WEDNESDAY, 4 NOVEMBER 2009

What makes people take a pride in their work?

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If there is one thing the financial crisis has taught us it is the need society has for people who take a (well-founded) pride in their work.

Pat Fagan and Althea Nagai at the Heritage Foundation have analysed United States household survey data to find out who these people most likely are. They found that over 80 per cent of people who attend religious services more than once a month take pride in the type of work they do (which presumably would not include selling mortgages to penniless people) compared to 76.6 per cent of those who worship less than once a month, and 66.7 per cent of those who never attend religious services.

The researchers cite other studies which support their findings, and they point out that part of the religious effect, so to speak, comes from the fact that the same people are married --… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 3 NOVEMBER 2009

Abortion linked with mental health problems

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The battle over the mental health effects of abortion continues, the latest shot being fired by a New Zealand researcher who says that abortion does lead to “significant distress” in some women.

Professor Fergusson, of the University of Otago, has been running a lifetime study of a group of New Zealanders born in the early 1970s. The abortion data comes from more than 500 women who have been interviewed six times between the ages of 15 and 30, each time being asked whether they were pregnant and, if so, what the outcome had been.

More than 85 per cent of women reported a least one negative emotional reaction, including sorrow, sadness, guilt, regret, grief and disappointment. A similar number reported at least one positive reaction, including relief, happiness and satisfaction.

The study found that women who reported at least one negative reaction had rates of mental… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 2 NOVEMBER 2009

Future moms urged to get shot

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Yes, shocking as it may seem, that's what the headline said.

"I can't conceive of any way that could possibly help," commented Peter Janes about an article dated 23 October in the London Free Press of Canada.

The story was reporting that doctors were urging pregnant women to get their swine flu vaccinations.

Thanks to World Wide Words for this timely explanation.

click here to read whole article and make comments

 

FRIDAY, 30 OCTOBER 2009

Raising kids makes married people happier

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Do your children make you happy? When different researchers ask parents questions like that they tend to get contradictory results. The latest issue of the Journal of Happiness Studies reports on a British study that finds having children does increase the happiness of married couples; in fact the more kids they have, the happier these couples are.

Married, you notice. For unmarried individuals, raising children has little or no positive effect, the study by Luis Angeles of the University of Glasgow finds. Dr Angeles says previous research that showed children added nothing, or almost nothing, to their parents’ happiness did not take marital status and other variables, such as gender, age income and education into account

An example of the latter is a University of York study by Dr Nattavudh Powdthavee. This expert on the economics of happiness explained his results by suggesting that the “widespread belief” that… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 28 OCTOBER 2009

Cleanliness is next to…virtue

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You might have heard of the odour of sanctity; today’s equivalent is The Smell of Virtue -- the title of a study by some management professors into the effects of a clean-smelling environment on behaviour.

A couple of puffs of air-freshener is all it takes to lift ethical standards in the workplace, making people act in fairer and more generous ways, the research suggests. If only we had known about that before Wachovia and Lehman Brothers fell over; perhaps the whole sub-prime mortgage disaster could have been averted.

The researchers, led by Katie Liljenquist of Brigham Young University, already knew from previous studies that scents play a role in reviving positive or negative experiences, and that there is a link between morality and physical cleanliness. This time they wanted to find out if a clean environment would bring out the best in people.

They got… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2009

Shouting is the new spanking

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Now that spanking is taboo, what are parents using as a last resort? Screaming, say people who are in the know.

And moms -- who seem to be the main screamers -- are feeling guilty about it, according to an article in the New York Times. Instead of a swift whack on the pants for the four-year-old who -- presumably as the climax to spell of defiant behaviour -- tears a page out of book or pours milk on the floor, the mom at the end of her tether “loses it” and yells at the child, “Why did you do that? Why would you do that?”

“I’ve worked with thousands of parents and I can tell you, without question, that screaming is the new spanking,” said Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, which teaches parenting skills in classes, individual coaching sessions and an online course. “This… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

TUESDAY, 20 OCTOBER 2009

Boyfriend and me, and Felix makes three

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A cat has been used as evidence in a British court case that a cohabiting couple had a settled “family life” and therefore a right not to have it disturbed by the deportation of the male partner. No kitting.

The Bolivian man and his girlfriend had been together for four years, according to his lawyer, Barry O’Leary, who said they should have benefited from a Home Office policy on unmarried partners which gives credit to couples who have been together for more than two years.

Exactly why the man was to be thrown out is not clear, but when the case was appealed to the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, the fact that the couple had purchased the cat together and had it for some time counted as one piece of evidence of “the genuine nature and duration of their relationship,” said O’Leary.

An immigration judge on the… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

MONDAY, 19 OCTOBER 2009

A million march for life

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AP Photo.A huge demonstration “For life, women and motherhood” and against the abortion policies of Spain’s government flooded the streets of Madrid on Saturday afternoon. Estimated by the Madrid regional government at 1.2 million people, it was one of the largest public protests since anti-war rallies held in 2003 and 2004.

Numbers are, of course, very political. A Reuters report published in the New York Times spoke of “tens of thousands of anti-abortion campaigners” and noted, “There was no independent assessment of the crowd’s size.” Evidently the Madrid local government could not be trusted to know how many people fit into its central square and feeder street. There was no picture in the Times. My own local paper, the New Zealand Herald ran a small picture of one woman and a caption -- that’s all, but it did mention “hundreds of thousands” in the march.

There are… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

FRIDAY, 16 OCTOBER 2009

‘Addicted to abortion?’ Not likely

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Photo: Daily MailSome abortion stories are just too bad to be true. That was my first reaction to a book published this week called Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict. In it, American woman Irene Vilar analyses a 17-year stretch of her life in which she claims to have had 15 abortions.

Then, wonder of wonders, she actually managed to have two children. I would have thought that after 15 sessions of scraping and suctioning her womb would have been a pretty inhospitable place for a baby. Numerous studies have shown that women have an increased risk of very premature delivery after only one abortion.’

But then, Mrs Vilar is an extraordinary woman all round: an intellectual prodigy (she got into Syracuse University at only 15) she is now reportedly a successful literary agent (although 51 publishers rejected her own book) and comes from a… click here to read whole article and make comments


 

WEDNESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2009

Help parents and you help the whole family

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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.

Laws that speeded up and simplified divorce a few decades ago in most western countries were meant to make marriages in general happier. As has been noted on this website recently, the opposite has happened.

Writing in the London Times the director of One Plus One, Penny Mansfield, revisits the parliamentary debate on the UK’s 1969 Divorce Law Reform Bill. One MP asked how much human happiness had increased during the previous three decades of increasing… 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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