TIME Crime

Men Who Buy Sex Are More Prone to Sexual Violence, Study Says

Sex buyers share characteristics with men who commit sexual violence

Men who buy sex are more prone to sexual coercion and are more likely to report a history of sexual violence, according to a new study.

The study of 101 men in the Boston area, published Monday in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, found that men who hire prostitutes tend to have less empathy for women and tend to share characteristics with sexually violent men. The researchers screened 1,200 men in order to isolate demographically comparable groups to interview. “Both groups tend to have a preference for impersonal sex, a fear of rejection by women, a history of having committed sexually aggressive acts and a hostile masculine self-identification,” said UCLA professor Neil Malamuth, who co-authored the study, in a statement. “Those who buy sex, on average, have less empathy for women in prostitution and view them as intrinsically different from other women.”

The researchers define “hostile masculinity” as a hostile and narcissistic desire to have power over women. One man told researchers he thought of prostitution like buying a cup of coffee: “When you’re done, you throw it out.”

The study also found that men who buy sex are more likely to rape and commit other sexual offenses. The study comes as more and more jurisdictions are focusing on targeting johns rather than prostitutes in their efforts to curb prostitution and sex trafficking, and on the heels of Amnesty International’s vote in August to recommend the complete decriminalization of prostitution for buyers and sellers. Read about the effort to target sex-buyers in the United States here.

The study was co-authored by Melissa Farley, who runs Prostitution Research & Education, a nonprofit that studies prostitution and sex trafficking. In its mission statement, PRE says it is dedicated to abolishing the prostitution altogether. The study was also funded by Hunt Alternatives.

SPECIAL REPORT: Catching Johns: Inside the National Push to Arrest Men Who Buy Sex

 

TIME Sexual Assault

Watch Josh Hutcherson, Zoe Saldana and Haim in a New Sexual Assault PSA

Reminding students that sex without consent is rape

Josh Hutcherson, Zoe Saldana, Haim and other celebrities teamed up with the White House’s “It’s On Us” initiative to remind students about consent as they head back to school.

The video, one of a series of celebrity-studded PSAs meant to help fight campus sexual assault, features those celebrities and others discussing consent as the “one thing you can never have sex without.”

The White House’s “It’s On Us” initiative is meant to spread awareness about consent and encourage bystander intervention to prevent sexual assault.

TIME Crime

Third Victim of Virginia Shooting Is Awake and Talking, Family Says

She lost a kidney and part of her colon in shooting that killed Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Vicki Gardner, the third woman who was hurt during the on-air shooting of two TV journalists in Virginia this week, has survived two surgeries and is awake and talking, her family said in a statement Friday.

Gardner was being interviewed by WDBJ journalist Alison Parker when Vester Flanagan fired the shots that killed both Parker and cameraman Adam Ward. Gardner was shot once in the back. Her family says Gardner’s response to the shooting and subsequent surgeries revealed her strength and determination to survive. “After being injured and having witnessed the murders of Alison and Adam, she walked herself to the ambulance and called her husband to let him know what had happened,” they said in a statement to WDBJ.

Gardner endured two surgeries: one to address her life-threatening injuries, and the other to repair the damage done by the bullet. She lost her right kidney and had to have a portion of her colon removed, but her family said she is alert and talking.

Her family also expressed condolences to the families of Parker and Ward, and said they are “heartbroken” at their loss. “Adam and Alison always made getting up in the morning a little bit easier and a lot more fun,” they wrote.

TIME Crime

TSA Agent Arrested for Groping Passenger During Fake Search

Allegedly lured passenger into a bathroom, then groped her in bogus search for weapons

A Transportation Security Administration agent at LaGuardia airport was charged Friday with sexually abusing a female passenger on the bogus pretext of checking her for weapons.

The incident occurred earlier this week, when the 40-year-old TSA agent allegedly told the 21-year-old woman, a college student from Korea, that he needed to screen her for weapons after she had walked out of the sterile checkpoint area and into the area where passengers no longer need to be checked.

The woman asked to be screened by a female agent, according to a press release from the Queens District Attorney’s Office, but the TSA agent allegedly insisted she come into the bathroom with him. When she asked if all passengers were screened this way, he said they were. In the bathroom, the agent groped the victim, before saying into his cell phone something like “she’s clear, she doesn’t have any weapons or knives,” according to the DA’s office.

The TSA has terminated the agent and is cooperating with the Port Authority on the investigation, a TSA spokesman said. The DA’s office has charged the agent with unlawful imprisonment and sexual abuse. If convicted, he could face a year in prison. It was not immediately clear whether he has a lawyer.

TIME Crime

St. Paul’s School Leaders Respond to Rape Verdict

The entrance to the elite St. Paul’s School is seen Friday Aug. 14, 2015 in Concord, N.H., Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, Owen Labrie, a former student, goes on trial Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, for taking part in a practice at the school known as “Senior Salute” where graduating boys try to take the virginity of younger girls before the school year ends. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Jim Cole—AP The entrance to the elite St. Paul’s School in Concord, N.H., is seen on Aug. 14, 2015.

They note the perils of 21st-century dating

The leaders of St. Paul’s School wrote a letter to the school community Friday, denouncing the culture of sexual competition described in the trial of Owen Labrie, who was accused of raping a 15-year-old girl while they were both students at the school.

The letter from Rector Michael G. Hirschfeld and President of the Board of Trustees James M. Waterbury was sent just after a jury issued a mixed verdict in Labrie’s case Friday afternoon. The jury determined Labrie was not guilty of felony sexual assault but found him guilty of three related misdemeanor charges, and a felony charge of luring a minor through a computer. He will have to register as a sex offender and could face up to 11 years in prison.

The girl alleged Labrie raped her in a remote area of the school after sending her an invitation to participate in the “senior salute” ritual, a tradition in which upperclass boys are said to compete to “score” with as many girls as possible before graduation. Labrie said he and the girl never had sex. From the jury’s mixed verdict, it seems that they believe the pair had sex, but were divided on whether it was consensual.

In the letter to the St. Paul’s community, Hirschfeld and Waterbury said the sexual “traditions” discussed during the trial were not actually part of the school’s history. “Many terms, including ‘senior salute’ and ‘score’ that are part of the student vernacular, have been discussed as part of the trial,” the letter said. “There is no place for inappropriate and hurtful behavior that disrespects any member of our School. Conduct that is damaging to the fabric of our community and inconsistent with our values has never been—and will not be—tolerated.

“The Rector first heard about the ‘senior salute’ in the spring of 2013,” the letter continued. “It is not a decades-old ‘tradition’ as some have alleged.”

The St. Paul’s leaders also noted that the incident and subsequent trial could be considered a wake-up-call about the role of social media in romantic relationships, and how teenage sexual activity has changed in the 21st century.

“We have been painfully reminded of the fact that social media can provide an adult-free space for negative student culture to form and perpetuate itself,” Hirschfeld and Waterbury wrote. “We have learned that what was once termed ‘dating’ or ‘courting’ behavior has been inverted in some instances from our traditional sensibilities—sexual contact is now seen as the point of origin of many relationships, not a part of an emotionally developed relationship.”

TIME Education

Teacher Says He Was Late 111 Times Because He Was Eating Breakfast

He says that when he comes back to work, he'll "be early"

A New Jersey elementary school teacher who will keep his job after he was late to school 111 times says eating breakfast caused him to be late.

“I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning and I lost track of time,” Arnold Anderson told the Associated Press, noting that he planned to break the habit.

Anderson was allowed to keep his $90,000 a year job after an arbiter ruled Aug. 19 that Roosevelt Elementary school could not fire Anderson without offering him progressive discipline. He had been late at least 46 times so far this year and 65 times last year. Anderson said he was at most a minute or two late each time.

The arbiter ruled that the school couldn’t fire Anderson without giving him proper notice of his failings and giving him 90 days to correct them. While not fired, Anderson is suspended without pay until Jan 1. He says that when he comes back to work, he’ll “be early.”

[AP]

 

 

TIME Crime

What We Know About Virginia Shooting Victims Alison Parker and Adam Ward

Both had bright futures ahead, colleagues say

Virginia journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward were killed Wednesday morning in an on-air shooting by a man who authorities say was a disgruntled ex-employee of WDBJ, the news station where they worked. Authorities have identified Vester Lee Flanagan (known on air as Bryce Williams) as the alleged shooter, and have said he shot himself and was taken to hospital, where he later died. A third shooting victim, Vicki Gardner, was in stable condition after surgery.

Both Parker and Ward were beloved employees of WDBJ, and both were involved in long-term relationships with other members of the WDBJ team.

Parker, 24, was described a “rockstar” by her teammates, with a bright future ahead of her at WDBJ. A 2012 graduate of James Madison University, Parker was quickly climbing the ladder at the station.

“She really has done a wonderful job reporting and filling in anchoring,” WDBJ anchor Kimberly McBroom said on-air after the shooting. “You throw anything at that girl and she could do it.” Parker had recently completed an extensive investigation on child abuse, available here.

McBroom also said Parker was a good friend to her after she lost her father, bringing food to her home and consoling her through her grief. According to her bio on WDBJ’s website, Parker loved kayaking, community theater, and playing with her parents’ dog.

“My grief is unbearable,” her father Andy Parker told the Washington Post. “Is this real? Am I going to wake up? I am crying my eyes out. I don’t know if there’s anybody in this world or another father who could be more proud of their daughter.”

Her father told the Post that while Parker was ambitious about journalism, she never tried to get into dangerous situations. “Some journalists want to be right out there covering ISIL. She did not want that,” he said. “She was not keen on jumping into a middle of a firefight someplace.”

Parker was dating WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst, and the two had moved in together and were planning to get married. Hurst took to Twitter to express his loss.

Parker worked frequently with Ward, 27, a cameraman whom colleagues described as fun-loving and reliable. “He proved himself to be just a fine photojournalist, and the kind of guy who [when he] was on his way home from work and heard about something breaking, he would just turn around and go do it,” said WDBJ general manager Jeffrey Marks in the stations on-air remembrance of Ward and Parker.

Ward, a proud alum of Virginia Tech, was engaged to Melissa Ott, a morning producer at WDBJ. He was planning to follow her to Charlotte, N.C., where she was moving for a new job. Photos on his Facebook page show him proposing to her in Washington, D.C. last year.

TIME feminism

This Graphic Shows Why We Still Need Women’s Equality Day

There's still plenty of room for progress 95 years after women got the right to vote

Wednesday is Women’s Equality Day, which celebrates the 95th anniversary of when American women finally won the right to vote in 1920.

That victory came after decades of activism by suffrage activists like Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Lucretia Mott. The 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was passed by Congress in 1919, and was ratified by the states in 1920—but not without some drama. By March of 1920, 35 states had approved the 19th amendment, one state shy of the two-thirds needed to pass. Many of the southern states were opposed to women’s suffrage, and the vote came down to Tennessee. Tennessee’s state legislature was divided 48-48 on whether women should be allowed the vote, but that tie was broken by 24-year old lawmaker Harry Burn. He had apparently received a letter from his mother urging him to “be a good boy” and vote for women’s rights.

Ninety-five years later, women are voting more than men but hold political office in much smaller numbers. While women have outstripped men in voting booths since 1980, women still make up just about 20-25% of elected officials at the state and federal level. Check out this graphic to see a more detailed breakdown of how women are represented in politics 95 years after they got the right to vote. Much of the data has been collected by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Women.Equality.Day

Read next: The Day Women Went on Strike

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TIME 2016 Election

Fox News Chief Calls Donald Trump’s ‘Attack’ on Megyn Kelly ‘Unacceptable’

A simmering war between the presidential candidate and the cable network escalates

Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes slammed Donald Trump’s “unprovoked attack” on Megyn Kelly as “disturbing” and “unacceptable” on Tuesday, demanding the Republican presidential candidate apologize for comments about the popular TV host he has been criticizing ever since the first GOP debate this month.

“I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults,” Ailes said in a statement. “Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer.”

Trump sparred with Kelly after her tough questioning during the Aug. 6 debate. That led to days of attacks from Trump, taunts he continued when she returned to her primetime show The Kelly File after a vacation this week.

In a statement responding to Ailes, Trump said he “totally” disagrees. “I do not think Megyn Kelly is a quality journalist,” he said in the statement reported by Politico.”I think her questioning of me, despite all of the polls saying I won the debate, was very unfair.”

See Ailes’ full statement below:

“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

TIME climate change

Here’s What Those Weird Blue Clouds Mean

Photographs of noctilucent clouds appearing in the night sky over Britain on July, 2009.
Jamie Cooper—Getty Images Photographs of noctilucent clouds appearing in the night sky over Britain on Jul. 15, 2009.

They could be related to climate change

If you’ve noticed some strange blue clouds in the night sky recently, you’re not alone. Uncharacteristically blue nighttime clouds, usually seen over polar regions, have been visible as far south as Colorado and Northern California in recent years.

The clouds, known as “noctilucent clouds” or NLCs, glow blue at night because tiny ice crystals 50 miles (80 km) above the earth are reflecting sunlight from the other side of the planet, according to SFGate. And some scientists say the glowing blue clouds may be yet another effect of climate change.

The vast majority of scientists agree that climate change is real, but NLCs are a good example of how sometimes the secondary effects of climate change may not yet be completely understood. It’s not clear exactly what the glowing clouds have to do with a changing climate, though there are some theories being discussed. One is that methane emissions can create water droplets at high altitudes, which can lead to NLCs, SpaceWeather.com’s Tony Phillips told SFGate. Another idea is that as the Earth’s surface is heating up, the higher layers of the atmosphere (like the mesosphere, where NLCs form) are actually getting colder, allowing the tiny ice crystals for form, University of Colorado Professor Gary Thomas told NASA in 2003.

So if you see blue clouds glowing at night, it may be yet another effect of climate change.

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