The XX Factor

We’re Talking About: March 17, 2010

-A report released yesterday by the Department of Defense indicates an 11 percent increase in reports of sexual assault in the military and a 16 percent increase in combat areas. The Pentagon attributes this jump to a higher number of victims reporting incidents and not necessarily an increase in the incidents themselves. In recent years the military has adopted a more progressive attitude toward sexual assault prevention and treatment. [ New York Times ]

-Continuing her work on childhood obesity, Michelle Obama urged corporate food-makers like Coca-Cola, General Mills, and Kraft Foods to “entirely rethink the products your offering … and how you market those products to our children.” [ The Washington Post ]


- New York gossip columns have been ablaze this past week with reports of fashion photographer Terry Richardson’s perverted misadventures with young female models. 19-year-old model Jamie Peck claims Richardson told her to call him “Uncle Terry,” asked to play with her tampon, and pressured her to give him a hand job in the studio. In fact, Richardson has been a notorious sexual libertine for years , documenting his exploits in books and gallery shows. [ New York Post , Jezebel , The Daily Beast ]

-In the past week, a man defending his marijuana crop in Orting, Wash., was beaten to death by robbers. On Monday, a leading medical-marijuana activist shot an armed man breaking into his Seattle home. This recent violence in Washington has prompted police and marijuana activists to demand a rethinking of state policy . [ New York Times ]

-After government research revealed that 12- to 14-year-olds do not engage in safe sexual practices, Switzerland has released a small condom for preteen genitals with hopes of expanding the market into the U.K. [ Telegraph ]