California plans to move 40 percent of its female inmates to low-security neighborhood centers. Arguments for it: 1) Prisons are overcrowded, and we need to free up more cells for men because they're more dangerous. 2) These women aren't violent; they've just committed property crimes such as burglary, car theft, or selling drugs. 3) Treating women harshly just turns them into repeat offenders and harms the kids who depend on them. 4) Letting women live closer to their kids and giving them more visitation privileges will "enhance bonding." Arguments against it: 1) Is this the GOP's idea of being tough on crime? 2) Isn't it rank sex discrimination? (For Human Nature's take on sex discrimination in teacher-student molestation cases, click here. For sex differences in sadism and punishment, click here.)
Latest Human Nature columns: 1) The temptation of remote-controlled killing. 2) Men, women, and the joy of punishment. 3) Scalia on abortion and suicide. 4) Teachers who have sex withboys. 5) Our creepy genetic experiment on dogs. 6) The pope's anti-gay tendencies. 7) Does Alito treat women like girls? 8) Bill Bennett's racial determinism. 9) The mainstreaming of anal sex. (Click here to return to top of page.)
* Correction, Feb. 27, 2006: The item originally said that the Mormon church "converted millions of Latin Americans and Polynesians with its scriptural story that they came from a lost tribe of Israel." It should have specified that the relevant residents of Latin America are Native Americans. As the linked article from the Los Angeles Times explained, "church prophets … and missionaries have used the supposed ancestral link between the ancient Hebrews and Native Americans and later Polynesians as a prime conversion tool in Central and South America and the South Pacific." Click here to return to the corrected sentence.