Kay Steiger

Kay Steiger is managing editor at Raw Story and a former Prospect editorial assistant.

Recent Articles

Anti-Choice Congressmen Seek to Redefine Rape

The illustrious Nick Baumann dives deeper into the "No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion" bill introduced last week and finds that the proposed bill actually seeks to narrow the definition of rape. With this legislation, which was introduced last week by Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Republicans propose that the rape exemption be limited to "forcible rape." This would rule out federal assistance for abortions in many rape cases, including instances of statutory rape, many of which are non-forcible. For example: If a 13-year-old girl is impregnated by a 24-year-old adult, she would no longer qualify to have Medicaid pay for an abortion. Much of the time when prominent rape cases are discussed in the news, there seems to be an effort to separate non-consensual acts between regular sexual partners or acquaintance rape from what Whoopi Goldberg once called " rape rape " -- or stereotypical encounters in which a stranger assaults a woman, forces sex upon her, and beats her. But according to the...

What Stock Prices Tell Us About Higher-Education Policy.

Yesterday, reports emerged that stock prices on many for-profit education companies (you probably recognize their names from online or television advertising) have ticked upward despite a decline in enrollment. DeVry University shares shot up 9.8 percent in afternoon trading yesterday despite the fact that their enrollment fell 4.7 percent this fall. Why the sudden spike? One reason is the company's profits are still quite healthy, jumping 22 percent even as its enrollment has fallen. But it wasn't just DeVry that saw spikes in stock prices: Apollo, which owns the University of Phoenix; The Washington Post Co., which owns Kaplan University and other test-prep services; Corinthian Colleges Inc.; Career Education Corp.; and Lincoln Educational Services all saw gains ranging from 3.8 percent to 9.6 percent. One reason stockholders might be optimistic is that certain regulations proposed by the Department of Education, referred to as "gainful employment" regulations that were once...

Preterm Births as an Indicator of Inequality.

Via Sociological Images , the Centers for Disease Control has released data about preterm births, broken down by race. The CDC data show that non-Hispanic black women are much more likely to give birth preterm when compared with other demographic groups -- particularly white non-Hispanic women. They also go on to note some long-term trends: Although the gap between non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks in preterm birth risk has narrowed somewhat during the past two decades, this change is attributable primarily to increases in preterm births among non-Hispanic white infants and not to substantial reductions in short gestations among non-Hispanic blacks. Demonstrated causes for the wide disparities in preterm risk by race/ethnicity include differences in socioeconomic status, prenatal care, maternal risk behaviors, infection, nutrition, stress, and genetics. The reasons for preterm births are certainly complex, the CDC report notes, and the reasons for them still warrant more...

Bristol Palin Brought to Wash U's "Sex Week" in Name of Balance.

Student Life , the campus newspaper for Washington University, reports that Bristol Palin will be speaking on campus during the school's annual Sex Week. The school got approval to spend $20,000 on speaking fees for the week, but won't disclose exactly how much of that will go toward bringing Palin to campus. This isn't Palin's first stint giving sex advice. In 2009 she did a much-publicized tour for Teen Pregnancy Awareness Day, which promotes abstinence. But apparently the reason Palin has been invited to speak is because there's been a push for more "balance" during sex week: “We thought a big name like Bristol’s would help to start a dialogue,” SHAC President Scott Elman said. “We also wanted to target abstinence because SHAC and Sex Week have been criticized for being too liberal and too one-dimensional, and that the abstinence conversation hasn’t been brought up.” Abstinence-only education, despite having been shown to be ineffective , still has support. Though President Barack...

"Winning the Future" Starts With the Pell Grant.

One of the key pieces in President Barack Obama 's "win the future" State of the Union speech last night was investment in education. Obama created much buzz in the higher-education community during a SOTU-like speech in 2009 , when he challenged everyone in America to pursue at least one year of higher education or post-secondary training. Last night, Obama promised that America would become competitive in higher education once again: America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. [...] Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American. That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college. Though Obama says he supports funding more access...

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