At work I spend a lot of time reading news headlines and checking out some of the stories that pop up in the press. Sometimes I think there can’t be many things more depressing. Quite aside from all the misery that humans are able to subject on each other and propagate in the form of war or persecution, are a whole bunch of other stories that seem designed to fill me with despair.
For example, a new study has apparently revealed to the Mail that being a career woman ‘could harm your chances of having a baby’. Fine then, shall I just stay at home? Maybe find a man to look after me? And all the babies I’ll find it so much easier to have of course.
The research itself is pretty interesting, Professor Elizabeth Cashdan of the University of Utah announced that she’d seen a shift in hormone patterns of women who worked in high powered jobs. This saw oestrogen being replaced by androgens – a group of hormones including testosterone, an occurrence assumed to be down to the levels of stress the work produces.
What bothers me is the way that knee jerk reactions are constantly given precedence in reports like this. It’s the body shape that can seriously affect fertility, and body shapes not only don’t change overnight, but a lot of people are born without the desirable hip-to-waist ratio perfect for mothering weans anyway. Also, they are talking specifically about high powered jobs – who says that to be a successful career woman you have to have a typically stressful job?
It’s headlines like the one found in the Mail that keep forcing a perception of a negative divide of the sexes, rather than the positive one we’re all trying so hard to establish these days.