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Nomer Yuzon aims to be first-ever Mr. Gay World from Phl

There’s never been an Asian winner in the seven-year history of the Mr. Gay World pageant. Nomer Yuzon, a 5-feet-10-inch and 42-year-old educator from Occidental Mindoro, aspires to be the Philippines’ newest export to the ‘global LGBT beauty arena’ at the pageant’s conclusion in South Africa on the first Sunday of May.

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Nomer Yuzon

Six hours before Manny Pacquiao fights Floyd Mayweather Jr. inside the boxing ring of MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on May 3, Sunday (Philippine time), another Filipino will first take up the challenge of “knocking out” 21 gay men from different countries on stage at the Knysna Mall Exhibition Area in South Africa, to be the first-ever Filipino Mr. Gay World titleholder.

His name is Nomer Munar Yuzon, an educator who hails from Occidental Mindoro.

Early this year, local franchise holders Noemi Alberto, Mr. Gay World for Asia regional director, and Mac Bordallo, Winnstruck Productions president handpicked him due to time restrictions. But the 42-year-old, 5-feet-10-inch native of Occidental Mindoro is no stranger to beauty pageants. He was David Noel Bosley’s second runner-up in the Mr. Gay Philippines 2009 tilt, also winning the Darling of the Press and Best in Formal Wear special awards. He also represented Hawaii in Manhunt International 2006 world finals staged in Jinjiang, China.

Neither a Filipino nor an Asian has won the Mr. Gay World crown. Nomer Yuzon, the Philippines’ bet this year, believes that it’s about time.

Neither a Filipino nor an Asian has won the Mr. Gay World crown. Nomer Yuzon, the Philippines’ bet this year, believes that it’s about time.

“This will be my last (international) pageant, and I really hope that ‘this is it’,” he said in an interview with Outrage Magazine at the Mr. Gay World Asia Regional Office in Pasig City. “I’m the (oldest candidate) in Mr. Gay World this year. (But) I consider my age as an edge, since I have more experiences (in life) which made me a stronger, more matured and disciplined person that I am today.”

Yuzon is the fifth and youngest child of the late Mariano Yuzon from Batangas, and the former Peg Munar, a retired school teacher who hails from Pangasinan. He completed his bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the Far Eastern University and pursued his postgraduate studies in development communication at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. He left for the US in 1997 where he worked as hotelier at the Holiday Inn San Francisco, part-time model and then flight steward for the United Airlines for 14 years.

After grabbing an early retirement package from the airline company, he entered the academe last year. He started teaching airline business and public speaking subjects at the Lyceum of the Philippines University and Asia Pacific College, respectively. He also works as a part-time actor and appeared in ABS-CBN’s fantasy-comedy-drama TV series Inday Bote where he portrayed the role of an investor recently. Yuzon is also a member of the Maharlika Drakon Dragon Boat Racers under the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation.

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NOMER’S NEMESES

The global competition aimed at inspiring and empowering gay men to come together in a public performance that will showcase the world that being gay encompasses a broad spectrum is back after eight months. Its founding president, Eric Butter, is again on the lookout for the successor of Stuart Hatton Jr. of the UK, who will also advance gay human rights in his country and throughout the world.

Now in its seventh year, Mr. Gay World will be held in Knysna, a town in South Africa renowned for its wildlife, magnificent oysters, and golf courses, between April 26 and May 4. It’s also the first time that delegates will join the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras and Arts Festival street parade on the day of the finals.

“I don’t want to think of the pressure, I’d rather focus on the excitement. I was a flight attendant for so many years, but I’ve never been to South Africa or the African continent on the whole. I’ll have new friends (there) for sure and I’ll do my very best, of course,” he said.

But one thing is sure about his “road to success” in South Africa, it wouldn’t be easy as there are 12 likely victors—all staying aligned and holding tight to their vision—who will surely stop him from winning the Mr. Gay World crown.

  1. Australia’s Scott Fletcher, 27, was born and raised in New Zealand, but migrated to Melbourne three years ago to start a career in software development. He is a principal security consultant for a company that specializes in helping organizations secure their information technology systems. His bodybuilder-like physique is a strong contender for the Best in Swimsuit special award.
  2. From a young teenager who weighed 120 kilograms, had no friends, became a laughingstock, and was sick all the time during swimming lessons, Jordy de Smedt, 20, from Belgium, evolved from “chunk to hunk.” He studied to become a personal trainer, to inspire many people who find it too hard to lose pounds fast.
  3. Finland’s Tomi Mikael Lappi, 24, is a professional show/ballroom dancer and show coordinator for Finnish designer Antti Asplund’s “Heterophobia” clothing line. He joined the pageant “to share knowledge, confidence and youthful energy to become both a face and an accessible voice to the LGBT community worldwide.”
  4. Klaus Burkart, 20, is a milk technologist blessed with an angelic face. He was Austria’s envoy in last year’s contest. He is back with a vengeance, but this time representing Germany where he’s born. Burkart is a shoo-in for the Mr. Gay Photogenic special award.
  5. Iceland’s Troy Michael Jónsson, 27, bartender and gay rights activist, is another Mr. Gay World repeater. He isn’t happy with his top 10 finish last August: He wants no less than the crown so he can lead “The Bleeding Love Project,” a global mission that hopes to “end the ban on gay men donating blood.”
  6. Marcos Vinicius Barboza, 27, a fitness professional from Ireland. This Brazilian immigrant would like to become Mr. Gay World, so he could represent the gay community and push for the “YES vote” at a time when his newfound home is about to hold a referendum for marriage equality.
  7. Italy’s Arziom Cristofaro, 22, is pursuing his degree in political science major in international relations at the University of Bari Aldo Moro. He believes that, “Freedom is an inviolable right: It’s about marriage, adoption or the simple fact of being gay.”
  8. Wayne Grech, 28, professional hairstylist and salon owner, is Malta’s first entrant in the global pageant’s history. He started modelling at 16, and represented his country at the Manhunt International pageant staged in South Korea a decade ago.
  9. Gabriel Jesus Naal Fernandez, 33, completed his bachelor’s degree in autonomy economics at the University of Yucatan. He works as an assistant manager of an entertainment team in Riviera Maya, a tourism and resort district in Mexico.
  10. Twenty-four year-old Matt Andrija Fistonich has a diploma in business and management, national certificates in real estate and firefighting, and awarded with advanced diploma in public safety (emergency management). He worked as a firefighter in New Zealand’s Defense Force for six years.
  11. Craig Maggs, 25, obtained his diploma in sports science at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. This year’s “hometown gay” works for an HIV and Ebola research nongovernment organization during the day and is a restaurant waiter in Johannesburg at night.
  12. Jesus Martin Marquez, 30, is an “untouchable fixture” in Spain’s modeling industry. The gorgeous dancer, runway and commercial model hasn’t stepped into the South African soil yet, but the “Spanish Adonis” is already deemed to give the other delegates a run for their money.
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The other contestants are Colombia’s Jorge Escribano Pelaez, 32, host and actor; Leonardo Piloto Gonzalez, 35, disc jockey, composer and music producer from Cuba; Czech Republic’s Daniel Frohlich, 20, shipping crew and call center agent; Alejandro Torres-Solanot Martinez, 26, university student from the Dominican Republic; Hong Kong’s Emmanuel Mass Luciano, 35, fashion designer, stylist and blogger; Sweden’s Carl Anton Ljungberg, 21, waiter and bartender; Luis Jorge Vicente, 29, runway model from Uruguay; and Zambia’s Siyathokoza Thabani Khumalo, 28, retail company buyer and planning coordinator.

HELP ADVANCE THE FILIPINO

Filipinos all over the world can help Nomer Yuzon win the Mr. Gay Popularity special award to possibly advance in the semifinal round by clicking MGW 2015 and voting once every 24 hours until 6 AM of May 1, Friday (Manila time).

The Philippines is a very promising non-winning country in Mr. Gay World. Wilbert Tolentino was named Mr. Gay Popularity and won Best in National Costume in 2009. And for half a decade now, all the Philippines’ gay emissaries made it to the semifinal round: David Noel Bosley in 2010; Marc Ernest Biala, also awarded Best in National Costume and Mr. Gay Popularity in 2011; Carlito Rosadiño, also adjudged Best in National Costume and Mr. Gay Popularity in 2012; Erimar Ortigas, named Mr. Gay Popularity in 2013; and Randolph Val Palma, sixth place overall in 2014. Hence, the pressure to equal if not exceed the feats of his predecessors is definitely on for Yuzon.

“If I would become Mr. Gay World, it will be easier for me to network. As an educator, an ‘openly gay’ teacher, I believe that I have the responsibility. I can easily reach out to a lot of students. I want to spearhead a project, ‘It’s OKAY to be GAY,’ because a lot of young gays still find it hard to come out these days. There’s still widespread discrimination in our society (also due to our traditional beliefs) that being gay is a disease, (or) it’s a shame. It’s just one of the things I want to change,” he concluded.

Past Filipino reps in Mr. Gay World who made it to the semifinal round include (from left) David Noel Bosley in 2010, Marc Ernest Biala in 2011, Carlito Rosadiño in 2012, Erimar Ortigas in 2013 and Randolph Val Palma in 2014.

Past Filipino reps in Mr. Gay World who made it to the semifinal round include (from left) David Noel Bosley in 2010, Marc Ernest Biala in 2011, Carlito Rosadiño in 2012, Erimar Ortigas in 2013 and Randolph Val Palma in 2014.

Mr. Gay World 2015 candidates (ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATES)

Mr. Gay World 2015 candidates (ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATES)

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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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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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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NEWSMAKERS

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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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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