Although Planned Parenthood's most recent controversy revolves around "fetal tissue" trafficking, the organization is no stranger to eyebrow-raising activities. A recent solicitation for participants for Planned Parenthood's Sexual Health Evaluation (SHE) study promised at least $70 with a chance to win up to $500. Interested parties who had had unprotected sex were encouraged to visit the website to "get the deal on what the study is all about, the gift cards you'll earn, and how you can win additional big prizes — then sign up and get started!"
Although enrollment for the study is now over (2,317 participants signed up), Planned Parenthood used the following page to invite site visitors to learn more about the study:
Clicking through to learn more presented potential participants with a video explaining the study and the various incentives, including cash prizes and gift cards for retailers such as Apple, Starbucks, Target, and H&M.
The study, as the acronym SHE indicates, is targeted at women. Although the solicitation refers to "unprotected sex", the scope of the study covers all of Planned Parenthood's online resources and seeks to learn through four 10-minute surveys over three months how women use those resources:
Planned Parenthood assures participants that the organization will keep "personal health information... 100% private," promising to "do everything we can to keep others from learning about your participation in this study" through the use of identifying code numbers.
The study is a joint project of Planned Parenthood and New York University Silver School of Social Work. Two drawings were planned for the contest portion of the study, one in the Spring/Summer of 2015 and the second for Fall/Winter 2015.
If the world is looking for a go-to expert on links between Twitter and heart health, the University of Pennsylvania might just be the place. Earlier this year, The Telegraph reported on a study entitled "Psychological Language on Twitter Predicts County-Level Heart Disease Mortality" conducted at the university and written up in the journal Psychological Science.
We’re going to hear a lot in the coming days about how the “Chinese” education system is superior to America’s. That’s because the results of an international exam were released today, and American students fared predictably poorly. And it was “Asian nations [who] dominated the test,” reports the Associated Press. “The top average scores in each subject came from Shanghai, China,” says the AP.
Social media resembles the halls of high school in many ways. Not least, according to a recent study (and what would we do without studies?), in the transitory effects on your mood. As Geoffrey Mohan writes in the Los Angeles Times:
Study of the humanities has never been more important to the welfare of the nation. Information whizzes by at breakneck speed. The contest between conservative and progressive visions of government’s scope and aim in a free society implicates rival understandings of human nature. The ways of life of people in far-off lands have direct impact on our prosperity and security.
Those on the left are wont to complain that government employees are under assualt these days because GOP politicians are going after public sector unions and generous deals they've leveraged through collective bargaining. The standard defense of civil service workers is, yes, they might have good benefits and more job stability but these things are necessary because public sector workers earn significantly less than private sector counterparts.