Study Reveals 1 in 5 Women Experience Rape, and Other News

Woman watching sunsetRape 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.

Eating Habits, Body Fat Related to Differences in Brain Chemistry

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. 

Weight Loss May Not Improve Mood, Study Says

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 Treatment Linked to Worse Mental Health in Study

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.

Impact of Violent Media On the Brain: Depends On Each Individual’s Brain Circuitry, Study Finds

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.

‘Fat Shaming’ Doesn’t Encourage Weight Loss

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. 

Pastors Lack Training to Help Mentally Ill Congregants

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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  • Jayden h.

    Jayden h.

    September 12th, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Sexual violence is always in the news but I am surprised to learn that it is as widely prevalent as this study claims. I truly have no firends that I know who has ever been a victim and sometimes I think heaven help the guy who would even try it, knowing some of these girls! I guess I live a pretty sheltered existence because this has never touched my world. I don’t want it to either so I do think that it is critical to continue talking and finding out the reasons whay this continues to happen and the things that can be done to limit it.

  • Ann


    September 12th, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    Amen to the study on pastoral counseling! There is a trend in many churches called nouthetic counseling, that claims scripture is a superior source to deal with mental illness than “secular” methods. Basically a client is told their issues come from either unresolved sin, bitterness or pride. I am a Christian, but have seen the damage that is caused by “well-intentioned” people who have no training in psychology. I believe man’s spiritual nature can be incorporated into therapy, but untrained counselors who just use Bible verses on mentally ill and traumatized individuals can prolong and even increase emotional suffering.

  • Sharon


    September 13th, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    I know first hand about being overweight and feeling like if only I could lose the weight then I would be happy. Yes you do become somewhat happier but for the most part you still feel like you and there could be something going on that is much deeper than the weight and just because you may perceive that you look better on the outside that will in no way change how you could feel on the inside. I think that this has to be an entire process of change for you to ever feel settled and to feel good about you, no matter what weight you are at.

  • brandi


    September 13th, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    we went thru ivf time after time with no success, finally are in the process of adopting a foster child and i am happier than i have been in a very long time

    it was hard coming to the realization that we wouldn’t be able to have our own biological child but this is a fresh start for us and we are both so excited for this little boy to be a part of our new family

  • Jeannie


    September 13th, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    I know that most of the time pastors are super great people and all, but if I was having a very serious problem that I felt was mental health related, my minister is not the person that I will go to. I am going to go to someone who has a lot of experience in this type of thing; I know that your pastor is a great resource for many of us, but for mental health issues I am still going to seek out a professional who has experience in the mental health field.

  • kev


    September 14th, 2014 at 5:17 AM

    Come on, did we really think that fat shaming is something that will encourage others to lose weight? Do we think that they don’t know already that they could stand to lose a few pounds? Most people who are overweight know it and understand that there is a need there for them to lose some weight, and what they need is support and not someone continually cramming it down their throats that they need to lose some weight.

  • David


    September 15th, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Is there any way to get so much aggressive viewing out of our daily lives anymore? from video games to even the news it is like you can’t get away from it. I think that it could be causing all of us to become too immune to the images that we always see.

  • dee


    September 16th, 2014 at 3:59 AM

    LOsing weight or what little I have managed to lose has done nothing to make me feel better. In fact I think that this whole thing only makes me feel worse because I have not been too much of a success at it and now I don’t know what to do. I think that I am doing everything right but apparently I am not because my clothes still fit the same old way. I am getting very frustrated and on the brink of giving up but I don’t want to be a quitter. I am just so over this and wishing for a magic pill to come and take this all away, the weight that is.

  • Ginni


    September 17th, 2014 at 3:58 AM

    Maybe more churches should consider having at least a part time counselor on site or a minister who has some training in that field that is not just religion based.

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