7-stage pattern seems desirable. This essay demonstrate a viable method for rhetorical analyses of social change.