Friday, July 06, 2007

Which is the chatty sex? Turns out both are

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science EditorThu Jul 5, 2:15 PM ET

Men talk every bit as much as women do, U.S. researchers said after painstakingly counting every word that 400 volunteers spoke.

Their study, published on Thursday in the journal Science, challenges the common wisdom that women are somehow biologically programmed to talk more -- but the researchers said people do often fulfill gender roles when it comes to subject matter.

"Women and men both use on average about 16,000 words per day, with very large individual differences around this mean," the researchers, led by psychologist Matthias Mehl of the University of Arizona, wrote.

Mehl and colleagues had been struck by widespread assertions that women talk more each day than men, and have a bigger vocabulary. "The 20,000-versus-7,000 word estimates appear to have achieved the status of a cultural myth," they wrote.

"So we generalize and say that women just talk all the time," Mehl added in a telephone interview.

Mehl's team tested this belief by recruiting 396 U.S. and Mexican college students who wore a personal digital assistant with a recorder for anywhere between two and 10 days. . . .

The visible man

Female-to-male transgender people find that supervised testosterone therapy can work wonders, although surgical choices are more complicated. Part 8 in our ongoing Transgender 101 series.

An exclusive posted July 10, 2006

 The visible man

(Note: There are serious risks to any hormone therapy. It should not be undertaken in the absence of a knowledgeable doctor's ongoing supervision.)

If you have male gender identity and yet were born female-bodied, you may determine that testosterone therapy can be helpful in realizing your true physical self. Once on testosterone, my female-to-male friends report the same sense of well-being and harmony that my male-to-female friends experience on estrogen therapy. But the effects of the two hormones could not be more different.

For this column, to supplement my own observations, I have relied on the terrific book Becoming a Visible Man, written by one of the most visible FTM activists, Jamison Green.

As an FTM, within a few months of starting your testosterone therapy, your voice will drop irreversibly. In time you will also find hair growing in places where men normally have hair, both on your body and your face. And you may even find your hairline starting to recede. All of these are welcome developments—well, except for maybe the balding—that provide “gender clues” helpful to the general public in perceiving you as a male. You’re off to a good start. . . .

Trans prisoner settles landmark civil rights lawsuit

6th July 2007 12:30 writer

John Doe, a 2005 inmate of the Orange County Jail in California, today successfully settled a civil rights suit against the County resulting in significant policy changes and a settlement sum of close to $50,000 (£25,000).

Doe, represented by San Diego law firm Stock Stephens, LLP and the Transgender Law Center (TLC), alleged denial of medical care and gender identity harassment in the suit.

The resulting policy changes will formalise policies regarding provision of hormones to transgender inmates and training for medical and corrections staff.

"This settlement is a huge win for our client and for transgender people throughout Orange County," said Mattheus Stephens, Partner with Stock Stephens, LLP. . . .