Teen sex linked to dating violence

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The News Story - The birds, the bees, beers, and STDs: Sex 101 begins at Northwestern University

While students settle into their dorms, university administrators worry about their sex lives.

That, apparently, is the motivation behind Northwestern University’s new online class, “Sex 101.” Says Teresa Woodruff, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NU and creator of the course, “This is everything first-year students need to know about sex and reproduction, and didn’t know to ask.” The course will cover the typical information on STD transmission and unplanned pregnancy, but the Washington Post reports that one reason for the course is to help students understand what precisely constitutes consent. According to the story, “experts worry that college freshmen arrive on campus with vastly different concepts of what constitutes consensual sex and gaps in their knowledge that can leave them vulnerable to assault.”

Given their concern about violence, university administrators would do… click here to read whole article and make comments



Raising children of character in a toxic culture

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In theory, the character education movement has always recognized what Principle 10 of the 11 Principles of Effective Character Education affirms: Parents are the first and most important character educators of their children.  

If we take that principle seriously, we’ll do everything possible to honour the importance of parents and support them in their vital role. We need to tell parents, again and again, how important they are in their children's lives.

Schools should share with families what the research shows. For example, the National Study of Adolescent Health found that “family connectedness,” a feeling of closeness to parents, was the most important factor in keeping teens from engaging in anti-social or high-risk behaviours such as juvenile delinquency, violence, substance abuse, and sexual activity. Regarding sexual behaviour, the study found that teens who believed that their mother disapproved of their engaging in sex were more… click here to read whole article and make comments



What to do when someone calls your daughter “fat”

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It goes without saying – in a day and age like ours, I fear for my future daughters. For the things they’ll see and hear, and for the influences that could wreak havoc on their sense of worth.

So when I read a short but wonderful article called “Four Reminders for My Daughter After She Was Called Fat,” I was thrilled and very keen to share it. It shares the points of author Justin Ricklef’s wife, after their daughter revealed that a school mate had called her fat. The following is taken directly from the article:

  1. Your Beauty is Internal – Rowan is a strikingly, physically beautiful little girl. Huge hazel eyes, thick curly hair, a contagious smile. But more than that, my goodness so much more than that, she has the biggest heart this side of the Mississippi. Her heart is what makes her beautiful, not her looks.
  2. You Will… click here to read whole article and make comments



Housework versus obesity

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The Mirror newspaper put it starkly: “Not doing enough housework is making women fat, study claims”.

The Daily Mail sweetened the pill slightly. Its page three headline ran: “Sorry, girls…you need to do more housework!”

The cause of these headlines, and several others in a similar vein, was a joint study from Manchester University and Royal Holloway, part of the University of London.

It found that the average woman now spends a fifth less time on household chores than her counterpart in the early 1980s.

Having come to adulthood in the 1980s, I can testify that many homes were still places of domestic graft. Dishwashers were a luxury item, only found in the mansions of the rich and famous. Fewer women worked away from the home and there were more children around – because of higher birth-rates back then – so there was more to do and more of us to… click here to read whole article and make comments



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

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Jamie Henderson / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


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

According to research aired on The Upshot blog at the New York Times recently, millennial men (ages 18 to early 30s) “have much more egalitarian attitudes about family, career and gender roles inside marriage than generations before them … yet they struggle to achieve their goals once they start families…”

Despite their desire to share earning and caregiving equally with their spouse, young men and women tend to find this is impractical and fall back on traditional roles. The inflexibility of workplace policies seems to be the culprit.

One researcher has called it an “unfinished revolution”, but a big international study released this week raises the question of whether this revolution is really… click here to read whole article and make comments



Now here’s a dad who takes bonding time seriously

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Image from ca.yahoo.com

Here’s a bit of wonderful for your Wednesday – a Virginia father has crafted a three-person rocking chair to make sure that none of his kids are excluded when it comes to story time.

Hal Taylor loved to read to his two kids in their rocking chair, but when Baby #3 arrived he couldn’t fit all three onto his lap. Well, what else would a rocking chair carpenter like himself do but build a new one, complete with two child-sized seats to either side of him. Problem solved!

As one article said: “Of course, he could just read to his children on the sofa – but where’s the fun in that?”

And if you’re interested, Hal sells more chairs just like it on his website.

click here to read whole article and make comments



Do women need to have periods?

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Using birth control to eliminate menstruation isn’t unsafe, even if some worry it’s “unnatural.” That, readers, is how a recent opinion piece in The Atlantic started, and obviously I was curious to know where this was going. Turns out that more women are keen to use birth control not only to prevent pregnancy, but as a long-term way to avoid their period.

Now this is probably something that women have fallen into over time, without really thinking about what they were doing. But to hear it said like this – basically turning their period on and off as is convenient – scares me. And not only because I’ve heard of so many cases of women who have been on birth control, then stopped taking it to fall pregnant, and it has hasn’t happened (in my opinion, pumping your body with hormones that aren’t supposed to always be there worries me). Why are we so… click here to read whole article and make comments



Single mothers by choice

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Image from The Huffington Post

I just read an article in The Guardian about how more Danish women are opting to become single mothers via sperm donation, and now I feel a little sad. Because while I think the author wanted to make it sound like an upbeat, promising and independent-women trend, too many lines give away the fact that it is actually not a good time, so to speak.

But first some background: since 2007 in Denmark, from when single women have been offered free fertility treatment, there has been a huge increase in single mothers by choice (known as “solomor”). Now, one in 10 babies conceived with donor sperm is born to a single mother, which says a lot in a country which has the highest number of births by assisted fertility treatment in the world. And it seems that the trend is so… click here to read whole article and make comments



Let’s not pretend that abortion doesn’t hurt

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Image from dcist.com

The News Story - Lady Parts Justice D.C. wants to talk about abortion often and unapologetically

Even as the Congressional hearings over Planned Parenthood’s sale of baby parts begins this week, a group of women in Washington, D.C., is seeking to change the conversation around abortion.

The new D.C. chapter of New York based non-profit Lady Parts Justice titled their first event, held August 28, “Postcards from the Vag: A Frank and Funny Storytelling Show About Abortion.” Hundreds of women came to see “Eunice, a uterus-shaped puppet with Fallopian tubes for ears” and to hear nine women discuss their own experiences of abortion in a non-judgmental manner. Said one of the organizers, “The stigma of abortion is that it's something that you don’t talk about, and that you spend time mourning and crying. That's not the reality of it for everyone.” She then admitted that she wasn’t… click here to read whole article and make comments



The first weeks of married life

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The wedding was more wonderful than I could have imagined, the honeymoon was glorious, and even coming back to reality was new and exciting. And here I am, penning my first piece as a married woman. I thought I’d reflect on the first few weeks of wedded life. If I had to sum it up in three words, I’d choose the following:


One thing I can tell you – “married bliss” is a real thing. I realise that there will be bad days and tough times, but the first few weeks have definitely been filled with all things idyllic. For me, there came the realisation that my husband really did love me. I mean, I already knew he loved me before we got married, but I felt the realisation all over again in the first few days of wedlock – as he saw me in all my imperfection and all my lack of… 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@ mercatornet.com

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