• Does exposure to female colleagues reduce discrimination against them? A recent paper  in the European Economic Review examines this question in an interesting set-up. The authors “study discrimination among recruits in the Norwegian Armed Forces during boot camp. In a vignette experiment, female candidates are perceived as less suited to be squad leaders than their identical male counterparts. Adding positive information leads to higher evaluations of the candidates, but does not reduce the amount of discrimination. The boot camp provides an ideal setting for studying inter-group contact. We find that intense collaborative exposure to female colleagues reduces discriminatory attitudes: Male soldiers who were randomly assigned to share room and work in a squad with female soldiers during the recruit period do not discriminate in the vignette experiment.”


  • Indian gymnast, Dipa Karmakar, just missed an Olympic medal by a small margin. She is the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics. Dipa is one of only five women worldwide who have successfully completed the Produnova, the most difficult vault currently performed in women’s gymnastics. Here is an excellent article by Sharda Ugra of ESPN on Dipa, on the northeastern state of Tripura where she comes from, and on the story behind gymnastics’ unusual popularity there. Dipa doesn’t like “all the dancing stuff” in women’s gymnastics. “She would rather throw herself into a routine without any frills or coquetteish moves – just like the men in their floor exercises, minus even the music. That idea in women’s gymnastics is, however, almost heretical.”


  • The American Bar Association officially bans the use of misogynistic terms such as “honey” and “darling.” Meanwhile, a study finds that more than 50% of women in advertising face sexual harassment. It seems the Mad Men era is far from over.


  • Bridal slaves. “India has the world’s largest number of slaves, among them are an increasing number of women and girls sold into marriage.” Marriage market consequences of sex-imbalances?