The Consult: Gender Bias in Babies and Judges, and Other News From Around The Web

Sotomayor Is Not A Bully She's a smart, tough legislator who challenges lawyers on both sides. Nina Totenberg delivers an in-depth look at the judge's temperament and determines that her style of questioning and habit of interrupting is no worse than anyone else on the bench. A Sotomayor mentor who investigated rumors about her style determined that her questions and tone were the same as men on the Appellate Court, and goes right ahead and calls those rumors "sexist." Totenberg, after questioning other lawyers, judges, and analyzing audio tapes of Sotomayor's performance, concludes thusly: "If she sometimes dominates oral arguments....if she's feisty, even pushy, then she should fit right in on the US Supreme Court." (NPR)

Extreme Measures Raise Risk Weight-loss surgeries like gastric bypass increase the risk of fracture. The Mayo Clinic studied 100 patients and found that one-fifth of those who had weight-loss surgery reported bone fractures, which is about twice the normal rate. Most patients reported multiple fractures, especially in their hands and feet. Weight loss surgery can lead to vitamin D deficiency and otherwise affect bone health, though the exact reason why fractures are up is unknown. (BBC)

Sex Selection In The US Disturbing data from the US Census suggests that Asian families in America are using sex-selection techniques to enforce a bias for male children. Families with a first, female child are more likely than average to have a second, male child.

In general, more boys than girls are born in the United States, by a ratio of 1.05 to 1. But among American families of Chinese, Korean and Indian descent, the likelihood of having a boy increased to 1.17 to 1 if the first child was a girl, according to the Columbia economists. If the first two children were girls, the ratio for a third child was 1.51 to 1 — or about 50 percent greater — in favor of boys.

American companies have picked up on this bias, offering sex selection services—not necessarily abortion—in Indian and Chinese language newspapers. Fertility experts say that most American families prefer female children, but that the cultural preference for male children in Asia has carried over to the USA (NY Times).

Transplant Trouble Japan's transplant laws, which prohibit anyone from under 15 from donating organs, are called into question as young children with serious but treatable conditions are denied lifesaving surgery. (CNN)

The Consult: Gender Bias in Babies and Judges, and Other News From Around The Web | Analysis