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To the Bone: creating eating disorder awareness or doing harm? Health 

To the Bone: creating eating disorder awareness or doing harm?

Australia (Conversation) – To the Bone – a film about a turning point in a young woman’s battle with anorexia nervosa – has attracted comment from mental health professionals and advocates. Critics have concerns it could cause or worsen eating disorder symptoms. The writer-director of To the Bone assured audiences she wished to dispel myths, not do harm. So which aspects of the new film might do harm, and which might educate the audience in a positive way? How might the film cause harm? It’s important to be clear that this film isn’t going to cause an eating disorder in Read More

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Which type of chocolate is best for your health? Here’s the science Health 

Which type of chocolate is best for your health? Here’s the science

World (Conversation) – The Aztec emperor Montezuma II said that a soldier could march for a whole day on a single cup of cocoa. But this was not the hot chocolate we would be familiar with today. It was gritty, bitter and often had a fatty scum on top. And if that doesn’t sound unpleasant enough, it was occasionally laced with chilli or human blood. Modern sweet chocolate – with its added milk powder and sugar – is a product of the industrial revolution. Until fairly recently, chocolate wasn’t even considered to be a potential health food; it was Read More

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Are high heels bad for your health? Health 

Are high heels bad for your health?

(Conversation) – The answer to the question: “Are high heels bad for your health?” may seem obvious to some. There is copious research into the manifold ways that high heels affect their wearers’ well-being, but it is highly fragmented, often focusing on specific health issues. Plus, there is also research that shows benefits to wearing high heels. We decided to take the many factors involved in high heel health into account and conduct the first systematic review of research into both the benefits and harms of high heel wear. We identified 506 individual studies on the issue of high Read More

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Why we need to talk about sexual violence in the military Featured Human Rights 

Why we need to talk about sexual violence in the military

United Kingdom (Conversation) – The BBC’s Panorama recently reported on a series of cover-ups regarding historical sex abuse in Britain’s Cadet Forces. The abuse involved was shocking, but consistent with the unfolding national scandal. Paedophiles have been exposed in politics, the clergy, football coaching and the BBC – why should we expect the military to be any different? But there is a broader issue that isn’t being widely talked about. And that is sexual violence and harassment against both male and female personnel within the ranks of the adult military. This is despite the Deepcut scandal involving the deaths Read More

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How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate Environment Featured 

How farming giant seaweed can feed fish and fix the climate

World (Conversation) – Bren Smith, an ex-industrial trawler man, operates a farm in Long Island Sound, near New Haven, Connecticut. Fish are not the focus of his new enterprise, but rather kelp and high-value shellfish. The seaweed and mussels grow on floating ropes, from which hang baskets filled with scallops and oysters. The technology allows for the production of about 40 tonnes of kelp and a million bivalves per hectare per year. The kelp draw in so much carbon dioxide that they help de-acidify the water, providing an ideal environment for shell growth. The CO₂ is taken out of Read More

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Teaching Little Girls To Lead Featured Women 

Teaching Little Girls To Lead

World (Conversation) – By the age of two, most children use gender pronouns in their speech and proactively identify people as men and women. And by the time they turn seven, little boys and little girls have already learnt a lot about what is expected of them within our – binary – gender system. Much of this learning is unintentional, communicated via pop culture. A few years ago, a researchers from Granada University analysed 621 characters of both sexes from 163 cartoon series, including Monster High and Shin Chan. They found that women are largely relegated to secondary roles: Read More

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What are ‘creepshots’ and what can we do about them? Women 

What are ‘creepshots’ and what can we do about them?

World (Conversation) -The “creepshot” is the latest trend concerning the non-consensual image-sharing of women. A creepshot – a photo taken discreetly of women in public by men – is provoking questions concerning rights to privacy in public, and ethical concerns about technology and bodily autonomy. What are ‘creepshots’? MetaReddit/Creepshots defines creepshots as: … the natural, raw sexiness of the subject without their vain attempts at putting on a show for the camera… Use stealth, cunning and deviousness to capture the beauty of your unsuspecting, chosen target. A creepshot is focused on women’s clothed bodies. Images are sexually suggestive rather Read More

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Double standards and derision – tracing our attitudes to older women and beauty Beauty Featured 

Double standards and derision – tracing our attitudes to older women and beauty

World (Conversation) – Brigitte Macron, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, is a rare example of an older woman in the public eye who has attracted praise for her appearance. At 64, Macron is 24 years older than her husband, but her healthy figure and youthful style of dress saw her described in Vogue as “rock ‘n’ roll”. While Macron is admired for her penchant for leather pants, women regularly face policing of their clothing and cosmetic choices once they reach the age of 30. Ageing only brings about further restrictions, with few older women who cultivate their appearance successfully Read More

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Britain’s real female wrestler activists are better and badder than GLOW’s could ever be Entertainment 

Britain’s real female wrestler activists are better and badder than GLOW’s could ever be

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Professional wrestling is a man’s game – or at least that’s what you may be led to believe, thanks to popular favourites such as former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson who made an easy transition from wrestling to super-stardom after appearing in a number of blockbuster films. The “masculine melodrama” presented by modern professional wrestling programmes such as WWE represents the epitome of masculinity, fighting in epic showdowns for a mostly male audience. Of course, there are female wrestlers – as there are female viewers – but WWE has in the past been criticised Read More

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The Mummy: what our obsession with ancient Egypt reveals Entertainment Featured 

The Mummy: what our obsession with ancient Egypt reveals

(Conversation) – With another version of The Mummy menacing cinemas, the “curse of the pharaohs” is back. Again. Hollywood’s determination to put marauding mummies in our sights suggests we still haven’t reached “peak curse”, almost a century after the sudden death of Lord Carnarvon made headlines. So why was the idea of ill-fated Egyptology so alluring in the 1920s, when Carnarvon and Howard Carter found Tutankhamun’s tomb – and why does it keep returning to haunt us? One answer is that our obsessions are never really about the ancient past. They arise from the perspective people develop at a Read More

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