Rape statistics are a common source of contention, and many older studies were flawed or incomplete. According to survey results released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), rape continues to play a significant role in the lives of many women. The study found that over 19% of women—or about 1 in 5—experience a completed rape at some point in their lives. Nearly half of all women had experienced some form of sexual violence, such as stalking or sexual assault. A third of women in the survey had experienced domestic violence.
The survey also found that 2% of men have been raped. Among female rape victims, 99% of rapists are men, and male victims are raped by men in 80% of cases. Among some racial groups, the statistics were even grimmer. Sixty-four percent of multiracial women, for example, report being victimized by some type of sexual violence.
A new study has found that people with obesity have higher levels of dopamine in an area of the brain thought to aid in habit formation. Thinner study participants did not have this brain difference. The study also found less activity in the brain’s reward center among obese study participants. Researchers believe that this brain difference means that people with obesity eat out of habit, rather than for pleasure.
A U.K. study that examined 2,000 dieters has found that losing weight, contrary to the claims of diet commercials, does not boost mood. Study participants who lost more than 5% of their body weight experienced an improvement in physical health. They also experienced more depression. The study’s authors point out that losing weight can be challenging, potentially exacting a psychological toll.
Failed infertility treatments can be painful for anyone, but some women continue to want a baby for years after treatment has failed. According to a new study of over 7,000 women who underwent IVF treatments, women who continue to long for a baby have poorer psychological health than women who are able to let go of the desire to give birth.
According to a new study, the impact violent media has on behavior depends on personality and brain chemistry. The study divided 54 men into two groups: one with aggressive tendencies and one without such tendencies. Researchers played a violent movie for each group. They found that aggressive men, as well as those with decreased activity in the orbitofrontal cortex, saw a decrease in blood pressure, while non-aggressive men’s blood pressure increased.
People who engage in fat shaming—the act of attempting to make another person feel bad about his or her weight—sometimes justify their behavior by pointing to the health effects of being overweight. A study of almost 3,000 overweight adults, though, undermines this defense. Survey participants who experienced weight discrimination were more likely to gain weight, suggesting that fat shaming does nothing helpful for people struggling to lose weight.
About half of all Americans will struggle with a mental health issue at some point, and many of them turn to their pastors for assistance. According to a survey of 70 seminaries and 14 different religious faiths, though, seminaries are not offering sufficient training for pastors on how to recognize severe mental health conditions. Consequently, pastors may be unprepared to help mentally ill congregants, potentially delaying or undermining quality treatment.
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