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The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture”

The Kissing Sailor, or “The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture” | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance...
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University Can’t Force Professor to Use Students’ Preferred Pronouns, Panel Rules –

University Can’t Force Professor to Use Students’ Preferred Pronouns, Panel Rules – | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
An appeals panel reinstated First Amendment claims brought by a philosophy professor who was threatened with suspension or termination after he refused to call a transgender student by her preferre…
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Mother arrested for attempted murder after allegedly slashing 3-year-old daughter's neck with scissors

A mother of a 3-year-old girl has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly slashing her daughter in the neck with a pair of scissors.
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Sister Wives: Brown Family Celebrates as Utah Decriminalizes Polygamy — 'We're No Longer Felons'

Sister Wives: Brown Family Celebrates as Utah Decriminalizes Polygamy — 'We're No Longer Felons' | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Kody Brown and his four wives — Christine, Janelle, Meri and Robyn — are celebrating the news that a law decriminalizing bigamy in Utah took effect
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Panic attacks - Courts in 39 American states still admit the “gay-panic” defence | United States

Panic attacks - Courts in 39 American states still admit the “gay-panic” defence | United States | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it

Daniel spencer was a quiet, 32-year-old film editor who had recently moved to Austin, Texas from Los Angeles. He was also gay. In 2015 his neighbour, James Miller, stabbed him to death. The case was harrowing. But a legal quirk uncovered during the trial made it even worse. Mr Miller introduced the “gay-panic” defence in court, arguing that at some point on the night of the murder, Mr Spencer had tried to kiss him. The victim’s apparent homosexuality had made Mr Miller fearful for his safety and thus diminished his responsibility. Despite a lack of physical evidence (and the fact that Mr Miller defended himself by stabbing the victim twice in the back), he was sentenced to just six months in jail, with ten years on probation.

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The case was no anomaly. The “gay- panic” defence remains legally admissible in 39 states according to the Movement Advancement Project, a think-tank. It normally bolsters either insanity or self-defence claims, and its use goes back decades. The brutal ‘candlestick murder’ of Jack Dobbins in Charleston in 1958 resulted in a full acquittal of the man who confessed to the crime, based on the fact that the victim had allegedly made unwanted advances. Although attitudes to homosexuality have changed since then, the law in some places has not.

The defence is “the problem hiding under the sofa”, says Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which lobbies against hate crimes. It occurs in so few cases, scattered across multiple jurisdictions, that it seldom attracts much attention.

The American legal system is no stranger to bizarre lines of defence. In 2013 Ethan Couch killed four people while drunk-driving in Texas. His lawyers successfully argued that the 16-year-old was suffering from “affluenza”, having grown up sheltered by wealthy parents who had failed to teach him the consequences of his own actions (he initially avoided prison and was instead put on probation for ten years). Lawyers for Colin Ferguson, a Jamaican immigrant who killed six people on a train in New York in 1993, pursued a “black-rage” defence, claiming that a lifetime of racial prejudice had driven Mr Ferguson insane (they were unsuccessful).

But the track record of the “gay-panic” defence makes it particularly egregious. The fbi keeps no data on the sexuality of homicide victims, and state-by-state records on hate crimes are spotty, so numbers can be difficult to pin down. But Carsten Andresen, a criminal-justice professor at St Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, has been busy compiling a database. His research shows that since the 1970s, gay- and trans-panic defences have reduced murder charges to lesser offences in 40% of the roughly 200 cases that he has identified. In just over 5% of cases, the perpetrator was acquitted or the charges dropped.

It took until 2014 for California to introduce the first ban on the defence (the state’s attorney-general at the time, Kamala Harris, led efforts to push the ban through). Since then, ten more states have followed, most recently Colorado in July of this year. Proposed bans are in committee stages in a handful elsewhere, including Texas and Minnesota, but 30 statehouses remain silent on the issue. And the fact that a third of cases since 1970 have occurred in the past ten years suggests that the problem may be worsening, or at least that “every step forward is followed by several steps back”, says Mr Andresen. For now, nearly two-thirds of gay Americans are living in states where their very existence can be claimed to be a reasonable cause for violence against them. Daniel Spencer probably did not know this when he invited his neighbour over for an evening of wine-drinking and guitar-playing.

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Prisoners’ dilemma - Putting trans women in female prisons sets up a clash of rights | United States

Prisoners’ dilemma - Putting trans women in female prisons sets up a clash of rights | United States | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it

A growing awareness of this, combined with activists’ call for transgender people to be recognised as members of the gender with which they identify, is leading to changes in the way trans prisoners are housed. In most cases, such inmates (the majority of whom are trans women) are incarcerated with members of their biological sex. But this month, California introduced a law allowing prisoners to request to be housed in accordance with their gender identity. Similar policies have been introduced elsewhere after transgender inmates sued for mistreatment.

Trans activists’ insistence that trans women be treated as women is also influencing federal lawmakers. On his first day in the White House, President Joe Biden issued an executive order directing agencies to consider anti-discrimination measures in which he said that “children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room or school sports.” The Equality Act, which he has promised to make law, would redefine the “sex” of the amendments of the Civil Rights Act to include “gender identity” (that is, a person’s sense of their gender regardless of whether they have taken cross-sex hormones or undergone surgery). The logical outcome of that would seem to be admitting trans women to spaces once reserved for women, from sports teams to prisons.


America needs federal legislation to protect trans people from discrimination: in many states there may be nothing illegal about a landlord refusing to rent an apartment to a trans person, for example. But policies grounded in the flawed conflation of biological sex and gender identity will lead to more problems than they solve, because they create a clash between the rights of women and those of trans women.

Prisons offer a particularly worrying example of this. There are two obvious problems with putting trans women in female prisons. The first concerns safety. Most trans women pose no threat to women. But denying the reality of biological sex ignores the fact that men are much the more violent of the two sexes. In America they commit 90% of murders and constitute 92% of the prison population. There is no evidence that trans women have lower levels of criminality than men.

California’s Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (cdcr) says the 130-plus prisoners who have so far requested they switch prisons (out of a trans population of around 1,000) are “predominantly” trans women. (This may also be because there are fewer trans men). Inmates’ requests to move are not granted automatically; they are assessed by a panel that is mindful that some male sex offenders will claim to be trans to gain access to victims.

But even if it were possible to weed out all sexual predators—some assaults, like flashing, rarely show up in criminal records —there would remain another, more widespread problem. Women’s right to separate spaces is not only about safety; it is also about privacy. “Women have a right to disrobe out of the sight of men,” says Ann Menasche, a lawyer with Feminists In Struggle which is lobbying to change the wording of the Equality Act. In prison that may be especially important. Most incarcerated women have suffered trauma: the American Civil Liberties Union says 92% of all women in California prisons have been “battered and abused”.

No one has surveyed female inmates about their views on how trans prisoners should be housed; “no one would dare, in the current climate,” says Ms Menasche. But it seems probable that most would rather not share a cell or shower with someone with the defining sex characteristics of a man. Most transwomen have not undergone “bottom surgery”: a survey by the National Centre of Transgender Equality found that 12% had undergone vaginoplasty or labiaplasty and 11% had a orchiectomy (the removal of one or more testicle).

How to balance the welfare of trans women and women inmates? When posed this question, transgender activists, who increasingly express dislike of the term “biological sex,” deny that any such tension exists. “Trans women are women,” says Shawn Meerkamper, a lawyer with the Transgender Law Centre, which helped draw up California’s new law.

The refusal to discuss any alternative to policies that ignore the meaning of “sex” precludes the exploration of better solutions. In Britain, the fear that allowing transwomen into women prisons endangers females prompted the establishment of a separate trans wing in a women’s prison in London. But this is unlikely to be copied in America: transgender-only spaces correspond with laws that protect transgender people as a separate category rather than those that count them as members of the sex with which they identify.

Changes to the way trans prisoners are housed are likely to come slowly. Guidelines introduced in 2012 that require all federal and state prisons to ask trans inmates whether they would feel safest in a men’s or women’s prison appear to have had little effect on where they are placed. But as more trans women enter women’s prisons, the problems this will entail will spark court cases. That may prompt a rethink. In the meantime, this policy will be tested at the expense of an unusually vulnerable and voiceless group.

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Critics: Cuomo apology 'tone-deaf,' ignores power imbalance

Critics: Cuomo apology 'tone-deaf,' ignores power imbalance | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
When Yuh-Line Niou first arrived in Albany to work as a legislative aide in 2013, lawmakers grabbed her buttocks, suggested she and her boss were “a hot duo” who should have sex, and peered into...
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Simp: The new slang teenagers use to insult boys who are 'too nice' to girls

Simp: The new slang teenagers use to insult boys who are 'too nice' to girls | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Many parents might be unfamiliar with the word "simp," but chances are your tween or teen has used or at least heard the term. Simp is slang for a person (typically a man) who is desperate for the attention and affection of someone else (typically a woman).
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Lancelot=Simp

King Arthur= also a Simp

Who knew?

kptechnologies2@gmail.com's comment, April 9, 8:37 AM
GREAT ARTICLE, THANKS FOR SHARING THIS INFORMATION, KEEP DOING GOOD WORK MARG SOFTWARE DEALER NAGPUR KP TECHNOLOGY - https://bit.ly/3t4i9iH
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Famed music producer Phil Spector, who was convicted of murder, has died at 81 - CBS News

Famed music producer Phil Spector, who was convicted of murder, has died at 81 - CBS News | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
California state prison officials said he died Saturday of natural causes at a hospital.
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Metro Encourages Riders To Look Out For Human Trafficking Victims – CBS Los Angeles

Metro Encourages Riders To Look Out For Human Trafficking Victims – CBS Los Angeles | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
January is Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority wants to educate riders by encouraging them to look out for potential victims on public transit. 
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2 Brothers Allegedly Murdered Fla. Girl in 2006 Because They Mistakenly Thought She Was Pregnant

2 Brothers Allegedly Murdered Fla. Girl in 2006 Because They Mistakenly Thought She Was Pregnant | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Joe Biden laid out 4 priorities for another stimulus package once…
Trump’s call for $2,000 stimulus checks hailed – by critics Pelosi, AOC, Sanders
2 Brothers Allegedly Murdered Fla. Girl in 2006 Because They Mistakenly Thought She Was Pregnant

Three men have been arrested and charged in connection with the 2006 slaying of a Florida teen they mistakenly believed was pregnant, say police.
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Paris Deputy Mayor: 'It will be an honour to pay the fine'

Paris Deputy Mayor: 'It will be an honour to pay the fine' | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Paris authorities are being fined €90,000 for promoting too many women to senior positions in 2018.
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'Under the rug:' Sexual misconduct shakes FBI's senior ranks

'Under the rug:' Sexual misconduct shakes FBI's senior ranks | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (AP) — An assistant FBI director retired after he was accused of drunkenly groping a female subordinate in a stairwell. Another senior FBI official left after he was found to have...
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Fashion mogul Peter Nygard charged with sex trafficking by US

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard charged with sex trafficking by US | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Canadian police arrested Nygard on Monday at request of US gov’t under the countries’ extradition treaty.
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Ghislaine Maxwell Gets New Charges For Alleged Sex Trafficking Of 14-Year-Old : NPR

Ghislaine Maxwell Gets New Charges For Alleged Sex Trafficking Of 14-Year-Old : NPR | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of Jeffrey Epstein, faces new charges for the abuse of a 14-year-old girl starting in 2001.
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California may end 'spousal rape' distinction in punishment | State and Regional | lompocrecord.com

California may end 'spousal rape' distinction in punishment | State and Regional | lompocrecord.com | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would end what lawmakers called an archaic distinction between spousal rape and other forms of sexual assault under identical bills backed by proponents on Monday.
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Best way to reduce case backlogs from Covid? Judges have plenty of ideas

Best way to reduce case backlogs from Covid? Judges have plenty of ideas | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
  • Continue or increase the use of virtual hearings;
    Increase the number of judges, whether pro tem, senior or permanent;
  • Relaunch jury trials with COVID-19 safeguards and the use of alternative sites (or renovated/expanded space).
  • Judges who left comments had plenty of other ideas, however, including:
  • Standardizing sentences for defendants who plead guilty;
    Reducing administrative assignments and committee meetings to focus on hearings;
  • Increasing budgets to avoid hiring freezes;
  • Stacking cases according to the lawyer, so that the same lawyer’s cases would be set the same day to speed up the process;
  • Becoming stricter and not issuing continuances without genuine justification.
Rob Duke's insight:

Ah, hello! Encourage more Restorative Practices by changing the court rules to require some sort of pre-trial conference.  It's all about institutions.  If we make room "in the shadow of the law", then we'll see that space filled.  It's a simple "field of dreams" problem: BUILD IT, AND THEY WILL COME.

ljshaw@alaska.edu's comment, March 12, 4:18 PM
This article surveyed judges on how to deal with the backlog of cases as a result of Covid-19. Some of the suggestions were to me a bit frightening. For example some judges suggested giving a standardized sentence to all defendants who plead guilty or increasing virtual hearings. I worry that in the coming months there may be many miscarriages of judges in dealing with this backlog. 7 percent of judges suggested that encouraging parties to seek arbitration and mediation would help ease the backlog. While it would be great to see more cases going to ADR, I don’t think it will ultimately help to relieve this backlog as those processes often take much longer.
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Arkansas Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban : NPR

Arkansas Passes Near-Total Abortion Ban : NPR | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 6 into law, which allows abortion only in cases of medical emergency.
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Cheat’s guide - When #MeToo meets Baroque painting | 1843 magazine

Cheat’s guide - When #MeToo meets Baroque painting | 1843 magazine | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Artemisia Gentileschi survived violence at the hands of men to become a star of the 17th-century art world. Four hundred years on, her paintings resonate more than ever
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Gender medicine - Little is known about the effects of puberty blockers | Science & technology | The Economist

Gender medicine - Little is known about the effects of puberty blockers | Science & technology | The Economist | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it

Gender dysphoria—the miserable feeling of being at odds with one’s sex—is one of the fastest-rising medical complaints among children. America had one paediatric gender clinic in 2007. It now has at least 50. The sole paediatric gender clinic for England and Wales, known by its acronym, gids, has seen referrals rise 30-fold in a decade. A similar pattern is evident across the rich world.

Many attending such clinics are given gonadotropin-releasing hormone (gnrh) agonists, or “puberty blockers”. These drugs, licensed to treat cancers of the breast and prostate, endometriosis and “central precocious puberty”—a rare condition in which puberty starts far earlier than normal—are prescribed off-label to stop the signals that stimulate the testicles or ovaries to ramp up sex-hormone production. The idea is to delay puberty, buying time for patients to decide whether to proceed to cross-sex hormones and surgery with the aim of “passing” as adult members of the opposite sex.

All drugs offer a mix of harms and benefits. But despite their popularity, the effects of puberty blockers remain unclear. Because they are not licensed for gender medicine, drug firms have done no trials. Record-keeping in many clinics is poor. A 2018 review by researchers at the University of Melbourne described the evidence for their use as “low-quality”. In December British judges likewise flagged the lack of a “firm evidence base” when ruling that children were unlikely to be able to give meaningful consent to taking them. Britain’s National Health Service recently withdrew a claim, still made elsewhere, that their effects are “fully reversible”.

The studies that do exist are at once weak and worrying. The day after the court ruling, gids published a study that found children were happy to receive the drugs. But there was little other evidence of benefit—not even a reduction in gender dysphoria. Two older studies of Dutch patients given puberty blockers in the 1990s found that gender dysphoria eased afterwards. But without a control group, it is impossible to tell how patients would have felt had they not taken the drugs.

A 2020 paper analysed responses to an online survey and concluded that people who had taken puberty blockers were less prone to suicidal thoughts. But online surveys capture convenient samples, not representative ones. People may answer repeatedly, or at random. Much of the data appeared to be misreported: many who said they had taken puberty blockers were too old to have plausibly done so.

In the absence of direct, robust evidence, researchers can try to extrapolate from other findings. Off-label prescribing is common in paediatric medicine, because drug firms do not generally like running trials on children. So doctors look for second-hand evidence from elsewhere to guide their decisions. One source is studies that look at how gnrh agonists are used to treat other conditions.

Interrupting normal adolescence is not the same as treating cancer, endometriosis or precocious puberty. Nevertheless, data from these conditions have flagged unpleasant side-effects. Men who take gnrh agonists lose energy and sexual desire. (This is why some countries prescribe them to sex offenders.) Women are thrust into an artificial menopause, an experience unpleasant enough that, in endometriosis, drugs are typically prescribed for six months at most. Several legal cases have been brought against drug firms by adults who took puberty blockers for precocious puberty. They allege cognitive deficits, brittle bones and chronic pain in later life, though none has made it to court.

Animal studies suggest such concerns may be worth investigating. One 2017 study looked at sheep, which go through a developmental spurt similar to human adolescence. Sheep given puberty-blockers performed worse than controls on a maze-navigation task, suggesting their spatial memory was inferior. A 2020 paper looking at mice found, among other things, that females given puberty blockers were more timid in unfamiliar environments, and gave up sooner on a “forced swim” test that is commonly used to assess whether anti-depressants work.

One big worry is that puberty blockers seem to reliably lead to cross-sex hormones, in what doctors call a “cascade of interventions”. The best estimate, from studies starting in the 1970s, is that around 80% of gender-dysphoric children who are allowed to express themselves as they wish, but who do not socially transition—change their clothes, pronouns and the like to present as members of the opposite sex—will, as they grow up, become reconciled to their biological sex. Yet puberty blockers seem to prevent that reconciliation. In European clinics that report numbers, it happens with just 2-4% of children given the drugs. American clinics rarely publish figures, but anecdotally the picture is similar.

Such numbers led British judges to rule that the effects of those subsequent treatments should be taken into account when assessing puberty blockers. Besides their intended effects, such as the growth of breasts or facial hair, cross-sex hormones also cause side-effects. One 2018 study concluded that females who take testosterone are more likely to suffer cardiovascular disease, while males who take oestrogen have higher risk of blood clots and strokes. The additional risk grew the longer the patients remained on hormones.

Some doctors worry about osteoporosis. Bone density rises sharply during puberty, but blockers disrupt that process. If they are followed by cross-sex hormones they are very likely to impair fertility, even if hormones are later stopped—though the lack of studies means no one knows how much, says Will Malone, an American endocrinologist and member of the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, a new group. If the cascade of intervention ends with removal of the testicles or ovaries the result will be sterility.

Despite the uncertainties, professional bodies have endorsed the drugs. In a 2018 position paper the American Association of Paediatrics (aap) described “gender-affirmative” care as the only ethical approach. Not everyone is convinced. James Cantor, a Canadian clinical psychologist, published a paper accusing the aap of misstating the contents of its citations, which “repeatedly said the very opposite of what the aap attributed to them”. (Asked for comment, the aap restated its position.) Marcus Evans, a psychoanalyst, resigned from the board that oversees gids over worries about “experimental” treatments.

The best way to settle such disputes is the same as in any other part of medicine: a big, well-run clinical trial. So far, despite soaring caseloads, and puberty blockers having been prescribed for decades, no one is planning to conduct one

kptechnologies2@gmail.com's comment, April 9, 8:37 AM
GREAT ARTICLE, THANKS FOR SHARING THIS INFORMATION, KEEP DOING GOOD WORK MARG SOFTWARE DEALER NAGPUR KP TECHNOLOGY - https://bit.ly/3t4i9iH
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Stop Complaining About Your Colleagues Behind Their Backs

Stop Complaining About Your Colleagues Behind Their Backs | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it

Summary.   
Many of us believe that we’re above workplace gossip, and that we never engage in it.  But, if you’ve ever participated in a “confirmation expedition” — whereby you 1) ask a colleague to confirm their own negative or challenging experience with a third colleague who is not present, or 2) welcome a similar line of confirmation inquiry from another colleague about a third colleague who is not present, you are in fact engaging in gossip. By talking to anyone, everyone, or even one person about another colleague who isn’t there to hear the feedback, provide his or her perspective, and engage in joint problem solving, you are undermining the benefits of an open, honest relationship and a feedback-rich culture. To stop this kind of behavior, we have to first call gossip “gossip” to stop it in its tracks. Most people will step back at hearing a colleague say, “This sounds like gossip. Is that what you intended?” Then, pivot the conversation by asking, “How can I help you get a better outcome?” Only engage in coaching, brainstorming, and problem-solving conversations — not in problem-confirming expeditions.

In my coaching work with leaders and teams, I often ask my clients whether they engage in workplace gossip. More often than not, they respond, “of course not!” with a look on their faces that indicates that they are insulted to have been asked such a question.

But when I ask them whether they have ever participated in a “confirmation expedition” — whereby they 1) ask a colleague to confirm their own negative or challenging experience with a third colleague who is not present, or 2) welcome a similar line of confirmation inquiry from another colleague about a third colleague who is not present, most admit that this is, in fact, a regular part of their daily work life.

While leaders and teams might consider this behavior to be innocent “blowing off steam” or the more strategic “confirming performance data,” I consider it a form of workplace gossip.

But it’s not just me. Authors Nancy Kurland and Lisa Hope Pelled, in their research paper, Passing the Word: Toward a Model of Gossip and Power in the Workplace, define gossip as: “informal and evaluative talk in an organization, usually among no more than a few individuals, about another member of that organization who is not present.” When you think about how often your workplace conversations are 1) informal (“I’m just hanging out in Linda’s office”); 2) evaluative (“discussing how difficult it is to get a timely response from Doug in Accounting”); 3) among no more than a few individuals  (“…and Marci’s here too.”); and 4) about another member of that organization who is not present (“Doug’s at his desk, of course!”), you might start to realize how often you’re engaging in gossip, and contributing to gossip’s damaging effects.

Like what? Like the erosion of trust, hurt feelings, decreased morale, damaged reputations, reduced personal and professional credibility, increased anxiety, divisiveness, and attrition.

Despite the high costs of gossip, the drive to engage in it is strong. Dr. Peggy Drexler, research psychologist and professor of psychology at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College writes that “anthropologists say that throughout human history, gossip has been a way to bond with others — even a tool to isolate those who aren’t supporting the group.”

Talking with one or more coworkers about how hard it is to get Doug in Accounting to give a timely response creates a feeling of connection with everyone else who is struggling with Doug’s lack of responsiveness. Those similarly frustrated by Doug treat one another with in-group favoritism, a common and central aspect of human behavior, whereby people act more pro-socially towards members of their own group relative to those outside their group.

Gossip is also a means of venting for those who are reluctant to give direct feedback to or have difficult conversations with their colleagues. As I cited in my HBR article, When to Skip a Difficult Conversation, “In a 2013 Globis survey of more than 200 professionals on the topic of difficult conversations…80% of respondents reported that these conversations were a part of their job, [but] more than half indicated that they didn’t feel like they had adequate training on how to conduct them effectively.”

By talking to anyone, everyone, or even one person about another colleague who isn’t there to hear the feedback, provide his or her perspective, and engage in joint problem solving, you are undermining the benefits of an open, honest relationship and a feedback-rich culture.

Finally, we use gossip as a way to collect evidence that confirms our beliefs, satisfying our confirmation bias — the tendency to look for information that confirms what we already believe to be true. By checking in with a coworker about whether she, too, experiences Doug as slow to respond, we get confirmation for our existing beliefs, and the satisfaction that comes from “being right” about Doug. And as Judith Glaser explains in her article, Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right, the flood of adrenaline and dopamine that accompanies feeling right can become downright addictive.

Considering how satisfying it is to be right, how tempted we are to avoid giving direct feedback and having difficult conversations, and how often we seek confirmation for what we already believe, it can be hard to break the habit of engaging in gossip — as the instigator or the recipient. Nevertheless, there are several strategies to help you and your team stop engaging in something so wrong that feels so right:

1) Name it, then pivot. First, call gossip “gossip” to stop it in its tracks. If you are engaging in “informal and evaluative talk in an organization, usually among no more than a few individuals, about another member of that organization who is not present,” — especially if the aim is to confirm your experience rather than get constructive solutions — then you are participating in gossip. If you call someone on it, most people will step back at hearing a colleague say, “This sounds like gossip. Is that what you intended?” Second, pivot the conversation by asking, “How can I help you get a better outcome?” Only engage in coaching, brainstorming, and problem-solving conversations — not in problem-confirming ones.

2) Ask yourself or others why you need someone else’s confirmation about a behavior that you’re noticing in a third person. If it’s to justify your feelings, to confirm that you’re right, or to gain support for your point of view, don’t bring someone else into the conversation. If it’s to understand how you might be contributing to the dynamic or problem, to brainstorm helpful solutions, or to go on record to make a formal complaint for further investigation, then go for it.

3) Let people know that you have a policy of “if you have a problem with me, please tell me first.” Adopt the “tell them first” policy with your colleagues, and, when someone approaches you with gossip about someone else, ask “Have you already told her?” to remind them of this policy.

4) Create a feedback-rich environment around you. The more you normalize feedback — both positive and negative, and both giving and receiving — the less likely people will be to look for alternative means to express their frustrations and concerns. Rather than “saving” feedback for annual performance reviews, make discussions about what someone did well, and what he or she could do differently, a part of every supervision meeting or project debrief. And make sure to give people positive feedback when they offer particularly useful feedback — even if it’s hard to hear.

Gossip, even by any other name, is still a destructive communication strategy that negatively impacts individuals, teams and the whole organization. By stopping it in its tracks, choosing healthier and more helpful methods of communicating what’s not working, and engaging in collaborative problem-solving, relationships and organizations can flourish.

Read more on Collaboration or related topics Giving feedback, Difficult conversations and Emotional intelligence
Deborah Grayson Riegel is a professional speaker, as well as a communication and presentation skills coach. She has taught for Wharton Business School, Columbia Business School, and Duke Corporate Education. She is the author of Overcoming Overthinking: 36 Ways to Tame Anxiety for Work, School, and Life.

Rob Duke's insight:

Have a system.  Actively educate people on its use and solicit input so that it becomes natural to catch conflict while it's small.

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'Dating Game' serial killer connected to victims decades after their deaths

'Dating Game' serial killer connected to victims decades after their deaths | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Rodney Alcala has been connected to the murders of at least eight women across the country, according to authorities.
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Sorry, Pelosi: Eliminating official use of ‘mother’ isn’t inclusive — it’s waging war on women

Sorry, Pelosi: Eliminating official use of ‘mother’ isn’t inclusive — it’s waging war on women | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
One of the first acts of our new House of Representatives might be to cancel Mom. On Sunday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic majority proposed to eliminate “father, mother, son, daughter, brother…
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Sheriff: Man arrested on cross-country trip with girl, 12

Nathan Larson, 40, made the girl wear a long-haired wig to make her look older and told her to pretend to be mute during their travel, Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims announced on Saturday. Mims said detectives learned that Larson, a resident of Catlett, Virginia, met the girl previously through social media, flew to California and persuaded her to sneak out of her house around 2 a.m. Monday. Larson was taken into custody and the girl was rescued by a Denver police officer who stopped the pair during their layover in Colorado, Mims said.
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Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage

Jill Biden’s Doctorate Is Garbage Because Her Dissertation Is Garbage | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it
Her dissertation is not an addition to the sum total of human knowledge.
Rob Duke's insight:

This one keeps going on...at least for now.

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23-year-old EMT speaks out about article revealing OnlyFans work: 'I'm a damn good paramedic'

23-year-old EMT speaks out about article revealing OnlyFans work: 'I'm a damn good paramedic' | Gender and Crime | Scoop.it

A 23-year-old paramedic in New York City is speaking out after a New York Post article revealed that she’s been posting topless or lingerie-clad images of herself for paying subscribers on OnlyFans to supplement her minimum wage salary, saying that the journalist used her information without permission and shedding light on the larger issue of overworked and underpaid health care professionals.

Rob Duke's insight:

I agree with OCS here, the scandal isn't the racy photos, but the poverty wages of medics and EMT's--not just in NYC, but also in the rest of the country.

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