Photo of the day

The finalists from the Smithsonian 2014 photo contest are super-duper amazing.  Every one of them should be a photo of the day (I’ll definitely return to this well).  But this is the first in the series, and it is certainly arresting:

FINALIST: Natural World | Photograph by Nicolas Reusens. “During my latest trip to Costa Rica I managed to photograph this beautiful snake in the worst of all situations (for the frog of course),” says Reusens.  (Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica, May 2014, Canon 5D Mark III)

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The Obamacare disaster!

Great one from Toles:

(Tom Toles / The Washington Post)

On poverty and pregnancy

Interesting post on Wonkblog about the sex lives (and reproductive outcomes) or rich and poor women.  Here’s the key summary:

Poor women are five times as likely as affluent women to have an unintended birth, new research from the Brookings Institution shows — and that drives inequality.

The difference boils down to contraceptive use, not sexual activity. There is no “sex gap” by income, researchers emphasized. Promiscuity doesn’t vary along class lines. Access to the most reliable forms of birth control, however, does.

Definitely part of the problem.  But it is clearly not just access to LARC’s, etc., part of it is different in intentional (or unintentional) actions relating to sex.  I found this graph rather striking.

Now you know me, I’m not going to blame poor women for their plight of unwed motherhood, but it is also clear that their choices have something to do with it.  This graph is not about usage rates of the most effective forms of contraception, but using any contraception, period.  Wealthier women become far less likely to engage in unprotected sex.  Of course, part of the reason some people are poor is because they are not very good at weighing the future consequences of their actions and make poor decisions.  Obviously, unprotected sex is often one of these poorly considered actions (by the man as well, of course, though far more often it is the woman who bears the brunt of these decisions).

Not to suggest that we shouldn’t have more inexpensive, readily available contraception available for poor women.  We totally should!  And it would make a difference.  That said, I strongly suspect that the impact would ultimately be limited as the same factors which lead one to be financially poor, probably lead one to make highly sub-optimal decisions about sex and reproduction.

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