Tag Archives: nation: Venezuela

Global Attitudes toward Homosexuality

The Pew Research Global Attitudes Project recently released data on attitudes about homosexuality in 39 countries. Generally, those living in the Middle East and Africa were the least accepting, while those in the Americas, Europe, and parts of Asia (the Philippines, Australia, and to a lesser extent Japan) were most accepting:

PG_13.06.04_HomosexualityAccept_620

Generally, the more religious a country, the less accepting its citizens are of homosexuality:

2013-Homosexuality-03

The proportion of people who support social acceptance of gays and lesbians ranged from a high of 88% in Spain to a low of 1% in Nigeria:

2013-Homosexuality-05

Attitudes about homosexuality vary widely by age. There is a pretty consistent global pattern of more positive attitudes among younger people, with a few exceptions:

2013-Homosexuality-01

Thus far, legalization of same-sex marriage has been largely confined to the Americas and Europe; New Zealand and South Africa are the two outliers:

FT_13.05.31_gayMarriageMap

The Pew Center points out that of the 15 nations that have fully extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, 8 have done so just since 2010. In the U.S., we’re currently awaiting a Supreme Court’s decision, which should arrive shortly, to know if we’ll be joining the list sooner rather than later.

Thanks to Peter Nardi at Pitzer College for the link!

Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.

International Data on Cosmetic Surgery

The  International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons has released new data on the incidence of invasive and non-invasive cosmetic procedures.  The U.S. leads in sheer numbers of procedures but, accounting for population, we fall into 4th place.  South Korea leads for the number of procedures per person, followed by Greece and Italy.

1

By far the most common kinds of surgical cosmetic procedures are lipoplasty and breast augmentation.  Along with fat, breasts seem to be a particular concern: breast lifts and breast reductions for both men and women are also in the top ten.  Abdominoplasty, nose jobs, eyelid surgeries, and facelifts are as well.

2

The incidence of these surgeries is strongly related to everything from the gender binary to global power dynamics.  In 2008 we reported that male breast reductions were the most common cosmetic surgery for 13-19 year olds (boys and girls combined). You would be shocked at what counts as excess breast tissue and how little the before and after photos look.  Boys and men getting breast reductions, alongside women getting augmentations, is obviously about our desire for men and women to be different, not naturally-occurring difference.  See The Story of My Man-Boobs for more.

Likewise, we’ve posted about surgeries that create an epithelial fold, a fold of skin in the eyelid more common in people with White than Asian ethnic backgrounds.  This surgery is a trend among Asians and Asian-Americans, as colonization has left us with an association between Whiteness, attractiveness, and power.

The Economist summarizes some other trends:

Breast augmentation, the second biggest surgical procedure, is most commonly performed in America and Brazil. Buttock implants are also a Brazilian specialty, as is vaginal rejuvenation. Asia is keen on nose jobs: China, Japan and South Korea are among the top five nations for rhinoplasty.

More on where and how many procedures are being performed, but nothing on why, at the ISAPS report.

Image at The Economist; via Global Sociology.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Cross-National Comparison of Ratio of CEO to Worker Pay

UPDATE:  Since posting this, I’ve discovered that the numbers do not accurately reflect the ratio of CEO vs. worker pay.  Writes PolitiFact:

We don’t doubt the chart’s underlying point that the ratio of CEO pay to worker pay is high in the United States, and is likely higher in our free-wheeling economy than it is in the historically more egalitarian nations of Europe.

But in its claim that the U.S. ratio is 475 to 1, the chart conveys a sense of certitude and statistical precision that simply isn’t warranted — and which is contradicted by the facts. The latest number for the U.S. is 185 to 1 in one study and 325 to 1 in another [though in previous years, those ratios have reached as high as 525 to 1] — and those numbers were not generated by groups that might have an ideological interest in downplaying the gaps between rich and poor. We rate the claim on the U.S. ratio False.

I apologize for not vetting this more carefully.

H/T KeepYourHopesUpHigh via GlobalSociologyBlog.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Unfair “Capitalist” Prices in Venezuela

Hegemony is a word used by sociologists use to describe how the status quo can be preserved through consent as well as coercion.  One way to gain consent for the status quo, even if it is unjust, is to make the social arrangements that are in the best interests of the dominant group appear to be in everyone’s best interests.  When hegemony works, we see social cooperation where there would be conflict

Capitalism is a great example of a hegemonic ideology.  Nearly all Americans will argue that capitalism is a fair and effective economic system, even though it, by design, benefits some more than others.  Instead of banding together and saying “this may be working for you, but this isn’t working for us,” however, even the poorest of Americans will typically defend capitalism as the best and most just option for the U.S.

Capitalism, though, is not hegemonic everywhere.  F. T. Garcia sent us a link to a photograph snapped by a student of Economics Professor Greg Mankiw and posted on his blog.  The photo is of a price sign at Mercado Bicentenario in Caracas, Venezuela.  The student translated it as follows:

Description of the product: Diana Oil.

Fair Price: 4,73 Bfs.

Capitalist Price: 7 Bfs.

% of savings: 32%.

In this little narrative, capitalism is an unfair economic system that overcharges consumers.  It is by definition not a fair price.  A very different narrative about capitalism than we typically hear in the U.S.

Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College and the author of Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, with Myra Marx Ferree. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.