The XX Factor

We’re Talking About: May 10, 2010

- President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court to replace Justice John Paul Stevens . The search lasted for a month following Justice Stevens’ announcement of his pending retirement. Obama notified his advisors of the decision on Sunday. [ New York Times ]

-Observers claim first lady Michelle Obama is ” stepping up her political game .” Mrs. Obama is attacking some key issues, and many expect her to combine a strong message with the regular pleasantries at Tuesday’s luncheon for Senate spouses. [ Politico ]

-Lack of consistency on marriage laws is causing an awkward limbo for a number of gay couples. Most states don’t recognize same-sex marriages and neither does the federal government. Even if couples obtain a legal license of marriage in one state, they face uncertainty about their status in another. [ Washington Post ]

-In the aftermath of the 2008 earthquake that struck the Sichuan province of China, the government is still rebuilding . Social construction has taken an interesting shape as China is arranging marriages to sufferers of the quake. Creating instant families seemed like an easy solution, but how are the new families faring after the arrangments? [ New York Times Magazine ]

-A study from the University of Iowa has found that being ” friends with benefits ” may have some unexpected consequences. Couples in the friendly hook-up situation are more likely to simultaneously sleep around, which means a spread of STDs and the occasional,  always awkward run-in. [ New York Times ]

-An Australian documentary maker has convinced a number of young people to auction off their virginity for a reality television program. [ U.K. Telegraph ]

Photograph of Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Elena Kagan by Win McNamee/Getty Images.