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Articles in Gender

Misleading Murder and Rape Maps, and the Sweden Rape Puzzle

By Martin W. Lewis | May 25, 2013 | 15 Comments

The previous post on murder rates in Brazil featured a Wikipedia map of homicide rate by country, based on a 2011 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). That map, reproduced here, is less than ideal, as its highest category lumps together countries with hugely different homicide rates, ranging from 20.1 per 100,000 in Kyrgyzstan to …

Dan Brown, Overpopulation, and the Plunging Fertility Rates of Turkey and Iran

By Martin W. Lewis | May 21, 2013 | 15 Comments

Global overpopulation has recently returned to the public spotlight with the publication of Inferno, the latest offering from novelist Dan Brown, author of the 2003 blockbuster The Da Vinci Code. A mystery thriller on the surface, Inferno is ultimately a piece of demographic fiction. As one reviewer notes, “The specter of a catastrophically overpopulated Earth, its desperate people grasping and …

Television and Fertility in India: Response to Critics

By Martin W. Lewis | May 16, 2013 | 8 Comments

(Note to readers: My recent blog post on television and fertility in India has attracted some attention, including a detailed critique on the blog Challenging Civilization. This post is my response to this critique.)
First, I would like to thank Tom Smith at Challenging Civilization for taking the time write a thoughtful critique of my blog post on television and fertility …

India’s Plummeting Birthrate: A Television-Induced Transformation?

By Martin W. Lewis | May 7, 2013 | 34 Comments

(Note: As can be seen, GeoCurrents has a new, more streamlined appearance. The “GeoNotes” feature has been replaced by section that highlights “featured posts,” as we found it increasingly difficult to differentiate regular posts from “notes.” We also hope that the new format will make it easier for readers to access older posts.
To initiate the new format, today’s post is …

New Government in East Timor Sparks Gender Debate

By Nicholas Baldo | August 10, 2012 |

Over the last half-century, peace and stability have remained elusive goals in East Timor, officially known the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Invaded by Indonesia shortly after it achieved independence from Portugal in 1975, East Timor has only been a formal country with de facto control of its borders only since 2002.

Thai Transsexual Wins Election

By Martin W. Lewis | June 1, 2012 | 2 Comments

Yonlada Suanyos, a transsexual woman, recently gained fame by becoming Thailand’s first katoey (or openly transgender person) to be elected to public office. Ms. Suanyos, a PhD candidate who also runs a television station and a jewelry business, will soon become a councilor in Nan province in northern Thailand. She was formerly a member of a transgender music group called Venus Flytrap, performing under the name of Posh Venus.

Violence against Women in Solomon Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | March 27, 2012 | 4 Comments

According to Australia Network News, a recent World Bank report lists Solomon Islands as suffering from more violence against women than any other country. The Bank’s recent Gender Equality and Development Report states that 64 per cent of women in the Melanesian country claim that they have been victims of domestic violence.

Mother Goddess Worship in Vietnam

By Rebecca Hecht | February 24, 2012 |
Wikipedia Religious Freedom Map

Although Vietnam is in name a Communist state, the practice of mother goddess worship endures through much of the country. For the first time, the worship of Mother Goddesses is on display at a public museum in Hanoi.

The Defeat of Anti-Bride-Abduction Legislation in Kyrgyzstan

By Martin W. Lewis | February 10, 2012 |
Bride Kidnapping Kyrgyzstan Film Poster

The forcible abduction of women for the purpose of marriage has long been common in Kyrgyzstan. According to a recent Eurasia.net article, almost half of all wives in some provincial towns were “non-consensually kidnapped.

Circumcision Quandries in Zambia

By Martin W. Lewis | February 9, 2012 | 10 Comments

Public health officials have been urging circumcision on men in sub-Saharan Africa, arguing that the universal application of the practice could prevent two million HIV cases a year. A recent study in Zambia, however…

Same-Sex Couples and Native American Communities

By Martin W. Lewis | October 12, 2011 | 2 Comments
Map of Native Americans by County

On October 10, 2011, Andrew Sullivan’s blog ran a corrected U.S. Census map showing the proportion of same-sex couples in American counties. (An interactive version of the same map was posted on the National Public Radio website.) The Census had originally claimed that there were 901,997 self-reported same-sex couples in the United States. Evidently, a

Japan: An Egalitarian Society?

By Andrew Linford | May 10, 2011 | 3 Comments
Income of Japan's Prefectures

My previous blog entry explored three distinct layers of geographic inequality, focused on China, which all apply to Japan: regional disparities, the rural/urban divide, and the existence of an urban underclass. The map posted here shows the percentage of the population defined as living on welfare. The prefecture with the greatest proportion of

Vaccination, HIV Awareness, Contraception, and Literacy in India

By Martin W. Lewis | July 29, 2010 |

Our final post on social development in India takes on a miscellany of indicators. The first map, showing vaccination, is notable for extreme variability, with the rate varying from 81 percent in Tamil Nadu to 21 percent in Nagaland. As expected, the center-north lags well behind the south and far north. Low

Women’s Status and Sex Ratios in India

By Martin W. Lewis | July 27, 2010 | 4 Comments

Several recent Geocurrents posts have addressed the status of women in India. Today we examine it more directly, using three indicators. The maps they generate, posted above, conform imperfectly to India’s basic geographical pattern of development, with several striking divergences.

Media Exposure and Gender Disparities in India

By Martin W. Lewis | July 26, 2010 |

One of the more unusual measurements of social development collected in the Indian National Family Health Survey and posted on the Wikipedia is that of “media awareness,” defined as the percentage of people in a given state “exposed to the media.” The data were collected separately for men and women, and providing a

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