The XX Factor

We’re Talking About: April 7, 2010

-After 25 years of debating the issue, Yale professors are officially prohibited from sexual relations with any student . Faculty and graduate students, however, are free to cross-pollinate, as long as the professor doesn’t have “direct pedagogical or supervisory responsibilities” over the student in question. [ Salon ]

- Criminal charges have been filed against nine teens, who bullied Irish immigrant classmate Phoebe Prince so relentlessly that the girl took her own life in January. There is no law against “bullying,” however, and the charges slapped against Prince’s bullies are clumsy and potentially dangerous attempts to criminalize a behavior that happens in any high school hallway . [ The Washington Post , Slate ]

-VH1 is changing tone with a new slate of reality shows featuring wealthy and glamorous black Americans : black Americans looking for love, black Americans advancing careers, and black Americans being beautiful and married to basketball stars. [ Yahoo News ]

- The Tiger sex scandal matters because monogamous marriage matters , especially in low-income areas. When women are treated as sex objects in the media, these attitudes percolate into everyday life, threatening the institution of a faithful, egalitarian marriage. Tiger, unfortunately, has delivered an exquisitely shameless blow to American morality and we all have a right to comment. [ New York Times ]

- Teen birth rates have recently taken a dip after several upward trending years . This could be a one-year anomaly, but regardless, the statistic hovers over the current tense debate on sex education. Abstinence-only education was a hallmark of the born-again Bush years, but Obama slipped $250 million into these same coffers with the health reform bill . [ Salon ]

Photograph of Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas by Arnold Turner/Getty Images.