Double Dose: "That's Family!" Not for Every Family; What Did Glamour Do With America Ferrera?; and Man-Made Chemicals Causing More Female Births

By Christine Cupaiuolo — September 14, 2007

Film With Same-Sex Parents Splits School District: Children in a state-approved educational video called “That’s Family!” shown talking about interracial families, divorce and adoption — all good. But when a boy introduces his two dads, during the film shown to third graders, and another child says, “It’s really cool have to two gay dads, because they brought us into a home, and they adopted us, and they love us,” well, as Richard G. Jones writes in The New York Times:

That was enough to entangle this wealthy suburb of 45,000, about 15 miles east of Philadelphia, in a heated debate among parents and educators. As the issue simmered, the district decided to shelve the film, provoking the threat of a lawsuit by gay rights activists who said the district’s refusal to show the video was a violation of state antidiscrimination laws.

What Happened to America’s Breasts?: America Ferrera, who stars on “Ugly Betty,” got photoshopped big time as cover girl for Glamour magazine’s October issue — billed as the “1st annual figure flattery issue!” Natch.

Check out Apollo’s blog at for the story and good analysis. And read Guanabee’s full translation of the Glamour interview, which begins:

GLAMOUR: So 11 Emmy nominations for Ugly Betty, two new films in the works. You’re huge!

[Translation: How can you be successful? You’re huge!]

Drug Companies, Medical Journals and Money: Kent Sepkowitz, a physician in New York City, makes the argument at Slate that the “public deserves to know about the extent to which every medical journal relies on pharmaceutical advertising revenue to run its business.”

The New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, receive about $18 million and $27 million each year, respectively, for display advertisements, according to this 2006 study on advertising and peer-reviewed journals.

“The consequence of the pharma-journal relationship is far from abstract,” writes Sepkowitz, who goes on to provide an example of when the marketing department of Dialysis & Transplantation, a journal for kidney specialists, initially overruled reviewing scientists on the publication of an editorial against a double dose of a pharmaceutical product when the regular dose worked just as well.

Hormone Patch Opens Debate: “The arrival on the European market of a female-targeted testosterone patch to treat low sex desire caused by menopause is raising new questions in the United States about why there is no equivalent product on pharmacy shelves,” writes Frances C. Whittelsey at Women’s eNews. “Opponents say that there is good reason why, and the patch is not ready for U.S. approval.”

Wishing Life Would Mirror Art: A 13-year-old star of a Bangladeshi soap opera that promotes girls’ education hopes she can be as lucky as her character and get to stay in school. “I feel depressed. But a lot of girls in the slums face the same pressures,” Shimu tells Emily Wax of the Washington Post.

Alcohol Consumption and Cancer Risk: Postmenopausal women consuming two or more alcoholic beverages a day may double their risk of endometrial cancer, according to a study led by University of Southern California researchers. The study appears in the International Journal of Cancer.

“This is the first prospective study to report a significant association between alcohol and endometrial cancer,” says Veronica Wendy Setiawan, assistant professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. “Previous studies have shown that alcohol consumption has been associated with higher levels of estrogens in postmenopausal women, which could be the mechanism by which daily alcohol intake increases one’s risk of endometrial cancer.”

Man-Made Chemicals Causing Birth of More Girls: “Twice as many girls as boys are being born in some Arctic villages because of high levels of man-made chemicals in the blood of pregnant women, according to scientists from the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (Amap),” reports The Guardian.

The scientists measured the man-made chemicals in women’s blood that mimic human hormones and concluded that they were capable of triggering changes in the sex of unborn children in the first three weeks of gestation. The chemicals are carried in the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta to the foetus, switching hormones to create girl children. […]

Scientists believe a number of man-made chemicals used in electrical equipment from generators, televisions and computers that mimic human hormones are implicated. They are carried by winds and rivers to the Arctic where they accumulate in the food chain and in the bloodstreams of the largely meat- and fish-eating Inuit communities.

All of which prompts Broadsheet’s Carol Lloyd to write: “If nothing else, this is news that makes me think about the novel “Herland” in a whole new light — not as a bit of charming feminist Victoriana but a sci-fi horror story.”

One response to “Double Dose: “That’s Family!” Not for Every Family; What Did Glamour Do With America Ferrera?; and Man-Made Chemicals Causing More Female Births”

  1. All magazine cover models are drastically altered with photoshop. If you look closely at any magazine cover, their skin no longer looks real.

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