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Car Buyers Want Better Digital Experience, Most Ready to Complete Entire Process Online, Accenture Study Finds

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Car Buyers Want Better Digital Experience, Most Ready to Complete Entire Process Online, Accenture Study Finds
Source: Accenture

Most consumers are doing online research to help them make car-buying decisions, and most are doing so before visiting a dealership, a new survey by Accenture reveals. The survey also shows that 75 percent of drivers polled would consider conducting the entire car-buying process online.

The survey of 10,000 consumers in eight major countries found that 80 percent of drivers seeking to purchase a new vehicle are using some form of digital technology to research their buying preferences, and nearly two-thirds (62 percent) are initiating the car-buying process online, including consulting social media channels, before entering a dealership.

Additionally, three-quarters (75 percent) of the survey respondents said that if given the opportunity, they would consider making their entire car-buying process online, including financing, price negotiation, back office paperwork and home delivery. Two-thirds (69 percent) said they have either bought a car online or would consider doing so. The findings also reveal that consumers would be open to using new, emerging online channels for purchases. For example, 63 percent of respondents said they would be interested in buying a new car through an online auction.

Coercing Pregnancy

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Coercing Pregnancy
Source: William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law

Intimate partners coerce thousands of women in the United States into pregnancy each year through manipulation, threats of violence, or acts that deliberately interfere with the use of, or access to, contraception or abortion. Although many of these pregnancies occur within the context of otherwise abusive relationships, for others, pregnancy serves as a trigger for intimate partner violence. Beyond violence preceding or resulting from pregnancy, women who experience coerced pregnancies often suffer other physical, financial and emotional harms. Despite its correlation to domestic violence, reproductive coercion fits imperfectly, if at all, within our existing laws designed to combat domestic violence or rape. Although the harms of forced sex and, though to a slightly lesser extent, the harms of domestic violence, are well understood and accepted in our culture and our laws, the harm of experiencing a pregnancy through coercive acts remains largely invisible in both spheres, despite the prevalence of coerced pregnancies. This Article begins by filling in the missing narrative of reproductive coercion by exploring the social and legal contours of how women are coerced into pregnancy, the harms that can result, and the deep correlation between such acts and domestic violence. It then explores how our cultural and legal conflation of pregnancy with sex, motherhood and even abortion, limits our ability to isolate and understand the experience of pregnancy coercion. This Article concludes by considering how arming feminists and other advocates with an increased understanding of the interrelatedness between pregnancy, coercion, and intimate partner abuse can help to broaden domestic violence laws and policies, and reconceptualize pregnancy prevention as violence prevention.

Unhappy Meals: Sex Discrimination in Toy Choice at McDonald’s

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Unhappy Meals: Sex Discrimination in Toy Choice at McDonald’s
Source: William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law

This Essay reports on a commonplace form of sex discrimination that we unsuccessfully challenged in a lawsuit before the Connecticut Human Rights Commission. In a small-scale pilot study that we conducted 5 years ago (which was the basis of our initial complaint) and in a follow-up study conducted in 2013, we found that McDonald’s franchises, instead of asking drive-through customers ordering a Happy Meal about their toy preference, asked the customer for the sex of the customer’s child (“Is it for a boy or a girl?”) and then gave different types of toys for each sex. Moreover, our 2013 visits found that franchises treat unaccompanied children differently because of their sex. In 92.9% of the visits, the stores, without asking the child about her or his toy preference, just gave the toy that they had designated for that sex. Moreover, 42.8% of stores refused to offer opposite-sex toys even after the child reapproached the counter and affirmatively asked for an alternative. In the most egregious instance, a girl, after twice asking for a “boy’s toy,” was denied, even though the store a moment later had the “boy’s toy” in stock. These “fair counter” tests indicate that stores use discriminatory default, altering, and mandatory rules. They constitute strong prima facie evidence of disparate treatment on the basis of sex in the terms and conditions of contracting for a public accommodation. We also use our Happy Meal empiricism as a motivating example to explore the proper limits of civil rights law. While newspapers describing job listing as “male” or “female” have been found to be a per se civil rights violation, describing Happy Meal offerings as “boy’s toys” or “girl’s toys” may not, as a positive matter, offend courts’ current notion of equality.

Ethical Issues in the Big Data Industry

July 2, 2015 Comments off

Ethical Issues in the Big Data Industry (PDF)
Source: MIS Quarterly Executive (forthcoming)

Big Data combines information from diverse sources to create knowledge, make better predictions and tailor services. This article analyzes Big Data as an industry, not a technology, and identifies the ethical issues it faces. These issues arise from reselling consumers’ data to the secondary market for Big Data. Remedies for the issues are proposed, with the goal of fostering a sustainable Big Data Industry.

Public Accommodation Statutes and Sexual Orientation: Should There Be a Religious Exemption for Secular Businesses?

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Public Accommodation Statutes and Sexual Orientation: Should There Be a Religious Exemption for Secular Businesses?
Source: William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law

This Article examines the issue of whether there should be a religious exemption for secular businesses from public accommodation statutes that protect prospective patrons from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Article examines this issue in the context of protecting free exercise of religion versus offering services to all members of the public equally and without distinction. The Article concludes that the perceived threat to religious liberty posed by such statutes is exaggerated, that the consequences of granting exemptions would be harmful, and that state-sanctioned discrimination is contrary to the fundamental principles of justice and equality underlying the U.S. legal system.

Rounding Out the Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee: Why ‘Male’ Contraceptive Methods Matter for Everyone

July 1, 2015 Comments off

Rounding Out the Contraceptive Coverage Guarantee: Why ‘Male’ Contraceptive Methods Matter for Everyone
Source: Guttmacher Institute

Highlights

• Contraceptive methods used by men—currently, vasectomy and male condoms—provide preventive health benefits for women, by helping them to prevent unplanned pregnancies and space wanted ones.
• Vasectomy and condoms were left out of the Affordable Care Act’s guarantee of contraceptive coverage without out-of-pocket costs, despite their proven health benefits and long history of inclusion in other public and private programs.
• There are multiple potential pathways to rectify this oversight, most notably state-level actions to clarify and expand the ACA’s guarantee, and new recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force; however, all of those have obstacles.

2015 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index

July 1, 2015 Comments off

2015 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index
Source: U.S. News and Raytheon
From article:

While the number of jobs, types of degrees granted and level of student interest in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields continues to increase since 2000, the second-annual U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index shows that mutli-million dollar efforts by both the public and the private sectors have failed to close gender and racial gaps in STEM.

The 2015 STEM Index, created with support from Raytheon, shows a slight uptick in STEM-related education and employment activity in the United States compared to last year. But the raw data show gaps between the men and women and between whites and minorities remain deeply entrenched — and, in some cases, have even widened.

With few exceptions, women lag behind men in the number of STEM degrees granted, exam scores and general interest in the STEM fields. White and Asian students and college graduates overwhelmingly outperformed black, Hispanic and American Indian students in all three metrics.

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