Stuff Mom Never Told You

Pharmaceutical company Novartis learned just how much a glass ceiling in the workplace can cost. Ballpark: $1 billion.

The nonprofit group Save the Children recently released its 11th annual Mothers' Index of 160 countries, and the United States doesn't even hold a slot in the top 10. Instead, the U.S. comes in at 28 on the list, which is based on national resources and services that support mothers and their children on all rungs of the socioeconomic ladder.

In last Friday's Guardian, Kira Cochrane lamented the minimal gains made by women politicians at the polls. Once the dust had finally settled on the parliamentary elections, only 16 new female representatives picked up seats, boosting the percentage of women MPs to just 22 percent. And to top it off, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed just four women among his 23-person cabinet.

Assuming they want to be together 'til death do they part, men who marry younger women live longer. Statistically, if he weds someone seven to nine years his junior, he has an 11 percent lower mortality risk. Now, a study of more than 2 million Danish couples has uncovered another compelling correlation between spousal age and longevity.

The big question I'm looking to answer (which Molly and I addressed as part of our "Why does the sizzle fizzle?" podcast) is whether love is blind. Do we have any choice in the people we're attracted to and pursue for the long-term? The short answer, according to Gallup, is no.

It's refreshing to run across new studies like this one from Pennsylvania State University that poke holes in the kneejerk theory that in relationships, men are ultimately motivated by sex and women live for love. That idea especially came up while Molly and I were researching for our episode on whether men and women cheat for different reasons. Time and again, the studies seemed to condense women down to soul mate-seekers straight out of Debra Messing movies, while the men play sex-hungry beasts.

Stuff Mom Never Told You listeners from way back when might remember a podcast on breast cancer genes known as BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. (The episode is entitled "Why is there a patent on the breast cancer genes?" if you'd like to give it a listen). Having a mutation in either of those genes significantly increases a person's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer.

As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, Molly and I are starting a brand new blog called -- you guessed it -- Stuff Mom Never Told You. And whaddya know, it's the exact same name as the podcast that Ms. Edmonds and I record together as well.