FRIDAY, 25 JULY 2014

Here’s a sticky IVF situation

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IVF. Do you think it should be used for anything other than infertility? To fall pregnant after a husband’s death, for example, using his frozen sperm?

That’s what Katie Elfar did, after her husband, Karim, passed away from terminal cancer. His diagnosis, two weeks after the birth of their first child, wasn’t only awful in itself – it also shattered their dreams of a big family. So they made the decision to try IVF, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally after all the treatments.

Let’s be clear here: IVF is not something I agree with anyway. But this particular situation raises even more questions than usual. Is it fair to wilfully bring a child into the world who would never know their biological father? Whose father was already dead at the time of conception? It just doesn’t seem right.

Also, there’s the IVF process. As much as the… click here to read whole article and make comments



Gender gaps in college linked to divorce rates

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The News Story - How Dad's involvement can address the gender gap in higher education

While research has told us that the prevalence of divorce in our society can account for the gender gap within higher education, a recent article in The Huffington Post sheds more light on what the exact causal relation might be.  It may not just be the possibility of divorce, itself, that has such an impact on both female and male adolescents, but rather the lack of father involvement in the lives of male children.

This article states that “Father absence is at the heart of the educational challenges faced by boys and men. Boys are more likely to drop out of high school, for example, when they grow up without their dads.”  Additionally, a 2013 report explains that this gender gap – i.e. the increasing success of females in college along with a decrease (or, at best,… click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 21 JULY 2014

Do you bribe your kids?

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How much do you bribe your kids? Or more to the point – how much do you spend on bribing your kids? Over $1,300 a year probably, according to a recent Time article. That’s the average in America anyway.

Wow. On top of all other expenses – food, clothes, life in general – this seems like way too much to be spending on “allowances, bribes, rewards and gifts”. Not to mention the question of whether bribery is actually the greatest parenting technique…

Research showed that most parents are straight-up bribing their kids, with 55% are giving them money just so that they would behave. As for the thinking behind allowances, a lot of parents admit that they didn’t want to disappoint their kids, that their kids had expensive taste, or that they felt like they were competing with what other children got from their parents. And these aren’t even teens –… click here to read whole article and make comments


FRIDAY, 18 JULY 2014

Greater mental health risks for IVF babies

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The News Story - IVF babies face greater risk of mental illness

While IVF has helped more than 5,000,000 babies to be born, it is not without risks and complications for both the baby and mother.  A recent study has shown that babies born from IVF have an increased risk of developing psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, both in childhood and adulthood.

A recent article in The Scotsman summarizes the issue.  It is not clear that the increased risks of mental illness in IVF babies are a result of the IVF treatment itself.  Rather, “The results suggest the risk was related to the mother’s genes rather than any fertility treatments such as IVF, warning that genes which could cause psychiatric diseases may be more common in women with fertility problems.”  Nonetheless, the researchers report that “the study could not establish if the increased risk was associated to… click here to read whole article and make comments



Have you met the Willis Clan?

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I love big families. I’m one of nine children myself, after all. But those big American families that you see in the news every now and then? I have to admit to being a bit embarrassed sometimes - the coverage they get is not always the most positive.

Which is why I think that this clip from America’s Got Talent is great. Just goes to show that you can be talented, good-looking, normal and from a large, happy family. See for yourself!

click here to read whole article and make comments


MONDAY, 14 JULY 2014

18-year old male not having sex. World freaks out.

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So there’s this guy. His name is Phin, he’s 18, and he’s never had sex before. And he doesn’t plan to until he gets married. No, he’s not ugly, and he definitely seems to have met females before. But he explained his choice really well in a Guardian article (which was originally published in his school newsletter), so I’ll let him do the rest of the talking:

Anticipation is great. To be honest, I wonder what's the problem with waiting, why we think everything has to be so fast. Fast food, fast tan, fast sex. I'm pretty sure that most people who know me know I'm a virgin. I suppose it's a label that's stuck to me for the past few years and it really hasn't bothered me that much. However, the fact that I've actively chosen to stay a virgin so far is what perplexes and sometimes even… click here to read whole article and make comments



Do you think that women can have it all?

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Women can have it all – career and family life. Agree or disagree?

The latest fuel to this ever-controversial fire comes from PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi. In a recent article, she is direct about her opinion: she doesn’t think that women can have it all – but rather that they can pretend to have it all. In other words, women can look like they’re balancing parenting with a demanding career. The reality, however, is that they probably won’t ever enjoy the genuine feeling of “having it all”, or at least will feel continual guilt for not being able to give their all to each role.

Coverage of her comments in another article suggests another interesting point - that women can have it all if their family is supportive. This arises from Nooyi’s experience – when she arrived home to tell her family that she’d become President of PepsiCo, her mother sent… click here to read whole article and make comments



Stop the war on boys in classrooms

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What ever happened to letting "boys be boys?" Take these two cases: In one, a seven-year-old boy was sent home for nibbling a Pop Tart into a gun. In another, a teacher was so alarmed by a picture drawn by a student (of a sword fight), that the boy's parents were summoned in for a conference. In short, boys in America's schools are routinely punished for being active, competitive, and restless. In other words, boys can no longer be boys. Christina Hoff Sommers, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains how we can change this.

She has four suggestions to reverse the boy-averse trends.  

  1. Turn boys into readers. Reading is critical to workplace success.
  2. Inspire the male imagination: action! Sports! Monsters! Battles!
  3. No more zero tolerance. Boys are boys.
  4. Bring back recess. Boys need to work off their energy with outdoor games. 

Check out the video.… click here to read whole article and make comments



Children of divorce more reliant on psychiatric help

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The News Story - Divorce-alternate week arrangement damages children, experts say

While recent research has illumined the detrimental psychological effects that children of divorced families experience, further evidence shows that attempts to combat these effects by providing equal, split custody have not only failed to do so, but additionally have proved to increase the harm done to such children.
A recent article in International Business Times explains that researchers have found that “taking the children back and forth between their parents’ homes and or the mere act of having them sleepover with the parent they do not usually live with is damaging the children’s brain development.”  These detrimental effects are thought to be worse for children under five, when such living arrangements often cause unhealthy attachment issues.
This article suggests that the best living arrangements for children post-divorce is “mutual parenting,” when the parents still live… click here to read whole article and make comments



The growth of homeschooling

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The News Story - Common Core upsets homeschooling parents
Recent repeal of the Common Core educational standards in Oklahoma was largely backed by support from homeschool advocates.  An ABCNews article explains how the Common Core requires standardised testing in math and English, aimed to better prepare students for college and future careers.  While homeschool and private school curriculum do not need to abide by the Common Core standards, such standards will nonetheless influence the feasibility of using different kinds and sources of instruction and learning. 
Home-school advocates expressed concern, and in particular, some “home-schoolers fear that as textbook publishers incorporate the standards, it will lead to a smaller number of non-Common Core based-textbooks.”  Additionally, many worry that “the ACT and the College Board, which owns the SAT, are moving toward aligning with the standards…[which] would leave home-schooling parents no choice other than to follow the standards if they want… click here to read whole article and make comments


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Family Edge looks at news and trends affecting the family in the light of human dignity. Our focus is the inspiring, creative, humorous, annoying, ridiculous, and dangerous ideas in the evening news. Send tips and brainwaves to the editor, Tamara Rajakariar, at tamara.rajakariar@

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