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Your search found 32 Results

  1. 1
    282597

    Spatial and temporal diffusion of local antidiscrimination policies for sexual orientation.

    Klawitter MM; Hammer B

    Seattle, Washington, University of Washington, Seattle Population Research Center, 1998 Jan. 25 p. (Seattle Population Research Center Working Paper No. 98-6)

    In 1972, East Lansing Michigan adopted the first public policy banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Since then, hundreds of cities and counties and a few states have followed suit. These laws and policies have banned discrimination in private employment, government employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. Recent federal attention focused on these policies as the Supreme Court ruled that states could not selectively ban local governments from adopting sexual orientation protections (Romer v. Evans, 1996) and the U.S. Senate turned down a federal antidiscrimination policy by one vote (Employment Nondiscrimination Act vote, 1996). This paper tells the story of the diffusion over time and space of local antidiscrimination policies for sexual orientation. Over time, the rate of new adoptions could be influenced by previous adoptions or by changes in public opinion or political conditions. Neighboring jurisdictions may influence adoptions because policy-makers or citizens learn about policies from near-by jurisdictions or because political interest group organization efforts spill over into nearby areas. Alternatively, policies may be adopted in close jurisdictions because they are similar in economic or demographic characteristics. Adoptions by encompassing jurisdictions could dampen the demand for local policies. Previous research has investigated the effects of political and demographic determinants on the passage of these policies. No studies have yet investigated the geographic and temporal diffusion of the antidiscrimination laws. (excerpt)
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  2. 2
    294471
    Peer Reviewed

    Health care reform in Croatia: the consumers' perspective.

    Mastilica M; Chen MS

    Croatian Medical Journal. 1998 Sep; 39(3):256-266.

    Assessment of the Croatian health care system (under the reform) from the perspective of the users of health care services. We analyzed the consumers' satisfaction with health care system, health care expenses and access, and described the consumers' attitudes toward health reform, examining the differences among sociodemographic groups. The study is based on a data set collected in 1994 through the interviews with randomly selected adults in two major cities of Croatia: Zagreb and Split. A great proportion of respondents were dissatisfied with the current health care services, quality of health care facilities and equipment, and encountered difficulties in access. The elderly, women, and those with lower socioeconomic status were more likely to be dissatisfied and to consider out-of-pocket payments for health services as a problem. A great number of the respondents believed that the reform would either fail or would not achieve significant results. Compared to the younger and higher socio-economic group, the older and lower socioeconomic groups were more likely to evaluate the health care reform negatively. Croatian government decided to rationalize the health care system without taking much account of the impact of health reform on the consumers. Revealed dissatisfaction with the health care services might be linked with the expressed doubts in health care reform and concern that changes could worsen the consumers' position as patients. (author's)
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  3. 3
    181430

    Hong Kong: an attachment to democracy.

    Goodstadt LF

    Round Table. 1998; 348:485-503.

    Contrary to the intentions of the Chinese government and despite appearances the May 1998 elections for Hong Kong's legislature failed to destroy the voters' attachment to political parties and to individuals committed to democratic reform. The outcome made it impossible for the government to maintain a minimalist rôle in managing Hong Kong's response to the major economic upheavals facing the entire region and within a month forced the introduction of a package of measures to relieve hardship and revive the economy. The article traces the approach to the question of democracy against the background of the complex negotiations that led up to the restoration of Hong Kong to Chinese rule and the shaping of the post-1997 political system. It outlines the efforts by Christopher Patten, Hong Kong's last Governor, to secure the post-1997 legislature for the supporters of democracy and the innate hostility of the Chinese leadership towards conventional democratic process. (author's)
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  4. 4
    179968

    Abortion perspectives and pollsters' questions.

    Adamek RJ

    Sociological Focus. 1998 Aug; 31(3):303-312.

    In measuring public opinion about controversial issues, pollsters strive for balanced and comprehensive coverage of the subject. This type of coverage may be undermined, however, when one perspective of the issue tends to predominate in society. This point is illustrated by a review of questions major pollsters asked about the abortion issue over an eight-year period. The data suggest that in querying the public about abortion rights, in describing the legal and empirical realities of the abortion situation and in seeking the public's reaction to abortion politics and policy, pollsters tended to reflect the dominant pro-choice perspective. (author's)
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  5. 5
    162895

    Democracy and Chinese political discourses.

    Peng Y

    Modern China. 1998 Oct; 24(4):408-44.

    The absence of mass approval on the model of democracy has marked the debate both inside and outside China on the country's political future. The lack of linkage between theories of democracy and the mass of the Chinese people diminishes the relevance of the debate. In this perspective, this study intends to provide that linkage between democratic theory and the people who compose an actual or potential democracy within China. It approaches the issue from an empirical point of view, utilizing the Q methodology on 64 statements from within the Chinese political context. Overall, 4 Chinese political discourses are identified: radical democracy, established conservatism, concerned traditionalism, and alienated populism. The study shows that although the Chinese are not politically homogenous, they agree unanimously on the desirability of democracy. It uncovers opinions that are both pro-liberal democracy and pro-status quo, as well as reveals widespread discontent about what is best described as rampant “rent seeking” under the present regime, coupled with a strong sense of crisis and cynicism. Sharing the same cultural background, these discourses have Chinese characteristics such as a concern over unity and a favorable opinion of meritocracy. Finally, it does not support any argument that the Chinese peasants are apolitical or politically ignorant. Rather, they do have distinctive political views.
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  6. 6
    144336

    Demographic predictors of environmental concern: it does make a difference how it's measured.

    Klineberg SL; McKeever M; Rothenbach B

    SOCIAL SCIENCE QUARTERLY. 1998 Dec; 79(4):734-53.

    This paper verifies why the relationships between the measures of environmental concern and standard demographic variables are inconsistent. Data were obtained from four biennial Texas Environmental Surveys conducted during November and December of 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1996. Regression analyses were used in examining its relations. Findings showed that the two demographic variables correlating with environmental concerns are age and education. However, other variables such as ethnicity, religiosity and gender need clarification for further research. The demographic correlation of enhancing jobs and economic growth or reducing taxes, and the size of government, reflects the particular tradeoffs associated with environmental protection. In addition, people differ in the resources availability and accepted tradeoffs because of the environmental concern that stimulates inconsistent responses. The data made a great difference on how environmental concern is measured.
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  7. 7
    140407

    What blame can teach us about sexual health promotion.

    McGlynn C

    NURSING TIMES.. 1998 Oct 28-Nov 3; 94(43):52-3.

    While references to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be found back as far as biblical times, women have traditionally taken most of the blame for the spread of such diseases. There is no evidence to suggest that men were blamed or stigmatized in the same way as women until the panic over AIDS in the 1980s shifted some of the blame to groups such as gay and bisexual men, IV drug users, and Africans. Throughout history, heterosexual men have escaped blame for STIs. Maybe it is this latter population subgroup which should be targeted in future sexual health promotion programs. This paper reviews the history of blame for STIs dating from the book of Leviticus, in which men with urethral discharge are urged to wash after copulation, to female prostitutes during the past 400 years, and recent groups with the advent of HIV/AIDS.
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  8. 8
    256825

    On the importance of public choice in migration models.

    Goodspeed TJ

    ECONOMICS LETTERS. 1998 Jun; 59(3):373-9.

    Recent general equilibrium Tiebout models that use single-crossing indifference curves to establish a migration equilibrium incorporate both voting and migration decisions. These models have concentrated on the important question of the existence of an equilibrium, but the incorporation of both voting and migration has important efficiency consequences as well. This paper demonstrates the important effect of the interaction of voting and migration on efficiency conditions by showing that head taxes (which are generally considered to provide efficient migration incentives with constant marginal congestion costs) do not provide incentives for efficient migration decisions unless the public choice mechanism results in optimal public service provision within jurisdictions. (EXCERPT)
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  9. 9
    257289

    State income tax policy and geographic labour force mobility in the United States.

    Saltz IS

    APPLIED ECONOMICS LETTERS. 1998 Oct; 5(10):599-601.

    This study empirically investigates the impact of state income tax policy on U.S. interstate migration [of the labor force] for the period 1985-89. It finds that people vote with their feet and prefer to move so as to minimize their state income tax liabilities. (EXCERPT)
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  10. 10
    138405
    Peer Reviewed

    Public communication campaigns in the destigmatization of leprosy: a comparative analysis of diffusion and participatory approaches. A case study in Gwalior, India.

    Krishnatray PK; Melkote SR

    JOURNAL OF HEALTH COMMUNICATION. 1998; 3(4):327-44.

    Findings are presented from a study conducted to determine the relative effectiveness of diffusion and participatory strategies in health campaigns and the effect of caste upon the dependent variables of knowledge, perception of risk, and behavioral involvement thought to contribute to the destigmatization of leprosy in Madhya Pradesh state, India. Multivariate analysis identified significant difference between the communication treatments upon the dependent variables. The discriminant analysis procedure used to locate the source of the difference identified cognitive-affective and behavior-affective dimensions as significant discriminant functions. Participatory treatment showed higher knowledge and lower perception of risk upon the cognitive-affective dimension, and higher behavioral treatment upon the behavior-affective dimension, but the diffusion treatment showed only lower self-perception of risk upon the behavior-affective dimension. This study found that participatory strategies which promote dialogue and interaction and incorporate people's knowledge and action component result in increased knowledge, lower perception of risk, greater behavioral involvement, and, therefore, destigmatization.
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  11. 11
    256793
    Peer Reviewed

    Homosexual demography: implications for the spread of AIDS.

    Hewitt C

    JOURNAL OF SEX RESEARCH. 1998 Nov; 35(4):390-6.

    Using both national surveys and surveys of self-identified gay men in the United States, the numbers, age distribution, life expectancy, and marital status of men who have sex with men is examined. It is concluded that five types can be distinguished.... These five categories have different patterns of sexual behavior, and the numbers in each category are influenced by changing social conditions, in particular the growth of gay neighborhoods, and public tolerance. The typology is used to explain the low rate of reported HIV transmission from bisexual men to their female partners. (EXCERPT)
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  12. 12
    139687

    Maintaining the public's trust in immunization.

    Sullivan LW

    EPI NEWSLETTER. 1998 Dec; 20(6):5.

    Dr. Louis W. Sullivan, President of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Georgia and former Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services, currently co-chairs the newly-created Vaccine Initiative sponsored by the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society to foster a positive and informed public dialogue on immunization. Considerable progress has been made through vaccination in preventing and controlling infectious diseases, rendering vaccine-preventable diseases to an all-time low level in the US and in many other areas of the world. There remains, however, a long way to go before all vaccine-preventable diseases will be eliminated. Efforts are needed to break down the barriers which prevent access to immunization, including maintaining and strengthening the public's trust in vaccines and immunization programs. Reports in the lay press which question the safety of routine immunization simply scare parents with unsupported accounts of the dangers of vaccines and impede the overall immunization effort. Efforts need to be improved to communicate what is known about the value of vaccines to both individuals and communities.
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  13. 13
    139679

    Country watch: Hong Kong.

    Pau A

    SEXUAL HEALTH EXCHANGE. 1998; (3):4.

    Two decades of Family Planning Association of Hong Kong (FPAHK) advocacy of husband-wife communication and cooperation in family planning led Hong Kong's population to finally accept the notion of male responsibility in family planning. Recent surveys have documented high rates of male contraceptive use. The FPAHK established its first clinic to provide men with birth control advice and services in 1960, then set up a vasectomy clinic and installed condom vending machines. Working against prevailing traditional beliefs that childbearing is the exclusive domain of women and that vasectomy harms one's health, the FPAHK began campaigns to motivate men to take a positive and active role in family planning and to correct misinformation on vasectomy. Successful FPAHK efforts to stimulate male support for family planning include the 1977 "Mr. Family Planning" campaign, the 1982 "Family Planning - Male Responsibilities" campaign, and the 1986-87 "Mr. Able" campaign. Although these campaigns ended in the 1980s, men may now be counseled on contraception at 3 of the 8 FPAHK-run birth control clinics.
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  14. 14
    138945

    [Mexico. The debate and its demands] Mexico. El debate y sus demandas.

    GIRE. 1998 Sep; (18):5.

    The debate on abortion unleashed in July 1998 by remarks of Mexico's Secretary of Health has prompted dozens of individuals and institutions from all sectors to make their views known. The principal arguments have been that the secrecy in which abortion is practiced is damaging to public health and mental health in a society where between 850,000 and 1 million abortions and around 1000 maternal deaths from abortion occur annually. Considering that it is a grave problem experienced by millions of Mexicans, the scarcity of medical information and over-abundance of religious ideology are regrettable. The opposition of the Catholic hierarchy and allied groups to decriminalization, or even to consultation of the people, reveal fear that what surveys reveal is true: society is inclined to leave decisions about abortion to the woman and her partner. At least three indications are recognized as justifiable motives for abortion by a large number of people: rape, preserving the life of the mother, and congenital anomalies.
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  15. 15
    139322
    Peer Reviewed

    Women's preferences for vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives IV. Attributes of a formulation that would protect from STD / AIDS.

    Hardy E; de Padua KS; Osis MJ; Jimenez AL; Zaneveld LJ

    CONTRACEPTION. 1998 Oct; 58(4):251-5.

    Market research conducted in Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in 1996-97 investigated the attributes that potential users considered acceptable and unacceptable in a vaginal antimicrobial contraceptive. 635 women from two age groups (adolescent and adult) and two socioeconomic groups (low and middle/high) were enrolled. 99% of respondents indicated a preference for a vaginal formulation that provided dual protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV. Overall, 40% of women stated they would use a dual protective method even if it was messy. Acceptance of messiness was lowest (35%) among adolescent respondents. Irritation, itching, swelling, or burning were unacceptable side effects to the vast majority of women. 96% would use a vaginal method if it could only be inserted with an applicator, but this rate dropped to 75% if the method required manual insertion. 55% would use the method if it appeared on their partner's penis. Overall, 50% would accept a method that required refrigeration during very warm days--but rates were higher among adult women and those of low socioeconomic status. There was a clear preference for a formulation that was transparent or had a very light color. About 45% of women were willing to pay up to US$5 for each application of the product, while another third said they would pay $1. Socioeconomic status did not exert an effect on price considerations, confirming the importance to all women of protection against both pregnancy and STDs.
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  16. 16
    139323
    Peer Reviewed

    Women's preferences for vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives III. Choice of a formulation, applicator, and packaging.

    Hardy E; Jimenez AL; de Padua KS; Zaneveld LJ

    CONTRACEPTION. 1998 Oct; 58(4):245-9.

    New vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives are under development to provide women with a means of protection against sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, under their control. A descriptive study conducted in Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in 1996-97 assessed the preferences of 635 adolescent and adult women from low, middle, and high socioeconomic groups in terms of dosage forms, width, length, applicator color, and packaging. 38-40% of women in the two age and two social class groups indicated a preference for a gel formulation and about 18% favored a cream. A film was the least acceptable formulation. The main reasons given for selecting a particular vaginal formulation were ease of use (39%), no or pleasant odor (27%), no color (23%), ability to use an applicator for insertion (21%), no requirement to wait for the product to dissolve (15%), non-messiness (13%), and ease of storage and transport (12%). The main reasons for rejecting a formulation were discomfort (32%), plastic appearance (25%), mistrust of the method's effectiveness (22%), insertion difficulties (19%), and messiness (13%). A prefilled single-dose applicator was preferred by about 60% of respondents. These findings can be used to guide the development of novel products that are easy and fast to use as well as effective and acceptable.
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  17. 17
    139324
    Peer Reviewed

    Women's preferences for vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives II. Preferred characteristics according to women's age and socioeconomic status.

    Hardy E; de Padua KS; Jimenez AL; Zaneveld LJ

    CONTRACEPTION. 1998 Oct; 58(4):239-44.

    Efforts to prevent the transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have focused on woman-controlled vaginal methods. To identify the characteristics women prefer in a new vaginal contraceptive method and thereby guide product development, a descriptive study of 635 women from Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, was conducted in 1996-97. A total of 310 women were 15-19 years of age and 325 were 20-45 years old. The two age groups were further divided so that half the women were of low socioeconomic status and half were of middle or high status. Most women in the 4 subgroups (73.5-82.8%) selected the vaginal cream over a suppository for the preferred form of an ideal vaginal formulation. A clear or white-colored product with no taste or odor was preferred. Almost all women wanted the method to protect against STDs as well as pregnancy. More than 80% of women in all 4 subgroups preferred to use an applicator to insert the formulation before coitus. More than half the women wanted a method with a duration of effectiveness of 8 hours to eliminate the need for reapplication. Preferences did not differ significantly according to the respondent's age or socioeconomic status.
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  18. 18
    139321
    Peer Reviewed

    Women's preferences for vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives I. Methodology.

    Hardy E; de Padua KS; Jimenez AL; Zaneveld LJ

    CONTRACEPTION. 1998 Oct; 58(4):233-8.

    New women-controlled vaginal antimicrobial contraceptives are of interest because of their potential to prevent sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, as well as unwanted pregnancy. However, development of such products requires more information on how women feel about the characteristics of these methods and the dosage forms they prefer. This paper describes the evolution of the methodology for subject recruitment and interviewing that was used in a descriptive consumer preference study conducted in Campinas, Sao Paulo State, Brazil, in 1996-97. After preparation of a questionnaire, a pilot study was performed to evaluate it, to establish the interview technique, and to determine the optimal method for subject recruitment. Based on the results, an approach was selected and applied to 635 women from different age and socioeconomic groups. In both the pilot and actual studies, women were shown one marketed vaginal contraceptive at a time--gel, cream, foam, film, tablet, or ovule--and asked their opinions and ideas about changes that could be made to improve existing products. This experience confirmed that it is feasible to identify consumers' preferences for characteristics of products that do not yet exist.
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  19. 19
    163878

    The securitization of cross-border migration: Sweden in the era of globalization.

    Hettne B; Abiri E

    In: Redefining security: population movements and national security, edited by Nana Poku and David T. Graham. Westport, Connecticut, Praeger, 1998. 187-201.

    This chapter analyzes the process by which cross-border migration in Sweden has developed into a security issue. The analysis is contextualized broadly within the current globalization process.... The chapter also raises the question of what kind of national security a democratic state like Sweden should strive for. When the linkage between migration and security is analyzed academically, a common hypothesis is that a securitization of migration discourse--that is, a change in the official migration discourse of a state--is more likely to precede the securitization of the migration policy--that is, changes in the migration policy of the entity.... This chapter argues that the development of the link between migration and security in Sweden has been the other way around--security as a policy making act preceded the speech act. (EXCERPT)
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  20. 20
    137829

    Introducing more contraceptive methods in Jordan.

    Gallagher M

    AVSC NEWS. 1998 Spring; 36(1):3, 8.

    With the average woman in Jordan bearing 4-5 children during her reproductive lifetime, Jordan's population is growing rapidly. Many contraceptive methods are available through Jordan's well-developed health care system, but the public is aware of only a few, and misinformation is common. The government of Jordan launched a study, sponsored by AVSC and Family Health International (FHI), to determine the feasibility of introducing Norplant implants and Depo-Provera, in an effort to increase the choice, knowledge, availability, and use of contraceptive methods. More than 300 clients who received Norplant implant or Depo-Provera services at three health care facilities in Amman were followed. Many of the women chose either of these two methods because of their desire to delay pregnancy for a long time, often 5 years or more. Most cited length of protection, ease of use, dissatisfaction with previously used methods, and fewer perceived side effects than other methods as reasons for choosing either Norplant or Depo-Provera. The quality of counseling varied among the three facilities. At the end of 6 months follow-up, about 80% of the Norplant users and one-third of the Depo-Provera users reported being very satisfied with the method and planned to continue using it. However, although most clients experienced at least one side effect during the first 6 months of use, such effects were cited as the main reason for method discontinuation. Discontinuation of Depo-Provera was also influenced by popular attitudes and outside decision-makers such as health care providers, counselors, husbands, and other family members. Study results were presented at a workshop held in Amman in fall 1997.
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  21. 21
    135573

    Gender, mass media and social change: a case study of TV commercials.

    Gupta AK; Jain N

    MEDIA ASIA. 1998; 25(1):33-6.

    Informing, entertaining, and persuading, mass media, especially television, is a powerful factor in the functioning of and change in any society. Mass media can be studied in its various roles as an agent of social change, a reflector of dominant values, and as a reinforcer of dominant values. Results from a 1997 spot survey of 150 television commercials presented on Doordarshan over a 4-week period support the role of the mass media in India as a reflector and reinforcer of dominant cultural values. By indirectly projecting the social norms on how women are expected to behave, television commercials have reproduced patriarchal values in India which are reinforced through the glamorization and naturalization of women's domestic roles, by glorifying the role of mother, by portraying women in public life in soft roles and subordinate jobs, and popularizing the image of women as sex objects and objects of beauty. Changes should be made in the way television in India portrays women to reflect their changing roles and positions in society.
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  22. 22
    134659

    African-American attitudes towards United States immigration policy.

    Diamond J

    INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION REVIEW. 1998 Summer; 32(2):451-70.

    In the growing US debate over immigration policy since the 1980s, it is often argued that immigration must be restricted in order to protect Black Americans from competition with newly arrived immigrants. Findings are reported upon Black Americans' attitudes toward immigration policy. An extensive review of more than 50 Black newspapers and magazines, from January 1994 to June 1996, uncovered attitudes both in favor of and against restricting immigration. The majority of articles in the Black press on immigration, however, were nonrestrictionist. The Black political leadership is also against restricting immigration. Furthermore, a review of the 14 most recent national opinion polls on immigration available to the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research as of July 1996 found that while many Blacks favor restricting immigration, all US Blacks should not be characterized as restrictionist, especially when compared with Whites. Historical attitudes among US Blacks dating back to before the abolition of slavery are discussed.
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  23. 23
    135326
    Peer Reviewed

    Private sexual behavior, public opinion, and public health policy related to sexually transmitted diseases: a US-British comparison.

    Michael RT; Wadsworth J; Feinleib J; Johnson AM; Laumann EO; Wellings K

    AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH. 1998 May; 88(5):749-54.

    A review of data from recent national probability sample surveys in the US and Britain was conducted to compare patterns of sexual behavior and the effects of such behaviors on public health policy related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Although the two surveys were conducted independently and with different protocols, the general character of the information was similar. Overall, there was greater dispersion in sexual behavior in the US than in Britain. Consistently fewer respondents in Great Britain than in the US reported having two or more sexual partners in the year preceding the survey. Reported condom use was significantly higher among British men than US men. Lifetime STD rates were 2-3 times higher among US men than British men and this discrepancy was even larger among women. In both countries, there was a clear positive association between number of sexual partners and the likelihood of contracting an STD. British respondents were more tolerant than their US counterparts of premarital, extramarital, and homosexual sex. Two factors present in the US--the greater diversity of sexual behavior and the greater degree of absolute public opinion about improper sexual behaviors--may account for the resistance in the US to development of a public health policy such as exists in Britain that promotes safer sexual behavior. The failure in the US to mount an effective public health campaign about sex and STDs may, in part, explain the higher rate of STDs, including HIV/AIDS, in the US compared with Britain.
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  24. 24
    255906

    [Residential segregation among the `Aussiedler' population in the Federal Republic of Germany] Kleinraumliche Wohnsegregation von Aussiedlern in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

    Burkner HJ

    ZEITSCHRIFT FUR BEVOLKERUNGSWISSENSCHAFT. 1998; 23(1):55-69.

    Residential segregation among the `Aussiedler' [ethnic German immigrant] population in Germany has been an issue of growing interest.... Yet, there is a significant lack of empirical evidence about problems related to it. This article contributes to the understanding of the appearance, the causes, and the consequences of the socio-residential segregation of ethnic Germans from Eastern Europe within selected German cities. Segregation is explained in terms of the ways by which this group gains access to the housing market. Especially, institutional factors, such as the modes of distribution within the public housing sector, are shown to be substantial to it. In spite of high degrees of spatial concentration, the intensity of internal social relations of this group does not reach the level of other equally segregated minorities. (EXCERPT) (SUMMARY IN ENG AND FRE)
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  25. 25
    135391

    Issues in statutory rape law enforcement: the views of district attorneys in Kansas.

    Miller HL; Miller CE; Kenney L; Clark JW

    Family Planning Perspectives. 1998 Jul-Aug; 30(4):177-81.

    Because there are few qualitative data on the attitudes of district attorneys towards the local enforcement of statutory rape laws called for by the 1996 federal welfare reform law, anonymous surveys were sent to all 105 Kansas district attorneys in 1997. Data were gathered from the 92 returned surveys and from in-depth telephone interviews with seven of the respondents. It was found that 74% of the respondents favored aggressive enforcement, but only 37% believed the public would support such action, and only 24% thought enforcement would reduce the incidence of adolescent pregnancy. While 57% supported the legal age of consent in Kansas (16 years), 53% thought the law should not specify age differences between the partners, but prosecutions are the exception when the age difference is less than 3 years unless the victim was mentally disabled or the case involved force. Most of the district attorneys (77%) rejected the view that a minor who is already sexually active does not merit the protection of statutory rape laws, and 78% felt that paternity acknowledgements should be admissible evidence in prosecutions. Only 17% expressed the opinion that enforcement would discourage adolescents from seeking health care. It was concluded that the impact of statutory rape prosecution on reproductive and psychological health should be considered on a case-by-case basis and that potentially negative impacts can be minimized by educating law enforcement officials about adolescent health care issues.
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