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Go for broke in Mr. Gay World 2014

Meet Randolph Val Palma, a six-footer and 31-year-old Davaoeño, who will carry the Philippine flag to the upcoming Mr. Gay World, a global competition that goes beyond beauty to find the “most inspiring and compelling gay man in the world”, to be held in Rome at the end of this month.

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Will the Philippines' very own Randolph Val Palma finally bring home the Mr. Gay World crown? PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

Will the Philippines’ very own Randolph Val Palma finally bring home the Mr. Gay World crown?
PHOTO COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

Christopher Michael Olwage of New Zealand’s time as Mr. Gay World 2013 is about to end in a few days, and many pageant enthusiasts across the globe are now looking forward to meet “that next gay man” who will champion LGBTQIA human rights not just in his own country, but on the global stage.

The contestants from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Iceland. ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

The contestants from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong and Iceland.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

Mr. Gay World is not a usual beauty contest. At least in the dictionary of Eric Butter, the pageant’s co-founder and president, it is defined as “the toughest job interview in the world.” It is based on the visionary pillars of friendship, diversity and respect, and the winners chosen year after year will serve as role models and ambassadors for young gay men of the world. The sixth edition of the pageant will be held in the southern part of Eternal City, in Rome, Italy, from August 25 to 31.

Randolph Val Palma will be the Philippine envoy to this year’s competition. The 31-year-old and six-footer native of Davao City was appointed by Mr. Gay World for Asia regional director Noemi Alberto and Winnstruck Productions president Mac Bordallo, the local franchise holders of the global search. No local competition was held this year due to time constraints. Palma was actually first runner-up to eventual titleholder Carlito Rosadiño in the Mr. Gay World Philippines 2012 tilt.

Val works as a part-time runway model, and a team leader for JP Morgan Chase & Co., a global financial services firm. He completed his bachelor’s degree in industrial technology, majoring in technology teacher education, at the University of Southwestern Philippines, under a scholarship program of the Department of Science and Technology. He passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers in 2004. He is the son of the late Randy Palma, a military police, and Gene Digal, a retired nurse.

The pressure is on him as he will try to equal, if not surpass, the previous good standing of the Philippines in Mr. Gay World. David Noel Bosley was semifinalist in 2010; Marc Ernest Biala was semifinalist, Best in National Costume and Mr. Gay Popularity in 2011. Carlito Rosadiño was semifinalist, Best in National Costume and Mr. Gay Popularity in 2012. And Erimar Ortigas was also semifinalist and Mr. Gay Popularity last year.

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But the Mr. Gay World crown still remains elusive to the Philippines.

“I am not thinking of the pressure (anymore). I just maximize whatever time is left for me to prepare. I was only informed by the organizers two months ago. I’ve been dieting and going to the gym (since then). Seeing my co-candidates’ pictures online (honestly speaking), I cannot totally compete with their well-toned bodies. (You see), it’s impossible for me to have six-pack abs in a short period of time,” he said with a smile in an interview with Outrage Magazine.

The delegates from India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Syria, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

The delegates from India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Namibia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Syria, United Kingdom, USA and Venezuela
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF MR. GAY WORLD

“But I think my competitive edge is my working knowledge of various issues confronting the LGBT community here in our country. Even before joining Mr. Gay World Philippines two years ago, I was already helping the LGBT community. I am part of the ‘Take The Test’ project. During my free days at work, I volunteer in providing adequate information about HIV and AIDS through screening and pre-test/post-test counseling. It’s my little way of making everyone a responsible owner of their own sexuality.”

When asked how excited he is in his ultimate pageant assignment, Val said: “Very excited! It’s my first time to travel in Europe, and my mom (who has just retired) will be coming with me! Her presence and guidance in my forthcoming journey will be my immense source of strength.”

MEET THE CANDIDATES

Mr. Gay World 2014 is going to be tough, as this year will have the most number of participants, with 32. They must compete in different challenges first — written test, art exhibit, national costume, formal wear, swimwear, photo shoot, sports and series of off- and on-stage interviews — to earn points. Their preliminary and final scores will be added up and the delegate with the highest mark will be crowned as the overall winner.

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Here are 12 delegates that will make Randolph Val Palma compete harder.

  1. Christopher Glebatsas, 35, an Australian who runs a skin care business with his partner. He has a master’s degree in applied finance and spent most of his life working for investment banks.
  2. Austria’s Klaus Burkart, 20, is a milk technologist. The youngest delegate in this year’s batch is the strongest contender for the Mr. Gay Photogenic special award.
  3. Christepher Wee of Canada is a private school teacher in Greater Vancouver. He teaches elementary and secondary-level students and specializes in visual arts and modern language acquisition. He’s also an actor, TV host and model in Asia. He obtained his fine arts and education degrees at the University of British Columbia.
  4. Cyprus’ Kiriakos Spanos, 26, completed his economics and management degree at the London Metropolitan University. He also took up teaching and currently works as an English teacher in Madrid, Spain.
  5. Sushant Divgikar of India, 24, is a certified psychologist, professional singer, model, actor and TV personality. He’s presently pursuing his master’s degree in counseling psychology and psychotherapy. Sushant spends his free time counseling and mentoring young adults struggling with issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity.
  6. Italy’s Nicola La Triglia, 28, is a lawyer and PhD student in theory of law. “Know yourself authentically, accept yourself, and love yourself so you can ‘authentically’ love,” is his message of hope and liberation to all of the candidates who will compete with him on his home turf.
  7. Pedro Cervantes Alvarez, 25, is a veterinarian and would be happy to become Mexico’s newest export to the global LGBT community. There’s never been a winner from his country—Pico Velasco Michel almost did by placing third in 2009—and he believes that it’s about time. He is also an active volunteer in Vida Plena Puebla A.C., a social LGBT group.
  8. Troy Williams, 33 worked as a lawyer for the past six years in Sydney and London. But he’s just headed to Auckland University to take up medicine. Since New Zealand is one of the best-performing countries in the history of Mister Gay World, with consecutive wins by Andreas Derleth in 2012 and Christopher Michael Olwage last year, Troy has the pressure of achieving a three-peat victory for his country.
  9. South Africa’s Werner de Waal, 26, is an accountant by profession. He thinks that LGBT people who are approaching their retirement age should have a sort of retirement home or village dedicated for them, a community that understands and has their best interest at heart.
  10. Stuart Hatton Jr. of the United Kingdom, 29, graduated with a degree in language and linguistics at the Newcastle University in England. He’s a part-time professional undergarments model and a full-time dance teacher.
  11. United States’ Damien Darrell Rodgers, 33, is a personal fitness trainer. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management and will be going back to school in a few months from now to pursue his master’s degree in international business.
  12. Luis Ernesto Vento, 33, from Venezuela, is a visual merchandiser for a national department store chain. A graduate of tourism and interior designing, he prepared for this pageant by polishing his knowledge of human rights, civil unions and gay marriage.
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Completing this year’s lineup of candidates are Belgium’s Willem Joris, 28, PhD student in media studies; Geroge Todorov, 32, model from Bulgaria; Cambodia’s Chetra Chan Hun, 25, jewelry shop salesman; Julien Mbiada, 29, recruitment coordinator from Cambodia; Costa Rica’s Javier Salazar Alfaro, 34, a university professor; Michael Klapetek, 29, theater dancer from Czech Republic; Denmark’s Christian Sebastian, 24, education major and bartender; Peter Linden, 29, professional photographer from Finland; France’s Jordan Joly, 22, makeup artist and stylist; Fabrice Gayakpa, 22, student and model from Germany; Michael Morril, 35, an American migrant teacher from Hong Kong; Iceland’s Troy Michael Jónsson, 27, actor and recording artist; Ozak, 26, from Indonesia; Robbie Lawlor, 23, peer mentor with Ireland’s largest HIV clinic and co-organizer of an HIV social group; Namibia’s Nelson Kenneth Goagoseb, 31, community facilitator for an LGBT organization; Nick Flanagan, 22, sports injury specialist and orthopedic rehabilitation specialist from Ireland; Pakistan’s Amir Rafique, 31, model; Edgar Moreno, 33, actor and model from Spain; and Syria’s Feras Zhk, 32.

Filipinos around the world can help Randolph Val Palma win the Mr. Gay Popularity special award and land a possible spot in the pageant’s semifinal round by clicking this link and voting once every 24 hours until 2:00AM of August 31 (Manila time).

Giovanni Paolo J. Yazon is just your average journalist who can't live without a huge plate of cheesy spaghetti, three cups of brewed coffee, and high-speed Internet every single day. A graduate of mass communication at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, he chased loads of actors, beauty queens, pop artists and even college basketball players until the wee hours of the morning to write their stories eight years. Ivan (how those close to him call him) presently works as a full-time search engine optimization copywriter and an image consultant. He splurges his take-home pay in motivational books and spends his free time touring different heritage towns in the country.

NEWSMAKERS

Only 35.6% of women, 23.2% of men say trans athletes should participate in sports aligned with their gender identity

Also, the study shows people who have contact with transgender, gay and lesbian people as well as those with stronger egalitarian attitudes are more favorable toward transgender participation, whereas those with high moral traditionalism are more opposed.

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Photo by Angela Compagnone from Unsplash.com

In the US, as several states draft legislation that would force student-athletes to play as their gender identified on their birth certificate instead of on a team that matches their gender identity, a team of political scientists investigated underlying factors that drive public opinion on transgender athletes.

The new study shows while women in general are more supportive than men of transgender athletes participating in sports by gender identity instead of biological sex, women who are sports fans are more likely to oppose it, holding views that resemble male sports fans.

The research recently published in the journal Sex Roles investigated public attitudes toward the participation of transgender people in sports by using data from a 2015 survey of 1,020 adults across the U.S.; the data was previously used by the same researchers to analyze public opinion on a variety of transgender rights issues.

Dr. Jami Taylor, professor of political science and public administration at The University of Toledo who focuses on transgender politics and policy, is part of the team who found that attitudes about transgender athletes are strongly shaped by an individual’s characteristics, political values and personality traits.

Also, the study shows people who have contact with transgender, gay and lesbian people as well as those with stronger egalitarian attitudes are more favorable toward transgender participation, whereas those with high moral traditionalism are more opposed.

“This is a very complicated area, and there are legitimate concerns about fairness for both transgender athletes and those who are not transgender,” said Taylor, author of the 2017 book “The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights.” “We need to have thoughtful policies that ensure fair competitions but also ensure that transgender athletes aren’t discriminated against. As governments, nonprofits and businesses begin to craft policies that decide how and with whom transgender athletes will compete in sports, they need to avoid one-size-fits-all solutions because of the complexity of the issues.”

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“Given the gendered nature of sports and the resistance to the issue among sports fans – both male and female – policymakers will likely need to tread carefully and should have a care in this area as they craft policy solutions. Our work might be helpful to inform policymakers, as well as advocates who promote inclusion.”

Research contributors include Taylor; Dr. Andrew Flores, assistant professor in the Department of Government at American University and lead author of the study; Dr. Donald Haider-Markel, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Kansas; Dr. Daniel Lewis, associate professor of political science at Siena College; Dr. Patrick Miller, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Kansas; and Dr. Barry Tadlock, professor of political science at Ohio University.

Current policy depends on the position of governing bodies, such as the NCAA at the collegiate level, and applicable laws that may vary by location. For instance, California law requires that transgender students be treated according to their gender identity, not biological sex.

The issue, according to lawmakers proposing new legislation in New Hampshire, Washington, Georgia, Tennessee and Missouri, is whether transgender-rights protections are leading to unfair competition in women’s sports, referencing male-to-female transgender students and arguing they have natural physical advantages over biological females.

However, the study cited a female-to-male case: Mack Beggs’ victory in the Texas Class 6A girls’ state wrestling championship in 2017, even though the female-to-male transgender student started his transition two years prior and took testosterone injections.

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“It was a ridiculous situation. He wanted to wrestle with the boys and received harsh treatment from fans when he was forced to compete with girls,” Taylor said. “Due to his success, parents accused him of cheating, but the rule in Texas was he had to compete according to the gender on his birth certificate, which was a girl. If he was in California, he would’ve competed against boys.”

The study finds that 35.6% of women agreed with allowing transgender athletes to participate in sports aligned with their gender identity, compared to 23.2% of men.

As the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo approach, Taylor calls the Olympics reasonably inclusive to transgender athletes and commends the International Olympic Committee for its attention to both human rights and fair competition.

“The International Olympic Committee no longer requires transgender athletes to have had surgery, but there is a strict requirement around hormonal management,” Taylor said. “It’s far less restrictive for female-to-male athletes than for male-to-female athletes, which seems to be a reasonable attempt to grapple with this complex issue. Importantly, the IOC’s approach looks at evidence in this evolving area.”

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NEWSMAKERS

Boys who are bullied online may have more risky sex

Adolescent boys who are cyber bullied pursue risky sexual behaviors more frequently than girls who are cyber bullied. Results may reflect a culture of toxic masculinity and highlight the need to pay special attention to male victims, who may be reluctant to self-identify, and therefore, at greater risk of negative health outcomes.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels.com

Peer victimization is associated with adverse psychological and behavioral problems, including depression and risky health behaviors such as substance use and unprotected sex with multiple partners. This is according to a A collaboration of researchers at Louisiana State University, University of Missouri, and University of Tennessee in the US.

The study, “Peer victimization, depression and sexual risk behaviors among high school youth in the United States: a gender-based approach“, by Youn Kyoung Kim, Mansoo Yu, Courtney Cronley and Miyoun Yang has been published in the International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health. The authors examined gender differences in the relationships between four types of peer victimization (school bullying, cyber bullying, physical dating violence, and sexual dating violence), depression, and risky sexual behaviors among US high school students.

In 2015, approximately one-third of high school students in the US alone reported having sex recently. Of these, 43% had not used a condom, 21% had drunk alcohol or used drugs before sexual intercourse, and 14% had not used any contraception.

Recent research suggests that adolescent boys who are cyber bullied pursue risky sexual behaviors more frequently than girls who are cyber bullied. Results may reflect a culture of toxic masculinity and highlight the need to pay special attention to male victims, who may be reluctant to self-identify, and therefore, at greater risk of negative health outcomes.

For this newer study, the researchers analyzed the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior System Survey, a nationally representative survey of US high school students containing data from 5,288 individuals who reported having engaged in sexual intercourse. The results show that all types of peer victimization are related to symptoms of depression for both females and males, and physical and sexual dating violence are associated with increased risky sexual behaviors. However, school bullying does not predict risky sexual behaviors. Among males, cyber bullying predicts increased risky sexual behaviors and the relationship is greater when a boy is depressed.

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Bullying is, of course, a big issue for members of the LGBTQIA community.

In April 2018, for instance, a study that investigated gender expression and victimization of youth aged 13-18 found that the most gender nonconforming students reported higher levels of being bullied, were more likely to report missing school because they feel unsafe, and are most likely to report being victimized with a weapon on school property.

The effects of bullying are also long-term. In November 2018, another study found that 35.2% of gay/bisexual men who had experienced frequent school-age bullying experience frequent workplace bullying. Among lesbian women, the figure was 29%.

“It is critical to create safe and private spaces for boys to share their experiences, and we hope that this research will encourage schools to consider efforts to destigmatize victimization through peer mentorship and open communication,” said Youn Kyoung Kim.

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Progressive gender beliefs in teen boys may be protective against violence

Adolescents with more equitable gender attitudes – those who felt boys and girls deserve equal opportunities and respect – had lower odds of reporting violent behaviors.

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Photo by Patrick Buck from Unsplash.com

Teenage boys who witness their peers abusing women and girls are much more likely to bully and fight with others, as well as behave abusively toward their dates, compared to teenage boys who don’t witness such behaviors, according to an analysis led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Conversely, the study found that adolescents with more equitable gender attitudes – those who felt boys and girls deserve equal opportunities and respect – had lower odds of reporting violent behaviors. The results are published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

“The #MeToo movement brought to light how pervasive sexual violence and derogatory behavior toward women is in our society,” said lead author Elizabeth Miller, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, public health and clinical and translational science at Pitt. “Our findings highlight the wide-ranging impact that witnessing sexual harassment and dating violence has on our teenage boys, and present an opportunity to teach adolescents to challenge negative gender and social norms, and interrupt their peer’s disrespectful and harmful behaviors.”

This study is the first to gather information from U.S. male adolescents in community-based settings, rather than schools or clinics, about multiple types of violence, including bullying and sexual harassment, and the role of gender norms and peer behaviors.

Miller and her team surveyed 866 13- to 19-year-old boys at after-school programs, libraries, churches and other youth-serving organizations in 20 lower-resource Pittsburgh neighborhoods. The teens completed the surveys anonymously between August 2015 and June 2017 as part of a larger study evaluating the effect of a prevention program to reduce sexual violence. Seventy percent of the teens identified as African American and 21% as Hispanic, multiracial or ‘other.’

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Of the 619 boys who had ever dated, 1 in 3 reported using abusive behavior toward someone they were dating in the previous 9 months. Sexual harassment, whether dating or not, was also common, with 485, or 56%, saying they’d engaged in such behavior. And 587, or 68% of the respondents, said they’d been in physical fights, or threatened or injured someone with a weapon.

Boys who said they’d witnessed their peers engaging in two or more of nine different harmful verbal, physical or sexual behaviors toward women and girls – such as making rude or disrespectful comments about a girl’s body – had 2 to 5 times higher odds of engaging in a variety of violent behaviors, some having nothing to do with women or dating.

“This reinforces that pressure to conform to stereotypes about masculinity that perpetuate harmful behaviors toward women and girls is also associated with getting in a fight with another guy,” said Miller, who is also director of the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s. “These behaviors aren’t happening in silos – if we’re going to stop one, we need to also be addressing the other.”

Interestingly, the research team did not find that teens who reported having more gender equitable attitudes were any less likely to engage in homophobic teasing, something three-quarters of the survey respondents endorsed.

“It’s a puzzling and troubling finding. We believe it may be because these teens have normalized homophobic teasing – it is so commonplace, they may see it as a form of acceptable, possibly even pro-social, interaction with their peers,” said Alison Culyba, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at UPMC Children’s. “This study illustrates the need for cross-cutting prevention strategies that address multiple aspects of youth violence.”

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As part of their study, this team of researchers are evaluating a sexual violence prevention program called Manhood 2.0. Miller has also conducted research on a program called Coaching Boys into Men that guides middle and high school coaches in talking with their male athletes about stopping violence against women and girls. Both Manhood 2.0 and Coaching Boys into Men involve reinforcing more equitable gender attitudes and increasing the number of youth who intervene when witnessing peers’ disrespectful behavior.

Kelley A. Jones, Ph.D., of UPMC Children’s and Pitt, is senior author of this research. Additional authors are Alison J. Culyba, M.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., Taylor Paglisotti, B.A., Michael Massof, M.P.A., and Qi Gao, M.P.H., all of UPMC Children’s and Pitt; Katie A. Ports, Ph.D., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Jane Kato-Wallace, M.P.H., of Promundo-US in Washington, DC; Julie Pulerwitz, Sc.D., of the Population Council in Washington, DC; Dorothy L. Espelage, Ph.D., of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Kaleab Z. Abebe, Ph.D., of Pitt.

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NEWSMAKERS

From as young as 4, children see males as more powerful than females

When the children had to consider their power relation with a person of the same gender as themselves, the girls and boys both largely identified with the dominant character.

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As early as 4 years old, children associate power and masculinity, even in countries considered to be more egalitarian like Norway. This is what scientists at the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1) report, in collaboration with the Universities of Oslo (Norway), Lausanne and Neuchâtel (Switzerland), in a study published in Sex Roles. They also show that in some situations the power-masculinity association does not manifest in girls.

Little is known about how representations of power interact with gender in early childhood. Researchers at the Institut des Sciences Cognitives Marc Jeannerod (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), in collaboration with the Universities of Oslo (Norway), Lausanne and Neuchâtel (Switzerland) wanted to know whether children aged 3 to 6 years old in France, Lebanon, and Norway attribute more power to masculine figures than feminine figures.

In a first experiment, they showed the children a picture with two non-gendered individuals. One of them adopted a dominant physical posture and the other a subordinate posture. First the children had to guess which of these two individuals was exerting power over the other. Next they had to assign a gender to each individual (Who is the girl? Who is the boy?). The results reveal that from 4 years old, a large majority of children consider the dominant individual to be a boy. The power-masculinity association was observed in both boys and girls, and just as much in Lebanon as in France and Norway. However it was not significant in 3-year old children.

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In a second experiment, this time in children aged 4 and 5 years old all in school in France, had to imagine themselves in the picture and imagine the other person as a boy or a girl. When the children had to consider their power relation with a person of the same gender as themselves, the girls and boys both largely identified with the dominant character. But when they had to consider their power relation with a person of the opposite gender, boys identified more often with the dominant character whereas girls did not significantly identify more with one or other of the characters.

Finally, in a third experiment, children aged 4 and 5 years old in Lebanon and France watched a series of exchanges between two puppets, one representing a girl and the other a boy, behind a board (1). In one case, the puppets were getting ready to play a game together and the child heard one impose their choices on the other. In the other case, one puppet had more money than the other to buy ice cream. In France and Lebanon, most of the boys thought that the puppet that imposed their choices or that had more money was the male puppet. However, the girls in both countries did not attribute the dominant position preferably to one or other gender.

These results show that children have early sensitivity to a gender hierarchy, though in some situations girls do not associate power and masculinity. The scientists now hope to find out what power forms they attribute to feminine figures and whether they legitimize the expression of gendered power.

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1 The puppets, which were shown to the children before being hidden behind the board, were manipulated by the same speaker and “spoke” with the same voice, working as in a cartoon. So, behind the board, it was not to possible to differentiate them by their voice.

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LIVING HISTORY

Supreme Court junks with finality petition for same-sex marriage

But in its earlier ruling on the matter, the SC said the Constitution does not restrict marriage on the basis of sex. It stated that the 1987 Constitution, from its “plain text,” “does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”

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The Supreme Court (SC) of the Philippines has junked – with finality – the petition that sought to legalize same-sex marriage in the country.

In a two-page notice issued by the SC last December 10, 2019 (but only made available on January 6, 2020), the SC denied “with finality the said motion for reconsideration as no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned decision.”

In October 2015, Atty. Jesus Nicardo Falcis III filed the petition that sought to strike down the prohibitions against same-sex marriage under the Family Code. But the SC dismissed Falcis’ petition “on account of his lack of standing, violating the principle of hierarchy of courts, and failing to raise an actual, justiciable controversy,” SC’s spokesperson Brian Keith Hosaka said in a news conference on September 3, 2019.

But in its earlier ruling on the matter, the SC said the Constitution does not restrict marriage on the basis of sex. It stated that the 1987 Constitution, from its “plain text,” “does not define, or restrict, marriage on the basis of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression.”

The High Court, nonetheless, had to deny the petition based on Falcis’ lack of standing, violation of the principle of hierarchy of courts, and failure to raise an actual, justiciable controversy.

This time around, the SC stated that “no further pleadings or motions will be entertained,” said SC Clerk of Court Edgar Aricheta.

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For the SC, through Associate Justice Marvic Leonen who penned the decision, “same-sex couples may morally claim that they have a right against discrimination for their choice of relationships and that official recognition of their partnerships may, for now, be a matter that should be addressed to Congress.”

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NEWSMAKERS

Gender norms affect attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women globally

Negative attitudes are guided by the perception that gays and lesbians violate traditional gender norms.

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Gay men and lesbian women have often been the targets of prejudice and even violence in society. To better understand what shapes these attitudes and prejudices, Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Alexandra Suppes, and Jamie Napier (all New York University – Abu Dhabi) tested how beliefs about gender norms (expectations of society for how men and women act and look) and people’s attitudes towards gay men and women relate across the globe.

They found that globally, gay men are disliked more than lesbian women across 23 countries. Their results also suggest negative attitudes are guided by the perception that gays and lesbians violate traditional gender norms. But in three countries, China, India, and South Korea, the correlation between beliefs in gender norms and attitudes towards gays and lesbians was absent or even reversed.

The research appears in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The team assessed attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women separately, noting that most research focuses on homosexuality as a broad category and doesn’t separate attitudes by gender.

Bettinsoli and colleagues were surprised at how consistently gay men were rated more negatively than lesbian women in a vast majority of their samples.

They were also surprised “at the consistency of the relationship between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice,” says Bettinsoli. “Even though there were some non-Western countries that did not conform to the pattern, the majority of countries did.”

These findings were true for western countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and the US. The same was true for Russia, South Africa, and Turkey too.

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“We also found that, in line with previous research, the endorsement of gender norms was associated with anti-gay attitudes–toward both gay men and lesbian women–in every Western country in our sample,” says Bettinsoli.

In South Korea, the researchers saw that endorsement of gender norms was unrelated to attitudes toward gays and lesbians, and in Japan, there was a small association between gender norm endorsement and attitudes toward gay men, but not towards lesbian women.

“In China and India, the reverse pattern emerged. Those who were highest on endorsement of traditional gender roles were the most positive toward gay men and lesbian women,” says Bettinsoli.

While some of the countries show friendlier attitudes towards gays and lesbians, Bettinsoli notes that even in the more tolerant places discriminatory attitudes still exist.

The study is one of several appearing in a future special issue of Social Psychological and Personality Science focused on underrepresented populations.

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