Fierce

Researchers Are Finding That Boys Are Being Given The Freedom To Be More In Touch With Their Feelings Because Of Quarantine

Studies have shown that even at an early age, children are susceptible to the pressures of conforming. For boys, the pressure to be more physical during play, express emotions less, and suppress the need to express feelings of happiness or even sadness is very real. What’s more, these findings (which have found that beyond the stereotypes that push young girls into feeling as if they are naturally unsuited for STEM fields) boys are also affected and told that they should avoid interests in reading and writing.

These pressures can lead to grave consequences in the future as a result which almost always negatively influences women on a greater scale. The impacts of these pressures can be so serious in fact that national conversations about the gender stereotypes boys are forced to fulfill are increasing.

A new study is finding that in addition to the various negative effects the current pandemic has had on children, it has one particular upside: boys are being given space to access their full range of emotions.

In the time since schools have shut down, authorities say that boys are feeling less of the gendered pressures they once felt in school.

According to a 2018 report published by The State of Gender Equality, one out of three boys will internalize cultural messages to “be dominant, physically strong, violent, unemotional, denigrating to girls and seeing girls as sexual objects.” At the same time, the study found that 82% of boys had reported witnessing someone being insulted for “acting like a girl” when a male peer cried or displayed emotions.

Experts are saying that the current pandemic is easing the social pressures many boys feel in school.

Peggy Orenstein, an author who writes about the discrepancy between male and female sexuality, chronicled the issues boys face in school in her 2020 book “Boys & Sex.” According to CNN, Orenstein’s book paints “a simplistic view of masculine normalcy that cut them off from their full humanity, from interests and feelings and expressions that aren’t biologically masculine or feminine, but are culturally marked that way.” According to the author, the pandemic “relieved a certain kind of social pressure they felt to perform because they’re in a more private space. They can drop the wall a little bit more.”

“Boys face negative long-term mental and physical health outcomes from the socialization towards emotional suppression,” Orenstein underlined in her interview with CNN.

The point? Quarantine is giving boys the much-needed space that allows them to express themselves properly and productively.

“The extreme stress of COVID has revealed that the problem is not the boys; it’s the boyhood that we make for them,” psychologist and author Michael C. Reichert explained to CNN about the behavioral changes.”If we create a different set of norms, make a different space, and see boys through opened eyes, we’ll see that they’re relational, emotional human beings,” he said. “Behind the mask is a beating heart.”

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Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Entertainment

Selena Gomez and Jennifer Lopez Are Partnering With Global Citizen For ‘Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World’

Photo via Getty Images

While the United States is as of publication, has vaccinated over 75 million people against COVID-19 since mid-December, the rest of the world is still catching up. Poorer countries, for example, are struggling to procure enough vaccines for essential workers–let alone their entire population.

Luckily, certain charitable business are making it their mission to get vaccines to the most needy. For example, anti-poverty organization Global Citizen has organized a charity concert with the aim of getting COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries.

Selena Gomez will be hosting the concert, called “VAX Live: The Concert to Reunite the World”. And none other than Jennifer Lopez will be headlining.

Selena Gomez took to Twitter to announce her involvement in the exciting project. “I’m honored to be hosting ‘VAX LIVE: The Concert to Reunite the World,’ ” she wrote.

“This is a historic moment to encourage people around the world to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, call on world leaders to share vaccine doses equitably and to bring people together for a night of music in a way that hasn’t felt possible in the past year. I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Jennifer Lopez also took to Twitter to announce her involvement with VAX Live, saying that she is “calling for equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution for all”. That’s a statement we can get behind!

Jennifer Lopez isn’t the only superstar performing. Other acts will include J Balvin, H.E.R., and the Foo Fighters.

Global Citizen has one goal: to raise $22 billion for global vaccinations via corporate and philanthropic donors. They’re hoping VAX Live will bring awareness to their efforts.

“There are 27 million healthcare workers globally who don’t have access to the vaccine,” said Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans to the Associated Press. “I’m 38 years old, and it’s not ethical for me to have access to the vaccine before these heroic first responders and community health workers. So we need governments to start urgently donating those doses.”

Tom Hart, the executive director for another anti-poverty organization, The ONE Campaign, also reiterated the importance of getting vaccine doses into the hands of developing countries.

“Low-income countries not only need this welcome fundraising effort; they need access to COVID-19 vaccine doses,” Tom Hart said.

“The United States has secured over 550 million excess doses that could be used to help end the global pandemic faster.”

You can catch VAX LIVE on ABC, CBS, and iHeartMedia stations on 8:00 p.m. ET on May 8th. It will also be airing on Fox starting at 11:00 p.m. ET/PT the same day. You’ll also be able to catch an extended version on Global Citizen’s YouTube channel on May 8th as well.

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Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Things That Matter

Brazil Just Passed a Bill That Will Allow Rich Corporations to ‘Skip the Line’ for COVID-19 Vaccines

Photo via Getty Images

Currently, Brazil is one of the world’s epicenters of the coronavirus. In March 2021, Brazil saw 66,573 COVID-19-related deaths. That means 1 in every 3 COVID-related deaths worldwide are occuring in Brazil.

And it doesn’t appear that the numbers will be slowing down anytime soon. While the United States is making strides in their COVID-19 vaccine distribution, Brazil is lagging far behind. And things are about to get a lot more complicated.

On Tuesday, Brazil passed a bill that would allow corporations to buy up as many vaccines as they can get their hands on, and privately distribute them to their employees first.

Elected officials in Brazil are arguing that the country has become so desperate to vaccinate its citizens, that it doesn’t matter who gets the vaccines first at this point.

The country, once renowned for having one of the most robust and efficient public vaccine-distribution programs in the world, has failed to make strides towards getting their citizens vaccinated.

“We are at war,” said the leader of the chamber, Arthur Lira. “And in war, anything goes to save lives.” We don’t know about you, but usually when it comes to war, we’ve heard that soldiers prioritize the health and safety of young, the weak, and the elderly before their own? We digress…

Brazil’s plan to privatize the vaccine rollout has brought up moral and ethical questions.

From the beginning, the World Health Organization has asked countries to first prioritize essential health workers and then high-risk populations when distributing the vaccine.

Anything other than that would promote a pay-to-play schemes in which the rich could protect their lives before poor people could. And poor people are more likely to die from COVID-19 in the first place.

As Alison Buttenheim, behavioral scientist and expert on the equitable allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine said, vaccine distribution should not “exacerbate disparities and inequities in health care,” but instead address them. Brazil’s vaccine rollout plan would fail to do any of the above.

If countries begin to allow the rich to prioritize their own interests during the vaccine rollout, the consequences could be disastrous.

In a time when the world is stoked by fear and uncertainty, the worst thing that can happen is for rich companies to exacerbate inequalities by effectively choosing who lives or dies.

As the Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization said at the beginning of the global vaccine rollout: “any distribution of vaccines should advance human well-being and honor global equity, national equity, reciprocity, and legitimacy.”

Poor Brazilians should not be left to fend for themselves against COVID-19 simply because they are poor.

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