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Why Firing A Sexy Employee Reflects Implicit Sexism

By now, the news that an Iowa court upheld a (male) dentist firing his (female) assistant for being too sexy has made the rounds. It doesn’t seem to matter whether the employee has been flirtatious or dressed inappropriately; the employer’s comfort level was the main factor in the decision. Other bloggers have tackled why this is a problem, pointing out, for instance, that this ruling sends a negative message by objectifying women (which is not technically illegal) – so maybe the law should change. Perhaps a new law preventing employers not just from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender, but also discrimination based on the employer’s feelings of sexual attraction (or lack thereof) would help. However, I believe that this case reflects an unconscious level of sexism that many Americans don’t even question, which is what we really need to be discussing in order to change things for the better. Continue Reading →

New Research On The Gender Pay Gap

A new study indicates that, contrary to popular belief, women have begun to ask for raises as often as men – but they are less likely to receive them. What starts as an insignificant or nonexistent pay gap between the genders thus widens over time. One important implication of this research is that it’s not women’s fault that the pay gap exists; women aren’t being shy or reticent as commentators on this issue have argued in the past. So, once again, we have to look for larger systemic issues (and hopefully do something about them). Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Continue Reading →

Mood Killer: Keep Work (And Laptops) Out Of The Bedroom

It’s fairly common knowledge that if you have trouble sleeping you should use your bed only for sleep and sex. It supposedly helps you associate your bedroom with these activities and doing things like watching television or working in bed will make it more difficult to use your bedroom for its intended purposes. It’s kind of hard to get in the mood for sex if things like laptops and books are strewn about everywhere. It is also worthwhile to note that hearing the sound of  your laptop hitting the ground after falling out of a loft bed is a huge mood killer. So keep your work elsewhere and let the bedroom be a safe and relaxing place. Continue Reading →