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10 separate  questions   

details attached

Due by noon o 11/13/2021


Discussion #1 Trade in Body Parts

What do you think of this industry?  Given the tenets of neoliberalism, should we even try to regulate it?  Why not just let the market drive the practices?

For example, say there is a top surgeon in Chicago who needs a kidney or a heart.  Shouldn’t they be able to buy one from a poor person in Mumbai or Guatemala City–even if it harms the health of the “donor” if they have the money and the other person needs the money?

Or, is there another approach to responding to this situation that you might support more?


· Bangladesh and Sale of Body Parts 

· Nepal and Organ Sales 

Discussion #2 Gender Gap in Education Pursuit and Achievement in US (and Italy)

As the data shows, there is a large and growing gap in educational pursuit and achievements in Italy and the US.  Females are much more likely to graduate high school, pursue higher education, graduate from college/university, and pursue advanced degrees now.  Female participation has been increasing while male participation has been decreasing.   And, yet, a large gap in pay remains in both nations.   Any explanations for any of that?


· We should All Be Feminists:  Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.           

· UN Report on Violence Against Women, 

Discussion # 3 Life expectancy

Any explanations for the differences in life expectancy at birth in different nations?  If there is such a gap between nations, does this prove that it is not just based upon biology?  If not biology, then what?  What does the Russia experience suggest?

Let me be a bit clearer in the question:  

What does the data in the powerpoint suggest though about the biological issue.  Why are the rates so close in some places and so far away in other places?  Why do they differ so much in the same locations over different time periods if it is mostly biology and estrogen and immune systems?  Why are the rates so close in Iceland today?  Or, the UAE even?  But, very large gaps in Hungary, Romania, Argentina, Brazil, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia and the Ukraine (where women life expectancy is over 10 years longer now?   Is there different biology in the Ukraine or Latvia from the UK or Iceland?  Different estrogen levels?  Is it in our genes and biology? Partly? Mostly? 

Here is a source of data on life expectancy rates in different nations:   Life Expectancy by Country and in the World (2021) – Worldometer (worldometers.info) 

Discussion # 4 violence

 What do you think might be done to significantly decrease the incidents of violence by sex, gender, or sexuality?  Why?


· Is Biological Sex just biological?  

Discussion #5 Caster S. case

It seems that the argument being made by the Olympic Committee is that it is unfair for her to compete against other females because she has a biological advantage.   I wonder what the response would be if you looked at it a bit differently.  It sure seems to me that Lebron James has a biological advantage over most of the other players in the league.  Should he be allowed to compete in that league?  Shouldn’t they make a different league for people who are so much bigger, stronger, and faster than everyone else?  Isn’t that a similar logic?


What is the controversy about Caster Semenya?   What does that suggest about the “naturalness” of sex and/or “gender”?   How can/should the determination be made?

Discussion # 6 life expectancy

powerpoint again–do you have any thoughts as to why the life expectancy is so much higher for some demographic groups than others within the US?

Discussion # 7 infant and maternal mortality and race

provided lots of data and information on infant mortality and race.  How do you feel about that data? 

Discussion #8 covid19

If you look at the data on covid19 deaths thus far, there is a clear disparity by race.  Any thoughts or explanations for that?

Discussion #9 Continuation of Education Question

So, several people posted important comments and suggestions about why there has been an increase in females pursuing more education in recent years in the US.  But, how about the other side of the equation–that of males decreasing pursuit of education?  One suggestion that several people made was that it had something to do with opportunities in the building trades.  However, as I pointed out, US born males participation in the building trades occupations has also been steadily decreasing for the last few decades and most who work, work in the service industries.   So, any other explanations as to why you have decreasing rates for males in pursuing education in the US?

Discussion #10 – Continuation of Violence Question

One more thing to consider on this question too.  Who is committing sexual assaults?  Most research indicates that a very small percentage of males ever commit sexual assault or rape (so, it may not be “natural” then for males?) and an even smaller percentage of females do so (both in the US and around the world according to the research).  Looking on college campuses, there are several factors that tend to be correlated with higher rates:  a. being a student athlete b. being a member of a fraternity  c. living in an all male residency  d. alcohol 

Why might that be the case?  Why these correlations?  Does that influence the ideas suggested last week about what is to be done (mostly focused on early education suggestions)?

Some of the research is nicely linked in this quick summary from Wikipedia (what wikipedia is very good for, in my view, is giving an introduction to the research so that you can then explore further):