New guidelines from the American Psychological Association focus on the mental and physical health risks of “traditional masculinity… anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence” among men and boys. The primary purpose of the new guidelines, said Fredric Rabinowitz, one of the lead writers and a professor of psychology at the University of Redlands, was to help men and boys lead happy, healthy lives. “We see that men have higher suicide rates, men have more cardiovascular disease and men are lonelier as they get older,” he said. “We’re trying to help men by expanding their emotional repertoire, not trying to take away the strengths that men have.” … The guidelines note that men sometimes avoid seeking help from others, including from psychologists, because it could make them look weak. And they note that even when men do seek help, psychologists sometimes err by diagnosing them in outward-looking ways — with substance abuse problems, for example — rather than with more internalized disorders like depression. The guidelines also cite research on health risks that are particular to men. They die sooner than women, in part because of poorer diets and more risky behaviors like smoking. They commit the vast majority of violent crimes in the United States and make up most of the reported victims, even though men have “greater socioeconomic advantages than women in every ethnic group.” The document acknowledges that the issues faced by men and boys can be compounded by other things, like race and income.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced his first budget proposal this week, calling for increased investments in early childhood care and learning (including $750 million for all-day Kindergarten and a proposal to expand universal preschool to all low-income California children), healthcare (expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits, a proposal to create a single-payer system for prescription drugs), education, poverty, homelessness, expanded paid family leave, water safety, and other issues.
Furloughed federal workers missed their first paychecks today, as the government shutdown reached 21 days. CNN reports 77 effects of the shutdown, including lack of funding for food programs, healthcare, and other services for Native American tribes, damage to National Parks, loss of financial aid to mass transit systems in many US cities, cessation of routine food safety screenings by the Food and Drug Administration, potential delay of new research projects funded by the National Science Foundation and other agencies, pause on investigations of environmental hazards by the Environmental Protection Agency and of fatal crashes by the National Transportation Safety Board, a growing backlog of immigration cases, and mounting financial strain for furloughed federal workers and contractors. Food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC face benefit cuts if the shutdown drags on, with WIC funding likely to run out by the end of January and funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program likely to be curtailed in February if the shutdown is still ongoing.
Next week, 30,000 public school teachers from 900 public schools in Los Angeles are expected to go on strike. Mother Jones reports that “contract negotiations between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the city’s teachers union have stalled. Teachers have called for higher pay and more resources, and their union has cried foul over what it views as a disinvestment in public schools. The district has offered to raise teachers’ salaries by 6 percent over two years and include $105 million toward hiring new staff, the Los Angeles Times reported. But that hasn’t been enough for the union. “I have taught in Compton and at Crenshaw High School. I have been in my own children’s classrooms. And I have visited hundreds of other schools. There is wonderful promise in the students at all of our schools,” United Teachers of Los Angeles president Alex Caputo-Pearl wrote in the Times this week. “But although they are surrounded by wealth, students across the city are not getting what they deserve.”
New research from the University of Southern California finds that teenagers living in areas where e-cigarette and tobacco sales are more strictly regulated (for example, retailers pay annual license fees to cover compliance checks and face fines or revoked licenses if they sell to underage children) are one-third less likely to try cigarettes and e-cigarettes than those living in areas with looser regulations.