Purity of Essence

Kevin Lewis

March 07, 2020

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Identity in Women and Men Prenatally Exposed to Diethylstilbestrol
Rebecca Troisi et al.
Archives of Sexual Behavior, February 2020, Pages 447–454


We assessed the associations of prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure, a potent estrogen, with sexual orientation and gender identity in 3306 women and 1848 men who participated in a study of prenatal DES exposure. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were derived from logistic regression models adjusted for birth year, study cohort, and education. Among women, the OR for DES in relation to reporting sexual orientation identity as nonheterosexual was 0.61 (95% CI 0.40–0.92) primarily due to a strong inverse association with a lesbian identity (OR 0.44, 95% CI 0.25–0.76). Among men, the OR for DES in relation to reporting a nonheterosexual sexual orientation identity was 1.4 (95% CI 0.82–2.4), and ORs were similar for having a gay identity (1.4, 95% CI 0.72–2.85) and bisexual identity (1.4, 95% CI 0.57–3.5). Only five individuals reported a gender identity not conforming to that assigned at birth, preventing meaningful analysis. Women who were prenatally exposed to DES were less likely to have a lesbian or bisexual orientation, while DES-exposed men were somewhat more likely to report being gay or bisexual, but estimates were imprecise.

Do LGBT-Supportive Corporate Policies Improve Credit Ratings? An Instrumental-Variable Analysis
Pandej Chintrakarn et al.
Journal of Business Ethics, February 2020, Pages 31–45


We investigate the effect of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT)-supportive corporate policies on credit ratings. To the extent that LGBT-friendly policies are beneficial to the firm and therefore improve its expected cash flows, credit rating agencies should assign more favorable credit ratings to the firm. To alleviate endogeneity concerns, we exploit the variations in the LGBT populations across the states in the U.S. as our instrument. Our instrumental-variable (IV) analysis reveals that firms that adopt LGBT-supportive corporate policies enjoy better credit ratings, supporting the stakeholder and good management hypothesis. Further analysis using propensity score matching also yields consistent results.

Transgender Status, Gender Identity, and Socioeconomic Outcomes in the United States
Christopher Carpenter, Samuel Eppink & Gilbert Gonzales
ILR Review, forthcoming


This article provides the first large-scale evidence on transgender status, gender identity, and socioeconomic outcomes in the United States, using representative data from 35 states in the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which asked identical questions about transgender status and gender identity during at least one year from 2014 to 2017. More than 2,100 respondents, aged 18 to 64 years, identified as transgender. Individuals who identify as transgender are significantly less likely to be college educated and less likely to identify as heterosexual than are individuals who do not identify as transgender. Controlling for these and other observed characteristics, transgender individuals have significantly lower employment rates, lower household incomes, higher poverty rates, and worse self-rated health compared to otherwise similar men who are not transgender.

The Politics of Being “Cait”: Caitlyn Jenner, Transphobia, and Parasocial Contact Effects on Transgender-Related Political Attitudes
Patrick Miller et al.
American Politics Research, forthcoming


Celebrities saturate American culture and often become relevant in politics, yet political science has largely left unstudied how celebrities affect mass political behavior. We focus on the 2015 story of Caitlyn Jenner revealing her transgender identity. Using an original nationally representative survey from that summer, we examine whether following the Jenner story and evaluations of its social significance affected attitudes toward transgender rights policies. Specifically, we examine how age and transphobia interacted with engagement with the Jenner story to shape attitudes toward transgender rights. We find, counterintuitively, that older respondents who were more transphobic were less likely to see her story as representing negative social trends if they followed it in the media. Furthermore, more transphobic older respondents were more likely to support pro-transgender policies if they viewed Jenner’s story less negatively. We then discuss the implications of our findings for research on celebrity effects on politics and transgender rights.

Immune function during early adolescence positively predicts adult facial sexual dimorphism in both men and women
Yong Zhi Foo et al.
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming


Evolutionary theories suggest that humans prefer sexual dimorphism in faces because masculinity in men and femininity in women may be an indicator of immune function during development. In particular, the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis proposes that sexual dimorphism indicates good immune function during development because the sex hormones, particularly testosterone in men, required for the development of sexually dimorphic facial features also taxes the immune system. Therefore, only healthy males can afford the high level of testosterone for the development of sexually dimorphic traits without compromising their survival. Researchers have suggested that a similar mechanism via the effects of oestrogen might also explain male preferences for female femininity. Despite the prominence of the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis, no studies have tested whether immune function during development predicts adult facial sexual dimorphism. Here, using data from a longitudinal public health dataset, the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (Generation 2), we show that some aspects of immune function during early adolescence (14 years) positively predict sexually dimorphic 3D face shape in both men and women. Our results support a fundamental assumption that facial sexual dimorphism is an indicator of immune function during the development of facial sexual dimorphism.

Speaking the Unspeakable: Buggery, Law, and Community Surveillance in New South Wales, 1788–1838
Luke Taylor
Law and History Review, forthcoming


This paper is an empirical and theoretical analysis of buggery charges brought against men in New South Wales in the period 1788—1838. Drawing on a previously unexamined archive, it shows that an irregular pattern of charges in the first forty years of colonization was displaced by a dramatic increase in buggery charges in the period 1828–1838, and a move towards charging accused persons capitally; that the genesis of most complaints was community, rather than official, surveillance; and that throughout the entire period witnesses were far from circumspect in their evidence of unspeakable acts. The paper then argues that the upswing in charges post-1828 was only partly related to the introduction of the Offences Against the Person Act 1828 and its lower evidentiary threshold for proof of buggery. More important, it suggests, was the acute moralism of NSW society in the 1820s and 1830s, generated in part by John Thomas Bigge's 1822 Report into the State of the Colony of New South Wales. The move towards capital charges, however, does appear to bear some relationship to the changes in the Offences Act. The final part of the paper connects social anxiety over buggery to the 1837–38 Molesworth Inquiry into Transportation and the eventual cessation of convict transportation to NSW in 1840.


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