In the kitchen of a small colonial house in Springfield, Mass., Edanry Rivera and Louis Mitchell do-si-do around a coffee maker, handing off the creamer and reaching for a refill.

“Coffee is the lifeblood of my very existence,” says Louis Mitchell, 57, a bald transgender man with a graying goatee.

Mitchell owns this home. Rivera, a 27-year-old trans woman, rents a room. Many days, to avoid scoffs, stares and physical threats, Rivera never leaves the house.

“Once I step out there, it’s war, sometimes, with people,” Rivera says.

Read the entire post here.

Ask any educated person what the placebo effect is, and almost all of them will be able to tell you. They will also accept, without any arm-twisting, that the placebo effect is real. After all, there is no real controversy around placebos — it’s well established that they work. And yet, any time I’ve suggested to an educated person that the placebo effect may be working on them — that they might as well be taking sugar pills for their colds instead of vitamin C — I get strenuous denials in response.

Many of us are ready to accept that placebos can work in general, just not on us. A similar dynamic exists with implicit biases.

Read the entire post here.

When he started working as a bartender a few years ago in Seattle, Howie Echo-Hawk says he began experiencing discrimination. First, a bar manager told him to get a respectable haircut.

“I had a Mohawk, which is the traditional style of my people and I wore it because of that,” he said. Echo-Hawk is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma.

Read the entire post here.

Knox College in Illinois this week canceled a planned production of Bertolt Brecht’s The Good Person of Szechwan, based on student protests that it is racially insensitive. But unlike some faculty members involved in parallel controversies elsewhere, theater professors at Knox blame themselves for not properly framing the play for students, rather than students for being unwilling to deal with uncomfortable speech and ideas.

Read the entire post here.

Study suggests women with male partners face bias in searches for junior faculty members.

The search committee chair said of a job candidate, “She seems to have the highest potential based on limited information.”

The other search committee members agreed — with regard to her qualifications. But other issues quickly came up. One committee member said, “Some people think it’s unlikely she’d come because of her boyfriend. He’s a [names the boyfriend’s occupation], and [the city where her other offer is] is really the best for that.”

Read the entire article here.

When Amy Chua published “The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother ” in 2011, a book about how she raised two high-achieving daughters, people took notice. Chua is Chinese American and both daughters were on their way to Harvard, with an impressive roster of activities that included excelling at piano and violin.

Chua described how she built a household run on strict discipline and unyielding, sky-high expectations, what she called traditional Chinese parenting techniques. An excerpt from the book ran in The Wall Street Journal under a blunt headline that made clear the implications, “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior. 

Read the entire post here.

Near the beginning of a new study on racial attitudes and college attainment, the authors note the story of Desiree Martinez, who attended a high school in a low-income part of Los Angeles and longed to enroll at the University of California, Los Angeles. She confided her ambitions to a teacher. The teacher frowned and said, “I don’t know why counselors push students into these schools they’re not ready for … Students only get their hearts broken when they don’t get into those schools, and the students that do get in come back as dropouts.”

Martinez, crushed, told another teacher, who encouraged her, and said she should not let people like the first teacher “hold you back.”

The discouraging teacher was white. The encouraging teacher was Latino.

Read the entire post here.

Education in the health professions has for many years included instruction on the importance of asking patients about their backgrounds and beliefs, which may relate to understanding conditions they are experiencing and inform possible treatments. But those who teach future nurses and doctors stress that background is but one characteristic of a person, and that assuming too much based on such backgrounds can be insulting and even dangerous to patients.

Best practice is not to simply offer health professions students lists of stereotypes by racial, ethnic and religious groups. So when word spread last week about a section of a nursing textbook that did just that, many were horrified. Pearson, the publisher, pledged to remove the content.

Read the entire post here.

The higher education attainment gap between Latino people in America and their white and black counterparts is widening, according to new research.

study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce finds that the share of Latinos in the US who obtained at least some postsecondary education increased from 35 per cent to 45 per cent between 1992 and 2016.

But even though more Latinos are going to university, the rate of growth for white and black people during this period was even greater.

Read the entire post here.

In poor urban neighborhoods, getting not just to but through college can be a path to a brighter future. But where students enroll, and how soon after high-school graduation they start college, can markedly affect their chances of earning a degree.

study of former Philadelphia public-school students by researchers at Drexel University found that six years after their expected high-school graduation, only one in five had earned a college certificate or degree.

But for those who started college within a semester of getting a high-school diploma, the success rate was far higher: 46 percent. Nationally about two-thirds of students who are age 20 or younger when they enter college earn a degree within six years, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.

Read the entire post here.