Fears of confirming stereotypes about pregnant workers as incompetent, weak or less committed to their job can drive pregnant employees to work extra hard, risking injury.
A recent Washington State University study of pregnant women in physically demanding jobs showed that the majority, about 63%, felt this type of “stereotype threat,” the fear of confirming negative assumptions about a group to which they belong. The study, published in the journal Work & Stress, found this threat led many women to conceal their pregnancy and overperform, even taking actions that placed their health and pregnancy at risk, such as standing for long periods or lifting heavy objects.
The study shows the need to acknowledge that these stereotypes exist and help mitigate their impacts, said Lindsey Lavaysse, lead author on the paper and recent WSU Ph.D. graduate.
Lavaysse and co-author Tahira Probst, a WSU professor of psychology, surveyed pregnant employees at three separate points in time over a two-month period, starting with a group of about 400. The subjects were at different stages in their pregnancy and worked in a variety of industries, including manufacturing, health care and retail.
By Mark Mansperger, associate professor of anthropology and world civilizations, WSU Tri-Cities
There doesn’t need to be as much strife and poverty as exists in contemporary America. In some nations, such as New Zealand, city residents will not understand a question about avoiding the “bad part of town,” for they have no such areas.
Economic inequality in the U.S. has soared over the past 45 years. What sense does it make to fault people for being poor while at the same time supporting policies that transfer increasing amounts of wealth to the richest Americans? Governmental policies need to structure a more equitable social environment and encourage more generosity among the aristocracy.
Our approach for too long has been to use the police to hunt down those who don’t behave lawfully, to ignore racial inequities, and to blame people for their own impoverishment, without realistically evaluating the underlying causes. Providing good schools, jobs, and addressing the issue of rising economic inequality can vastly improve matters. There’s plenty of wealth in America, among high-income individuals and corporations, to attain the same beneficial social results that citizens in other countries achieve.
“Are we living through the stupidest possible moment in American history?” I genuinely wanted to know.
Let the record show that Cornell Clayton paused. In fairness, he was being set up.
Clayton is a professor and the director of the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University. He studies subjects like politics, polarization, civility and our discourse.
Perhaps, he suggested, it might not be “whether we are living through an unusually ‘stupid’ period in history, as much as whether a politics based on the Enlightenment values of science, reason and humanism — upon which this country and other modern democracies are founded — has become more vulnerable in the face of broad social, cultural and economic changes.”
Socially, things like globalization, the technology revolution, and the various cultural revolutions,” Clayton proposed, have given “rise to a ‘tribal’ or identity style of politics on both the left and the right.”
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Thomas Preston, a political science professor at Washington State University and expert in international security policy, had just begun a four-month, Fulbright-sponsored teaching stint in Constanta, Romania, when the entire country was placed in lockdown and martial law was declared.
“It has been interesting to be under martial law, with the police vehicles constantly announcing from loudspeakers to stay in your homes or risk death!” Preston wrote almost 50 days into the southeastern European country’s 65-day lockdown. “Seeing convoys of disinfectant trucks going past, spraying the streets and buildings with chemicals, also has been unusual, to say the least. But these measures have really been effective, with Romania having only 11,000 cases and 600 deaths, and the peak having already been reached!”
Preston was a few weeks into teaching graduate seminars on political psychology and international security at Ovidius University when the U.S. Department of State suspended the Fulbright program and ordered all awardees to come home. But he and his wife, Leeanne Noble, decided to shelter in-place instead.
Charles Barkley has the coolest job in the world. Every Thursday, the Naismith Hall of Famer appears on telvision via Turner Sports’ Inside the NBA alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.
“Charles has created a persona where he has positioned himself as outside the mainstream, where he is seen as a rebel who says what he wants, who challenges the status quo, yet when you look beyond the surface, he really is in line with mainstream values,” Dr. David J. Leonard, a professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Race Studies at Washington State University, Pullman told me.
“He often laments ‘today’s players,’ he waxes nostalgically about his era and he condemns the destructiveness ‘political correctness.’ In part because he has long been positioned as anti-Michael Jordan and in part because of his ‘I am not a role model’ commercials, but he has successfully constructed himself as oppositional and a man who marches to his own drum with respect to race, social issue and cultural debates.”