Jo Downton

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English schools excluded 700 children for sexual misconduct in past four years

Press Association research reveals children as young as five have been disciplined for abuse, assault and sharing indecent images<p>Hundreds of children, including some as young as five, are being expelled or temporarily excluded from school for sexual misconduct including abuse, assault, harassment …

We fear death, but what if dying isn't as bad as we think?

Research comparing perceptions of death with accounts of those imminently facing it suggest that maybe we shouldn’t worry so much about our own end<p>“The idea of death, the fear of it, haunts the human animal like nothing else,” wrote Earnest Becker in his book, The Denial of Death. It’s a fear …

Sperm counts among western men have halved in last 40 years – study

Reasons for the ‘shocking’ drop are unclear, say researchers, and represent a huge and neglected area of public health<p>Sperm counts among men have more than halved in the last 40 years, research suggests, although the drivers behind the decline remain unclear.<p>The latest findings reveal that between …

Life and death in Texas: abortion frontline of America – video

Leah Green, Tom Silverstone, Richard Sprenger and Jess Gormley

The sacred task of caring for the dead should be a normal part of life

In Cantonese village culture, there is a group of corpse handlers called the <i>ng jong lo</i>. When a death occurs, the <i>ng jong lo</i> come to the family home to wash the corpse and place it in a coffin. The corpse handlers are “living ghosts,”, dirty, unclean – a group who other citizens fear. Doors and …

We are told we are a burden. Legalising assisted suicide would further devalue our lives | Jamie Hale

As someone who relies extensively on social and medical care I understand Noel Conway’s fears, but our welfare should not be seen as a luxury<p>• Jamie Hale is a poet and disabled activist<p>Noel Conway’s challenge to the 1961 Suicide Act goes before the high court this week. His argument is that the …

Chemsex drugs and former legal highs targeted by Home Office

Experts praise return to harm-reduction in strategy aimed at cutting illicit drug use and improving dependence recovery rates<p>Drugs charities and critics have welcomed a shift away from an “abstinence-only” approach to drug treatment and a return to an emphasis on harm-reduction and recovery in the …

Is enough being done to tackle sexting among young people?

Data shows that thousands of children have been dealt with by the police for sexting. If you’re a parent or teacher, we’d like you to share your experiences<p>A boy as young as five has been investigated for sexting, according to freedom of information data gathered by the BBC. If you’re a parent, …

Want to fight climate change? Have fewer children

Next best actions are selling your car, avoiding flights and going vegetarian, according to study into true impacts of different green lifestyle choices<p>The greatest impact individuals can have in fighting climate change is to have one fewer child, according to a new study that identifies the most …

Selling

Boy of five among nearly 400 sexting cases dealt with by police

4,000 children in England and Wales sent explicit pictures of themselves in past three years, freedom of information requests find<p>A five-year-old is among nearly 400 children under the age of 12 to have been investigated by police for sexting.<p>Freedom of information requests by BBC Newcastle found …

At 11 years old, they're getting pregnant': the women smashing Catholic taboos in the Philippines

Global development,Reproductive rights (developing countries),Philippines,Asia Pacific,World news,Global health<p>The stigma surrounding sex education and family planning in the Philippines is such that 65% of women do not use contraceptives. Five years ago, Congress passed a reproductive health law …

Family Planning

Virginia set to execute man using 'potentially torturous' drug cocktail

William Morva is set to be put to death on Thursday using a cocktail of unregulated drugs which have been shown to cause severe distress in the past<p>Virginia is preparing to kill a 32-year-old man using a controversial lethal injection formula that may have subjected the last prisoner to be executed …

Administrative Law

Vagina surgery 'sought by girls as young as nine'

<b>Girls as young as nine are seeking surgery on their genitals because they are distressed by its appearance, the Victoria Derbyshire show has been told.</b><p>Dr Naomi Crouch, a leading adolescent gynaecologist, said she was concerned GPs were referring rising numbers of young girls who wanted an operation.<p>…

Lips

Canadian baby 'first without gender designation' on health card

<b>An eight-month old Canadian baby has been issued a health card without a gender marker, in what could be the first case in the world.</b><p>Parent Kori Doty - a non-binary transgender person who identifies as neither male nor female - aims to allow the child to discover their own gender.<p>The health card …

Roxane Gay: ‘If I was conventionally hot and had a slammin’ body, I would be president’

The publication of her memoir Hunger has sparked furious debate on fat activism. The author, professor and ‘bad feminist’ talks to Lindy West about race, weight and why she objects to being called a diarist<p>Roxane Gay’s Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body was described to me by multiple people as an …

Colombia legally recognises union between three men

Alejandro Rodriguez, Manuel Bermudez and Victor Hugo Prada plan ceremony to celebrate notary signing paperwork<p>When the officiant at the ceremony says “you may now kiss the groom”, Victor Hugo Prada will have to choose which of the two men standing with him he’ll kiss first: Manuel or Alejandro.<p>The …

Same-sex Marriage

Katie Rough death: teenager pleads guilty to manslaughter

Girl, 16, admits killing seven-year-old during appearance via video link at Leeds crown court<p>An “extremely troubled and damaged teenager” obsessed with death has admitted suffocating and stabbing to death a seven-year-old girl in York.<p>The 16-year-old girl, who cannot be named, appeared by video …

Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage

Backpage started out with small ads for household goods. So how did it grow into a major online market for child sex trafficking? Annie Kelly meets some of the survivors – and reveals how their fight for justice became a battleground for free speech on the internet<p>The first time Kubiiki Pride used …

Hairdresser turns barbershop into safe space for men to discuss mental health

Tom Chapman, a barber from Torquay, lost a friend – Alex – to suicide around two years ago.<p>“I was completely unaware he was going to take his life,” …

How a simple haircut can save a man's life

If the current, endless stream of depressing news is getting you down, there could be a quick lift: get yourself down to your local barber shop.<p>An illuminating new study has found that some restorative man-time at the barber’s not only cheers us up, but could actually be good for our mental …

Mental Health

Organ donation presumed consent could be adopted in England

People would have to actively opt out, as in Wales, if they did not want their body parts harvested after death<p>England could introduce the so-called presumed consent system of organ donation in which people have to actively opt out if they do not wish to be donors, Downing Street has said.<p>Wales …

As Facebook blocks the names of trans users and drag queens, this burlesque performer is fighting back

Dottie Lux has been called ‘the real names crusader’ for helping fight back against a Facebook policy that queer users say is discriminatory<p>When Caitlin Beach came out as a transgender woman, she decided she would announce the news to her entire network on social media. Facebook, however, wouldn’t …

These are the ages you peak at everything throughout life

Aging can seem like a scary prospect, but a wealth of scientific studies have found that youth isn't all it's cracked up to be. There are plenty of …

Men still die before women. Is toxic masculinity to blame? | Haider Javed Warraich and Robert Califf

Many assume that shorter male lifespans are driven by biological factors. Yet the health consequences of traditional male identity cannot be overestimated<p>For much of recent history, men have tended to die earlier than women, though this was not always the case: for many centuries, the perils of …

Perfume genius: how fragrances help explain the world

From the excesses of the 80s to the purifying smells of the 90s and the niche individuality of 2017, the way we smell says a lot about society, as a new exhibition proves<p>I am on a road trip, somewhere hot and dry. Arizona, maybe, or Texas. I stop the car, open the door into the breeze and, while …

Beauty

What did the US legalization of mixed-race marriages mean to you?

Fifty years after interracial marriages were made legal in the US we want to hear how it made you feel<p>Richard and Mildred Loving married in 1958 but a year later were charged for violating Virginia’s code prohibiting interracial couples from marrying outside the state and returning. They were …

Are women really stronger than men? | Angela Saini

When it comes to longevity, surviving illness and coping with trauma, one gender comes out on top. Angela Saini meets the scientists working out why<p>Four years ago, completely spent, blood transfused into me in a frantic effort to allow me to walk, I lay on a hospital bed having given birth the day …

Popular People Live Longer

I often hear from teenagers that one of their greatest goals is to obtain more Instagram followers than anyone they know. Even some adults appear obsessed with social media, tracking the number of retweets on their Twitter profiles or likes on Facebook. This type of status-seeking might be easily …

Is marriage good for your health? It depends who you’re married to

New research has found being married has protective health effects – unless it doesn’t<p>If there’s one thing Disney screenwriters, social conservatives, the patriarchy and the wedding industrial complex can agree on, it’s that marriage is good for you. And there are a lot of studies to back that up. …

Woman on trial for texts 'driving boyfriend to suicide'

<b>A 20-year-old US woman, whose boyfriend took his own life nearly three years ago, has gone on trial for allegedly urging him to kill himself.</b><p>Michelle Carter is charged with involuntary manslaughter for her role in the suicide of Conrad Roy III.<p>Prosecutors allege Ms Carter drove the Massachusetts …

Mental Health