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Women Seeking Women 63

Background: Oxytocin is theorized to promote social support seeking under stress- an alternate biobehavioural response to challenge known as the tend-and-befriend response. These effects may be context dependent, however, and no study has evaluated this effect in the presence and absence of social support. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of oxytocin on the experience of recalling emotional autobiographical memories in two contexts-with and without social contact with an experimenter.

Women Seeking Women 63

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Results: During recall of negative memories in the absence of social contact, oxytocin decreased perceived emotional support relative to placebo F(1,62)=10.75, p=0.002. In this same context, women who were motivated to affiliate with the experimenter following oxytocin administration showed this effect in greater magnitude t(57)=-2.04, p=0.047, but showed the reverse effect (i.e. increased perceived support in response to oxytocin) when social contact with the experimenter was available t(57)=2.78, p=0.007. Male participants did not evidence this pattern.

Conclusion: These findings support the role of oxytocin in social support seeking in distressed women, and highlight the negative consequences of increasing oxytocin bioavailability in the absence of social support. Supportive relationships may be necessary to elicit the prosocial effects oxytocin.

Women are increasingly likely to see a midwife rather than a doctor at the start of their pregnancy, the survey found. 66% of women still saw a GP first, but this is ten percentage points lower than 2010. During the same time period, the number who saw midwives went up from 20% to 29%.

70% of women have hospital stays of two days or less after giving birth, compared with 68% in 2010, 64% in 2006 and 53% in 1995. However, most women in the survey felt that the length of their hospital stay was about right. Similarly, most women felt that they received enough midwife home visits after birth, even though the number of average home visits had dropped from five in 2006 to three in 2014. However, midwives are now more likely to visit babies older than ten days, which may reflect increased flexibility

The report also examined the care received by women from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, BME women born outside the UK, women living in the most deprived areas, women who left education at 16 years or under, and single women.

The survey, funded by the Department of Health and conducted last year, received responses from 4,571 women who gave birth across all areas of England. Women gave their views on the care and information they received during pregnancy, birth and afterwards, in hospitals and at their home. The current study builds on previous national surveys in 1995, 2006 and 2010 in which NPEU was involved. It provides an up-to-date picture of maternity services, and allows researchers to track changes over time.

Few studies in the United States have asked women directly why they use contraception and what benefits they expect or have achieved from its use. To fill this gap, the authors surveyed 2,094 women receiving services at 22 family planning clinics nationwide.

When asked why they are seeking contraceptive services now, women expressed concerns about the consequences of an unintended pregnancy on their families' and their own lives. The single most frequently cited reason for using contraception was that women could not afford to take care of a baby at that time (65%). Nearly one in four women reported that they or their partners were unemployed, which was a very important reason for their contraceptive use. Among women with children, nearly all reported that their desire to care for their current children was a reason for contraceptive use.

Many women reported interrelated reasons for using contraception, suggesting that the complexities of women's lives influence their decision to use contraception and their choice of method. Other reasons for using contraception, reported by a majority of respondents, include not being ready to have children (63%), feeling that using birth control gives them better control over their lives (60%) and wanting to wait until their lives are more stable to have a baby (60%).

These findings point to the critical role of contraception in the lives of women and their families, and further documents the value of ensuring women's continued and increased access to a full range of contraceptive services and methods.

"Notably, the reasons women give for using contraception are similar to the reasons they give for seeking an abortion," according to Lawrence B. Finer, author of a previous Guttmacher study on that topic. "This means we should see access to abortion in the broader context of women's lives and their efforts to avoid unplanned childbearing, in light of its potential consequences for them and their families."

The two-day conference will host discussions with MetLife board members and executives and thought leaders from organizations such as Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Red Hat, Thrive Global, Black Girls CODE and more. The conference will address both near- and long-term solutions for employers to develop, support, and sustain the female workforce, and provide women in STEM with key learnings and actionable insights for career empowerment.

Most women who got an abortion in 2014 were low income, with 49% having an income at or below the poverty line (which was $11,000 for an individual that year) and 26% with an income of twice the poverty line or less, according to a 2016 Guttmacher study. Most women who obtained abortions were in their 20s (60%), and about a third were in their 30s.

Compared to the demographics of the whole U.S. population, Black women were "substantially overrepresented" among those obtaining abortions in 2014, Guttmacher said. Thirty-nine percent of women who obtained abortions in 2014 were White, while 28% were Black, 25% were Hispanic, and 6% were Asian or Pacific islander.

Republicans and Democrats have widely different views about where things stand today and what factors are holding women back. Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents are more than twice as likely as Republicans and those who lean Republican to say there are too few women in high political offices (79% vs. 33%). And while 64% of Democrats say gender discrimination is a major reason why women are underrepresented in these positions, only 30% of Republicans agree.

To a large degree, these gender gaps persist within parties. Among Republicans and Democrats, women are more likely than men to say there are too few women in political and corporate leadership positions, and there are substantial gender differences, particularly among Republicans, in views on the obstacles holding women back from these positions.

Despite the surge of female candidates this year, women are increasingly doubtful that voters are ready to elect more female leaders. A growing share cite this as a major reason why women are underrepresented in high political offices: 57% of women now say voters not being ready to elect women is a major reason, compared with 41% in 2014. Men remain much less likely to see this as a major impediment (32% of men do so).

The survey also finds that Americans largely see men and women as equally capable when it comes to some key qualities and behaviors that are essential for leadership, even as a majority (57%) say men and women in top positions in business and politics tend to have different leadership styles. Among those who say men and women approach leadership differently, 62% say neither is better, while 22% say women generally have the better approach and 15% say men do.

Still, there are areas where the public sees female leaders as having an advantage. In both business and politics, majorities say women are better than men when it comes to being compassionate and empathetic, and substantial shares say women are better at working out compromises and standing up for what they believe in. Similarly, more adults say female political leaders do a better job of serving as role models for children (41%) and maintaining a tone of civility and respect (34%) than say the same about men. In each of these cases, only about one-in-ten or fewer give men the advantage. Male leaders are seen as better than their female counterparts when it comes to willingness to take risks; about four-in-ten say men in top executive positions and in high political offices are better than women in this regard.

Looking specifically at corporate leadership, 43% say women are better at creating a safe and respectful workplace; 52% say there is no difference, while just 5% say men are better at this. And while majorities say there is no difference between male and female leaders when it comes to valuing people from different backgrounds, considering the impact of business decisions on society, providing guidance and mentorship to young employees, and providing fair pay and good benefits, those who do see a difference tend to give women the advantage.

Overall, the public sees benefits to female leadership. Majorities say having more women in top positions in business and government would improve the quality of life at least somewhat for all Americans (69%) and for women (77%) and men (57%) specifically. Women are far more likely than men to say having more women in top leadership positions would be beneficial. Two-thirds of women say having more female leaders would improve the quality of life for men at least somewhat, compared with 47% of men. And while majorities in both groups say this would improve the quality of life for all Americans, women are far more likely than men to say this is the case (78% vs. 59%).

Among Democrats, majorities of women and men say


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