The Gender Data Gap.

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderator: Alyrium Denryle

Post Reply
User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-16 06:52am

Posting this article, courtesy of the Guardian, here, though it could as well apply to News and Politics:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... ar-crashes
When broadcaster Sandi Toksvig was studying anthropology at university, one of her female professors held up a photograph of an antler bone with 28 markings on it. “This,” said the professor, “is alleged to be man’s first attempt at a calendar.” Toksvig and her fellow students looked at the bone in admiration. “Tell me,” the professor continued, “what man needs to know when 28 days have passed? I suspect that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.”

Women have always tracked their periods. We’ve had to. Since 2015, I’ve been reliant on a period tracker app, which reassures me that there’s a reason I’m welling up just thinking about Andy Murray’s “casual feminism”. And then there’s the issue of the period itself: when you will be bleeding for up to seven days every month, it’s useful to know more or less when those seven days are going to take place. Every woman knows this, and Toksvig’s experience is a neat example of the difference a female perspective can make, even to issues that seem entirely unrelated to gender.

For most of human history, though, that perspective has not been recorded. Going back to the theory of Man the Hunter, the lives of men have been taken to represent those of humans overall. When it comes to the other half of humanity, there is often nothing but silence. And these silences are everywhere. Films, news, literature, science, city planning, economics, the stories we tell ourselves about our past, present and future, are all marked – disfigured – by a female-shaped “absent presence”. This is the gender data gap.

These silences, these gaps, have consequences. They impact on women’s lives, every day. The impact can be relatively minor – struggling to reach a top shelf set at a male height norm, for example. Irritating, certainly. But not life-threatening. Not like crashing in a car whose safety tests don’t account for women’s measurements. Not like dying from a stab wound because your police body armour doesn’t fit you properly. For these women, the consequences of living in a world built around male data can be deadly.

The gender data gap is both a cause and a consequence of the type of unthinking that conceives of humanity as almost exclusively male. In the 1956 musical My Fair Lady, phoneticist Henry Higgins is baffled when, after enduring months of his hectoring put-downs, his protege-cum-victim Eliza Doolittle finally bites back. “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” he grumbles.

The formula to determine standard office temperature was developed in the 1960s around the metabolic resting rate of the average man. But a recent Dutch study found that the metabolic rate of young adult females performing light office work is significantly lower than the standard values for men doing the same activity. In fact, the formula may overestimate female metabolic rate by as much as 35%, meaning that current offices are on average five degrees too cold for women. This leads to the odd sight of female office workers wrapped in blankets in the summer, while their male colleagues wander around in shorts.

Not only is this situation inequitable, it is bad business sense: an uncomfortable workforce is an unproductive workforce. But workplace data gaps lead to a lot worse than simple discomfort and inefficiency. Over the past 100 years, workplaces have, on the whole, got considerably safer. In the early 1900s, about 4,400 people in the UK died at work every year. By 2016, that figure had fallen to 135. But while serious injuries at work have been decreasing for men, there is evidence that they have been increasing among women. The gender data gap is again implicated, with occupational research traditionally focused on male-dominated industries.

Every year, 8,000 people in the UK die from work-related cancers. And although most research in this area has been done on men, it’s far from clear that men are the most affected. Over the past 50 years, breast cancer rates in the industrialised world have risen significantly – but a failure to research female bodies, occupations and environments means that the data for exactly what is behind this rise is lacking. “We know everything about dust disease in miners,” Rory O’Neill, professor of occupational and environmental policy research at the University of Stirling, tells me. “You can’t say the same for exposures, physical or chemical, in ‘women’s work’.”

Cancer is a long-latency disease, O’Neill says, so even if we started the studies now, it would take a working generation before we had any usable data. But we aren’t starting the studies now. Instead, we continue to rely on data from studies done on men as if they apply to women. Specifically, Caucasian men aged 25 to 30, who weigh 70kg. This is “Reference Man” and his superpower is being able to represent humanity as a whole. Of course, he does not.

Men and women have different immune systems and hormones, which can play a role in how chemicals are absorbed. Women tend to be smaller than men and have thinner skin, both of which can lower the level of toxins they can be safely exposed to. This lower tolerance threshold is compounded by women’s higher percentage of body fat, in which some chemicals can accumulate. Chemicals are still usually tested in isolation, and on the basis of a single exposure. But this is not how women tend to encounter them.

In nail salons, where the workforce is almost exclusively female (and often migrant), workers will be exposed on a daily basis to a huge range of chemicals that are “routinely found in the polishes, removers, gels, shellacs, disinfectants and adhesives that are staples of their work”, according to the Canadian researcher Anne Rochon Ford. Many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, miscarriages and lung diseases. Some may alter the body’s normal hormonal functions. If these women then go home and begin a second unpaid shift cleaning their home, they will be exposed to different chemicals that are ubiquitous in common products. The effects of these mixing together are largely unknown.

Most of the research on chemicals has focused on their absorption through the skin. But many of the ones used in nail salons are extremely volatile, which means that they evaporate at room temperature and can be inhaled – along with the considerable amounts of dust produced when acrylic nails are filed. The research on how this may impact on workers is virtually nonexistent.

Part of the failure to see the risks in traditionally female-dominated industries is because often these jobs are an extension of what women do in the home (although at a more onerous scale). But the data gap when it comes to women in the workplace doesn’t only arise in female-dominated industries.

Little data exists on injuries to women in construction, but the New York Committee for Occupational Safety & Health (NYCOSH) points to a US study of union carpenters that found women had higher rates of sprains, strains and nerve conditions of the wrist and forearm than men. Given the lack of data, it’s hard to be sure exactly why this is, but it’s a safe bet to attribute at least some of the blame to “standard” construction site equipment being designed around the male body.

Wendy Davis, ex-director of the Women’s Design Service in the UK, questions the standard size of a bag of cement. It’s a comfortable weight for a man to lift – but it doesn’t actually have to be that size, she points out. “If they were a bit smaller, then women could lift them.” Davis also takes issue with the standard brick size. “I’ve got photographs of my [adult] daughter holding a brick. She can’t get her hand round it. But [her husband] Danny’s hand fits perfectly comfortably. Why does a brick have to be that size?” She also notes that the typical A1 architect’s portfolio fits nicely under most men’s arms while most women’s arms don’t reach round it.

NYCOSH similarly notes that “standard hand tools like wrenches tend to be too large for women’s hands to grip tightly”.

In the UK, employers are legally required to provide well-maintained personal protective equipment (PPE) – anything from goggles to full body suits – to workers who need it, free of charge. But most PPE is based on the sizes and characteristics of male populations from Europe and the US. The TUC found that employers often think that when it comes to female workers all they need to do to comply with this legal requirement is to buy smaller sizes.

Differences in chests, hips and thighs can affect the way the straps fit on safety harnesses. The use of a “standard” US male face shape for dust, hazard and eye masks means they don’t fit most women (as well as a lot of black and minority ethnic men). A 2017 TUC report found that the problem with ill-fitting PPE was worst in the emergency services, where only 5% of women said that their PPE never hampered their work, with body armour, stab vests, hi-vis vests and jackets all highlighted as unsuitable.

When it comes to frontline workers, poorly fitting PPE can prove fatal. In 1997, a British female police officer was stabbed and killed while using a hydraulic ram to enter a flat. She had removed her body armour because it was too difficult to use the ram while wearing it. Two years later, a female police officer revealed that she had had to have breast-reduction surgery because of the health effects of wearing her body armour. After this case was reported, another 700 officers in the same force came forward to complain about the standard-issue protective vest.

But although the complaints have been coming regularly over the past 20 years, little seems to have been done. British female police officers report being bruised by their kit belts; a number have had to have physiotherapy because of the way stab vests sit on their body; many complain there is no space for their breasts. This is not only uncomfortable, it also results in stab vests coming up too short, leaving women unprotected.

In April 2017, the BBC journalist Samira Ahmed wanted to use a toilet. She was at a screening of the James Baldwin documentary I Am Not Your Negro at London’s Barbican arts centre, and it was the interval. Any woman who has ever been to the theatre knows what that means. This evening, the queue was worse than usual. Far worse. Because in an almost comically blatant display of not having thought about women at all, the Barbican had turned both the male and female toilets gender neutral simply by replacing the “men” and “women” signage with “gender neutral with urinals” and “gender neutral with cubicles”. The obvious happened. Only men were using the supposedly “gender neutral with urinals” and everyone was using the “gender neutral with cubicles”.

Rather than rendering the toilets genuinely gender neutral, they had simply increased the provision for men. “Ah the irony of having to explain discrimination having just been to see I Am Not Your Negro IN YOUR CINEMA”, Ahmed tweeted, suggesting that turning the gents gender neutral would be sufficient: “There’s NEVER such a queue there & you know it.”

On the face of it, it may seem fair and equitable to accord male and female public toilets the same amount of space – and historically, this is the way it has been done: 50/50 division of floor space has even been formalised in plumbing codes. However, if a male toilet has both cubicles and urinals, the number of people who can relieve themselves at once is far higher per square foot of floor space in the male bathroom than in the female bathroom. Suddenly equal floor space isn’t so equal.

But even if male and female toilets had an equal number of stalls, the issue wouldn’t be resolved, because women take up to 2.3 times as long as men to use the toilet. Women make up the majority of the elderly and disabled, two groups that will tend to need more time in the toilet. Women are also more likely to be accompanied by children, as well as disabled and older people. Then there’s the 20–25% of women of childbearing age who may be on their period at any one time, and therefore need to change a tampon or a sanitary pad.

Women may also require more trips to the bathroom: pregnancy significantly reduces bladder capacity, and women are eight times more likely to suffer from urinary-tract infections. In the face of all these anatomical differences, it would surely take a formal equality dogmatist to continue to argue that equal floor space between men and women is fair.

In 1998, a pianist called Christopher Donison wrote that “one can divide the world into roughly two constituencies”: those with larger hands, and those with smaller hands. Donison was writing as a male pianist who, due to his smaller than average hands, had struggled for years with traditional keyboards, but he could equally have been writing as a woman. There is plenty of data showing that women have, on average, smaller hands, and yet we continue to design equipment around the average male hand as if one-size-fits-men is the same as one-size-fits-all.

The average smartphone size is now 5.5 inches. While the average man can fairly comfortably use his device one-handed, the average woman’s hand is not much bigger than the handset itself. This is obviously annoying – and foolish for a company like Apple, given that research shows women are more likely to own an iPhone than men.

One woman found her car's voice-command system only listened to her husband, even though he was in the passenger seat
The tech journalist and author James Ball has a theory for why the big-screen fixation persists: because the received wisdom is that men drive high-end smartphone purchases. But if women aren’t driving high-end smartphone purchases – at least for non-Apple products – is it because women aren’t interested in smartphones? Or could it be because smartphones are designed without women in mind? On the bright side, Ball reassured me that screens probably wouldn’t be getting any bigger because “they’ve hit the limit of men’s hand size”.

Good news for men, then. But tough breaks for women like my friend Liz who owns a third-generation Motorola Moto G. In response to one of my regular rants about handset sizes she replied that she’d just been “complaining to a friend about how difficult it was to zoom on my phone camera. He said it was easy on his. Turns out we have the same phone. I wondered if it was a hand-size thing.”

When Zeynep Tufekci, a researcher at the University of North Carolina, was trying to document tear gas use in the Gezi Park protests in Turkey in 2013, the size of her Google Nexus got in the way. It was the evening of 9 June. Gezi Park was crowded. Parents were there with their children. And then the canisters were fired. Because officials “often claimed that tear gas was used only on vandals and violent protesters”, Tufekci wanted to document what was happening. So she pulled out her phone. “And as my lungs, eyes and nose burned with the pain of the lachrymatory agent released from multiple capsules that had fallen around me, I started cursing.” Her phone was too big. She could not take a picture one-handed – “something I had seen countless men with larger hands do all the time”. All Tufekci’s photos from the event were unusable, she wrote, and “for one simple reason: good smartphones are designed for male hands”.

Voice recognition could be one solution to a smartphone that doesn’t fit your hands, but voice-recognition software is often hopelessly male-biased. In 2016, Rachael Tatman, a research fellow in linguistics at the University of Washington, found that Google’s speech-recognition software was 70% more likely to accurately recognise male speech.

Clearly, it is unfair for women to pay the same price as men for products that deliver an inferior service. But there can also be serious safety implications. Voice-recognition software in cars, for example, is meant to decrease distractions and make driving safer. But they can have the opposite effect if they don’t work. An article on car website Autoblog quoted a woman who had bought a 2012 Ford Focus, only to find that its voice-command system only listened to her husband, even though he was in the passenger seat. Another woman called the manufacturer for help when her Buick’s voice-activated phone system wouldn’t listen to her: “The guy told me point-blank it wasn’t ever going to work for me. They told me to get a man to set it up.”

Immediately after writing this, I was with my mother in her Volvo Cross Country watching her try and fail to get the voice-recognition system to call her sister. After five failed attempts I suggested she tried lowering the pitch of her voice. It worked first time.

In the tech world, the implicit assumption that men are the default human remains king. When Apple launched its health-monitoring system with much fanfare in 2014, it boasted a “comprehensive” health tracker. It could track blood pressure; steps taken; blood alcohol level; even molybdenum and copper intake. But as many women pointed out at the time, they forgot one crucial detail: a period tracker.

When Apple launched their AI, Siri, users in the US found that she (ironically) could find prostitutes and Viagra suppliers, but not abortion providers. Siri could help you if you’d had a heart attack, but if you told her you’d been raped, she replied “I don’t know what you mean by ‘I was raped.’”

From smartwatches that are too big for women’s wrists, to map apps that fail to account for women who may want to know the “safest” in addition to “fastest” routes; to “measure how good you are at sex” apps called “iThrust” and “iBang” the tech industry is rife with other examples. While there are an increasing number of female-led tech firms that do cater to women’s needs, they are seen as a “niche” concern and often struggle to get funding.

One study of 12 of the most common fitness monitors found that they underestimated steps during housework by up to 74% (that was the Omron, which was within 1% for normal walking or running) and underestimated calories burned during housework by as much as 34%. Meanwhile, Fitbit users have complained that the device fails to account for movement while doing the extremely common female activity of pushing a pram (and, yes, men push prams, too; but not as often as the women who do 75% of the world’s unpaid care).

Men are more likely than women to be involved in a car crash, which means they dominate the numbers of those seriously injured in them. But when a woman is involved in a car crash, she is 47% more likely to be seriously injured, and 71% more likely to be moderately injured, even when researchers control for factors such as height, weight, seatbelt usage, and crash intensity. She is also 17% more likely to die. And it’s all to do with how the car is designed – and for whom.

Women tend to sit further forward when driving. This is because we are on average shorter. Our legs need to be closer to reach the pedals, and we need to sit more upright to see clearly over the dashboard. This is not, however, the “standard seating position”, researchers have noted. Women are “out of position” drivers. And our wilful deviation from the norm means that we are at greater risk of internal injury on frontal collisions. The angle of our knees and hips as our shorter legs reach for the pedals also makes our legs more vulnerable. Essentially, we’re doing it all wrong.

Cars have been designed using car crash-test dummies based on the 'average' male
Women are also at higher risk in rear-end collisions. We have less muscle on our necks and upper torso, which make us more vulnerable to whiplash (by up to three times), and car design has amplified this vulnerability. Swedish research has shown that modern seats are too firm to protect women against whiplash injuries: the seats throw women forward faster than men because the back of the seat doesn’t give way for women’s on average lighter bodies. The reason this has been allowed to happen is very simple: cars have been designed using car crash-test dummies based on the “average” male.

Crash-test dummies were first introduced in the 1950s, and for decades they were based around the 50th-percentile male. The most commonly used dummy is 1.77m tall and weighs 76kg (significantly taller and heavier than an average woman); the dummy also has male muscle-mass proportions and a male spinal column. In the early 1980s, researchers based at Michigan University argued for the inclusion of a 50th-percentile female in regulatory tests, but this advice was ignored by manufacturers and regulators. It wasn’t until 2011 that the US started using a female crash-test dummy – although, as we’ll see, just how “female” these dummies are is questionable.

In 2018, Astrid Linder, research director of traffic safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, presented a paper at the Road Safety on Five Continents Conference in South Korea, in which she ran through EU regulatory crash-test requirements. In no test is an anthropometrically correct female crash-test dummy required. The seatbelt test, one of the frontal-collision tests, and both lateral-collision tests all specify that a 50th-percentile male dummy should be used. There is one EU regulatory test that requires what is called a 5th-percentile female dummy, which is meant to represent the female population. Only 5% of women will be shorter than this dummy. But there are a number of data gaps. For a start, this dummy is only tested in the passenger seat, so we have no data at all for how a female driver would be affected – something of an issue you would think, given women’s “out of position” driving style. And secondly, this female dummy is not really female. It is just a scaled-down male dummy.

Consumer tests can be slightly more stringent than regulatory ones. The 2011 introduction of female crash-test dummies in the US sent cars’ star ratings plummeting. When I spoke to EuroNCAP, a European organisation that provides car safety ratings for consumers, they said that since 2015 they have used male and female dummies in both front-crash tests, and that they base their female dummies on female anthropometric data – with the caveat that this is “where data is available”. EuroNCAP acknowledged that “sometimes” they do just use scaled-down male dummies. But women are not scaled-down men. We have different muscle mass distribution. We have lower bone density. There are differences in vertebrae spacing. Even our body sway is different. And these differences are all crucial when it comes to injury rates in car crashes.

The situation is even worse for pregnant women. Although a pregnant crash-test dummy was created back in 1996, testing with it is still not government-mandated either in the US or in the EU. In fact, even though car crashes are the No 1 cause of foetal death related to maternal trauma, we haven’t yet developed a seatbelt that works for pregnant women. Research from 2004 suggests that pregnant women should use the standard seatbelt; but 62% of third-trimester pregnant women don’t fit that design.

Linder has been working on what she says will be the first crash-test dummy to accurately represent female bodies. Currently, it’s just a prototype, but she is calling on the EU to make testing on such dummies a legal requirement. In fact, Linder argues that this already is a legal requirement, technically speaking. Article 8 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union reads, “In all its activities, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women.” Clearly, women being 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash is one hell of an inequality to overlook.

Designers may believe they are making products for everyone, but in reality they are mainly making them for men. It’s time to start designing women in.

• This is an edited extract from Invisible Women: Exposing Data Bias in a World Designed for Men by Caroline Criado Perez (Chatto & Windus, £16.99). To order a copy go to guardianbookshop.com. Free UK p&p on all online orders over £15.

Commenting on this piece? If you would like your comment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazine’s letters page in print, please email weekend@theguardian.com, including your name and address (not for publication).

Comments on this piece are premoderated to ensure discussion remains on topics raised by the writer. Please be aware there may be a short delay in comments appearing on the site.
Very illuminating. Its something that ought to be obvious when you think about it, but people rarely do think about it because of how utterly and insidiously gender bias has seeped into every aspect of our society. The part about car crashes particularly got to me, because my mother was twice injured in a car crash- once minor and once severely (before I was born).

Of course, the danger to pointing it out in this way is that conservatives will then gleefully latch onto such data as proof that because men and women are biologically different, traditional gender roles and cliches are scientifically valid, etc. So its a conversation where we have to choose our words carefully, and remember to emphasize that these numbers are often averages, not absolutes- not all women are less able to lift a heavy bag than all men, for example. And that the goal in a just society should be to put all people on a level as much as possible, regardless of their individual differences.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Jub
Sith Marauder
Posts: 3602
Joined: 2012-08-06 07:58pm
Location: British Columbia, Canada

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Jub » 2019-04-16 08:10am

I'll bet that many of our female board members will agree with a majority of what this article has stated and look forward to seeing their thoughts on it.

I personally think a most of the points raised are more than valid but I have a few quibbles, I think they'll be easiest to respond to if I lay them out point by point:

1) Office temperatures should be set to favor the warmest member group using the space, in this case, males. This is because one can easily wear an extra layer or make use of a hand warmer if they're too cold while there's a limit to how much an overly warm can remove in an attempt to stay cool. Plus, speaking as a naturally over-warm and sweaty person, cooling is generally sweaty and unpleasant for more than just myself. I can slather on pit-stick but if I'm sweating all day it's only going to do so much.

2) Phones should offer the largest comfortable form factor because screen size is an important feature of the modern smartphone and I personally wouldn't enjoy seeing phones shrink from current sizes because it diminishes how useful they are to me. You could argue for a second smaller design but running two designs for the same specifications seems like an awful waste of cash. Plus, shrinking width and height will either lead to thicker phones, in a time when thin designs are a selling feature, or a less capable production as battery sizes shrink and heat becomes more of an issue.

As a woman would you want a smaller phone that gives up performance in favor of a more useful form factor and if so how should companies offset the cost of making two designs when phone profit margins are already slim and sales are declining for most major manufacturers?

3) Concrete bag and brick sizes/weights are an area where you really do want things to be as large as feasible. If, for example, a job requires 100 standard weight concrete bags and a worker is expected to carry one bag per trip cutting bag weights by 20% results in 125 bags meaning 25 more trips being needed to haul materials to where they're needed. Why introduce such inefficiency when one could simply assign men and women to different tasks on the work site?

The same goes for the tools themselves being smaller. If more men are construction workers and mechanics than women, does it make sense to shift to a smaller design which may be less effective for them to cater to a minority in that field? If there's a push for a second line of tools made to be 10 to 20% smaller for smaller hands, who should foot the bill for the extra costs involved in tooling up to make these smaller tools?

4) The article itself states that men are more likely to be in car accidents and that car design itself is harmful to women resulting in more injuries. Yet the design of the car isn't actually at fault, the fact that women are smaller, lighter, and have weaker bones is the issue. While I don't doubt that factoring these things into vehicles safety testing will result in safer cars I do doubt that we can ever bring injury rates fully in line for both genders. At which point is it acceptable to cease design work to achieve the impossible goal of making male and female accident injury rates equal without making cars less safe for men who already get into more accidents in the first place?

I know that some of these points are going to come off as being focused only on my wants and needs, and especially with the issue of phone sizes, I readily admit to that bias. Though I'd also point out all of these changes which benefit the average women will cause issues for the average man and/or created added costs or reduce capabilities to below current levels to meet female needs.

For just one example, consider how much cubic volume a grocery store, already a space limited business, would lose by cutting out the current top self so women can access the new top shelf more easily. Are you now more equal because a self was deleted and products were shifted around? You could also consider reducing each shelf's height by some amount but doing so would require a redesign of all current packaging and still reduce the overall volume available to store goods in. Even introducing something like a step stool for every isle takes up space either on the valuable end cap or mid-aisle where things are already often packed so tightly two shopping carts can scarcely pass one another.

We could change things to be more inclusive and especially where safety is involved we should endeavor to make things safer for women but we should acknowledge the tradeoffs inherent in making such changes.

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12833
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-04-16 12:19pm

One important point to consider re concrete and building materials: these have been standardized for a very long time now. You can find 200-year-old bricks that are pretty dang near the same size as we use now. Changing these to accommodate women would be nice... but would require significant recalculation and shifts in industry standards. Are these standards gendered? Sure. Are they worth changing? Sure. But it won't be easy, efficient, or quick.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
Lord Revan
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 11246
Joined: 2004-05-20 02:23pm
Location: Zone:classified

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Lord Revan » 2019-04-16 02:23pm

Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-04-16 12:19pm
One important point to consider re concrete and building materials: these have been standardized for a very long time now. You can find 200-year-old bricks that are pretty dang near the same size as we use now. Changing these to accommodate women would be nice... but would require significant recalculation and shifts in industry standards. Are these standards gendered? Sure. Are they worth changing? Sure. But it won't be easy, efficient, or quick.
The thing we should also remember that those standards were born in an era setting standards so that "it would harder for girls to do it" would have been seen as waste time as women carrying things like bricks was seen to be so rare as to not be worth considering. You might actually not able to make a brick that much smaller/lighter without making it too weak.
I may be an idiot, but I'm a tolerated idiot
"I think you completely missed the point of sigs. They're supposed to be completely homegrown in the fertile hydroponics lab of your mind, dried in your closet, rolled, and smoked...
Oh wait, that's marijuana..."Einhander Sn0m4n

User avatar
Elheru Aran
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 12833
Joined: 2004-03-04 01:15am
Location: Georgia

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Elheru Aran » 2019-04-16 02:36pm

Lord Revan wrote:
2019-04-16 02:23pm
Elheru Aran wrote:
2019-04-16 12:19pm
One important point to consider re concrete and building materials: these have been standardized for a very long time now. You can find 200-year-old bricks that are pretty dang near the same size as we use now. Changing these to accommodate women would be nice... but would require significant recalculation and shifts in industry standards. Are these standards gendered? Sure. Are they worth changing? Sure. But it won't be easy, efficient, or quick.
The thing we should also remember that those standards were born in an era setting standards so that "it would harder for girls to do it" would have been seen as waste time as women carrying things like bricks was seen to be so rare as to not be worth considering. You might actually not able to make a brick that much smaller/lighter without making it too weak.
Yeah, you can't really fight physics. Though in fairness, most red brick these days isn't structural, so weakness isn't that much of a concern...

But to continue along this line of thought, there are simply certain things where women will always be at a disadvantage compared to men (on average, of course there's always some exceptions). How much they can carry, how much they can physically heft, how much they can endure, and so forth. While I have no problem with attempting to balance out gendered standards, I feel like women should establish their own place in the workplace, as much as simply trying to do the same job as men. Which isn't to say that they shouldn't do the same jobs as men-- but perhaps they can do them in different ways by establishing a more efficient work flow or whatever.

I will also note that historically, it's not unusual at all across the world to see women contributing to physical labor. For example, until modernization caught up-- and still often enough in many places-- you'll see women carrying bricks, mortar, logs, whatever to work zones while the men put those materials together. They don't particularly care how big the materials are there, either-- a twenty-pound pan of mortar on the top of the head isn't going to distinguish between whether a man or a woman is toting it around.
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-16 05:28pm

That's an interesting implication- that technological modernization has in some cases strengthened, rather than erased, divisions between genders. It seems counter-intuitive- you would think that relying more on technology than on physical labor would make things like the greater average strength and size of men matter less, not more (in addition to reducing the need for most women to spend most of their lives having babies to make sure a few made it past the high infant mortality rates of a pre-industrial civilization to adulthood).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-27 07:10am

Though its focus is mainly on the lower rate of women who receive CPR or survive a cardiac arrest (which is a whole other horror in and of itself), this article contains some more examples of the same pervasive gender data bias:

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/cpr-women-breasts/
A new study suggests that women are more likely to die in a situation where they could otherwise be saved by CPR, because bystanders are afraid of touching breasts.

The research, conducted by the American Heart Association (AHA) and the National Institutes of Health, examined nearly 20,000 cases of cardiac arrest and found a disturbing gender gap when it came to receiving life-saving procedures from public responders. Only 39 percent of women who suffered cardiac arrest in a public place were given CPR versus 45 percent of men—and men were 23 percent more likely to survive, according to the study.

Dr. Benjamin Abella, a lead researcher on the project from UPenn, noted that when rescuers were questioned, they remarked that a fear of touching a woman’s chest area and being reluctant to “move a woman’s clothing” prevented them from responding. The study also found gender biases within CPR training itself: Most practice mannequins do not have breasts, and some people thought large breasts would “impede proper placement of defibrillator pads.”

First and foremost, let’s clear up how CPR works: Properly administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation does not ever entail putting your hands on anyone’s pectoral area, male or female. Correct procedure involves placing hands directly against the sternum. As in, between the breasts. If you are one of the 12 million people who the American Heart Association certifies annually, you would know this basic information. When statistics about cardiac emergencies are already bleak (less than 8 percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside of a hospital survive), having breasts absolutely should not stand in the way of helping a victim’s chance of survival, which can double or triple when given CPR.

However, the public’s “fear” of helping women points to a greater medical, and ultimately cultural, problem: The lack of research and information we have when it comes to female patients and women’s bodies. Common mythology tells us that heart disease is a “man’s problem.” However, cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women. Even the CDC acknowledges the media skewers cardiac disease to be about men. A Google Images search for “heart attack” yields a page covered in stock photos and drawings of 25 men and two women clutching their chests. A search for “CPR” art for this piece came up with hundreds of men and male mannequins being resuscitated, but only one woman.

It’s also been well-documented that women’s heart attacks can be vastly different than men’s, in terms of symptoms, blood pressure levels, and triggers. If we are only taught as a culture to look out for men grabbing their left arm during a cardiac emergency, we may miss out on a woman experiencing stabbing pain in her chest and jaw muscles while having an attack. These differences weren’t even recognized until a study on gender variations in cardiac symptoms pointed it out in 2007—only 10 years ago.

Normalizing male CPR dolls and male-focused cardiac studies speaks to pervasive gender bias in biomedical research and the medical community. Scientific studies limit their scope of findings and put half the population at risk when clinical trials disproportionately represent male subjects. For example, a 2008 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported that women comprised only 10 to 47 percent of each subject pool in 19 heart-related trials. And a 2015 editorial published in the American Heart Association’s Circulation journal cited reports that show female subjects are “woefully underrepresented” in cardiovascular research.

Doctors and medical professionals also fail women in emergency situations by minimizing, mocking, and silencing female patients. “The Girl Who Cried Pain,” a study published in The Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics in 2001, found that women are “more likely to be treated less aggressively in their initial encounters with the healthcare system until they ‘prove that they are as sick as male patients.’” In emergency rooms nationwide, men wait an average of 49 minutes for painkillers while women wait an average of 65 minutes for the same thing. According to a 2000 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, women are seven times more likely than men to be misdiagnosed and discharged mid-heart-attack because doctors fail to recognize women’s heart attack symptoms.

CPR is CPR. If folks are too busy sexualizing a person when they need their lives saved, there is a huge problem with humanity. I don't think that woman is gonna come to consciousness and ask if anyone touched her breasts.

In the UPenn study, 70 percent of Americans said they feel “helpless” in a cardiac emergency because they don’t know CPR or their training has lapsed. But you don’t need to be officially certified in CPR to perform it on someone else. There are many, many, many, online resources, videos and apps to get you up to speed on basic first aid, AED, and resuscitation training. At a minimum, we should all know by now that performing chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ hit song “Stayin’ Alive” provides the optimal rhythm until an ambulance arrives.

Regardless, we cannot let this kind of “othering” of women’s bodies and women’s health issues—by doctors, by researchers, and by the media—stand in the way of keeping female-identifying members of society alive. If there is an emergency, we cannot be afraid of accidentally grazing the victim’s breast, wrinkling her shirt, or cracking her rib by being overly aggressive with chest compressions. None of those things matter if she dies due to gendered fear, a distorted sense of politeness, or social apathy.
You know, its times like these when I am both grateful and a little surprised that the female gender is not collectively waging a war of extermination against the male gender. Not that that would be right or just, of course, but people of all kinds have an unfortunate tendency toward collective blame, and the literal millennia of second class citizenship, outright lack of citizenship, dehumanization, deceit, neglect, indifference, ignorance, harassment, rape, slavery, assault, and murder perpetrated against the female half of humanity must, taken in its totality, be counted as the single greatest atrocity in human history, far exceeding even American slavery, the "Indian Wars", or the Holocaust in shear scope and duration, and number of victims.

Also, kind of an aside, but I feel compelled to note that this article, which goes to pains to emphasize that you don't need to touch someone's breasts to perform CPR, is illustrated by a photograph of someone with their hand on a person's breast while performing CPR.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Feil
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1939
Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Feil » 2019-04-28 09:28am

Performing CPR means touching boobs. Get over it.

Performing CPR most effectively means exposing the patient's bare chest (and boobs). Get over it.

Applying an AED means exposing the patient's bare chest (and boobs). It ABSOLUTELY means removing the patient's bra, which may have a conductive wire through it that can interfere with shock delivery and may be a burn hazard. Get over it.

Applying an AED to a bariatric patient can indeed mean having to physically manipulate the patient's boobs with your hands. By the point that it's a problem, it's a 100% gender-neutral problem, though.

Cracking ribs isn't caused by being "overly aggressive with chest compressions," it's a hazard for anyone when compressions are performed at the proper depth, and is primarily the result of bone changes in elderly patients. If you hear cracking, get over it and keep going. You aren't hurting your patient. Your patient is dead.

A variety of anatomically more accurate CPR dummies, especially including female ones, would be great. (The default 'blue foam rubber' model that's still used in most places - because it's cheap and easy to maintain - is barely more masculine than feminine, anyway. It's not even shaped like a human. Infant models are awful, too.)

However... it shouldn't be a surprise that scared people way out of their depth are less likely to overcome the bystander effect if doing so also requires them to get over two or more strong explicit cultural taboos. And "Never touch a woman's boobs without her explicit consent," and "Never forcibly remove a woman's clothes," are taboos that we absolutely want to preserve.

User avatar
Feil
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1939
Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Feil » 2019-04-28 09:41am

On consideration, given the existing stereotypes and taboos, I think that replacing the awful blue vaguely masculine dummy with an awful blue vaguely feminine dummy would probably be a good idea if the budgets don't exist for a variety of more accurate dummies in bystander CPR courses. It might help counterbalance perceptions a little bit and help people practice situationally overcoming taboos.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-28 10:03am

Feil wrote:
2019-04-28 09:28am
Performing CPR means touching boobs. Get over it.

Performing CPR most effectively means exposing the patient's bare chest (and boobs). Get over it.

Applying an AED means exposing the patient's bare chest (and boobs). It ABSOLUTELY means removing the patient's bra, which may have a conductive wire through it that can interfere with shock delivery and may be a burn hazard. Get over it.

Applying an AED to a bariatric patient can indeed mean having to physically manipulate the patient's boobs with your hands. By the point that it's a problem, it's a 100% gender-neutral problem, though.

Cracking ribs isn't caused by being "overly aggressive with chest compressions," it's a hazard for anyone when compressions are performed at the proper depth, and is primarily the result of bone changes in elderly patients. If you hear cracking, get over it and keep going. You aren't hurting your patient. Your patient is dead.

A variety of anatomically more accurate CPR dummies, especially including female ones, would be great. (The default 'blue foam rubber' model that's still used in most places - because it's cheap and easy to maintain - is barely more masculine than feminine, anyway. It's not even shaped like a human. Infant models are awful, too.)

However... it shouldn't be a surprise that scared people way out of their depth are less likely to overcome the bystander effect if doing so also requires them to get over two or more strong explicit cultural taboos. And "Never touch a woman's boobs without her explicit consent," and "Never forcibly remove a woman's clothes," are taboos that we absolutely want to preserve.
They really, really are, but people really ought to be able to have enough subtlety of thought to differentiate between what is appropriate in one situation, or another.
Feil wrote:
2019-04-28 09:41am
On consideration, given the existing stereotypes and taboos, I think that replacing the awful blue vaguely masculine dummy with an awful blue vaguely feminine dummy would probably be a good idea if the budgets don't exist for a variety of more accurate dummies in bystander CPR courses. It might help counterbalance perceptions a little bit and help people practice situationally overcoming taboos.
I feel like it kind of echoes the issues in the first article, about how an "average" (caucasian) man is the default for crash test dummies, and how that impacts the percentage of women who survive or are severely injured in car crashes.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Feil
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1939
Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Feil » 2019-04-28 10:28am

People under stress in unfamiliar circumstances don't have enough subtlety of thought to realize that "don't disobey the clean cut guy in the white coat" doesn't apply to applying (what they think are) agonizing electrical shocks to adorable puppies. We humans are just bad at some things, and overcoming locally inappropriate norms and taboos under stress is one of them.

Now that I think about it, the 45%/39% hit rate for bystander CPR is either an astonishing triumph of modern civilization over human nature... or more likely, just a measurement of how often men and women who have heart attacks are accompanied by a friend or family member who knows CPR and is already emotionally prepared to provide it.

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-04-28 10:44am

Feil wrote:
2019-04-28 10:28am
People under stress in unfamiliar circumstances don't have enough subtlety of thought to realize that "don't disobey the clean cut guy in the white coat" doesn't apply to applying (what they think are) agonizing electrical shocks to adorable puppies. We humans are just bad at some things, and overcoming locally inappropriate norms and taboos under stress is one of them.

Now that I think about it, the 45%/39% hit rate for bystander CPR is either an astonishing triumph of modern civilization over human nature... or more likely, just a measurement of how often men and women who have heart attacks are accompanied by a friend or family member who knows CPR and is already emotionally prepared to provide it.
That is what it is, ultimately. That's what all of the political and social struggles we're facing are: a war against our own nature, or rather the primitive predatory pack instincts in our nature.

People (not you, but far too many people) always act like "nature" carries some sort of moral authority. To them I say: Murder is natural. Rape is natural. Women constantly dying in childbirth is natural. Massive infant mortality is natural. Racism and sexism are natural. That is not a defense of any of those things- it is a denunciation. If you think that the "natural" way is so superior, turn off you computer, strip naked, and go live in a tree in the forest, and if you somehow make it through the next winter, tell me what you think of the "natural" way. Or perhaps you should take a moment to remember that it is also in our nature to be self-aware, and to evolve.

Shaping our own nature is what defines us as humans. Its the whole point of being sapient. To the extent that we overcome the darker aspects of our nature, we are human. To the extent that we do not, we are not.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Zwinmar
Jedi Knight
Posts: 962
Joined: 2005-03-24 11:55am
Location: McPherson, Kansas

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Zwinmar » 2019-04-29 08:48am

I know where I work the shelves are only getting higher because they are trying to cram the same shit in a slightly smaller bag for 'variety', seriously, you can find the exact same brand of dry cat food in 40, 22, 16, and 8 lbs bags. I am 6 feet tall and I have trouble reaching them, let alone someone who is actually average or smaller.

User avatar
madd0ct0r
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 5888
Joined: 2008-03-14 07:47am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by madd0ct0r » 2019-04-29 01:49pm

Im going to assume the article has glossed and simplified the examples from Wendy Davis, ex-director of the Women’s Design Service in the UK, on bricks, cement bags and a1 portfolios.

Bricks arent standard. Historically they were incredibly variable and even now from cinder block to cement block to aircrete to waster to c30 to slips to engineering blue they are all different dimensions and weights.

Most cement sacks are officially a two person lift now. 20kg now is nominal lift limit and saggy difficult sacks are further limited. A two person lifting bar for slabs and manholes are common and popular. Aging workforce and Fuck hernias.

Im 192cm and cant get an a1 portfolio under my arm.


As for the other issues raised. The car one is especially egregious. If we can keep a body shape safe at a 60mph crash we can keep a similar one safe too.

Same for chemical exposure. Itd be nice to be proactive rather then reactive this generation.
"Aid, trade, green technology and peace." - Hans Rosling.
"Welcome to SDN, where we can't see the forest because walking into trees repeatedly feels good, bro." - Mr Coffee

User avatar
Esquire
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1533
Joined: 2011-11-16 11:20pm

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Esquire » 2019-05-01 10:33am

Specifically about the heart attack thing mortality thing, I need to point out that the authors are making elementary statistical errors. A large part of the higher mortality for heart attack in females is explained by clinical factors - women have a much higher average age of first heart attack (which is obviously anticorrelated with good outcomes), as well as ~60% lower overall rates but similar rates of the more serious types of heart attack due to higher average general healthiness compared with men. Both of these also very likely contribute to the reduced rate of attempted CPR, incidentally, through decreased perceived benefit due to increased apparent frailty.

I very strongly disagree with the idea that people can or should attempt CPR without proper training and current certification, both because improperly-performed CPR is at best useless and at worse extremely dangerous to the recipient and because it is absolutely going to get people sued into crippling debt for trying to help, regardless of Good Samaritan laws (they typically specify immunity to civil damages only, and only when providing 'reasonable assistance' - guess what isn't reasonable to try if you don't in fact have proof you know how to do it, and guess whether or not it might be a criminal case if you break somebody's sternum doing so?). If those with proper recent training aren't being taught correct techniques for performing CPR on female patients, that's a separate problem and one that should be addressed immediately, but the article does not establish this.
“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-01 11:11pm

Esquire wrote:
2019-05-01 10:33am
Specifically about the heart attack thing mortality thing, I need to point out that the authors are making elementary statistical errors. A large part of the higher mortality for heart attack in females is explained by clinical factors - women have a much higher average age of first heart attack (which is obviously anticorrelated with good outcomes), as well as ~60% lower overall rates but similar rates of the more serious types of heart attack due to higher average general healthiness compared with men. Both of these also very likely contribute to the reduced rate of attempted CPR, incidentally, through decreased perceived benefit due to increased apparent frailty.

I very strongly disagree with the idea that people can or should attempt CPR without proper training and current certification, both because improperly-performed CPR is at best useless and at worse extremely dangerous to the recipient and because it is absolutely going to get people sued into crippling debt for trying to help, regardless of Good Samaritan laws (they typically specify immunity to civil damages only, and only when providing 'reasonable assistance' - guess what isn't reasonable to try if you don't in fact have proof you know how to do it, and guess whether or not it might be a criminal case if you break somebody's sternum doing so?). If those with proper recent training aren't being taught correct techniques for performing CPR on female patients, that's a separate problem and one that should be addressed immediately, but the article does not establish this.
It should probably be noted here that if someone needs CPR, then they are medically dead, and not receiving immediate CPR substantially decreases the odds of revival. It is very unlikely that anything the would-be rescuer does will make their situation worse than doing nothing would, because you can't really get worse than dead.*

The threat of getting sued (either because of CPR failing/accidental injury or for sexual assault) is frequently tossed about (often, though I know this isn't what you're arguing, by filthy little Incel types who can barely contain their glee at the idea of women not receiving first aid "because of feminism/MeToo")**. But I have yet to see anyone actually cite numbers for how many people get sued for this sort of thing. I'm immediately reminded of the John Oliver video on food waste, where he talks about how people are afraid to donate because they might get sued if someone gets food poisoning, something which he points out basically never happens (followed by well-deserved mocking of people being afraid of being sued by starving people with high-priced lawyers :D ). I don't doubt it has happened, but I've never seen statistics to show that it is a frequent enough occurance to be worth worrying about, especially compared to the risk of people needlessly dying because everyone was too afraid of getting sued to help them.*

I'm not a medical professional and not really qualified to comment further, but I'll just note that the lack of knowledge about how to perform CPR is a big factor in the recent push to encourage untrained persons to perform simpler, compressions-only CPR.




*Though Albus Dumbledore would beg to differ. :wink:

**Google this subject on Youtube if you feel like letting a little piece of your soul to die tonight.

***I would also contend that anyone more worried about being frivolously sued than about another human being suffering a preventable death is a fucking coward and a bad person, but that's another matter.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Esquire
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1533
Joined: 2011-11-16 11:20pm

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Esquire » 2019-05-02 10:46am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2019-05-01 11:11pm
It should probably be noted here that if someone needs CPR, then they are medically dead, and not receiving immediate CPR substantially decreases the odds of revival. It is very unlikely that anything the would-be rescuer does will make their situation worse than doing nothing would, because you can't really get worse than dead.*
Interestingly, 'clinical death' isn't a current medical term precisely because of how weird the old definition made things like this, as well as ventilators and the cardiac replacement machines used during heart surgeries. Currently (in the US and IIRC) you're not technically dead until a physician declares your brain function to have been irretrievably stopped. The point about immediate CPR being important is correct, though, and looking into it I found a meta-analysis finding that untrained people can make a difference when guided by EMS dispatchers, which I hadn't considered - so, yes, you're right. I still don't know why this isn't just taught to everybody in high school, but that's a different question.

The threat of getting sued (either because of CPR failing/accidental injury or for sexual assault) is frequently tossed about (often, though I know this isn't what you're arguing, by filthy little Incel types who can barely contain their glee at the idea of women not receiving first aid "because of feminism/MeToo")**. But I have yet to see anyone actually cite numbers for how many people get sued for this sort of thing. I'm immediately reminded of the John Oliver video on food waste, where he talks about how people are afraid to donate because they might get sued if someone gets food poisoning, something which he points out basically never happens (followed by well-deserved mocking of people being afraid of being sued by starving people with high-priced lawyers :D ). I don't doubt it has happened, but I've never seen statistics to show that it is a frequent enough occurance to be worth worrying about, especially compared to the risk of people needlessly dying because everyone was too afraid of getting sued to help them.*
That chunk of argument was based on the idea that if you don't know what you're doing you won't actually be able to help, which it turns out isn't true, so this is all at a bit of a tangent. That said, while it's extremely rare for anybody to successfully sue someone for performing CPR, it's attempted more frequently and court costs, etc. can be a serious problem in their own right even if nothing comes of the matter. It was a risk/reward thing; the potential reward is much greater than I thought but some risk remains.

I can't speak to the YouTube comments section and have absolutely no interest in looking into it. I will note in passing that since I know that wasn't my argument, and you know that wasn't my argument, it's a little weird to mention in the first place. Not everything has to be part of the culture war.
I'm not a medical professional and not really qualified to comment further, but I'll just note that the lack of knowledge about how to perform CPR is a big factor in the recent push to encourage untrained persons to perform simpler, compressions-only CPR.
Interesting - you're in Canada, right? I don't think I've noticed that here, but I also might have just missed the target groups. Any idea how this push is being organized?
“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb

User avatar
The Romulan Republic
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 19238
Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2019-05-02 07:01pm

Esquire wrote:
2019-05-02 10:46am
Interestingly, 'clinical death' isn't a current medical term precisely because of how weird the old definition made things like this, as well as ventilators and the cardiac replacement machines used during heart surgeries. Currently (in the US and IIRC) you're not technically dead until a physician declares your brain function to have been irretrievably stopped. The point about immediate CPR being important is correct, though, and looking into it I found a meta-analysis finding that untrained people can make a difference when guided by EMS dispatchers, which I hadn't considered - so, yes, you're right. I still don't know why this isn't just taught to everybody in high school, but that's a different question.
It absolutely should be added to the mandatory high school lesson plan, alongside law/civics classes. But as I understand it (again, keeping in mind that I am not a trained medical professional and that my CPR certification is almost certainly out of date), the general consensus is that if someone is not breathing and is unresponsive, unless you know they have a DNR, its better to try CPR, as anything you do is unlikely to be worse for them than doing nothing in terms of their chances of survival.
That chunk of argument was based on the idea that if you don't know what you're doing you won't actually be able to help, which it turns out isn't true, so this is all at a bit of a tangent. That said, while it's extremely rare for anybody to successfully sue someone for performing CPR, it's attempted more frequently and court costs, etc. can be a serious problem in their own right even if nothing comes of the matter. It was a risk/reward thing; the potential reward is much greater than I thought but some risk remains.
Eh. If you step out of your house, you might get hit by lightning. Life is risk, and this one is pretty small.
I can't speak to the YouTube comments section and have absolutely no interest in looking into it. I will note in passing that since I know that wasn't my argument, and you know that wasn't my argument, it's a little weird to mention in the first place. Not everything has to be part of the culture war.
Just wanted to shine a spotlight on how low these assholes will go, because it influences this whole topic.

And yes, I consider everything part of that war. The human race is right now entering another existential struggle against fascism. That's my view. Thus far it is, thankfully, mostly being fought via legal and political means rather than with bullets and bombs (at least in Western nations). But I regard it as a political and cultural state of total war which has a direct bearing on every aspect of human society.
Interesting - you're in Canada, right? I don't think I've noticed that here, but I also might have just missed the target groups. Any idea how this push is being organized?
Canada, but the information I'm getting is mostly from sites that originate in other countries like the US (I got CPR certification as part of a security guard training class I took some years back, though I barely remember it and I'm sure my certificate is expired by now).

American Heart Association has a page promoting it here: https://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/ ... ly_CPR.jsp

Part of the reason for the push behind it is also that recent studies have shown that compressions are more important than breaths in most situations, IIRC.

Some more on that note:

https://cpr.heart.org/idc/groups/ahaecc ... 494175.pdf

Edit: And here's the Canadian Red Cross on the subject:

https://www.redcross.ca/training-and-ce ... n-only-cpr
Compression-Only CPR

The Canadian Red Cross recognizes that compression-only CPR is an acceptable alternative for those who are unwilling, unable, untrained, or are no longer able to perform full CPR. In some cases, compression-only CPR is the preferred method for members of the public who witness an adult suddenly collapse. The issue has recently emerged based on research published in the journal Circulation and based on scientific evidence released from members of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).

Chest compressions pump the heart, circulating oxygen already in the person’s body. This makes compression-only CPR suitable for an adult who suddenly collapses. Compression-only CPR should not be used when the oxygen in the person’s body has likely been used up, such as with a drowning incident or when a respiratory emergency may have caused the cardiac arrest.

When an infant or child’s heart stops, it’s usually because of a respiratory emergency, such as choking or asthma, which use up their body’s oxygen, therefore they would require full CPR, including rescue breaths.

“Compression-only CPR is giving continuous chest compressions of approximately 100 compressions per minute, without giving rescue breaths,” says Rick Caissie, National Director, First Aid, Swimming & Water Safety.

The most important thing for Canadians to know right now is that the CPR they’ve been trained to perform is not “wrong.” All Canadian Red Cross CPR courses will continue to teach full CPR. Early CPR remains one of the most critical factors in surviving cardiac arrest. The basic steps remain the same:

Get help – call 911 to activate your local emergency medical system.
Start CPR to keep the blood flowing.
CPR is easy to learn and saves lives. Full CPR (cycles of chest compressions and rescue breaths) is still important to learn. It is critical to know what to do during an emergency. Red Cross first aid and CPR training can give people the skills and the confidence to act in an emergency. Find a course.
So yeah, it depends on the situation, but hands-only can is recommended for certain situations, or untrained persons (though they still recommend getting the full training).
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver: https://youtube.com/watch?v=zxT8CM8XntA

User avatar
Feil
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1939
Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Feil » 2019-05-02 07:35pm

There's precious little data to indicate that rescue breaths in single-rescuer CPR improve outcomes for CPR patients who need CPR because of a cardiac event (as opposed to respiratory compromise).

Let me explain why this is the case:

If you have two rescuers, whether bystanders or professionals, one should be positioned at the head and immediately provide rescue breaths at the same count as the compressions with no pause. Done correctly, this will result in the absolute minimum of 8 beats lost every cycle.

..27 28 29 30 BREATH-ING REST-ING BREATH-ING REST-ING 1 2 3 4 5 6...

In a professional setting (e.g. the back of an ambulance) one rescuer can efficiently provide both compressions and rescue breaths because the patient will have an airway adjunct down their throat and a BVM attached to it (providing air that's 90% to 100% oxygen), so providing breaths is done by just reaching over with one hand and squeezing the bag. Same count, but you now lose 10 beats every cycle:

..27 28 29 30 Reach SQUEEZ-ING REST-ING SQUEEZ-ING REST-ING Hand 1 2 3 4 5 6...

In a bystander single-rescuer situation, even a recently trained and certified person attempting to provide rescue breaths usually goes like this:

...27 28 29 30 Move Move Adjust Ajust Fumble Fumble Chin Lift Mouth Nose Breath-ing Rest-ing Breath-ing Rest-ing Let Down Move Move Adjust Adjust Hand Hand 1 2 3 4 5 6...

That's 20-30 beats lost every cycle, for a couple of breaths that are about 15% oxygen.

User avatar
Feil
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1939
Joined: 2006-05-17 05:05pm
Location: Illinois, USA

Re: The Gender Data Gap.

Post by Feil » 2019-05-02 07:52pm

I don't know why the article doesn't mention it, but overdose is way more common than choking, drowning, or asthma (as a cause of needing CPR), and a pulseless OD patient definitely needs rescue breaths.

Post Reply