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January 24, 2005 - Image 3

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-01-24

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The Michigan Daily - Monday, January 24, 2005 - 3A

Students can run
for chairs of MSA
The Michigan Student Assembly is
seeking students to run for chairs of its
14 commissions, which include Academ-
ic Affairs, Voice your Vote, Minority
Affairs and Women's Issues. An infor-
mational meeting will be held today at 8
p.m. in the MSA chambers on the third
floor of the Michigan Union, and elec-
tions will be tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
Symposium to
discuss possibility
of flu pandemic
A symposium on the flu will address
the recent emergence of the bird flu,
domestic and international monitoring
efforts, immunization and America's
readiness to combat the next pandemic
of the deadly virus, which killed 40 mil-
lion people worldwide in 1918.
The symposium is being held in
the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in the
Michigan League from 8:30 a.m. to
* 4:30 p.m.
Michigan Theater
to show all-black
movie musical
In cooperation with the University
Program in Film and Video Studies, the
Michigan Theater will show "Cabin in
the Sky" tonight at 7 p.m.
The movie, directed by Vincente
Minnelli and released in 1943, features
an all-black, all-star cast that includes
Louis Armstrong, Lena Horner and
Ethel Waters. "Cabin in the Sky" is
part of the American Musicals Series,
which presents classic film musicals
every Monday evening.
Three reports of
*attempted suicide
made to DPS over
Three separate incidents of either
suicide or intent of self-injury took
place on Saturday, according to the
Department of Public Safety.
At 1 p.m., a subject called DPS and
said he wanted to injure himself. The call
:was traced to Inkster, Mich. The subject
was taken to the University Hospital.
A subject called DPS from the Mary
Markeley Residence Hall at about 4
p.m. The call was listed in the police log
as a suicide attempt. She was also taken
to the University Hospital.
At about 7:30 p.m., a subject at the
Arbor Heights Center at 1447 Wash-
ington Heights - a juvenile facility
- reported she had injured herself. She
-was taken to the University Hospital for
treatment. The incident was also listed
. as a suicide attempt.

In Daily History
Canine tryst in
Angell upsets
students, faculty
Jan. 24, 1941 - "Meet me under the
clock at two," said the Irish setter to the
Boston bull.
So the Boston bull brought a wire-
haired terrier and the three had an
old-fashioned rendezvous. The atmo-
sphere of Angell Hall pleased them so
much that they decided to make it a
steady tryst.
But the dogs have become a nui-
sance. Students object to their presence
0 because they break up romantic meet-
ings. And professors protest because
the canines wander all over the building
- even into offices.
Alice Arnet, secretary of the geogra-
phy department, is the one most irritated
by the meandering of the Irish setter,
the Boston bull and the wire-haired ter-
rier. She complains because they are too
friendly and follow her around the base-
ment floor of Angell Hall.

New group aims to
ease LGBT transitions

By Sarah Sprague
Daily Staff Reporter
Most freshmen and even upperclassmen have
apprehension when going into a blind living situ-
ation in which they may or may not see eye to eye
with their roommate.
But for gay and transgender students, a set of new
fears is in place as well because they worry about
tolerance from their roommates.
"The single largest problem (for members of
the LGBT community) in the residence halls is
being out to your roommate," said Engineering
freshman Jill Berberich. "Changing in a differ-
ent room, dirty looks, cruel jokes ... it makes
you feel like less of a person."
To take on the problem, Berberich along with
LSA freshman Jaya Kalra have founded Queers
in Residence as a forum for queer, question-
ing and allied students in the residence halls to
socialize and discuss issues that pertain to their
"Its purpose is to provide a nonactivist group
for (gay, transgender and allied) students, increas-
ing the feeling of community without diminishing
the energy of the LGBTA activist organizations on
campus," Kalra said.
While LGBT groups on campus place a focus
on activism, QIR hopes to help students through
interaction within the community.
"Questioning students often find that it is
harder to participate in activism because they
think people will group them and discriminate
against them," Berberich said.
"It is hard being new to the community and feel-
ing the pressure to do as much as possible. Mostly,
we thought it would be a good place for those who
are new and old to the community to come and talk
in a relaxed atmosphere."
Christensen added that for underclassmen,
the process of dealing with new roommates
who may or may not be accepting of homosexu-
ality makes the situation even more difficult
and awkward.
But not all students give the community a rea-
son to worry about a new roommate situation.
RC freshman Nate Cunningham roomed
blind and said he had no qualms when he found
out that his roommate was gay. He added his
roommate has not affected his behavior more

than any other roommate would.
"I really haven't changed any of my habits
from living in my own room except for com-
mon-courtesy things," Cunningham said.
"I'm very glad that I've had this experi-
ence because its exposed me to homosexuality,
which I always knew was there, but was never
face-to-face with," he said.
Others do not find it quite so easy to make this
adjustment and switch rooms to avoid confronting
homosexuality. For situations like this, QIR hopes
it can be a support for its members.
"People can be really judgmental, and a lot
of people find that even (LGBT) groups are
clique-ey, but the people in (QIR) make sure
that there isn't that, and I had the impression
that everyone was comfortable at QIR," Chris-
tensen said.
The group held its first meeting on Saturday,
which Christensen said started off as a group
of somewhat hesitant individuals, most of them
"It was a first meeting, and not everyone knew
each other, so it was a little more reserved, but a lot
of LGBT groups tend to have that reserved qual-
ity. People are at different stages of coming out,
so that adds to the atmosphere as well," she said,
adding that toward the end, any feelings of isola-
tion disappeared as students exchanged coming-
out stories.
"The most interesting things to me
are always the coming-out stories or first
realizations of being different. I think
it is amazing how young some people
can know that they do not have any attrac-
tion to the opposite sex," Berberich said.
At the meeting, QIR members also discussed activi-
ties that would help create a welcoming atmosphere
for LGBT students.
"We discussed the possibility of having
movie nights, dinners and a snuggling party,
among other things. Then the meet-
ing turned more relaxed, and we told
stories about realizing our queerness," Kalra said.
QIR hopes to provide fun activities for stu-
dents in the LGBT community to get to know
each other, but the main focus of the organiza-
tion is to deal with issues that arise for those
members of the community living in residence
halls, the organizers said.

Study suggests men prefer subordinate women

By Adrian Chen
Daily Staff Reporter
You've seen this movie before: The power-
ful business executive falls for his beautiful but
down-on-her-luck secretary. After an hour and
a half of suspense, the two overcome their sta-
tus differences; he finds his sensitive side, while
she is saved from years of transcribing memos
and fetching coffee.
Again and again, films exploit this conceit for
romantic effect, sometimes replacing the executive
with a high-powered lawyer or the secretary with a
prostitute, but always keeping constant the imbal-
ance of power between man and woman.
In the movies, men fall for subordinate women
and now, a University researcher has shown that
when it comes to attraction, life may imitate art.
"(The attraction of men to subordinate women)
is often taken for granted, but now we have a
study that offers empirical proof," said Stephanie
Brown, a researcher with the University's Insti-
tute for Social Research.
Brown conducted an investigation into wheth-
er social subordination and dominance play
important roles in sexual attraction. The study

"(The attraction of men to subordinate women) is often
taken for granted, but now we have a study that offers
empirical proof."
- Stephanie Brown
Researcher at the Institute for Social Research

was recently published in the journal Evolution
and Human Behavior.
Before conducting the study, Brown hypoth-
esized that men would be more attracted to subor-
dinate women, a phenomenon that previous studies
did not suggest, but one that was consistent with
principals of evolutionary theory.
Brown and her colleagues administered sur-
veys to 328 undergraduates to test their hypothesis.
Depending on their gender, subjects were shown a
photograph of either a man or woman and told that
the person depicted was their supervisor, coworker
or assistant. They were then asked to rate how much
they would like to be involved in a long- and short-
term relationship with the person.
After collecting and analyzing the data, Brown

found that the numbers supported her hypoth-
esis: Men who took the survey were more likely
to be attracted to women in subordinate positions
than to women of superior or equal rank, while
women showed no preference. Furthermore,
men particularly preferred subordinate women
to dominant ones when considering a long-term
relationship such as marriage.
Given this data, Brown used evolutionary theo-
ry and evidence from other species to arrive at a
hypothesis as to why males show this preference.
One of the biggest risks a male of any species
faces when forming long-term relationships is
what evolutionary biologists call "paternal uncer-
tainty," the fact that a male may devote time and
energy to the care and protection of an offspring

that is not actually his because of infidelity on the
part of the female.
But mating with a female who is in a subordi-
nate position gives the male more control and could
reduce the chances of infidelity, Brown said. The
male could then be more certain that his mate's off-
sp ring is adually his.
Brown believes this could explain why men's
preference for subordinate women is more pro-
nounced when it comes to long-term xelationships
that may result in children.
The explanation of a phenomenon that many
take for granted is perhaps the most important part
of the study, she said.
"In many ways, the results aren't surprising to
people," she added. "What is appreciated ... is
that it provides an explanation for why we might
see this stereotype."
Despite the evidence, Brown does not rule out
nonevolutionary explanations, and speculates that
all of those silver-screen romances between execu-
tives and their secretaries may actually be the cause
rather than an effect of men's attraction to subordi-
nate women.
"It could be that we're exposed to media that por-
trays men in more dominant relationships," she said.

Prizes include cash, iPods,
UM football tickets, field passes to
UM football games and travel vouchers
Watch your
email this week
for your survey
A random group
of UM undergraduate
students will be asked to complete
a confidential Web-based survey
about student life. For participating
in this study, you will receive a
cash prize and be entered
into a sweepstakes
featuring 3 iPods,
2 travel vouchers
each worth $500,
2 field passes
to UM football
games, 2 UM football tickets and 10 cash prizes
each worth between $100 and $1,000.

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