15 Stories

Not Confessing Our Salaries Is 'Stupid'

But Emily Dreyfuss still finds it really hard to do

(Newser) - Emily Dreyfuss is completely aware that one would be breaking the "last great taboo" by agreeing to talk about one's salary. Out loud. With other people. But in an essay for Wired spun out of the fact that others are now doing just that on Twitter (see #talkpay... More »

Every 40 Seconds, Someone Commits Suicide: WHO

'Major public health problem' is No. 2 cause of death among people 15-29

(Newser) - With the suicide of Robin Williams still painfully fresh, the World Health Organization released a startling statistic today: Someone takes his or her own life every 40 seconds—which equates to about 800,000 deaths a year, reports the BBC . Other findings in the WHO study : Suicide is the second-leading... More »

Office Romance Comes Out of the Supply Closet

More employees see no reason to hide their love, and bosses are on board

(Newser) - The stigma of office romance is swiftly slipping away, bringing a time-honored—and surprisingly traditional—method of courtship out into the open. A recent survey shows 67% of employees see no reason to pretend they’re not dating a coworker, up from 54% in 2005. And no wonder. “The... More »

Gaza Film Exposes Deadly Breast Cancer Taboos

Animated movie is based on young Palestinian who died

(Newser) - A heart-wrenching Gaza cartoon inspired by a real-life case follows the story of a young Palestinian woman in a refugee camp who dies of breast cancer because of cultural squeamishness about female bodies and difficulty obtaining health care. One doctor in the animated film Fatenah tells the woman, who's worried... More »

Is Incest Always Rape?

Blog pundits debate if consent is ever an issue in father-daughter sex

(Newser) - Actress Mackenzie Phillips has already raised the "Stockholm syndrome" regarding 10 years of sex with her rock icon dad, leaving many to wonder if incest can ever be consensual. The blogosphere appears unanimous that John Phillips' sex with a blacked-out Mackenzie was rape since she was unable to consent—... More »

The C-Word Ain't What It Used to Be

'Superstar of four-letter words' hits Guardian's front page, losing its bite

(Newser) - Rest assured, Dear Reader: As a respectable organization, Newser won’t publish what Kathleen Deveny in Newsweek calls “the rudest, crudest, most taboo term in the English language.” To be blunt, on this issue we must punt, because, on a family website, that dog just won’t hunt—... More »

Female Sex Crimes: Society's Last Taboo

Gender myths, unreported cases allow problem to persist unchecked

(Newser) - A mother’s love is supposed to be sacred, which may explain why Britain is struggling to face up to child molestation at the hands of women, Charlotte Philby writes in the Independent. Stats are hard to come by, but one UK abuse organization says 11% of callers in 2004—... More »

Black Eyed Peas' The E.N.D. Pure, Shameless, Awesome

(Newser) - The Black Eyed Peas' new album, The E.N.D., isn’t of much consequence, but that’s just as well. Reviewers generally appreciate the party-hardy attitude.
  • “Ever true to their defining characteristic, the Peas have no shame,” Ann Powers writes in the Los Angeles Times. “Fergie
... More »

China Plans Sexy Theme Park

(Newser) - China is about to topple taboos big time with giant plastic genitalia and sexual technique workshops at a new sex theme park, reports the BBC. "Love Land" is slated to open in Chongqing in October. "Sex is a taboo subject in China but people really need to have... More »

Go Ahead, Marry Your Cousin

Relatively small chance of birth defects doesn't warrant the taboo, says new report

(Newser) - Laws against first cousins marrying are unnecessary and should be repealed, argue two scientists in a recent Public Science of Biology editorial. The risk of genetic defects in children born of cousin marriages is estimated at 2%-3% higher than in the general population, Wired reports, but no greater than that... More »

Girl Group Rocks Saudi Taboos

The Accolade still underground but gaining popularity as youth push boundaries

(Newser) - The Accolade sounds like a typical female rock band: Its members have teased hair and facial piercings, and their clothing shocks passers-by as they tell a New York Times reporter about their new song with lyrics about a failed relationship. But the Accolade’s home base is conservative Saudi Arabia,... More »

Doctors Fight to Beat Cultural Cancer Taboos

Stigma surrounding cancer suspected of causing higher mortality rates

(Newser) - The fight against cancer is being hindered by the stigma the illness carries in many cultures, the Wall Street Journal reports. Chinese, Russians, Muslims, and many other groups may shun treatment and try to keep their condition secret. Experts believe the taboo plays a big role in the higher cancer... More »

Fewer Blink at Prominent Ink

Really visible tattoos—like on the neck and hands—appear on doctors, teachers

(Newser) - Aggressively visible tattoos, like those on the neck and hands, are no longer the sole purview of ne’er-do-wells and pop stars, the New York Times reports. Until recently, most reputable tattoo artists wouldn’t dare cross the cuff or the collar of a subject with a straight job. But... More »

Saudi Religious Cops Toss US Exec in Pokey

Her crime? Sitting with a male colleague at Starbucks

(Newser) - A 37-year-old American businesswoman says Saudi Arabia's religious police swooped her out of a Riyadh Starbucks and bundled her off to jail, where she was strip searched, humiliated, and bullied into signing confessions, reports the Times of London—all for sharing a table with a male colleague when the Internet... More »

In Egypt, Belly Dancing Goes Co-Ed

Overcoming taboo, male dancers are making a comback

(Newser) - Belly dancing is an ancient tradition in Egypt, and two centuries ago, it was dominated by men. Now male belly dancers are making a comeback, overcoming suppression by government and religious leaders who equated gyrating male hips with homosexuality, Bloomberg reports. More »

15 Stories