Blog Posts by U. S. News & World Report

  • After Todd Akin, GOP Cannot Deny War on Women

    By Leslie Marshall

    Leslie Marshall is a nationally syndicated radio host heard nationwide weekdays from 7-10pm Eastern time on radio and streamed live at Leslie is also a Fox News contributor seen weekly on The O'Reilly Factor, America Live, monthly on Hannity and she sits in for Bob Beckel as one of the co hosts on The Five. She lives in Los Angeles.

    Todd Akin. It's a name all Americans know today due to his remark that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant. This offended me and so many others. But perhaps even more so, victims of rape and victims who were impregnated by their attackers.

    So after Akin made such a disgusting remark, you think he would apologize? Clarify? This is what he said: There isn't any legitimate rapist…."I was making the point that there were people who use false claims, like those basically created Roe v. Wade..."

    [Take the U.S. News Poll: Should Todd Akin Drop Out of His Race After 'Legitimate Rape'

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  • Todd Akin's Bizarre 'Legitimate Rape' Remarks

    By Robert Schlesinger

    Robert Schlesinger is managing editor for opinion at U.S. News and World Report. He is the author of White House Ghosts: Presidents and Their Speechwriters. E-mail him at Follow him on Twitter: @rschles.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we have an early favorite for the Sharron Angle crackpot flame-out award, given to the GOP Senate nominee most likely to cost their party a Senate seat by making public utterances that transcend mere rabid conservatism in favor of the flat-out bizarre. I refer of course to Missouri GOP Rep. Todd Akin and his comment that "legitimate" rape doesn't result in pregnancy.

    In case you missed Sunday's Akin firestorm-in case, in other words, you haven't read the news, Twitter, or Facebook-he was on a local St. Louis interview show and was asked about his opposition to abortion in all cases, including rape.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on healthcare.]

    His response, as reported by TPM:

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  • School Policy Expelling Pregnant Teens is Sexist and Unconstitutional

    By Susan Milligan

    Traditionalists complain that high school students don't read enough of the classics anymore-Shakespeare, for example, or those books many of us arguably didn't fully appreciate as teenagers but which are important to study to expand the mind and the knowledge of that era in history.

    We needn't worry or wonder if students at Delhi Charter School in northern Louisiana are reading The Scarlett Letter. They're living it.

    The school, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (which is considering a lawsuit) has a "student pregnancy policy" which not only bans pregnant students from school, but requires girls suspected of being pregnant to take a pregnancy test.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on the Catholic contraception controversy.]

    The ACLU says this rule is unconstitutional, since it violates equal protection laws (boys who impregnated girls would not be banned from school, and it also violates Title IX, which says pregnant

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  • Fab Five Gymnasts Deserve More Respect

    By Susan Milligan

    The U.S. women's gymnastics team has scored a stunning coup for the United States, winning a gold medal in team competition for the first time in 16 years. But there's a dark, tragic underside to the story, the Washington Post informs us: The teenage girls and women aren't providing the kewpie-doll cuteness and smiles that, it seems, are the real appeal of women's gymnastics.

    In a piece headlined "Has Gymnastics Lost the Joy?" the Post bemoans the fact that improved technique, tough training, and sheer brute athleticism has taken the fun out of gymnastics (the men's team, which placed fifth in the team all-around, is apparently allowed not to have fun). The female athletes, the story says, aren't smiling as they accomplish incredible flips on the floor or precarious poses on the balance beam. The fact that the physical exertion and focus required to win-never mind just to compete-might be more important than looking like a sweet little girl isn't really

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  • Stop Sexualizing Women's Sports

    By Susan Milligan

    Female athletes outnumber the men on the U.S. Olympic team this year for the first time in history. The first two days of competition, U.S. women slightly out-medaled the U.S. men, and while superstar swimmer Michael Phelps somewhat disappointed, Dana Vollmer not only won a gold medal in the 100 meter butterfly, but set a world record to boot. Saudi Arabia sent two women to compete for the first time in history.

    [Read: Saudi Women's Olympics Debut Means 'Very Little' for Gender Equality]

    So why are women still battling to get taken seriously in sports?

    Female boxers had to fight back an effort to force them to wear skirts while they are competing. The idea, the Amateur International Boxing Association argued, was to help viewers distinguish between male and female boxers. Most of us can do that by simply looking at the differently-shape bodies of the athletes. Or, one can just take notice of how much coverage is given to the performances, since women's

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  • How Much Will You Need to Send Your Child to College in 2030?

    By JP

    When it comes to children and finances, what is every parent's goal? It's to raise young adults that can become financially independent. Unfortunately, surveys have shown low success rates. Only 23 percent of 20-somethings consider themselves financially independent, according to a survey by PNC. One of the largest barriers to achieving independence is the rising costs of college tuition.

    According to the US Department of Education, the average cost of a year at public school is $15,100 and $32,900 for private institutions. Those costs are more than outpacing inflation and wage growth. Today, there is more outstanding student loan debt than credit card debt. More than 11 percent of graduates have racked up more than $50,000 in student loans, according to a 2009 survey by Sallie Mae.

    If you are the parent of a young child, it's only going to be worse by the time your child is ready to enroll in college.

    What Will College Tuition Cost in 2030?


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  • Tennessee's Ridiculous Crusade Against 'Gateway Sex'

    By Susan Milligan

    First, there were "gateway drugs." Now, the danger, apparently, is gateway sex.

    On first read, a sensible person would assume that the phrase refers to an interesting place to have sex, for those who like a little variety. But no, the term refers to unspecified sexual activity that might lead to actual sexual intercourse. So squeamish are actual adults about even talking about this behavior, the Washington Post reports, that the measure has been dubbed the "holding hands" law.

    Now, there's some value in getting kids not to try things that lead to no good. And it can be remarkably effective: When I was in seventh grade, we were inundated with such a relentless antismoking message-not just in health class, but in many other classes-that virtually no one I knew in my grade smoked. Not only that, but we harassed our parents (most of whom had started smoking before we all understood how very bad for you it is) to stop as well. Where the school fell down was

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  • Even with Title IX, Women Athletes Still Face Inequality

    By Cynthia Brown

    Cynthia Brown is the vice president for Education Policy at the Center for American Progress.

    In 1978, I was the deputy director of the Office for Civil Rights in President Carter's Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and as such I was sent on a university tour for a crash course on athletic scholarships and NCAA rules. I was gathering information about gender equity in college sports.

    The trip was fascinating. I was wined and dined by university presidents at each stop-Ohio State, Stanford, Duke, UCLA, and the University of Maryland. But when I visited the University of Richmond in 1978 and asked to meet with the woman athletic director, I wasn't allowed. Only in the quiet stalls of the women's bathroom could she tell me the truth: While the male athletes were treated like kings, women's athletics at the university were barely existent.

    Today, moments like this one are history. In the 34 years since I was charged with developing the Title IX

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  • Title IX Hurts Men's Athletics

    By Carrie Lukas

    Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women's Forum.

    When the summer Olympics begin next month, commentators will point to young girls eagerly watching female track stars, soccer players, gymnasts and swimmers, and celebrate how Title IX, a law passed 40 years ago, has helped so many girls and young women have the chance to play sports.

    That's an important part of Title IX's legacy.

    Yet there's another side to the story. It's one that could be told by male gymnasts, swimmers, and track stars: And that's how men's sports teams have been sacrificed in order to achieve "proportionality" as demanded by those enforcing Title IX. Mothers concerned about their sons' diminishing prospects might rightly bow out of Title IX's anniversary celebrations, and ask why the focus continues to be solely on bolstering female participation on college campuses, even as young men fall further behind.

    [See Photos of London 2012: Make Way for the Olympics]

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  • The Congressional Glass Ceiling

    By Elizabeth Flock

    You'd think that since 1916-the year a woman was first elected to U.S. Congress-there would have been some serious progress.

    Women in the workforce, after all, have been on a steady rise.

    Not so in Congress, where women hold less than 17 percent of seats to this day, according to the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics. In 2010, the number of women elected to the House actually declined.

    [See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

    "Politics is lagging behind society," says Barbara Palmer, associate professor of political science at Baldwin-Wallace College and co-author of the upcoming book Women and Congressional Elections: A Century of Change.

    Palmer and Southern Methodist University professor Dennis Simon have been studying the political glass ceiling for over a decade. Voters, they said, mostly aren't to blame for the lack of progress. But they shared five other very real reasons more women aren't in

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