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About topquark

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  1. I like how it's always assumed to be an isolated incident, too. As if people often wake up and think "I'm going to do something adventurous today... I know, I'll slap a woman's ass without her permission!"

  2. Laws are there for a reason. If the ass-slapping was an isolated incident, they'd probably only get a caution anyway. But hopefully the experience would nip that disrespectful behavior in the bud before it leads on to a more serious sexual assault.
  3. I can think of no reason to have children. They're irritating, expensive, cause permanent injuries during birth, and are an unnecessary hassle. I can see that it would be rewarding to have grown-up children who you got on well with, but I think it's less of a gamble to find the type of person you want to hang out with and befriend them, rather than wasting 20 years creating a new person from scratch, especially since they might not turn out how you want them to. I think INTJs approach the question of whether or not to breed with more logic and reason than other types. Having children is fundamentally an irrational decision, but other types don't use reason so much in their decision making.
  4. I'm a feminist. It's not ok to slap anyone's ass (unless they ask you to). If a girl slaps you and you don't lie it, report her for sexual harassment.
  5. If people can align their will with events, then that will protect them from suffering. However, it is not always possible to manipulate the way you feel to a large extent. Sometimes, it is easier to fix the external problem than learn to live with it.
  6. You'd probably love those things less if they were actually happening to you. Many aspects of being female suck (particularly menstruation and ability to get pregnant). It's not surprising that people want surgery to get rid of them. Wanting a body that works better is not self-hatred.
  7. Following on from the post above, I hate these aspects of being female too. I guess I'm lucky in having small boobs that can be squashed flat with a sports top (putting 1 out of mind) and feeling really good on hormonal contraception (to a large extent fixing 5 and 6). If I had more than an A-cup or couldn't take hormones to stop my periods without side effects, I'd definitely want surgery (breast removal and tubal ligation + endometrial ablation), although I wouldn't bother changing my identity as it seems like a lot of hassle (e.g. reprogramming everyone you know to use the right pronouns, changing all your legal documents). I'm assuming there is something more than just the physical concerns to make you want to be "a man", rather than a woman who's had a few surgeries to improve her health/make life easier to cope with? Is it down to the difference in how people treat men and women?
  8. I got my PhD funded by a research grant, which paid my tuition fees and gave me around £13,000/year to live on. A lot of the other students took on teaching/marking work on top of that, but as I was saving around £5,000/year anyway I never saw the need to earn even more. Most science PhDs in the UK are funded by national research councils. Do you really not have anything similar in the US? How does anyone ever manage to do a PhD?
  9. One other important thing to note is that this study does not distinguish between planned and unplanned pregnancies. Studies have shown that unplanned pregnancy is correlated with an increased risk of mental health issues*, regardless of whether the pregnancy results in an abortion or a live birth. Mental health problems can lead to increased mortality, most obviously through suicide. (*BBC report; original report [PDF]) If (as is reasonable to assume) the "abortion" group in this study contained a lot more people with unplanned pregnancies than the "birth" or "miscarriage" groups, then this study's finding could be interpreted as backing up previous findings that unplanned pregnancy is more likely to harm mental health than planned pregnancy.
  10. Looking at Table 2, you could equally draw the conclusion that women who have their first pregnancy at a young age (those who aborted averaged 20 years of age at first pregnancy) have higher mortality rates than those who first conceive at an older age (those who gave birth or miscarried averaged 25 years). This could be due increased risks posed by early sexual activity, or early first pregnancies being correlated with unhealthy lifestyles. Without knowing anything about the causes of death, it's all just speculation.
  11. What surgeries have you had, and how satisfied are you with the results? How long was the recovery period? Was it difficult to find a surgeon willing to do the surgery? How did you fund it? Also, to put your answers in context, what country did you transition in? How did your family react? If they were against it originally, have they come around and accepted your new identity?
  12. Tricky one, but I think if her family and all the doctors treating her agree that her life consists mostly or entirely of suffering and has little hope of improving, then the right decision is to end her life painlessly.
  13. Yes, I spent all three summers during my undergrad degree doing research programs (in materials science, physics, and astronomy). Two of them led to publications. Two out of the three were internally advertised projects at the university I was attending, the other was via an exchange program that my university was participating in. Both of the projects that led on to publication required considerable work after the summer was over. I would imagine that would be difficult to do if you weren't actually attending the same university where you did the research during term time. I also do not understand how a graduate student gets vacation time in which to do other research projects. I guess it works differently where you are. I only really enjoyed one of the projects I did. During the others I constantly felt confused and isolated. How much you'll get out of the project depends strongly on the supervisor that you have - some are really supportive and will teach you a lot about how to do research, but others are very vague with directions and haven't really thought through the project so it's unlikely you'll get much out of it. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to before you've been working together for a while which type you have.
  14. It shouldn't be mandatory. Available, fully funded, and encouraged (where medically appropriate), yes. But not mandatory. One thing to consider is that some screening tests can themselves present risks. For example, the standard test for Down's syndrome, in which a needle is inserted into the uterus to draw out amniotic fluid for testing, carries a risk of miscarriage of about 1 in 200. The risk is lower if the test is performed later in pregnancy, but then the abortion procedure carries greater risk, so there's a balancing act to perform. Personally, I have no qualms about aborting any child, and think that it is common sense to advise parents to abort children who are going to be disabled, but even from this point of view, mandating a test that causes miscarriage in 1/200 cases to prevent a disease that affects as few as 1/1500 children of young mothers doesn't make sense. Having a test for Down's is sensible if the risk of Down's is high, such as if the mother is older, but the parents should be given the relevant numbers and allowed to make the decision themselves. Then there's the usual problem with population-wide screening, which is that for many people the chance of a false positive result is higher than the chance of a true positive. That's why screening programs are usually limited to high-risk groups. Some parents will inevitably abort healthy children as a result of screening, and others will miscarry as a result of the test, just because the tests are not perfect. Regardless of your view of abortion, ending a wanted pregnancy is distressing to the parents. People should always have the choice over whether to have to test which may cause them harm. Calling on doctors to force people to have tests and abortions when they don't want them will harm the doctor/patient relationship. It is the job of healthcare professionals to help their patients, not to enforce eugenic programs. If you made screening and abortion mandatory, some parents would reporting pregnancies to doctors for fear of losing control over decisions. That could actually increase birth defects.
  15. I spend about £30-35 (about $50) a week on groceries for me and my boyfriend. He buys a few items too, mostly small luxuries, and he also buys his own lunches, whereas I almost never eat out. He doesn't eat meat, and I only buy frozen meat/fish when it's on offer and eat it maybe once a week or so, which helps keep costs down.