In 2012 Irina Trofimova  reported “middle age – middle sex” phenomenon and suggested that the significant female advantage in verbal fluency and male advantage in physical power fade after age 25 in an asymmetric manner. She pointed out to several other studies on humans and other primates showing a levelling of sex differences in sociability and physical strength. Males and females might indeed have different timings of maturation of physical and verbal systems: according to McGuinness and Pribram (1978) during the first two years of life talking and walking rarely occur simultaneously, which suggests that these two abilities compete for the same set of neural connections, or that one type of neural organization inhibits the other. This coincides with the higher mobility of boys, accompanied by their lower rates of speech development in childhood, in comparison to girls. These different timings in maturation appear as sex differences in early age, and likely level off in later adulthood (Barbu, Cabanes, & Le Maner-Idrissi, 2011). This middle age – middle sex phenomenon might explain why meta-analytic reports and several experimental studies of verbal abilities and dominance using adult participants reported no sex differences.
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But critics blame “hot-spot” policing methods for both the stark racial contrast in Long Island arrests over the past decade as well as sweeping up young people in nonwhite communities into the criminal justice system in a way that white youngsters in more affluent neighborhoods generally don’t face. “The vast majority have had some sort of bad encounter with the police — from simple discourtesy all the way to more serious encounters,” said Starr about black and Hispanic young people. “You begin to feel more like a target because of what you look like than a partner in trying to keep your own community safe.” At STRONG Youth Inc. in Uniondale, a youth and community development group, staffers teach young people how to deal appropriately with police, even if they feel they are being treated unfairly. “Our young people are constantly coming into contact with law enforcement,” said executive director Rahsmia Zatar. “We know that racial profiling is a real issue. It’s not something that’s made up. Unfortunately, especially our young men of color are constantly being approached.” As Long Island’s population becomes more diverse, law-enforcement officials say it’s necessary to make sure there are no unfair patterns in pull-over stops, arrests or in the racial makeup of its police force. Sini said understanding racial disparity is matter of both the hard numbers in police statistics as well as the public perception based on their own experiences. Sini is running for Suffolk district attorney, seeking to replace longtime incumbent Thomas Spota, who is retiring. “The question is why? Is there legitimate reasons explaining that disproportionality, or is there an element of biased policing going on, whether it’s intentional or unintentional?” said Sini, recalling concerns about racial disparity he’s heard since becoming Suffolk’s top cop. “I think it’s very important as commissioner to recognize the validity of that sentiment. Or the police will have no legitimacy whatsoever with communities of color.” Top image credit: iStock/kali9
Define disparate : markedly distinct in quality or character — disparate in a sentence
What were the circumstances surrounding all these fatal encounters?