Stories by Sarah Kliff

  • What’s Missing From Teen Pregnancy in TV, Film

    Once taboo, pregnant teenagers are popping up more frequently on TV, in movies and on magazine covers. The problem? This latest pop-culture coverage doesn't show what comes before or after.
  • Readers Fired Up By Teen-Pregnancy Issue

    Does media portrayal of teen mothers help destigmatize the issue for the unfortunate who end up pregnant? Or does it somehow legitimize premarital sex? Readers weigh in.
  • Women and the Military: No Glass Ceiling Here

    For 25 years, Lory Manning lived in a universe foreign to many women she knew. She participated in international negotiations and oversaw $3 million budgets. Her path to power: the Navy. Manning, who now works for a nonprofit, says she "never would have gotten these opportunities elsewhere."Women and minorities often express dissatisfaction with barriers in the civil work force, but, according to a new University of Massachusetts study of 30,000 active-duty personnel, they are the most satisfied military employees. (White men are the least.) The service's racial diversity and rank-based hierarchy "level the playing field," says the study's author, sociologist Jennifer Hickes Lundquist. If the satisfaction among enlisted women seems surprising—especially given that a third reported experiencing sexual harassment in a recent Pentagon survey—there is a possible explanation: "They figure it's part of being a woman in the military," says University of Maryland sociologist Mady Wechsler...
  • Music: The Cheesy World of A Cappella Singing

    Pop-trivia question: what do James van der Beek (of "Dawson's Creek") and Osama bin Laden have in common? In their youth, both dabbled in a cappella. According to "Pitch Perfect: The Quest for Collegiate A Cappella Glory," by author Mickey Rapkin, the teenage bin Laden—who opposed the use of instruments —organized a group with his pals. That discovery "was pretty weird," says Rapkin. "It just shows that a cappella is everywhere." Love it or hate it, he's right: there are 1,200 college groups in the United States, uniting some 18,000 kids under ivy-covered archways to belt out Coldplay tunes. But Rapkin's book reveals a world with as much discord as harmony. One group (the Beelzebubs of Tufts University) dropped more than $30,000 to record a CD; another (the University of Virginia's Hullabahoos) traveled to the Philippines to sing. The two narrowly avoided a drunken post-performance brawl with each other.Most a cappella singers don't pursue careers in music; still, their passion is...
  • You’re Fine As You Are!

    The new ad campaign for Weight Watchers wants us to know that it's on our side. "Diets are mean," reads one slogan; "Go on a diet diet," urges another. Tylenol is now distributing free tips on preventing common aches and pains—only without the help of Tylenol or any other pill. Spokes-people for the companies say their campaigns are "honest" or intended "to educate."It's an odd strategy: trying to win over consumers by suggesting that we don't need what they're selling. Have companies forgotten about the bottom line? No, they've just learned that shoppers are susceptible to flattery. If customers believe a company "has what's good for me in mind, that's a big, big plus," says C. B. Bhattacharya, a marketing professor at Boston University. The approach has worked for Dove, whose Campaign for Real Beauty, which debuted in 2004, urges women to love their bodies just as they are. It's helped Dove vault from a soapmaker into a $1 billion brand with new lines of lotions and self-tanners....
  • 8 Worst Easter Candies

    Here's exactly what all those Peeps, bunnies and eggs will cost you calorie-wise.
  • Sorry, Hillary, But Girls Already Rule

    Barack Obama's mobilization of the youth vote doesn't surprise me. I am eight months out of college and completely get his appeal: his hopeful ideals, moving speeches and that air of change surrounding him are thrilling.What shocks me is how thoroughly uncool it is to back Hillary and how her twentysomething supporters are regularly put on the defensive for having the audacity to vote against hope, change and revolution. While the Obamaniacs display their support proudly on messenger-bag pins and Facebook statuses, I have found Hillary supporters to be a quieter bunch, not looking to attract attention. As one of my friends from college describes it, being a Hillary supporter is "like being one of the geeky kids standing in the corner, trying to avoid eye contact" so she does not have to be asked, again, why she just doesn't get it.Obama is so incredibly easy to get: drink the Kool-Aid, get on the bandwagon and get excited. Watch the "Yes We Can" YouTube video, musical artist will.i...
  • Denny’s as Historical Landmark

    An old Denny's restaurant location in Seattle was recently declared a historical landmark—angering some, but thrilling aficionados of space-age, '50s-style architecture.
  • 6 Tips for Healthy Breasts

    The latest research on how to maintain healthy breasts—inside and out. Plus, what really causes sagging.
  • The Sex Lives of Bar Flies

    What a new study on alcohol and fruit flies can tell us about how booze affects human sexual behavior.
  • Why Tigers Attack

    They're not territorial, but they react strongly to any changes in their environment.
  • Top 7 Medical Misconceptions

    According to a new study, even doctors fall prey to common medical misconceptions. Here's the straight story on everything from postmortem hair growth to Halloween candy hazards.
  • All Men Created Unequal

    Human evolution has created a remarkable diversity--not between races so much as among individuals. That's going to challenge our notions of justice.