Moynihan, Carolyn
293 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Deputy Editor for Mercator.net. Carolyn Moynihan is an Auckland journalist with a special interest in family issues. She also edits the international family issues newsletter, Family Edge.

Contact: carolyn@mercatornet.com

Articles

Loss of a father leaves its mark in the child's DNA

A fascinating piece of research related to father loss is highlighted by an article at Family Studies. Most studies of the effects on a child losing his or her father through death, divorce or incarceration, rely on survey questions to measure health.

Date posted: 2017-09-02

What's destroying the kids - smartphones or distracted parents?

We all know that kids use their phones too much. They are too much on Snapchat or texting their friends. They would take their phones to bed if no-one stopped them and never sleep if the bodily need for slumber did not overpower them. They are exposed to cyberbullying and tempted to over-expose themselves.

Date posted: 2017-08-30

The inspiring life of Ruth Pfau, leprosy doctor

The death of a nun who worked for 50 years in Pakistan closes a life of Christian service

Date posted: 2017-08-29

Jane Austen's marriage challenge

We need to make the institution she celebrated great again.

Date posted: 2017-07-31

The law must protect, doctors must care, and euthanasia undermines both

A British palliative care talks to MercatorNet about the campaign for assisted suicide.

Date posted: 2017-07-16

And then there were three: a Colombian gay 'throuple' is recognised as a family

When the case for same-sex "marriage" was made on the basis that marital relationships are about "love", not particular physical acts, many of us asked: If that is the case, what can stop any kind of relationship based on love from being recognised as marital?

Date posted: 2017-07-15

A pro-life talk at Google headquarters is a hit

The unborn child proves a far more gripping topic than birth control.

Date posted: 2017-07-09

'The cold biological truth is that sex changes are impossible'

Camille Paglia is at it again: trend iconoclasm. In a recent email interview with Jonathan Last of The Weekly Standard, the libertarian ("pro-sex", "Amazonian") feminist describes herself as transgender, but goes on to criticise the current campaign for transgender rights.

Date posted: 2017-07-09

Are we making the family too special for our own good?

Two women philosophers think so, despite evidence to the contrary.

Date posted: 2017-05-23

Why does the CDC insist on alternative facts about natural family planning?

Women and medical professionals deserve accurate information about effective ways to prevent pregnancy based on the best research available.

Date posted: 2017-05-07

Transgender reversal: It's not so easy to become a girl again

I would love to be seen more as female

Date posted: 2017-05-07

The truthiness behind the HPV vaccine campaign

Doctors are telling only half the truth about America's most common sexually transmitted disease

Date posted: 2017-05-05

Millennials stall the gender revolution in the home

Millennial men, the headlines tell us, prefer stay-at-home wives. And their female counterparts, to a lesser extent, agree. How can this be?

Date posted: 2017-04-19

'Talking contraceptives with mom and grandma'

A famous pair of philanthropists come up with the worst idea ever for International Women's Day.

Date posted: 2017-03-18

New Zealand's Prime Minister has some awesome family stats

Meet Bill and Mary English: 30 years married, 6 kids, 23 siblings between them.

Date posted: 2017-03-10

Dear Warren: Contraception going well, newborn mortality not so well

Bill and Melinda Gates report on how they have been spending a philanthropic windfall.

Date posted: 2017-03-06

Married 82 years, a couple share their secret

A New Zealand couple are honoured for their fidelity.

Date posted: 2017-02-21

Big media notices the 44th March for Life

But will their interest extend to the unborn child itself?

Date posted: 2017-02-15

Wall-Eh? How to make an enemy on your border

There are Trump policies, like knocking back the abortion establishment, that are unpopular with a lot of Americans but still reasonable and morally defensible. Building the wall is not one of them. It is not just, sad. It's bad.

Date posted: 2017-02-04

"I'm glad I didn't change my gender" says Ruby Rose

Australian model Ruby Rose Langenheim, who is also an actress, has thrown a spanner in the gender works. She said she was glad she did not have gender reassignment surgery because now she is happy to be a woman and wants children of her own.

Date posted: 2017-02-04

The pink hat brigade hand the boy's locker room another victory

Claiming vulgar terms for women's bodies does not advance their rights.

Date posted: 2017-02-04

Modelling Down syndrome: how advertisers are responding to a cause

In an era that celebrates diversity, you never know who is going to make a very public appearance next. Enter little children with Down syndrome, modelling toys and clothes for popular US brands.

Date posted: 2017-01-03

Planned Parenthood's century and the wages of birth control

Salaries testify to the profitability of the industry.

Date posted: 2016-11-06

A world without Down's?

The British government is considering making a new screening test for Down syndrome available through the National Health Service. Although the Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing method (NIPT) is said to be more accurate and safer for women, there is concern that it will lead to more terminations. Actress Sally Phillips, whose 11-year-old son, Olly, has Down's, sparked a very public debate, saying, "As a parent of someone with Down's syndrome I just find this arms race for new technologies terribly upsetting."

Date posted: 2016-10-15

Abortion protests mark a black day for Poland

Furious young women throng the streets to reject an abortion ban.

Date posted: 2016-10-15

Go ahead, ban me, but I'll never say a man is a woman!

A rebellion against transgenderism has broken out on the hugely popular British parenting website Mumsnet after some users were banned for "misgendering" and "transphobia" in referring to certain persons, it seems. A UK parenting website has to give 'transphobists' a say.

Date posted: 2016-08-28

Mary Magdalene, her true story

Beloved disciple. Apostle of apostles. But wife of Jesus?

Date posted: 2016-07-31

NFP for Nigeria - to protect women and the family

How you can help counter the war on population in Africa

Date posted: 2016-07-25

Are the kids all right? Ask them when they are adults

A new study finds half of adults raised in same-sex households depressed.

Date posted: 2016-07-25

Jo Cox: looking at refugees with a mother's heart

The murdered British MP wanted Britain to take more child refugees.

Date posted: 2016-06-26

Meanwhile, outside the school bathroom...

Another day, another story in big media about the oppression of transgender persons. The federal government is so concerned about their toilet traumas that it has ordered all the public schools in the country to accommodate their preferences. But here's a shocking statistic: among the 38 million young men in the US between the ages of 18 and 34, no less than five million are out of work and another million are in prison.

Date posted: 2016-06-06

Is God Dead? No, but our faith may be ailing

Christians need a theology that talks about God to stay strong.

Date posted: 2016-04-30

Men struggle with porn addiction, some women want to feed it

Good news and bad news about one of the greatest evils of the 21st century. The bad news is that women are clamouring for a fair share of the porn industry; the good news is that men are deserting that pigsty. These are very broad strokes, but the details are equally disturbing and encouraging.

Date posted: 2016-03-20

A novel idea for International Women's Day

Tell women the truth about the risks of abortion.

Date posted: 2016-03-19

Free shots: India expands its 'basket of choice in family planning'

But the latest population control tool risks making 'basket cases' of women.

Date posted: 2016-03-18

Was there anything really new about the New Year's Eve attacks in Cologne

An official report released on Sunday confirmed allegations by victims (more than 500 of them have laid criminal complaints, of which 45 percent involved sexual assault) that the assailants were North African or Arabic.

Date posted: 2016-01-30

Founder of Femen Brazil now makes war on feminism

Sara Fernanda Giromin discovers motherhood and happiness.

Date posted: 2016-01-10

Polyamorists build their movement

The mainstreaming of "gay marriage" has been accompanied by frank admissions that the majority of gay relationships are not monogamous but at best "monogamish". Can "plural marriage" be far behind?

Date posted: 2015-12-29

My Life on the Road: a feminist's journey

What would you like to hear from a feminist elder, prominent enough in her day to be bracketed with such big names as Betty Friedan and Bella Abzug? At 81, Gloria Steinem is in a position to be frank about the failures as well as successes of the movement for which she has been a standard bearer.

Date posted: 2015-12-27

Transgender ordinance dispute brings Houston voters out of the closet

The progressive press is seething with indignation towards the voters of Houston, Texas, more than 60 percent of whom have rejected a city council ordinance that would allow transgender women (that is, biological males) into women's restrooms and locker rooms.

Date posted: 2015-11-19

Should euthanasia researchers declare their interests?

When it comes to a moral issue like euthanasia, those who participate in the debate are going to be on one side or the other. It is improbable that medical experts, ethicists, researchers, lawyers and politicians who play a part, either by choice or duty, do not begin with a position on the matter - even if it subsequently changes.

Date posted: 2015-11-15

Living longer: a bonus or a burden?

A new report from the World Health Organisation informs us that, "Today, for the first time in history most people can expect to live into their 60s and beyond." The number of people in this age group is set to double by 2050. In developing and middle income countries fewer young people are dying; in high-income countries the old are living even longer."

Date posted: 2015-11-04

'He's no burden, he's our baby boy'

A little boy born without most of his brain defies the odds.

Date posted: 2015-10-16

Domestic happiness: it's not all about the division of labour

One of the burning gender equity issues of the day is the division of labour in the home between wife and husband/partner.

Date posted: 2015-10-15

Truth Overruled

A row broke out in a Kentucky county courthouse yesterday when a clerk refused to issue marriage licences to two same-sex couples. When one of the parties demanded to know under whose authority Kim Davis was acting, she said, "Under God's authority."

Date posted: 2015-09-23

Medicating our unhealthy lifestyles

The much trumpeted launch last week of a drug to treat low libido in women highlights one of the great paradoxes of the modern world: although public hygiene and medical science have largely wiped out old diseases like smallpox and polio, other diseases and mental disorders increase and multiply, so that humanity seems to be as sick as ever. Are we responding to these epidemics in the most effective way?

Date posted: 2015-09-05

Side Effects of the Pill 102: death

Where would you expect to find a film about the oral contraceptive pill which begins with the comment that this is "the first medical drug made specifically to treat people who aren't sick"?

Date posted: 2015-08-29

Amnesty International's new human rights cause: prostitution

What would yesterday's prisoners of conscience think of the right to sell oneself? Delegates at an international conference of Amnesty International are due to vote on a proposal that Amnesty should advocate the full decriminalisation of prostitution. That's right; the organisation founded to shame governments into releasing prisoners of conscience, might next week be lobbying states to remove the last shackles from a trade that most people still regard as shameful. And all in the name of human rights.

Date posted: 2015-08-13

What makes a violent extremist?

Murderous shootings and slayings are a common occurrence in the United States.

Date posted: 2015-08-11

The red and blue of family stability

Family stability is good for kids growing up, and having your own two parents still around as a teenager indicates stability. So, what is the recipe for that kind of success?

Date posted: 2015-07-13

A polyphobic reflectio

Improbable? Preposterous? Alarmist? Perhaps. But by no means illogical. The success of the same-sex marriage campaign in Ireland has advocates elsewhere in a state of high excitement, predicting that the rest of the (Western) world must quickly fall into line and legalise this concept. What then?

Date posted: 2015-06-14

How safe is Gardasil for young girls?

An Australian doctor's experience with menopausal teenagers raises serious concerns.

Date posted: 2015-05-11

The Charlie Hebdo PEN award for courage is misplaced

Mocking and degrading revered religious figures comes too close to hatred of believers.

Date posted: 2015-05-11

Same-sex parenting and emotional harm: critiquing the critics

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.

Date posted: 2015-04-21

A gay dispute over same-sex parenting

The British press was buzzing over the weekend with news of a spat between high profile gay men over same-sex parenting. On one side were Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, on the other, Sir Elton John, legally married to David Furnish, with whom he parents, with the aid of a nanny, two children acquired with the help of a surrogate mother.

Date posted: 2015-04-07

Why do kids desert the West to fight with ISIS?

One of the most alarming things about the Islamic State and similar groups is their appeal to young Muslims who have grown up in the West, and even to Western youths with no Islamic background. By June last year an estimated 2500 Westerners had joined the civil war in Syria, most fighting with rebel groups, a lot of them young, even teenagers. Some are converts to Islam.

Date posted: 2015-03-17

The advance of the "throuple"

Three Thai men have advertised their "marriage" on the internet and appeared in Thai media, claiming the distinction of being, possibly, the first gay men to have a three-way wedding. Joke, 29, Bell, 21, and Art, 26, had their ceremony on Valentine's Day in Uthai Thani Province.

Date posted: 2015-03-17

Breaking the "two" barrier in Germany

One of the last places in the world you would expect to have many large families is Germany. German women have, on average, only 1.4 children each, and one in five women will remain childless. Chancellor Angela Merkel is one of those. By contrast, one of her chief ministers, Ursula von der Leyen, has seven children.

Date posted: 2015-02-23

Losing track of marriage and divorce

The intact married family has been shown time and again in objective data to be the best environment for children growing up. In the light of such facts, who in government and the community does not want to know what is happening to this institution so that policy can be adjusted to protect it? And why?

Date posted: 2015-02-23

When does gender equality begin?

Not in the womb, say abortion rights activists.

Date posted: 2015-02-23

When does gender equality begin?

The impositions that some immigrant women suffer from their communities are often shocking to their Western sisters. These practices range from burquas through female genital mutilation to forced marriages and honour killings. It is obvious that the women concerned are not happy with some of these practices either, and appreciate laws in their adopted country that ban the most harmful, as well as campaigns of women's rights groups to roll back the others.

Date posted: 2015-02-02

Communicating the family, for the sake of a better future

Everybody, it seems, is arguing about the family: academics and lawyers, judges and politicians, gays and straights; even the bishops of the Catholic Church could not entirely agree on the subject last October when they met at the Vatican to prepare for the coming Synod on the Family in October this year.

Date posted: 2015-02-02

I am Kelvin Cochran

After 34 years of service he must have done something pretty bad to get fired, so what was it? Did he let someone's house burn down? Nope. Did he suddenly get incompetent at dealing with his staff? Did he launch an unauthorised, bold new plan to reform the fire service in Atlanta? No, and no.

Date posted: 2015-01-20

Money to burn - and also to give?

That a billion people enjoyed New Year's Eve fireworks is not much comfort for tens of millions of refugees.

Date posted: 2015-01-20

Gay rights, privacy and the Apple CEO

Timothy Cook has stumped up as a gay icon. What will be the effect on other public figures?

Date posted: 2014-12-11

Little heroes? Or victims of an experiment?

The skinny little kid rapping away on the stage has short spiky hair and baggy pants and jacket, just like a boy, and his voice hasn't broken yet so it passes as a girl's.

Date posted: 2014-12-11

The music of man and of woman

The short inspirational text evoked images of a wedding that brings together not only bride and groom but their extended families, friends and neighbours. It also highlighted generational links and the bodily self-giving that is inseparable from marriage.

Date posted: 2014-12-11

When Iran hanged a woman for killing her rapist, it showed how senseless all capital punishment is

The hanging last Saturday of a young Iranian woman convicted of murdering her alleged rapist has caused an international outcry, including condemnation by the US Department of State and the British Foreign Office.

Date posted: 2014-10-30

Bakery owners face bankruptcy after a discrimination finding

We often hear that same-sex marriage "won't hurt you" or your beliefs, but the signs are that it does, and willConscientious beliefs are increasingly under assault as laws change in more states, but even without altering marriage law in a particular state citizens can be under pressure from the new ideological environment.

Date posted: 2014-10-13

Abuse is a social, not just a legal problem

Identifying offenders is all very well, but isn't it time to make some social changes?

Date posted: 2014-09-14

"Parade of empathy" halted by same-sex marriage ruling

There's something to be said for longevity. At 80 years of age you can say what you want to say and go down with all guns blazing.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Working mothers: to everything, a season

The much celebrated rise of women in education and the workforce has given rise to the much debated second shift syndrome, in which mothers who work full time come home to do most of the childcare and other domestic work (cooking, shopping, laundry), and to why women can't have it all tracts from high-powered career women who want to see more of their children.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Utah struggles to defend monogamous, man-woman marriage

The Mormon stronghold of Utah is trying to defend its laws on marriage on two fronts, same-sex marriage and polygamy, but courts are not on the state's side.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

Rotherham: lessons from a British sex abuse scandal

Britons were outraged last week to learn that more than 1400 children in a Northern English town were sexually abused over a period of 16 years by gangs of predators while officials turned a blind eye.

Date posted: 2014-09-14

No rush to the registry office by UK same-sex couples

And how a big wedding can give your marriage a real boost.

Date posted: 2014-08-30

Before 'I do': how the new relationship script can affect marital happiness

And how a big wedding can give your marriage a real boost.

Date posted: 2014-08-30

Appeals judge to gay rights advocates: why use the courts?

What the New York Times correctly calls "the steady march of judicial approval for same-sex marriage over the past year" hit a speed bump, if not a road block, this week as the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heard arguments in six same-sex marriages cases appealed by four states.

Date posted: 2014-08-16

The truth about childbirth and death

Figures for maternal mortality are increasingly available, but experts seem to prefer estimates. Why?

Date posted: 2014-08-16

What marriage defenders can learn from Roe

The situation of marriage in the USA and much of the Western world today is unprecedented, the very institution in danger of collapsing into a chaos of sexual relationships of any shape or size. But looking beyond the history of marriage there is an important precedent, says Ryan T Anderson in a new article in National Review Online (registration/small payment required).

Date posted: 2014-08-03

The muddled iconography of women bishops

Last week, while the Church of England was deciding to ordain women bishops, Marvel Comics promised one of its leading characters a sex change. The Mighty Thor is about to come out as female. Are these two moves connected? Are they a great leap forward for humanity, or a reckless leap into the dark.

Date posted: 2014-07-24

First Kiwi lesbian "marriage" over already?

New Zealand's first same-sex "marriage" is shaping up to become the country's first same-sex divorce. Less than a year since they became the poster girls for the country's new legal definition of marriage (last August) the NZ Herald reports that Melissa Ray, a former Ferns football player, and Natasha Vitali, a sales rep, are "believed to have split".

Date posted: 2014-07-24

Mothers in shackles

It's not only in Sudanese prisons that women give birth chained.

Date posted: 2014-07-24

Health economics 101: contraceptives pay for themselves, usually, babies don't

If anyone thought the controversy over Obamacare's contraceptive mandate finished with the Supreme Court's decision it's time to think again. Over the past months the battle has been framed as conscience rights versus contraceptive rights. Now that conscience has won the first fight on points, a second round could be fought over money.

Date posted: 2014-07-24

Faring well? Convenient findings about same-sex parenting

So there you have it: a study that is "large" but not "strong" though the life chances of many children may be affected by it. As Mark Regnerus has pointed out, given what's at stake, nothing but the effort to do a really strong study is good enough, although this requires hard work and, above all, expense.

Date posted: 2014-07-24

Mother bodies, father bodies

How parenthood changes us from the inside out.

Date posted: 2014-07-10

Killing Me Softly: a New Zealand report on euthanasia

Over the past 20-odd years New Zealand has seen three legislative attempts to legalise euthanasia.

Date posted: 2014-07-10

Don't expect stable families without a living wage

There's a conservative case for a just wage and a couple of marriage researchers have just made it.

Date posted: 2014-07-10

Youth crime, curfews - and what else?

Yesterday in separate appearances at the Auckland District Court in New Zealand two boys were charged in relation to the killing of a suburban dairy owner, Arun Kumar, two weeks ago. The age of the boys has shocked authorities and the public: they are 13 and 12, charged respectively with murder and manslaughter plus assault.

Date posted: 2014-07-10

Meriam is free, but countless Christian women are not

Do women's rights campaigners really want to know about their plight?

Date posted: 2014-07-10

Hillary Clinton on gay marriage: did she evolve, or just wait?

It took the gay rights champion until 2013 to come out on this issue. Why?"

Date posted: 2014-06-30

Is this democracy? 28 EU commissioners veto 2 million strong petition

You don't have to be a Eurosceptic to have issues with Big Europe.

Date posted: 2014-06-10

Don't meddle with marriage any more

Youthfulness and Green party leanings make approval of group marriage more likely among New Zealanders, according to a new survey.

Date posted: 2014-06-09

The fearful symmetry of family violence

Despite appearances, partner abuse is not a one-way street.

Date posted: 2014-06-09

A handout for queer non-monogamists

It is getting harder week by week to deny that acceptance of same-sex "marriage" creates a precedent for social and legal recognition of other types of sexual relationships.

Date posted: 2014-06-09

Spain's family culture collapses

Fewer marriages, broken marriages and the difficulty of reconciling work and family life are leading reasons why the family in Spain is in deep trouble, according to a new report from the Institute for Family Policies (IPFE). The Spanish pro-family organisation says the family in Spain is increasingly one without children and often of lone adults.

Date posted: 2014-05-25

Happy International Day of Families! Oh, you didn't know?

It's high time for a mobilisation of the family minded, with or without the media.

Date posted: 2014-05-25

You are not alone: Big Brother as student chaperone

Can the White House put a stop to sexual assaults on campus?

Date posted: 2014-05-07

Much ado about sex; nothing to do with race

A mixed race couple demonstrating for gay marriage hold up a sign saying, "Once our marriage was once illegal too."

Date posted: 2014-05-06

Earth Day eco-villains: our top 10

It's Earth Day again, an occasion on which to reflect on our sins against the environment and make resolutions to clean up our act. We are familiar with the usual suspects: overpopulation, oil companies, overpopulation, chocolate, cattle farmers, the coal industry... and did I mention overpopulation? Well, forget all that. Here's our top 10 eco-villains, most of them getting away with ecological murder to date.

Date posted: 2014-05-05

Does equality breed violence against women?

The statistics in a recent international report on violence against women are deeply disturbing: one in three women has been physically or sexually abused; one in 10 has experienced sexual violence; one in 20 has been raped. Where? Not in a developing country mired in civil war, but in Europe, wealthy, women's rights obsessed, feminist finger-wagging Europe. How can this be?

Date posted: 2014-04-21

On birth control women do not speak with one voice

It's a funny thing that what 40,000-odd women say about a policy supposedly for women is of no interest to three of the most powerful women in the United States.

Date posted: 2014-04-21

Modern marriage: a modelling course

Marriage is in trouble, and it's not all down to the campaign to extend it to same-sex couples. It was floundering before anyone mentioned gay marriage, and continues, in the richer countries, on a path that many see as a decline. Divorce, cohabitation, single motherhood, all undermine the most basic institution of society, one still regarded by the majority of people as integral to their long-term happiness.

Date posted: 2014-03-22

It's Down Syndrome Day, but for how long?

We interview a doctor with a passion to serve people with Down - even before they are born.

Date posted: 2014-03-22

Russia, gay rights and the protection of children

Russia, for all that it gets wrong, is doing the right thing by its children in this instance.

Date posted: 2014-03-02

Will China be first to learn its ABC?

Recent breast cancer studies from China point to abortion as a cause, but the West remains in denial.

Date posted: 2014-03-01

Stop messing with the family, say the French

Passing a gay marriage law does not end the marriage debate, as the Prime Minister of France is discovering. Francois Hollande's Socialist-led government has had to shelve plans to "update" family law after huge demonstrations in Paris and Lyon on Sunday against any further meddling with marriage and the family, Reuters reports.

Date posted: 2014-02-25

Sons of divorce, and school shooters

Yet another school shooting in the United States has brought trauma to individuals and community, and more insistent demands for gun control. But sociologist and American Enterprise visiting scholar W Bradford Wilcox says something more fundamental is being overlooked.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

The naming of parts - for five-year-olds

New Zealand parents with children starting school may have to decide whether they want their five- and six-year-olds to learn, in class, not only the proper names of sexual organs but how they function.

Date posted: 2013-12-22

2014 - a special year for the family

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, a United Nations observance which many voluntary groups hope will prod governments towards greater recognition of the social importance of the family. The 75 million youth who are unemployed around the world have reason to understand that.

Date posted: 2013-12-04

Left-winging it on the right to life

The President of Ecuador says he will resign if "betrayers" in his party insist on liberalising abortion.

Date posted: 2013-10-21

Sweetening the pill

A young woman dissolves the sugar coating on the contraceptive pill and exposes its harmful, anti-woman core.

Date posted: 2013-10-21

Should Australia ban smacking?

It could, but that would not stop child abuse or improve children's mental health.

Date posted: 2013-09-19

Redefining marriage in NZ: lessons for Oz

Yesterday new legislation redefining marriage as the "union of two people regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity" took effect in New Zealand, and 31 officially recognised weddings of same-sex couples took place. Some of them, predictably, were media events sponsored by radio stations and public institutions.

Date posted: 2013-08-26

Making a world fit for the young

Human ecology is a youth issue, too, if only the young would realise that.

Date posted: 2013-05-04

The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert

In 1997 Rosaria M. Champagne was a lesbian feminist English professor at Syracuse University in New York, specialising in gay and lesbian studies, living with her girlfriend and sporting a butch haircut. Today, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield is a home-schooling mother of four adopted children in Purcellville, West Virginia, married to a pastor of the reformed Presbyterian Church. What happened to bring about this transformation?

Date posted: 2013-04-29

The debate that wasn't: New Zealand's rushed marriage revolution

Last night (April 17) 77 people changed the institution of marriage in New Zealand from a conjugal union with the potential for generating children and providing them with the nurture of their own mother and father into "a union of 2 people regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity" with the potential for systematically depriving children of their mother or father, or both. All in the name of "love". Starting in August.

Date posted: 2013-04-20

Quiet, please. Complacency at work!

The New York Times has ignored an appalling abuse of human rights in nearby Philadelphia. What explains its indifference to the Kermit Gosnell abortion trial?

Date posted: 2013-04-20

Why is Europe committing demographic suicide?

Everybody knows about the economic woes of Europe. In the media you cannot get away from it. What we seldom hear about is a problem that puts debt crises and austerity riots in the shade: the region's demographic suicide. Europeans, on the whole, are not having enough babies to replace themselves -- a trend which threatens the workforce, support of the aged and even the continued existence of some nations.

Date posted: 2013-04-20

What to Expect When No One's Expecting

New Zealand's Marriage Act 1955 does not define marriage; no-one then thought it necessary to define what was self-evident, anywhere. As the agitation for same-sex marriage grew, however, the United States federal government passed the Defence of Marriage Act in 1996 defining marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman, a move ratified by the majority of states.

Date posted: 2013-03-26

Marriage: what it is, why it matters, consequences of redefining it

A new report out today by Ryan T. Anderson for the Heritage Foundation rounds up the arguments against gay marriage in some detail but very systematically and clearly.

Date posted: 2013-03-16

What's shortening women's lives?

Articles about how women are forging ahead of men have been proliferating in recent years, some even talking about "the end of men". But a new study highlights a trend that goes back three decades and has seen women losing some of their advantage over men.

Date posted: 2013-03-11

How not to have a public debate on gay marriage

A select committee of the New Zealand parliament has reported back this week after dealing with submissions on a bill intended to allow same-sex couples to marry -- and the report has caused barely a ripple in the major media because they have tried to bury it.

Date posted: 2013-03-11

Korea's elderly turn to suicide as family bonds fray

South Korea has a reputation for economic dynamism and top-notch women golfers, but there is at least one thing it is not doing very well these days: looking after its elderly citizens. Asian family values built on Confucianism are breaking down under the pressures of a highly competitive society focussed on economic performance and personal success.

Date posted: 2013-03-11

The guilty silence that killed Reeva Steenkamp

Why does no one mention the most obvious thing that put Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend in harm's way?

Date posted: 2013-03-11

Bill Gates and his mixed up global health agenda

Bill and Melinda Gates want to stop polio and also the growth of third world population. One of these campaigns could be undermining the other.

Date posted: 2013-03-11

Do babies need their mums more than their dads?

The British government is very active on the family front right now. Some of what they are doing is potentially good -- like speeding up adoptions, which are often delayed through efforts of the authorities to "match" children with adoptive parents of the same race, and giving fathers the right to share maternity leave (12 months total).

Date posted: 2013-03-11

Shape or be shaped: Christians in an era of marriage decline

Christians throughout the West are dismayed at plummeting church attendance figures. They blame video games, or left-wing teachers, or Richard Dawkins. But perhaps the real answer is closer to home -- their own families. Divorce, single motherhood and cohabitation have been destabilising family life in America and other developed countries for decades. About one million children in the US each year experience the divorce of their parents, and more than half the children born to women under 30 are now born outside marriage. Reproductive technologies are also adding ambiguity -- and potential fault lines -- to family relationships.

Date posted: 2013-02-27

How online dating makes commitment harder

The Atlantic magazine has an article arguing that online dating is undermining monogamy.

Date posted: 2013-01-28

French homosexuals join rally against gay marriage

There was a huge rally against same-sex marriage in France at the weekend. C-FAM reports an unexpected feature of the opposition -- something that should be kept in mind when various media report what the "gay community" etc says about certain issues.

Date posted: 2013-01-28

Discerning newborns

A Swedish-American research team has demonstrated that babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language. The study indicates that babies begin absorbing language while still in the womb, earlier than previously thought.

Date posted: 2013-01-09

An agenda for renewing marriage in America

The British Government's response to its consultation on same-sex marriage shows how keen it is to railroad through partial and divisive proposals.

Date posted: 2012-12-25

Emergency contraception: risk reduction at the Last Chance Saloon

Major health organisations want all teenage girls to have a supply of morning-after pills on hand. Are they crazy?

Date posted: 2012-12-25

Down Under, a loaded interview

Take-home message: If you want to hear a decent debate on same-sex marriage, don't tune into to New Zealand public broadcasting.

Date posted: 2012-12-25

Why is adoption so popular in Japan?

Surprisingly, in view of its very low birth rate and aversion to immigration, Japan has one of the highest adoption rates in the world. But the reason is even more surprising: more than 90 per cent of the 81,000 people adopted last year were Japanese adults -- men in their 20s and 30s

Date posted: 2012-12-25

Re-examining a controversial gay parenting study

The journal Demography has published a reexamination of a 2010 study that found no significant differences between same-sex and opposite-sex parenting outcomes.

Date posted: 2012-12-10

Discovering the value of home

A conference next week may hold the key to the recovery of Europe in the longer term.

Date posted: 2012-11-23

Heterosexuality "not the norm", says Australian school programme

The normalisation of same-sex relationships received a setback recently in Australia when the federal parliament lower and upper houses threw out bills that would have allowed same-sex "marriage". Nevertheless, the normalisation campaign continues on many fronts.

Date posted: 2012-11-01

What's really wrong with the economies: the baby dearth

Meanwhile, if the Boomers are to blame for anything it is for swallowing the two-child line sold them by the previous generation, the so-called Greatest -- or at least its business and political elite -- and its accompanying message to consume, consume, consume. There comes a point, surely, where buying stuff for a very small family -- and eventually just oneself -- begins to erode both the economy and humanity.

Date posted: 2012-10-16

Remarriage, the second divorce and the relationship tangle

Obviously there can be good reasons for introducing a step-parent into the home. Traditionally remarriage was considered the best thing for the children when a father lost his wife in childbirth or she died for some other reason. Similarly for a widow (my own paternal grandmother was a case in point). A lot has changed since then and the good of the children is not always uppermost in the minds of adults contemplating remarriage; it really should be.

Date posted: 2012-10-16

Fear of flying with babies

Airlines are starting to create kid-free zones. Is that fair? Is it the way we want to treat families?

Date posted: 2012-10-16

Time with dad good for self-esteem

The more time kids spent alone with their fathers, the higher their self-esteem, a study has found.

Date posted: 2012-10-16

Very premature births linked to multiple abortions

A link between induced abortion and premature births - and associated health complications - is supported by a new study from Finland. The more abortions a woman has had before giving birth, the more likely she is to give birth prematurely, the BBC reports.

Date posted: 2012-09-24

Catholic women and that other contraceptive mandate

Why do so many church-going women reject Catholic teaching on family planning? At last someone has asked them.

Date posted: 2012-09-24

How "risk reduction" policies keep the cost of teen sex high

Economics might not be the most obvious discipline for studying teenage sexual activity and its results, but the dismal science can, in fact, throw some light on what seems an intractable modern problem.

Date posted: 2012-09-19

Marriage may benefit women more than men

Men benefit more from marriage than women do. Have you heard statements like that before? I'm sure I have. It's partly based on evidence that, compared to their unmarried counterparts, both women and men tend to live longer if they are married, but that men's lifespan is increased even more, on average, if they are married.

Date posted: 2012-09-18

The mixed legacy of Helen Gurley Brown

The Cosmopolitan editor's sexual agenda has been a spectacular failure for women. What a shame it obscured some rather good advice.

Date posted: 2012-09-07

Striking a blow for equality, perhaps

What kind of victory is it for women to appear on the world stage punching each other?

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Sexualisation of girls and the role of the mother

While media portrayals of women and girls as sexual objects are omnipresent and intrusive, we can blame too much on these public influences and forget the importance of what parents do. That seems to be the main message of a US study of girls aged 6 to 9 years.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

The harm of same-sex marriage - in a nutshell

Same-sex marriage and related claims, such as adoption of children, are fast becoming flavour of the month among western politicians. Irish pollies are among the latest, so the family-oriented Iona Institute has prepared an excellent, short, briefing paper on the subject.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Would you notice if your teenager was using "study drugs"?

School and drugs is not a combination that any parent wants to confront, although it seems to be a problem that affects working-class rather than middle-class parents on the whole. Or did. According to a New York Times weekend article, abuse of stimulant drugs is a problem in top high schools across the United States.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

"Me too" say Aussie polyamorists

The Australian newspaper reported on May 24 that polyamorists were attacking the Greens for leaving them out of the national wedding party.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Girl violence and the parent gap

Violence among teenage girls -- towards each other, towards strangers -- is a growing problem in many countries. A US survey a few years ago of more than 33,000 girls aged 12 to 17 found that 26.7 percent had been involved in a serious fight at school or work, a group-against-group fight or had attacked someone with the intent to harm the person in the previous year.

Date posted: 2012-08-18

Self-control is the only magic bullet

This is not exactly family fare but it seems significant that the American Psychological Association is calling attention to the need for "behavioural approaches" along with medical interventions to prevent HIV infection.

Date posted: 2012-07-05

Australian doctors group opposes law change

A senior mental health professional in Australia is being hauled over the coals for signing a submission opposing same-sex marriage.

Date posted: 2012-07-05

Chile study challenges the "safe abortion" myth

Contrary to claims, a ban on abortion is consistent with one of the world's lowest maternal mortality rates. One of the great scandals of today's global village is the deaths of hundreds of thousands of mothers each year simply because they are carrying or giving birth to a child. The last reliable estimate, from 2008, indicated nearly 343,000 of these maternal deaths. The scandal lies in the fact that most of them are easily preventible with basic health care, as the West discovered more than a century ago.

Date posted: 2012-05-15

Of female bondage

So what if a few million women read the sick fantasies of a television executive? There are roughly 3.5 billion women in the world, and when the erotica boom has finally spent itself there will be more than enough of them still with their wits and dignity to carry on the work of love and civilisation that women in particular are equipped to do.

Date posted: 2012-05-10

Sexualisation of children a public health issue

Australian doctors are calling for an inquiry into what has been labelled the "premature sexualisation of children in marketing and advertising", with the Australian Medical Association arguing the practice is detrimental to child health and development.

Date posted: 2012-04-21

The end of women

The legacy of the sexual revolution is more subversive than its champions admit.

Date posted: 2012-04-11

Why working class young adults are missing out on marriage

Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of this kind of morally muscular message among working-class young adults should consider how so many young adults of the same population join the military and are willing to sacrifice their lives for the country they love. The challenge is to show working-class young adults that marriage is also an invitation to such sacrifice: to devote themselves to their beloved and to their children, and to lay down their lives for their family.

Date posted: 2012-04-11

Time to quit the New York Times?

A full-page ad of vitriolic tone has become a moment of truth.

Date posted: 2012-04-11

Fathers without jobs

Fathers play profoundly important roles in the lives of children and families, and are all too often forgotten in our efforts to help children. These new findings, we hope, will be useful to much needed efforts to develop strategies to identify and treat the very large number of fathers with depression."

Date posted: 2012-04-11

Harvard - home of ethical porn

There are more things to consider in choosing a university than most parents have dreamed of.

Date posted: 2012-04-11

Same old, same old from WHO

Business as usual. That's the message from the World Health Organisation following its experts meeting last month to review the safety of hormonal contraceptives where there is a risk of HIV transmission.

Date posted: 2012-03-02

Making 13-year-olds pregnancy-proof

Informed consent? Do the doctors even know what the effect of long-acting hormonal contraceptives starting when girls are 13? Under guidance for medical professionals parents are not informed of medical treatment of under 16-year-olds due to patient confidentiality and children must be assessed for their ability to consent to treatment. I hope responsible parents get really furious about this and make themselves felt.

Date posted: 2012-03-02

Daycare must focus on child, not adult needs, says new report

Daycare continues to be evaluated by child outcomes in terms of 'skills' such as language or school readiness at age five or six… But [says Sigman] what has proved elusive is an understanding of how the young child is affected emotionally and physiologically, and how they experience daycare while they are actually 'there'. Babies can't speak and toddlers have limited verbal abilities.

Date posted: 2012-03-02

"Angry Brides" game whacks Indian dowry system

With its bias in favour of innovation the internet is the enemy of tradition. But some traditions do not deserve to survive. One of them is the Indian dowry custom that persists, despite the fact that it is illegal, and leads to much bitterness in marriages, and even deaths -- especially among the poor.

Date posted: 2012-03-02

Are we free to speak about parenting research?

It's difficult today to say anything in favour of the intact, married family without putting somebody's nose out of joint.

Date posted: 2012-03-02

Marriage and AIDS in Africa

Here's a question of special relevance to regions where there is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS -- in particular, sub-Saharan Africa: Does marriage protect a person against the disease? An editorial published in the official Zimbabwean newspaper, The Herald, this week scoffs at the idea, saying, "Nothing could be further from the truth."

Date posted: 2012-01-20

Only 51 per cent of Americans are married

We know that marriage has been losing "market share" in the sexual culture of the developed world so the news that barely half of American adults today are married comes as not much of a surprise.

Date posted: 2012-01-19

Does raising kids decrease marital happiness?

In the last post on the new State of Our Unions (SOU) report from the National Marriage Project we read that "the benefits of generosity were particularly pronounced among couples with children". Parents who were very generous with each other were more likely to be very happy as well. But there's more. Generosity in having children is also part of the happiness equation.

Date posted: 2012-01-18

A hospice in the wom

In a Melbourne maternity hospital last month a very shocking event occurred. A healthy, 32-week-old, wanted, unborn child was killed by a lethal injection when the sonographer performing the procedure mistook the child for its unhealthy twin. When the mistake was realised, the mother had an emergency caesarean section and the sick child was also terminated, according to news reports The whole tragic episode left the mother traumatised and everybody involved distraught.

Date posted: 2012-01-18

Sex-ed survey shows three Anglo countries disagree

Canada comes out as the least inhibited country when it comes to sex education, an international survey shows. But even there, the majority of adults think that the job belongs first and foremost to parents.

Date posted: 2012-01-18

Heads in the sand over AIDS

How many more lives, how many billions of dollars, will be sacrificed to western sexual ideology?

Date posted: 2012-01-18

No such thing as "good polygamy"

Marriage and family advocacy groups have greeted with enthusiasm a Canadian court decision upholding the country's ban on polygamy.

Date posted: 2012-01-16

A touching story about marriage

Here's something to be thankful for on America's Thanksgiving Day: an Iowa couple who shared 72 years of married life and died holding hands.

Date posted: 2012-01-16

To help kids, help their parents

A leading British headmistress is worried that it is not just today's schoolchildren who lack values and good standards of behaviour but also their parents.

Date posted: 2012-01-16

Love and nationality

There can be few extended families today where someone has not married a spouse of a different nationality. There may be as many as 15 million marriages between people of different nationalities among 25 to 39-year-olds -- the majority of them in the richer countries.

Date posted: 2012-01-16

Contraceptive shot linked with memory loss

How ironic, that the recommended method for women who can't be relied on to remember to take a pill every day should be one that may actually impair their memory.

Date posted: 2011-12-03

Bad shot: when will WHO warn women about the contraceptive jab?

The latest strong evidence that hormonal contraception is linked with AIDS finds experts still dallying.

Date posted: 2011-11-15

Contraceptives mandate would make cowards of us all

A White House edict tells us to ignore our conscience when we go to work. Bernie Madoff should ask for a retrial.

Date posted: 2011-11-11

"I'm sorry I did not wait"

Pressure and lack of self control lead teens in developing countries to regret sex, a new study shows.

Date posted: 2011-10-26

Kids want to hear about life and love from parents

These important topics, involving values and individual differences, are clearly best dealt with in ongoing, one-to-one conversations between parent and child. It is what parents and children want. As a matter of principle, parents are the first educators of their children, especially in everything to do with values, morality and the formation of a child's character. And, anyway, the evidence shows they are more effective.

Date posted: 2011-10-11

One parent or five?

Most couples who marry, even today, probably intend to have one or two children at least. Marriage and the baby carriage (as family scholar Brad Wilcox likes to pair them) have always gone together. But this is not what is meant by the new catch-phrase "intentional parenthood".

Date posted: 2011-10-11

Shouldn't we just normalise cohabitation?

Well educated liberals like those who run The Washington Post's Slate blog are highly likely to be married, according to research by the National Marriage Project that we covered recently, which suggests that they understand the benefits of commitment. So why don't they want those a step or two down the social scale -- who are increasingly postponing marriage -- to enjoy those benefits?

Date posted: 2011-09-22

One big, happy polygamous family?

In the wake of New York's same-sex marriage law plural marriage is getting an airing, but no-one wants to talk about the kids.

Date posted: 2011-08-28

Suicide up to 14 times more likely for "queer" groups

Australian government sources reveal that homosexuals and people of other self-identified genders are much more likely to attempt suicide than the general community.

Date posted: 2011-08-26

Can contraception make America better?

Forty years ago modern contraception was sold to women as part of a liberation package: at last they would be in control of their fertility and their lives. The pill was their passport to fewer children, economic independence and, as it soon appeared, the kind of sexual freedom that previously only men had enjoyed.

Date posted: 2011-08-26

Asian marriage in trouble

Women, educated and increasingly financially independent, are mainly responsible for the trend. The rigid role division of traditional Asian marriage is also partly to blame, with women who work full time also doing nearly all the housework -- and not happy about it.

Date posted: 2011-08-24

The high cost of divorce

With cohabitation replacing marriage, divorce is receding as a cause of family breakdown, but it remains a serious problem. An article in the Washington Times cites US Census Bureau survey figures indicating that there were well over a million divorces in American in 2008 (1,087,920) giving a divorce rate of 8.2 per 1000 population.

Date posted: 2011-08-23

The marriage gap that's destroying Middle America

It was a traumatic and costly lesson, but the rioting in English cities last weekend has forced "broken Britain" to face where its major social faultlines lie. Without a doubt, family breakdown is one of them, destabilising the welfare class over several decades by robbing children of their fathers and replacing them all too often with their mothers' transient partners or with the Alpha males who run neighbourhood gangs (Scotland Yard says one in four of the rioters was a gang member).

Date posted: 2011-08-19

School gender policies and parental rights

While parents and guardians should participate in organizations designed to give citizens a voice in the functioning of schools and in the formulation and implementation of educational policies, they may also act independently or in association with other parents and guardians to protect, maintain or fulfil their own mission as the primary educators of their children.

Date posted: 2011-08-14

Divorce and cohabitation are wrecking Britain, says judge

If all parties agreed, he said, a couple could get a divorce in six weeks -- in less time than it takes to get a driving licence -- simply by filling out a form, but the result was 3.8 million children whose fate was at the mercy of the courts.

Date posted: 2011-08-14

Savaging infidelity

Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, points out that Americans are actually becoming less tolerant of marital infidelity.

Date posted: 2011-08-14

Too much, for too long

Different though we are, men and women were designed to be allies, to fill out each other's limitations, to raise children together and give them different models of adulthood.

Date posted: 2011-08-14

Graduating teens urged to approach the world as parents

Here is a high school commencement speech with a difference -- a great difference, in both senses of the word. Asked to address the Class of 2011 at Providence Academy, Minneapolis, Dr Jennifer Roback Morse encouraged the graduates to think of themselves not just as individuals about to carve out a path for themselves in society, but as parents.

Date posted: 2011-08-10

Summit declaration affirms natural family

Participants from 65 countries at the Moscow demographic summit have reaffirmed the natural family as "the basic unit of society and the fundamental social value, that is a necessary prerequisite for the very existence of world civilizations and the whole humankind."

Date posted: 2011-08-10

Behind mothers who abuse, an absence of marriage

Among the most distressing news stories are those featuring mothers suspected, accused or convicted of killing their children or of standing by while their infants were fatally abused.

Date posted: 2011-08-10

A mean age for youthful sex

What exactly do the studies mean when they report an average age for sexual initiation?

Date posted: 2011-08-07

Couch potatoes dicing with death, study shows

The risk to your health of watching two or three of your favourite serials end to end habitually is similar to having high cholesterol or smoking. And yet TV viewing is the most commonly reported daily activity after working and sleeping.

Date posted: 2011-08-07

Rebuilding the Russian family

Again, while the world's conscience is stirred by Asia's 163 million missing females, Russia has a gender deficit of 10 million men. And, while "family planning" nearly everywhere else means preventing births at all costs, in Russia it now means reminding people to have a child or three.

Date posted: 2011-08-07

Reduce violence in children's lives - turn off TV

A study of New Zealand children's exposure to violence shows that the most common experience is watching people fighting and killing on television and other screens. And lead researcher, Dr Janis Carroll-Lind, draws the obvious conclusion: the quickest way to reduce violence in children's lives is to turn off the television.

Date posted: 2011-08-07

As the family goes, so goes the economy

There is an intimate relationship between our income wealth and our sexual culture.

Date posted: 2011-06-06

Pursuing the meaning of happiness

Do we need another word for the great goal of our actions?

Date posted: 2011-06-06

Kids can do abstinence, data shows

Those who insist on "safer sex" education for adolescents seem to assume two things: first, that nearly all teens will become sexually active, and second, that it doesn't matter (they have a right to) so long as they take precautions against disease and pregnancy. Therefore, all teens should be subjected to the same sexual propaganda.

Date posted: 2011-06-06

Vive la difference: gender and parenthood

Moms and dads bring different and essential gifts to the parenting enterprise, as a growing body of social science research findings testifies.

Date posted: 2011-05-16

Ending child marriage

The custom of marrying off adolescent girls is on the decline in developing countries, but millions of girls remain at risk, according to a new report by the Population Reference Bureau.

Date posted: 2011-05-13

Killing ourselves with softness

Lifestyle related chronic disease is crippling the world health systems, but there is a remedy.

Date posted: 2011-04-29

OECD releases "first ever" report on families

The OECD, an alliance of richer countries, released its "first ever report on family well-being" this week, according to a press release. Considering that it has existed for 50 years, one wants to know what took it so long. Hopefully, this step means that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development now realises that a sound economy depends ultimately on the health of the family unit.

Date posted: 2011-04-28

Early pregnancy is so important for child development

The New Zealand Herald print edition today has a large photo of the unborn child -- early gestation -- on the front page. It's a rare event but nice to see in a country where the abortion rate (21 per 1000 known pregnancies) is as high as in the US or Australia. But the picture has nothing to do with status of the child as such.

Date posted: 2011-04-27

Let's remember the mother, not the wife

Beauty fades, and sexiness. Mediocre acting talent is no longer overlooked and the world begins to snigger as an ageing star agrees to keep living in the limelight. If only it had withheld its applause much earlier, when she failed so patently in the most important role of all, that of a married woman, it would have helped her. Perhaps it was all a desperate bid for true love, but a much less married, less sexy Elizabeth Taylor would be so much easier to admire.

Date posted: 2011-04-04

Why do girls dress like that?

... it's easy for parents to slip into denial. We wouldn't dream of dropping our daughters off at college and saying: "Study hard and floss every night, honey - and for heaven's sake, get laid!" But that's essentially what we're saying by allowing them to dress the way they do while they're still living under our own roofs.

Date posted: 2011-03-25

Family factors in unwed pregnancy

Family structure and religion are factors that significantly influence whether a woman has an unwed pregnancy, a new report from the Family Research Council shows.

Date posted: 2011-03-20

Between women and feminism, a yawning gap

Women have proved that they have brains -- they now outnumber men in graduating from universities in the developed world. They have shown that they can do a wide range of demanding jobs and that they can look after themselves financially. All good. What they have yet to show is how their education and earning capacity can be combined successfully with the one career that is exclusively theirs: motherhood.

Date posted: 2011-03-19

Britain takes a close look at family life

Britain's happiest couples are married, but for less than five years, and childless. That's what the Guardian newspaper headlined from a report released last week -- the first results from a 49 million pound research project called Understanding Society.

Date posted: 2011-03-14

Time to vaccinate boys against HPV?

Five years after western governments began to fund vaccination of girls against the sexually transmitted, cancer-causing, human papillomavirus (HPV) medical professionals and drug companies are calling for subsidised vaccination for boys.

Date posted: 2011-03-12

Pre-natal spina bifida operation: definite benefits for babies

In the study, 68 percent of the babies who had fetal surgery needed a shunt by the time they were 1 year old, compared with 98 percent of babies who had postnatal surgery. By age 2 1/2, 42 percent of children who had the prenatal surgery were able to walk without orthotics or other devices, compared with 21 percent of the postnatal surgery children.

Date posted: 2011-03-10

Teenage birth control and its unfortunate consequences

A decade ago public health experts and frontline health professionals convinced the UK government that easy (free, over the counter) access to the morning after pill would bring down the country's record rates of teenage pregnancy. It hasn't, but it has helped to increase sexually transmitted infections among teens.

Date posted: 2011-03-05

Bride trafficking in one-child China

The trafficking of women for forced marriage and prostitution is a growing problem for China, but a predictable one given its population policy and resulting demographics.

Date posted: 2011-02-17

Abduction, identity and donor babies

Right now, babies are being concocted in laboratories around the world from the ova and/or sperm of anonymous donors and in some cases carried to birth by surrogate mothers -- all to satisfy the desires of adults to have a child.

Date posted: 2011-02-12

The American family: torn by a culture of rejection

We hear a lot about family breakdown but not much that throws light on its true extent, or on the causes. A new study remedies that by describing the parental relationship in terms of either "belonging" or "rejection".

Date posted: 2011-01-15

Who are the happiest kids in England?

Researchers at the National Foundation for Educational Research asked the English pupils, aged between 10 and 15, whether they agreed, disagreed or were unsure about the statement: "I feel happy about life at the moment."

Date posted: 2011-01-05

Children enlisted to care for South Korea's old and mentally frail

How good are your children at relating to their grandparents? How would they respond if granny developed Alzheimer's? These questions beg an even bigger one: how will societies with an average of 2 or less children per woman cope with a burgeoning elderly population and a growing worldwide epidemic of dementia? South Korea has come up with answers in a remarkable campaign.

Date posted: 2011-01-03

The other Iranian revolution: divorce

Iran's Islamic regime may regard the West as morally decadent but trends in Iran are making them more alike. Take divorce.

Date posted: 2011-01-02

Parents challenged by cyberbullying

Cyberbullying. The New York Times has a whole series of long articles about it. Evidently it is a problem we can't ignore.

Date posted: 2011-01-01

Adoption works well

Adoption has been under attack in recent decades and has almost disappeared within western countries as an option for a mother who is not in a position to bring up her child. Perhaps it was often handled badly in the past, but family scholar Pat Fagan that adoption works well for children.

Date posted: 2010-12-30

NZ study will keep tabs on 7000 children

The first results from a New Zealand cohort study were published over the weekend with great fanfare, the first NZ Herald headline reading, "40pc of pregnancies unplanned". I think we were meant to be shocked rather than delighted at the lack of calculation behind so many births. One reason for that soon became apparent.

Date posted: 2010-12-25

Protecting kids from video violence

Who knew that video games could be such a big deal? Currently the United States Supreme Court is weighing arguments in favour of banning the sale of graphically violent video games to minors, but the case is not as straightforward as some of us might think.

Date posted: 2010-11-22

Are tots really OK when mum goes back to work?

Children of middle class and two-parent families are likely to do worse at school if their mothers return to work during the first three years.

Date posted: 2010-11-09

The maternal brain revisited

The "maternal brain" debate has spiked again with the release of a study showing increased grey matter in the brains of mothers who have recently given birth.

Date posted: 2010-11-09

Most teens are not sexually active

"Many surveys of adolescent sexual behavior create an impression that adolescents are becoming sexually active at younger ages, and that most teens are sexually active," Fortenberry said. "Our data show that partnered sexual behaviors are important but by no means pervasive aspects of adolescents' lives. In fact, many contemporary adolescents are being responsible by abstaining or by using condoms when having sex."

Date posted: 2010-10-23

Fighting gendercide, one baby girl at a time

A curious and tragic disconnect marks India's attitude to its female population. One third of the seats in the Indian Parliament are now occupied by women, but the practice of female feticide and female infanticide remains widespread.

Date posted: 2010-09-30

The real magic of family dinners

Regular religious service attendance is associated with lower rates of smoking, drinking and drug use. Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to attend religious services weekly (four or more times a month) compared to teens who have infrequent family dinners.

Date posted: 2010-09-27

Women, children, poverty...

All the money in the world will not make up for social weaknesses. The terrible mortality rates of mothers and little children in developing countries urgently need to be reduced. But the ongoing health and wellbeing of women and children is intimately tied up with the family unit, and, whatever weakens that, also needs urgent attention.

Date posted: 2010-09-23

What 'family' means in America now?

The latest ammunition in the same-sex marriage wars is a New York Times report about research showing that "a majority of Americans now say their definition of family includes same-sex couples with children, as well as married gay and lesbian couples".

Date posted: 2010-09-15

Abstinence education: breaking into the Chinese market

There is an interesting alignment of seemingly quite different stars in China: Christian-inspired abstinence education and official population policy.

Date posted: 2010-09-10

How did a boy from a good family become a ruthless drug lord?

It can happen in the best of families that there is a bad egg. This seems to be the case with the American high school football star who became one of Mexico's most feared and savage drug dealers, La Barbie.

Date posted: 2010-09-09

Younger working class miss out on jobs, marriage, religion

Younger working class people are drifting further away from middle class America and traditional values because they cannot find work in the changing job market. The social and political implications may be drastic.

Date posted: 2010-09-07

Older generation likes bad news about the young

Results showed that younger people showed no differences in self-esteem based on what they had read. However, the more that older people read negative stories about younger individuals, the higher the older people's levels of self-esteem tended to be.

Date posted: 2010-09-01

20-somethings: emerging adults or just seriously delayed?

More young people are reaching the end of their twenties without settling into careers and marriage. Is this because of passing social mores and economic conditions, or because we now have a new stage of human development called "emerging adulthood"?

Date posted: 2010-09-01

The night life of the sleepy teenager

What is to be done about the teenagers? They are squandering sleeping time on electronic gadgets to the point where family life, studies and even health are compromised. And many parents either don't see the problem or feel powerless to intervene.

Date posted: 2010-08-28

One-child America?

I have never been a fan of Time, so the recent news that the magazine is withdrawing a lot of free content from its online version did not cost me one wink of sleep. But this week's cover story promoting the one-child family as the new American family model annoyed me -- at least, what I read of it from other sources as well as the summary Time published online.

Date posted: 2010-08-28

'Lower age of consent' says gay rights campaigner

A high profile British homosexual activist wants the age of sexual consent lowered to 14, on the basis that currently underage sex "is mostly consenting, safe and fun".

Date posted: 2010-08-26

Marry, pray, love

Across races, couples that pray together are happier, a new study finds.

Date posted: 2010-08-24

Women fatally forgetting themselves

...it is precisely because of their reproductive role, their capacity to be mothers, that we expect women to be gentler, kinder and even "better" than men -- and are shocked when they are not. Gender theorists are trying to persuade us that no such thing as "normal female behaviour" exists, and the Nazi women and the female abortionists seem to prove their point. Substantial numbers -- even majorities -- of people, however, are as unhappy about the latter as the former. Their noses tell them its wrong, it is the world turned upside down.

Date posted: 2010-08-17

Serial marriages linked with earlier death

While increasing numbers of people find it difficult -- or unimportant -- to achieve marriage, there are others who marry more than once. A third marriage, however, may signpost an early grave.

Date posted: 2010-08-16

What's driving earlier puberty in girls?

More than 10 percent of white 7-year-old girls in the study, which was conducted in the mid-2000s, had reached a stage of breast development marking the start of puberty, compared to just 5 percent in a similar study conducted in the early 1990s.

Date posted: 2010-08-11

Kids are 'interested' in TV, but so are apes

"Just because children are interested in something doesn't mean they ought to have it," he stressed. He labours the point because politicians who control education do not seem to be able to get it, and that is because the advice they receive is dominated by people with a vested interest in technology and e-learning, he claims. "We need people who are only interested in child wellbeing."

Date posted: 2010-08-10

Girls On The Edge

American family doctor turned writer Leonard Sax talks in his latest book about what's driving the new crisis for girls.

Date posted: 2010-08-05

Limit screen time, psychologist tells parents

A British psychologist visiting New Zealand is urging parents to get tough with their kids on time spent in front of television and computers, saying that screen time should be rationed as if it was sugar, salt or saturated fats.

Date posted: 2010-08-03

Digital divide - or parental?

The computer can be a wonderful research and communication device, but just how disadvantaged are children whose families are too poor to provide one at home? Some economists have been studying the question and their findings may surprise you. Then again, they may not.

Date posted: 2010-07-20

Children protect against divorce contagion

A study showing the contagious nature of divorce among social networks has been receiving a good bit of attention this week. Not only friends, siblings and people you work with, but also friends of friends are more likely to divorce if you do. Children can protect you from this contagion (although not, apparently, from more direct causes of divorce) -- the more children the better.

Date posted: 2010-07-07

Chastened: a post-feminist experiment

I think we've lost any sense of healthy emotional entitlement. I think if you go to bed with somebody, it is a kind of bond; it's not nothing, however much we try to say it's nothing. Whether you're a man or woman, you're absolutely in your rights to expect there to be some kind of emotional gain.

Date posted: 2010-07-05

Delayed marriage and the lengthening path to adulthood

It's not exactly news, but a report from Princeton University and the Brookings Institution highlights the well-established trend of "delayed adulthood" as people in their twenties prolong their education and fail to reach the milestones of marriage and parenthood.

Date posted: 2010-07-05

Troubling theories about childhood innocence

Let's get one thing straight: are we against the sexualization of children or are we not? If we -- adult, mainstream society -- are against it, we had better start explaining to ourselves why there are people employed in public institutions who say openly that they do not believe in the sexual innocence of children and want to expose it as a myth.

Date posted: 2010-07-04

Commitment, anyone?

Further to an earlier post on delayed adulthood, USA Today recently ran a report headed "Dating for a decade?" on how young adults put off the commitment of marriage for years, even though they have "paired off" and typically live together. Nobody seems very upset about it.

Date posted: 2010-07-03

How much does the lesbian parenting study really tell us?

But wait a minute. There are a number of limitations to this study, some of which the authors themselves acknowledge. * The group with lesbian parents were not randomly selected from a larger population. * Within the research framework used, the study did not include a standard self-report or a teacher's report. * Although the study group and the control group families were similar in socio-economic status, they were neither matched nor controlled for race/ethnicity or region of residence. ... This has been a long post but with so much at stake -- children awaiting adoption -- it is important to know what this study does not tell us about same-sex parenting.

Date posted: 2010-07-03

Twilight moms and perpetual adolescence

Bulking up the queues for the latest Twilight movie released this week are, from all accounts, thousands of women who are old enough to know better.

Date posted: 2010-07-02

Teen pregnancy: It's the attitude, stupid

The "comprehensive" sex education crowd in the United States are fond of saying that abstinence-only education has been responsible for the stalling of a downward trend in teenage pregnancies and childbearing that started about 1995. A new government report, however, suggests another reason.

Date posted: 2010-07-02

How can 'mother' be a sexist stereotype?

While most Europeans worry their heads off about what is happening to the euro and the economy, certain members of the European political bureaucracy are getting on with more important things. Like drafting long resolutions about how to combat gender stereotypes in the media and having even longer meetings to get their ideas endorsed.

Date posted: 2010-07-01

Of mice and men

Why has there never been a male contraceptive pill? Probably because, knowing that women have stronger reasons to carry this burden, nobody was trying very hard. But now, 50 years after women started risking their health and happiness by swallowing synthetic hormones on a regular basis, Israeli scientists have announced that a male pill is in sight.

Date posted: 2010-06-30

More US women 40 and childless

No-one will be surprised at the new statistics, based on Census figures for 2006 and 2008, as they confirm everyday observations in many countries.

Date posted: 2010-06-29

Bare branches, gold diggers, and ants

China's bachelor problem is about to get worse, thanks to women raising the material stakes, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Date posted: 2010-06-24

Canada's top family-friendly cities

Here's an interesting idea: the Institute of Marriage and Family, Canada, has compiled a report on the country's top family-friendly cities, looking at factors such as population growth, lower taxes, a strong economy, education choice and charitable giving.

Date posted: 2010-06-23

The 'complete little adult' look for 3-year-olds

It's bizarre; it's scary; it's unbelievable at a time when paedophilia has been starring as the worst crime in the world. I am talking about a new low on the slippery slope of sexualisaing little children.

Date posted: 2010-06-21

Is having a family the way to lose friends?

Have children, lose friends. That's the message highlighted in some reports about research on how neighbourly and friendly British people are. And it is not only parents who are missing out on friendship at a time when people boast hundreds of friends on social networking sites.

Date posted: 2010-06-17

Child mortality drops around the world but some rich countries lag

The number of children under five dying has declined substantially in the past 20 years and the rate of decline is speeding up, according to a report in The Lancet medical journal. Some developing countries are doing surprisingly well, but rates in the US and Britain are not good by developed world standards -- for reasons that are not clear.

Date posted: 2010-06-15

Are babies born moral?

"Babies know the difference between good and evil at six months, study reveals". I guess many of us read a heading like this in our daily paper or online this week. Startling news. Here we were, thinking that the newborn babe is a tiny barbarian who needs to learn his first notions of right and wrong from his parents, when he actually arrives with an innate sense of morality. Or so it seems.

Date posted: 2010-06-12

Child casualties of immigration enforcement

In stepping up control of immigration American states are putting millions of children at risk of being separated from their parents and entering the US child welfare system -- perhaps permanently, according to a Washington DC advocacy group. This is something to weigh seriously in the intensifying debate over illegal immigrants.

Date posted: 2010-06-12

Students admit: "I'm addicted to my cellphone"

"I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening," said one person in the study. "I feel like most people these days are in a similar situation, for between having a Blackberry, a laptop, a television, and an iPod, people have become unable to shed their media skin."

Date posted: 2010-06-12

Millennials lukewarm towards abortion advocacy

A revealing article in Newsweek shows the abortion rights movement in the United States painfully aware of its ageing leadership and lack of traction amongst young adults.

Date posted: 2010-06-12

Germany's demographic gloom

Germany is struggling to solve its population and demographic crisis, reporting that last year births dropped by 30,000 and there was a net loss of 13,000 people through migration.

Date posted: 2010-05-27

Maternal deaths: not stalled but 'persistently' improving

The number of women dying in childbirth, widely believed to be stalled at around half a million worldwide, has actually fallen by one third over the past three decades, according to research published in The Lancet this week.

Date posted: 2010-05-27

Sicko! The man whose business is selling adultery. Will anyone stop him?

The media has been full of protestations of anguish for the young victims of clerical sexual abusers lately. And rightly so. But think about this: a man whose online business has the sole purpose of facilitating adultery claims to have 5.5 million members. How many child victims of divorce does that involve?

Date posted: 2010-05-24

What to do about the burqa

If we want to teach Muslims the importance of a woman┼fs face, Europeans ought to lead by example.

Date posted: 2010-05-21

How much do dads need to help at home?

The decisive factor in seems to be a wife's maternal status. It makes sense that a mother with young children wants to give more time to them and is happy for her husband to be the main breadwinner. What she wants from her husband at home, says Wilcox, is not an equal share of domestic work but a sense of solidarity with him in domestic life.

Date posted: 2010-05-19

Google finds 'cougars' not family safe

In the world of online advertising, lewd as it often is, there are still some boundaries -- at least among the big players. Google, the New York Times reports, has banned "cougar" dating ads from its content pages because the internet giant considers them "nonfamily safe".

Date posted: 2010-05-17

Youth and same-sex attraction: a new resource for schools

Optimal health and respect for all students will only be achieved by first respecting the rights of students and parents to accurate information and to self-determination. It is the school's legitimate role to provide a safe environment for respectful self-expression for all students. It is not the school's role to diagnose and attempt to treat any student's medical condition, and certainly not a school's role to "affirm" a student's perceived personal sexual orientation.

Date posted: 2010-05-17

Prisoners of the pill

Mother's Day in the United States (and some other countries) had an ironic twist to it this year: the powers that be chose to observe May 9 as the fiftieth anniversary of the public debut of the contraceptive pill, the twentieth century's chief weapon against motherhood as a serious vocation.

Date posted: 2010-05-14

Asia's fragile families lead to parent-child suicides

Feelings of isolation unite all cases: "parents feel there is no friend or relative able or trustworthy enough to care for the children". The extremely low birthrates of these societies combined with their materialistic pressures appear to set the scene for this tragic isolation and the increased fragility of the family.

Date posted: 2010-04-06

Chinese workers getting scarce

Could China be running out of workers? asks the LA Times. Changes in the economy and education, combined with a mounting demographic crisis, confront employers and the government with big problems.

Date posted: 2010-03-30

Safe motherhood owes nothing to legal abortion

"Safe abortion" has always been a deceitful term, since it is lethal for the unborn child. It is used as propaganda to push for legalisation of abortion in developing countries, on the ground that since abortions are happening anyway they ought to be brought within the health system and made safe for the mother. It thus becomes part of a high-minded campaign for "safe motherhood". But evidence is coming to light that safe childbirth owes nothing to legalised abortion.

Date posted: 2010-03-29

Sibling issues in caring for aged parents

A few years ago a friend gave me a self-published book by two of her cousins (sisters) to read. It was about the way they co-ordinated care of their ageing parents while living in different parts of the United States. Not surprisingly, as more people live to a ripe old age and as families are increasingly dispersed, the literature on this subject is increasing.

Date posted: 2010-03-29

Abstinence education: study proves it works

Big news today on the sexuality education front: solid evidence from a federally funded United States study that a programme limited to an abstinence message can significantly reduce the onset of sexual activity among young adolescents.

Date posted: 2010-03-27

Sterilisation-for-land deal not catching on in Colombia

Local public health professor, Gloria Garay, points out, reducing the birth rate has not reduced poverty: "It's not just individual behavior but also social policy that sometimes keeps us from maintaining conditions of human dignity," said Garay, who is with the National University of Colombia in the capital, Bogota. "Keep in mind that as much as we've reduced the birthrate in recent decades, half the country still lives in poverty."

Date posted: 2010-03-26

Having babies protects women from suicide

Study authors hypothesize that having children may protect against suicide because children may increase a mother's feelings of self-worth.

Date posted: 2010-03-26

Barcelona: the demographic games

Some 30 to 40 years ago most demographers thought that the plunge in birth rates following the mass use of the contraceptive pill would correct itself and the population would "stabilise" at replacement level, but there are very few developed societies at that level today; now they are talking about population "quality" rather than quantity, meaning that a highly educated a skilled population will compensate for what it lacks in numbers. Hmmm. Don't know about you, but talk of population quality makes me a bit nervous, especially if it becomes a political goal.

Date posted: 2010-03-24

'You can't be happier than your wife'

Happiness studies -- you can't get away from them, and marital happiness studies seem to be the flavour of the month. The latest shows that a certain kind of happiness gap between spouses increases the likelihood of divorce.

Date posted: 2010-03-06

Polygamous family life? It's a mess, say Malaysians

Polygamy has been in the news again, this time in Malaysia where Muslim authorities relaxed the law on this practice in the mid-1990s. However, a large-scale study under way across the country indicates that, contrary to the claims of Islamic authorities there, polygamy harms everyone involved -- including the men, some of whom admit that it is "stressful".

Date posted: 2010-03-05

Young adults' priorities may surprise you

By and large Pew finds these young people "confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change".

Date posted: 2010-02-26

Teens and porn: a feminist's worries

A British feminist is sounding the alarm about the effects on teenagers of easy access to pornography, saying that a skewed view of sex is becoming the norm in society and the idea of intimacy is dying. ... For an increasing number of young people, pornography is no longer something that goes alongside sex but something that precedes sex. Before they have touched another person sexually or entered into any kind of sexual relationship, many children have seen hundreds of adult strangers having sex.

Date posted: 2010-02-09

More women work, but what about the family?

There are a lot of issues to address here, but the most basic is the need to put the family at the centre of society -- not just women or men, let alone the economy or the workforce -- and work out what is best for the whole family unit. Without that, the rest is going to crumble anyway.

Date posted: 2010-02-06

A climate-change moment for marriage

(R)eports published recently in the United States and Britain basically agree about family trends: fewer people are marrying and more are just living together; divorce rates have (consequently) fallen; around one in four children now lives with a single mother or, sometimes, father; counting step-children, an even higher proportion of children lives apart from their biological father -- one in three in the US; fewer children are being born -- in Britain the total fertility rate is just under two per women and in the US just over 2.1. These are overall figures; the picture changes significantly for different sub-groups of the population.

Date posted: 2009-12-25

Help parents and you help the whole family

British family researchers seem to be working overtime to keep up with trends that have won the UK the label, Breakdown Britain. A new report from the relationship support organisation One Plus One reviews the evidence on the effects of marital or partnership breakdown on the wellbeing of both adults and children. It finds a definite negative impact and argues that better interventions to support parents could prevent some family ruptures.

Date posted: 2009-11-17