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Pew Research: For the first time in nearly two decades, the share of U.S. births to unmarried mothers ticked downward in 2014, according to new preliminary data released today from the National Center for Health Statistics.
Send Network: Continuing our parenting series, we look specifically to fathers. Fathers play many roles in rearing their children. Through each role, they prepare their children for life and give their kids opportunities to build a relationship with dad.
Aleteia: Just have children, I wrote, and a world of imagined and unimaginable horrors will present itself to you, and minor inconveniences or hurts will appear to be losses from which your child will never recover, and every decision and choice one that can lead as easily to misery as to success.
The Wall Street Journal: When Kathryn Kerns asked 30 teens and preteens to come to her laboratory and talk about their parents, many of their dads scored low on a standard yardstick her research team was using to evaluate the parent-child bond.
The Daily Signal: The New York Times ran an article this weekend profiling and quoting many children of gay and lesbian parents under the headline “What Could Gay Marriage Mean for the Kids?”
Family Studies: When it comes to family, red states have a bad reputation. From the media to the academy, red states have acquired a reputation for talking a conservative game regarding family, but utterly failing to deliver on their old-school aspirations in the real world.
The New York Times: When it comes to family arrangements, the United States has a North-South divide. Children growing up across much of the northern part of the country are much more likely to grow up with two parents than children across the South.
Reason.com: One afternoon this past April, a Florida mom and dad I’ll call Cindy and Fred could not get home in time to let their 11-year-old son into the house. The boy didn’t have a key, so he played basketball in the yard. He was alone for 90 minutes. A neighbor called the cops, and when the parents arrived—having been delayed by traffic and rain—they were arrested for negligence.
World Magazine (Subscription Required): Thanks to a shortage of women created in part by China’s one-child policy, the country has become a hotbed of human trafficking. Desperate men pay exorbitant rates to marriage brokers who trick women into coming across the border and sell them like slaves.
Family Studies: The vast majority of American children in the child welfare system live with foster families. Yet one in seven of them, and one in three of the system’s teens—close to 57,000 young people in all on a given day—reside in a group setting.
First Things: Of course I have been talking, in the first story, about the beleaguered but unbowed Mark Regnerus, the sociologist whose New Family Structures Study was published in Social Science Research in 2012. (Full disclosure: Regnerus’s NFSS was funded in principal part, but uninfluenced by, the Witherspoon Institute where I work.) And the second story, which broke this week, is about UCLA political science doctoral student Michael LaCour, whose co-author, Donald Green of Columbia, has asked for the journal Science to retract their much-ballyhooed December 2014 article.
Public Discourse: I’m attracted to people of the same sex, and I’m glad that I was raised by a devoutly Christian mom and dad. My dad’s acceptance of me as a man, with full knowledge of my attraction to other men, was his gift to me. And though it was late coming, I am utterly thankful for it.
The Week: Legally recognized sperm (and egg) “donors” take money with the expectation that the resultant children will not be “theirs.”
Public Discourse: Mothers and fathers are not interchangeable—they both add distinct benefits to the development of children. Courts and legislatures can change legal definitions, but they cannot alter biology or psychology.
Alliance Defending Freedom: While the general public is still sharply divided on the issue, some polls show that a majority of adults born after 1980 support same-sex marriage. And why not? Many of these millennials already know what it’s like to be raised without a married mom and dad.
The Federalist: What is it that makes men and women see the world so differently, especially parenting and our roles as parents? Is it biological, cultural expectations, or some mix of the two? Because it’s clear that we don’t all live in the same head space where parenting is concerned.
Alliance Defending Freedom: Children first learn about love from their mom and dad. Could you imagine growing up feeling that every day you had to compete for or wait for your parent’s love and attention? Could you imagine the long-term effects in a child’s life if they felt like this every day?
Family Studies: Most times, men greeted the news of an unmarried pregnancy with a mixture of fright and excitement. Except in a few instances, men described the pregnancies as unplanned. They wanted to have kids someday, and becoming a father was something that many of them looked forward to. But they didn’t foresee it happening yet.
The Stream: Professor Lopez talked to The Stream about his new book, co-edited with Rivka Edelman, Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family “Equality.”The previous three installments of our interview can be read here, here and here. You can read the fourth part here.
The Federalist: “One way philosophers might think about solving the social-justice problem would be by simply abolishing the family,” he continues, cheerfully. “If the family is this source of unfairness in society, then it looks plausible to think that if we were to abolish the family, we would create a more level playing field.”
Michael C Sherrard: I don’t know how a society that wants to put the emotional fulfillment of adults ahead of the well being of its children can survive. And that is what troubles me most about Same-Sex Marriage; children are the afterthought.
Public Discourse: Social science was never going to save marriage’s male-female infrastructure. What it can do—if the narrative the data reveals isn’t manipulated—is reveal what is really going on.
Public Discourse: Redefining marriage increases the chances that children miss out on one of the greatest gifts any person can be given: being raised by the man and woman whose love brought them into existence.
The wrong kind of rights: Same-sex marriage, third-party reproduction, and the sexualization of children
Public Discourse: In our culture, there is a chasm between two irreconcilable conceptions of the meaning and purpose of human sexuality and equality. For children most of all, the wrong kind of sexuality and equality has devastating effects.
Russell Moore: The villain had a messiah complex, complete with some cribbed lines from the actual Messiah. But what surprised me the most was the jarring centrality of the family in this film. And by family, I don’t mean the elastic, redefined concept of “families” but an undercurrent of pining for the stability of the natural, nuclear family.
Aleteia: The Pope also stressed that we must restore honor to marriage and the family or “children will come into the world increasingly uprooted” from the covenant between man and woman, and “even from the maternal womb.”
Public Discourse: Same-sex parenting is not unique in the alternative family landscape. What is unique is encouraging an alternative parenting structure guaranteed to deny a child’s right to a biological parent.
The Daily Signal: For decades social science has found that there is an optimal family structure for a child’s intellectual, emotional and physical flourishing: being raised in a home by her biological, married parents.
Public Discourse: The metamorphosis of marriage from a gendered to a genderless institution would send the message that society no longer needs men to bond to women to form well-functioning families or to raise happy, well-adjusted children. That would be bad news for children of heterosexuals on the margins: the poor, the relatively uneducated, the irreligious, and others who are susceptible to cultural messages promoting casual or uncommitted sex.
Family Studies: Preparing for Tax Day, which was yesterday, brings up a lot of questions in any household: Where did I leave my W-2? Should we itemize our deductions? Why didn’t we hire someone to take care of this, anyway?
Aleteia: When a British science journal published an American study in January showing that emotional problems are more than twice as prevalent for children with same-sex parents than for children with opposite-sex parents, nobody expected the author, or the journal editors, to escape criticism. The “consensus” within the social science establishment is that the kids being raised by same-sex couples are doing fine, and will do even better if these parents are allowed to marry. Any researcher who finds anything different must be wrong, incompetent and homophobic.
Aleteia: Pope Francis on Wednesday devoted his general audience catechesis to children, calling them the “greatest blessing which God has bestowed on man and woman.” Even if they suffer in this life, he said, “children are never a mistake.” In fact, he added, “their sufferings are only reasons for us to love them even more.”
The New York Times: Recently, Sex and Society, a nonprofit group that provides much of Denmark’s sex education, adjusted its curriculum. The group no longer has a sole emphasis on how to prevent getting pregnant but now also talks about pregnancy in a more positive light.
Public Discourse: Monica Lewinsky has reappeared on the national stage and is speaking out against cyberbullying. Perhaps she should consider addressing the breakdown of the American family instead.
The Salt-Lake Tribune: Speaker after Mormon speaker warned Saturday about the need to defend “traditional families” — a legally married mother and father, who rear their children together — and about the dangers of “counterfeit and alternative lifestyles.”
Family Studies: If we want to empower young people like Toby, we have to start by honoring their suffering. By that I mean that someone has to know Toby’s name, create a safe space for him to tell his story, and connect him to other communities with webs of belonging, as well as to professionals (for instance, therapists, clergy, and substance abuse counselors) that can help. This process gives a person the experience of “feeling felt,” in psychiatrist Daniel Siegel’s phrase.
Family Studies: Millennial motherhood can be lonely. While we experience motherhood in a world vastly different from that of Betty Friedan and her generation, ours brings its own challenges.
Public Discourse: The reprieve provided by surgery and life as a woman was only temporary. Hidden deep underneath the make-up and female clothing was the little boy hurt by childhood trauma, and he was making himself known.
One News Now: Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Brett Harvey says the Illinois Supreme Court, by rejecting the psychological connection argument, “acknowledged the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that fit parents have the right to raise their children.”
The Gospel Coalition: The centuries-old, universal consensus among Christians, Jews, and Muslims—that God gave sex for marriage between one man and one woman—is being questioned not only by secular society, but within Christianity itself.
First Things: Times have changed. It is increasingly common for friends and family to support—and even to attend—the suicides of their ill, disabled, or despairing loved ones. Brittany Maynard’s husband and mother, for instance, fully backed her assisted suicide and are now on the advocacy circuit promoting its legalization.
The Federalist: Speaking as two donor-conceived young women—alive because of reproductive technologies—we felt an urgent need to respond…in support of Dolce and Gabbana.
Public Discourse: Dolce and Gabbana, whether they use the term or not, are strong advocates of natural law.
Bloomberg View: The advantages that two people raising their own biological or jointly adopted children have over “nontraditional” family arrangements are too obvious to need enumeration, but apparently mere obviousness is not enough to forestall contrary arguments, so let me enumerate them anyway.
The American Conservative: First they came for Brendan Eich, and I said nothing, because I browse with Google Chrome. Then they came for Dolce & Gabbana, and I said nothing, because my clothes rack is full of Lands End and L.L. Bean. …
The Washington Post: Every few weeks or so, it seems, I hear of another family on the verge of “disruption,” the term used to describe families relinquishing back to the system children they have adopted. As with divorce, in some of these situations, there is no alternative to the tragic outcome. But as with divorce, in other cases, many of the adoptions did not need the nuclear option.
asktheBigot: Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child’s life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality.
First Things: In an interview with Panorama magazine, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, the two men whose business partnership—and one-time romantic partnership—lies behind one of the world’s great fashion powerhouses, have declared that “The only family is the traditional one.”
First comes love, then comes marriage… tying the knot before first baby is a key ingredient for marriage success
Marriage Foundation: In the first ever UK study of its kind, new research from Marriage Foundation, a think tank dedicated to building stronger families, has found that the recipe for relationship success lies in making the decision to commit before starting a family.
Family Studies: In 1965, American mothers spent an average of eight hours a week on paid work and 10 hours a week on child care. In 2011, they worked 21 hours a week—and spent 14 hours on child care. That is, even as they became much more likely to spend a significant amount of time at work, moms came to devote more time, not less, to their kids. Do you think children benefited from that change? Restricting the question to today, are kids who spend more time with their moms more likely to do well on standard academic and behavioral measures?
Tulsa World: Preventive efforts matter — and can save money. An Institute for American Values study shows that even a 1 percent increase in family stability saves the state $43 million.
NY Mag: If you fancy yourself a normalish, reasonably rational parent, you probably read, with equal parts horror and fascination, about the recent travails of a Maryland couple that tried to allow their children to walk the one mile from a local park to their home in Silver Spring.
Christian Concern: An arrangement whereby a woman carried her adult son’s child as a surrogate mother was “entirely lawful,” a High Court Judge has ruled.
Tuscaloosa News (AP): The Alabama Supreme Court on Monday upheld a GOP-championed school-choice law that gives tax credits to help some families pay for private school.
The Washington Post: The Maryland parents investigated for letting their young children walk home by themselves from a park were found responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect in a decision that has not fully resolved their clash with authorities over questions of parenting and children’s safety.
Family Studies: When popular car service company Uber announced that it was launching a fleet of cars equipped with car seats, they reached an under-tapped demographic of American consumers: families.
Family Studies: Last week, the New York Times chronicled the dramatic case of two babies switched at birth. Two decades ago, two mothers came home from a hospital in southern France with the wrong daughters. As the girls got older it became increasingly clear that they had little biological resemblance to their parents. Indeed, the father of one girl left her mother because he was suspicious of the girl’s origins.
America Magazine: The one subject guaranteed to start fireworks today is children. Hence the pyrotechnics whenever Pope Francis talks of rabbits, sterility or contraception. Judging from my 16 years teaching family law, the law struggles with children too, for reasons similar to why individuals do. A church trying to figure out how to speak about marriage and family needs to understand this struggle, given that lawmakers are now considering redefining marriage—the last and most basic “place” where family law safeguards children.
NBC News: Simply put, while the marital status of a child’s parents can influence the overall well-being of the child, the family’s economic situation can be even more important, according to an analysis of U.S. Census data conducted by the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF).
Ed Excellence: As I explain in Education Next, a more holistic approach would also take seriously what Isabel Sawhill and Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution call the “success sequence”: get at least a high school diploma, work full time, and wait till you are at least twenty-one and married before having children. They estimate that 98 percent of individuals who follow those three norms will not be poor, and almost three-quarters will be solidly middle class. On the flip side, three-quarters of young people who fail to follow any of those norms will be poor, and almost none will be middle class.
Family Studies: How can we address the decline of marriage and the rise of single parenting in America? Most answers to that question center on reforming the social safety net to address marriage penalties, widening access to contraception, improving relationship education programs, and increasing the availability of stable, well-paying jobs. In a new article for Education Next, Michael Petrilli, president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, proposes another way to tackle the problem: Involve schools.
Family Studies: If you imagine a single woman having a baby around 1980, what do you think her life has been like since? By the time that child became an adult, was the mother any better off than she had been when the child was born?
Family Studies: Young people are less likely to be victims of crime if they live in two-parent than in single-parent households. That has been a consistent finding of the National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice.
Public Discourse: For some people, scientific research on the subject of same-sex parenting is irrelevant. A new volume is meant for those who still approach the topic of parenting and sexuality with open minds. According to the best data, average life outcomes for children raised by parents in same-sex relationships tend to resemble those of children raised by single and divorced parents.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention submitted an amicus brief today to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals arguing that marriage between a man and a woman is vital to the welfare of children, families and society.
Family Studies: Children’s educational outcomes—their cognitive skills, grades, and educational attainment—are closely linked to their parents’ level of education.
The Christian Institute: Family breakdown is set to cost the taxpayer a staggering £47 billion in 2015, according to new figures released by a leading relationship think tank.
Family Studies: In the movie, Anna and Elsa both must respond to the trauma of their parents’ death alone: they are isolated within the castle walls and separated from each other. But their responses to this trauma couldn’t be more different.
Breakpoint: Whenever same-sex marriage is talked about in the news, we are treated to countless pictures and testimonials of “gay” couples celebrating their new right. However, it’s rare that we hear from another party directly affected by this raging controversy—the children.