The question of whether we judge books by their covers has now been given a gendered spin. This week, YA author Maureen Johnson invited people to reimagine popular book covers as if the author were of the opposite gender. Hundreds of people responded to her proposal, sharing "flipped" book covers on Tumblr to highlight the stereotypical differences between covers for male and female writers. Take a look at some of the most fascinating book-cover makeovers!
Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about wishing for a baby of a certain gender.
When I was first pregnant 10 years ago and people asked whether I wanted a boy or a girl, I always responded that I wanted a healthy baby. I gave the same response when I got pregnant a year-and-a-half later.
I was telling the truth. Back then I thought it was greedy and socially unacceptable to express that you hoped for a specific gender. I thought it was cruel and mean to the fetus inside my belly to have an opinion.
Plus, I was haunted by a family story about my grandmother wanting a girl so badly that she gave my dad a girl’s name, Terry. Not Terrance, but Terry, which apparently back then wasn't used for both genders.
But now I'm older and less wise, and I'm letting go of the self-righteous attitudes that I latched onto in my youth, and I will tell you that more than anything I want a girl. A ruffle-loving, pink-wearing, pretty little princess who I can call Kate or Elizabeth or Sarah-Rose or something wonderfully lovely and girlie.
Though here in the US you wouldn't associate foundation and eyebrow pencils with workforce masculinity, a growing trend in Asia says otherwise. In South Korea, the days of cosmetics belonging merely to newscasters and drag queens are a thing of the past, and businessmen are getting in on the beautifying action. South Korean men are expected to fork over $885 million for makeup this year, driven by the notion that "appearance is power." Guys feel that they will snag jobs in a competitive market and find greater career success if they put their best face forward, a notion with which women are already all too familiar. But while this changing perception of masculinity may be the new foundation of gender standards in Asia, is it likely to cross the Pacific? We want to know:
"I'm excited either way! But I always wanted a boy 1st," mom-to-be Vanessa Lachey tweeted to a fan yesterday after being asked whether she was hoping for a boy or a girl. The day before, the 31-year-old Wipeout host had shared a Twitpic of an at-home gender prediction test, and asked followers, "Am I crazy for wanting to try this? I'm such a sucker for this kind of stuff!!!" After receiving a good deal of media and fan attention for sharing that she was hoping for a little boy, Lachey quickly clarified that she and hubby Nick will be happy so long as the baby is healthy. Her admission has us wondering though . . . Did you have a preference regarding your baby's gender? And if so, did you admit it or keep it to yourself?
Think getting into your first parenting disagreement just 20 days into your pregnancy sounds impossible? Think again. Whether or not you and your significant other choose to find out your baby's gender before he/she is born is a very personal decision, and one that most parents-to-be have a strong opinion about. So when mom and dad don't agree on the issue, whose opinion matters more? Is this an issue that you and your significant other faced during pregnancy? If so, how did you deal with it?
"Now you can try for a girl!" Those were the first words out of a friends' mouth after I gave birth to my second baby boy. Though I was taken aback at the time, I've come to expect it. I've been stopped by strangers on the street who seem to think I need to add a baby of the opposite gender to my brood in order for it to be complete. And it appears that I'm not alone.
Earlier this year, while appearing on The Tonight Show, Jay Leno asked a then-pregnant Jennifer Garner if hubby Ben Affleck was hoping for a boy this time. She responded, "At first I really thought so." But she added that he told her, "Well, we have girls. We know how to do girls; my girls love me. I'm the big guy in the house." That all changed on Monday when the couple welcomed lil Samuel to the family.
While most parents are simply happy to have a healthy child in their arms, there are countless myths about influencing the sex of a child, and science even allows parents to undergo procedures to predetermine a baby's gender. For those who wish to try for a baby of certain sex without medical intervention, the Egg Cycle Method is one way to do so. I spoke with Michal Naim, founder of Girl or Boy 4 U and an expert on the method, to see how and why it works.
LilSugar: What is the Egg Cycle Method?
Michal Naim: Egg Cycle Method (ECM) is a natural method that can be implemented to predetermine the gender of a child. It does not rely on diet or positions during intercourse, rather ECM focuses on the woman's body cycle and the time period in a woman's cycle that her egg receives and fertilizes an X or Y sperm.
LS: How does it work?
MN: The membrane surrounding a human egg emits ions, giving off an electrical charge. This charge attracts either the X or Y sperm during a woman’s menstrual cycle. This attraction changes from cycle to cycle. It is important for a woman looking to have a specific gender to conceive during the cycle in which her ovum will attract the appropriate chromosome. One cycle the egg might "accept" an X sperm, another cycle it might "accept" a Y sperm. I help women identify which cycle is the cycle that her egg will accept the gender of her choice and advise her on conceiving during that particular cycle.
LS: Are their limitations to ECM? Is every woman compatible with it?
MN: There are some limitations to ECM, dependent on each woman and her personal cycle. Not every woman qualifies for the ECM — actually one out of four women do not qualify for the method because I cannot map or read her cycle based on the previous pregnancies' information. Women with irregular menstrual cycles and women without previous pregnancies have lower chances to qualify or to be as successful.
LS: What is the probability of it working?
MN: Of the qualified women that follow my instructions, I have around a 90 percent success rate.
Science can now explain your boyfriend's love of spooning. If a long-term relationship involves lots of kisses and cuddles, the man will be more satisfied, according to a new study. Researchers from The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction expected to find the opposite, that women needed physical signs of affection more than men. But their research discovered that women are more likely to stay in a relationship if they're sexually satisfied, while men cited hugs, kisses, and cuddles.
Looking at couples from all over the world in long-term relationships lasting one to 51 years, the study found several factors impact a relationship's success. Men who are healthy are more likely to report satisfaction with the relationship, and women become more satisfied later in the relationship. For women, happiness starts to decrease between year one and 15, picking up again at year 20 and 50 of the relationship, most likely after any child rearing.
As for cuddling and kissing, the researchers aren't sure if all men crave it or if men who stay in long-term relationships are the type of men predisposed to valuing such affection. In addition, women in lasting relationships may have increased sexual satisfaction over time because sexually unsatisfied women would end the relationship — therefore a study looking at long-term couples would only deal with sexually satisfied women. They plan to conduct more research to further explain.
Do these results surprise you as much as they surprised the researchers?
Usually the pageant moms on Toddlers & Tiaras get a lot of flak for pushing their children into the beauty pageant lifestyle. But in the case of 7-year-old Brock, who describes himself as a "diva," his mom should be commended for her loving support of her son's involvement in pageants. Brock is passionate about dancing, saying he'd love to be on Broadway when he grows up, a refreshing change of pace from the girls who are dragged kicking and screaming onto the stage. In the video below, Brock's mom talks about how when Brock was only 2 years old he wanted to take tap dance lessons, and ever since then both she and her husband have encouraged him to be who he is, even when that means dressing up like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz and playing with dolls. Watch the sweet video below.
We're not huge fans of the word cougar — used, for the most part, to try to humiliate women who date younger men (their "prey," known as cubs). But for better or worse, it's in the lexicon, which means that the idea that older women can still be sexy — and sexual — is out there, too. The following group of films shows that the cougar's been around in popular culture for a while, that cougar/cub desire is a two-way street, and that these couplings can be good, bad, or downright scary.
Do men really have sex on the brain every seven seconds? That's the question psychologists from Ohio State set out to answer. They found that, in fact, it's just an urban legend. Men can go much longer than seven seconds before they think about sex. Men do, however, think about it almost twice as much as women.
Comparing college-age men to college-age women, the study found men think about sex 18 times a day on average, while women think about it 10 times. But the researchers found something else: men report thoughts of food and sleep at the same rate as thoughts of sex.
One possible explanation is that men are aware of their physical state. But there's another way to explain it, too. Men might be more comfortable reporting thoughts of sex, sleep, and food. And women who said they care a lot about other people's opinions of them were less likely to report thoughts about food or sex. Our thoughts might not be so different, just what we believe we're allowed to think about.