Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

A Dad: the tenth most popular gift requested by children at Christmas

Dina sent me this sad article from the UK Telegraph.

Excerpt:

A study of 2,000 British parents found most children will put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer.

A “pet horse” was the third most popular choice, with a “car” making a bizarre entry at number four.

Despite their material requests, the tenth most popular Christmas wish on the list was a “Dad”.

[...]A request for a “mum” reached number 23 on the list.

It’s sad. I think that there is a perception among many young women today that it is OK to have recreational premarital sex that may lead to having a child out of wedlock. Many unmarried women have an intuition (not supported by data) that a child will turn out fine without a father in the home. Some think (against the data) that fathers can be substituted with a government welfare check and that children won’t notice the difference. But the research shows that this is a false belief.

Excerpt:

Census data and the Fragile Families survey show that marriage can be extremely effective in reducing child poverty. But the positive effects of married fathers are not limited to income alone. Children raised by married parents have substantially better life outcomes compared to similar children raised in single-parent homes.

When compared to children in intact married homes, children raised by single parents are more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems; be physically abused; smoke, drink, and use drugs; be aggressive; engage in violent, delinquent, and criminal behavior; have poor school performance; be expelled from school; and drop out of high school.[19] Many of these negative outcomes are associated with the higher poverty rates of single mothers. In many cases, however, the improvements in child well-being that are associated with marriage persist even after adjusting for differences in family income. This indicates that the father brings more to his home than just a paycheck.

The effect of married fathers on child outcomes can be quite pronounced. For example, examination of families with the same race and same parental education shows that, when compared to intact married families, children from single-parent homes are:

  • More than twice as likely to be arrested for a juvenile crime;[20]
  • Twice as likely to be treated for emotional and behavioral problems;[21]
  • Roughly twice as likely to be suspended or expelled from school;[22] and
  • A third more likely to drop out before completing high school.[23]

The effects of being raised in a single-parent home continue into adulthood. Comparing families of the same race and similar incomes, children from broken and single-parent homes are three times more likely to end up in jail by the time they reach age 30 than are children raised in intact married families.[24] Compared to girls raised in similar married families, girls from single-parent homes are more than twice as likely to have a child without being married, thereby repeating the negative cycle for another generation.[25]

Finally, the decline of marriage generates poverty in future generations. Children living in single-parent homes are 50 percent more likely to experience poverty as adults when compared to children from intact married homes. This intergenerational poverty effect persists even after adjusting for the original differences in family income and poverty during childhood.[26]

And here’s a bit more data showing that having government replace fathers via higher taxes and more redistribution of wealth doesn’t take away the bad effects of fatherlessness:

Children from low-income, two-parent families outperform students from high-income, single-parent homes. Almost twice as many high achievers come from two-parent homes as one-parent homes. Source: “One-Parent Families and Their Children;” Charles F. Kettering Foundation (1990).

Children reared by a divorced or never-married mother are less cooperative and score lower on tests of intelligence than children reared in intact families. Statistical analysis of the behavior and intelligence of these children revealed “significant detrimental effects” of living in a female-headed household. Growing up in a female-headed household remained a statistical predictor of behavior problems even after adjusting for differences in family income. Source: Greg L. Duncan, Jeanne Brooks-Gunn and Pamela Kato Klebanov, “Economic Deprivation and Early Childhood Development,” Child Development 65 (1994).

After taking into account race, socioeconomic status, sex, age, and ability, high school students from single-parent households were 1.7 times more likely to drop out than were their corresponding counterparts living with both biological parents. Source: McNeal, Ralph B. Jr.”Extracurricular Activities and High School Dropouts.” Sociology of Education 68(1995): 62-81.

I think that these are significant in light of the recent shooting in Connecticut:

In studies involving over 25,000 children using nationally representative data sets, children who lived with only one parent had lower grade point averages, lower college aspirations, poor attendance records, and higher drop out rates than students who lived with both parents. Source: McLanahan, Sara and Gary Sandefur. Growing up with a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1994.

A 1988 Department of Health and Human Services study found that at every income level except the very highest (over $50,000 a year), children living with never-married mothers were more likely than their counterparts in two-parent families to have been expelled or suspended from school, to display emotional problems, and to engage in antisocial behavior. Source: James Q. Wilson, “In Loco Parentis: Helping Children When Families Fail Them,” The Brookings Review, Fall 1993.

72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way. Source: D. Cornell (et al.), Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 5. 1987. And N. Davidson, “Life Without Father,” Policy Review. 1990.

The likelihood that a young male will engage in criminal activity doubles if he is raised without a father and triples if he lives in a neighborhood with a high concentration of single-parent families. Source: A. Anne Hill, June O’Neill, “Underclass Behaviors in the United States,” CUNY, Baruch College. 1993.

The shooter in Connecticut hadn’t spoken to his father in two years:

Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook shooter, hadn’t spoken to his son for more than two years and his father is at a loss for what drove Adam to kill 20 students and six teachers at his old elementary school.

[...]Adam, 20, had not spoken to his brother Ryan or father for upwards of two years at the time of the shooting. Adam reportedly distanced himself from his father Peter when he started to become serious with his new girlfriend, and current wife.

Peter and Adam’s mother Nancy split in 2001 but did not formally divorce until November 2008. Court records made the split appear amicable as both parties agreed to put their sons needs above any bitterness, but Adam was apparently the one to cut ties with his father in 2010.

Women need to think ahead and realize that the little children will be impacted by her choice of man, as well of her choice of whether to have recreational premarital sex with a man. If she doesn’t test him adequately and makes poor choices, then the children will be deprived of a father in the home. I don’t think that the sentiment “he makes me happy and horny and my friends approve of him” necessarily translates into “he can do the job of protecting, providing and leading on moral and spiritual issues”. Those are two different sets of criteria, and often at cross-purposes in a culture that despises traditional male roles as “sexist”.

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Occupy Wall Street mom divorces husband for $85K, abandons her kids

Tom sent me this article from the New York Post. Read the article and decide who you think is to blame.

Excerpt:

She’s protesting banks — but still getting a bailout.

The Florida housewife who abandoned her family to join Occupy Wall Street is divorcing, giving up custody of her four kids and taking a big payout from her husband.

Professional protester Stacey Hessler is legally splitting from her hubby, Curtiss, but not before waltzing off with a portfolio that includes cash and his 401(k) retirement fund, filled with stocks and other instruments of American capitalism.

The divorce settlement, filed Oct. 16, awards Occu-Mom the $79,585 fund and a $5,800 bank account. Her total take: $85,385.

The filing lists Curtiss’ occupation as banker and says he earns $65,000 a year. Her job is listed in court papers as “protester” and her employer as “Occupy Wall Street.” Annual salary: $0.

Divorce papers cite “irreconcilable differences” for the split, saying the 19-year marriage “is irretrievably broken.”

One OWS protester who knows her says that Stacey’s devotion to the movement caused the divorce but that she was unfazed by the breakup.

“She didn’t seem sad about any of it,” the source said. “It was just so matter-of-fact.”

[...]But she did respond when a Post reporter asked about a YouTube video showing her making out with another protester during an Occupy “Kiss In” on Valentine’s Day.

“I actually made out with four guys,” she said, laughing wildly.

Curtiss, 43, initiated the divorce in Volusia County, Fla., where the couple raised their family about 25 miles west of Daytona Beach.

So who is to blame? The bad woman who did bad things? Let’s take a look at it.

Who is to blame when things go wrong in a relationship?

My view is that the man in the story is to blame, because I think that whenever something goes wrong in a relationship, then the person whose expectations are dashed is to blame. The reason why I think this is because you have to take people as you find them and then vet them as if they were job applicants applying for the job of marriage. The job of marriage has very specific requirements, and these requirements are objective. Someone is going to have to raise the kids, someone is going to have to cook the meals, someone is going to have to earn the bulk of the money, someone is going to have to deal with the beasties that invade the home. The goal of the relationship is not to test the person to see if they are “fun” or whether your friends are envious. The goal of the relationship is to test the person for the role they will play in the marriage.

Does it work in reverse – are women responsible for their bad choices?

What I’ve found is that although many people see that the man is responsible when he makes a bad choice, they don’t see the reverse situation. So consider the case where a man has sex with and then dumps a woman, who expected him to marry her and have children. Who is to blame? On my view, it’s the woman who is to blame. The man was bad before she got there, and you cannot expect a bad man to act good, just because you imagine that he will. And giving him recreational sex won’t make him act good – even if you imagine it will. Imagination is not the equivalent of passing an interview with the woman’s father, and getting the father’s approval. Imagination is not a 12-year resume with no gaps. Imagination is not a $500,000 investment portfolio. Imagination is not a paid-off home. Imagination is not a handful of reference letters from his former girlfriends. If the woman relied on her imagination when choosing a bad man, then the woman is to blame for the bad man’s bad conduct. She needs to take responsibility.

Sometimes, what I’ve noticed is that women tend to focus on the bad thing that the men do that is counter to their expectations, because they project a standard of morality onto the man that the man expressly repudiates. In fact, I have actually met atheistic women who think that atheistic men should act based on some standard of morality. But the problem is that neither the atheist woman nor the atheist man accepts any objective standard of morality. If there is no designer to the universe, then the universe is an accident, and there is no way that we OUGHT to be. If there is no way we OUGHT to be, then there is no point in expecting anyone to be any way – it’s just your opinion against their opinion. So you have a woman expecting a man to act according to some standard that she doesn’t think is real by her own worldview!And meanwhile, the good men are passed by because we are “too strict”, “too religious”, “too moral”, “too chaste”, “too sober”, “too predictable” and “there is no chemistry”. (Chemistry = emotional craziness)

My conversation with a Christian woman

I had a conversation with a Christian woman a while back about this, and she could not see how a woman could be responsible for her choices in the same way that the man in the news story was responsible for his choices. So I invented a new example to show how men could be to blame, unlikely though that may be, since men are perfect in every way. This time, I imagined what would happen if a stripper-gram woman showed up at my door. I actually told the woman I was chatting with that I had to go because a stripper-gram HAD shown up. I told the woman how attractive the stripper was, and how I was in love with her, and wanted to marry her. How she undoubtedly was very wealthy, and well educated, and how she would help me to raise little Michele Bachmanns and William Lane Craigs. I waxed eloquently on her B.S. in integrated science with a minor in philosophy, her M.A. in economics and her Ph.D in International Studies. All of which I had no evidence for, except for the feelings aroused by the sight of her naked cleavage. Besides, I explained, it would be easier for me to change her to match my vision of her after we were married.

At this point, my debating partner began to see the point. She could see that this imaginary stripper was going to dash my expectations, and probably cheat on me, and spend all my savings on shoes, handbags, dresses, jewelry and breast implants. And who would be to blame? ME! Because I am the one who was refusing to court her properly, and instead inventing an entire future life together that the imaginary stripper and I had never discussed. The stripper had never demonstrated that she capable of meeting those requirements – or even willing to try. I never asked her to try – and that’s my fault.

Why some women make bad decisions about men

I actually know a Christian-raised atheist woman who co-habitated with a left-wing, global-warming atheist and then got pregnant and had an abortion, and she blamed the man for this. As if an atheist should be expected to believe in objective moral values and marriage! As if the man had been able to get her to co-habitate and get pregnant without her consent! She accepted no responsibility for her choice of this man whatsoever. And when I told her about the dangers of pre-marital sex and the importance of courting rules, she dismissed them as being too strict, claiming that a good job, chastity, virginity, apologetics, a firmly-grounded Christian faith, a rational basis for morality, sobriety, and so on, were all totally unnecessary for a sensible successful marriage. Still! After all that! Her criteria for a man? First, “chemistry”, which is another word for physical attraction. And second, the approval of her very impractical, immature peer group. After all that, she still rejected the idea that standards for choosing the right man were important and should override her emotions.

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Female superintendent and ACLU fascists ban father-daughter school dances

From the radically left-wing Los Angeles Times. (H/T Captain Capitalism via The Elusive Wapiti)

Excerpt:

Father-daughter dances and mother-son ballgames — those cherished hallmarks of Americana — have been banned in a Rhode Island school district after they were targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU, the self-proclaimed guardian of the nation’s liberty, says such events violate the state’s gender-discrimination law. The organization challenged their existence following a complaint from a single mom who said her daughter was prevented from attending a father-daughter dance in the Cranston Public Schools district.

[...]For its part, the ACLU scoffed at the uproar, calling the change “old news” and defending its legal position in a statement laced with a touch of snark. Here it is, in part:

“The controversy that has suddenly arisen in a political campaign over father-daughter dances in Cranston is old news — the matter was amicably resolved with school officials over four months ago. And it was resolved for a simple reason: the school district recognized that in the 21st Century, public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games.

“This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ activities and is contrary to federal law.

“[Parent-teacher organizations] remain free to hold family dances and other events, but the time has long since passed for public school resources to encourage stereotyping from the days of Ozzie and Harriet. Not every girl today is interested in growing up to be Cinderella — not even in Cranston. In fact, one of them might make a great major league baseball player someday.

“We commend the school district for its resolution of the matter, and are sorry to see some people turning it into a political football — a game that they may think only boys should be interested in.”

It’s a well-known fact that daughters growing up without fathers are far more prone to a whole host of behavioral disorders and tragedies. It’s also well-known, among men, that one the major reasons for a man to get married is because of the social respect of being a provider, protector and moral/spiritual leader. When society, under the influence of moral relativism and feminist ideology, decides to denigrate and marginalize fatherhood, we should expect to see the next generation of girls suffering from it. Girls need their fathers. The more we allow our policy to be made by leftists, the more we cheat young women out of their fathers, and the more we leave them open to tragedy.

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New study: relationship quality diminished by early sexual activity, especially for women

Regarding the studies on the consequences of sexual activity that Mathetes wrote about before on this blog, I had something to add.

I thought these comments from Stuart Schneiderman about those studies were interesting. He writes about the response of feminists to the paper’s finding that women are more affected by early sexual activity, (the paper calls it “relationship tempo”), than men.

Excerpt:

As you might have guessed, feminists are torqued by this study. Witness the bilge offered by Amanda Hessat the DoubleX blog.

To her confused mind, a woman who has a happy marriage might, in her heart of hearts be unhappy. Because it does not satisfy her personhood!

In her words:

What the Daily Mail doesn’t say is that half-year stretches of celibacy may make a woman more satisfied in a long-term relationship, but they don’t necessarily make her a more satisfied person.

In the feminist life plan women are supposed to find happiness on their jobs, not in their relationships. This is convenient for feminists since an ideological commitment to their cause tends to be a relationship killer.

Hess points out, correctly, that not all women want long term relationships. Some don’t even want to get married.

If she is suggesting that women who sleep around are perfectly contented with their love lives, she is, as I see it, deluded.

Besides, if women are being pressured into having sex before they want to—which is a main reason why women have sex too early—then one reason is that a sufficient number of their sisters have been giving it away for free, thus skewing the marketplace.

Why don’t writers like Amanda Hess recommend that the women who are giving it away for free change their ways? Why do they always assume that women who want to get married need to act in a way that is not going to help them achieve their goals?

Feminism is the denial of gender differences. What follows from women thinking that they are no different from men when it comes to sex? Pain. Just so everyone knows, I was appalled that everyone was having sex so early according to that study. I’m in my mid-thirties and have not so much as kissed a girl on the lips. The research just doesn’t support rushed physical intimacy as a legitimate pathway to marital stability and a high quality relationship. That’s my goal, so I don’t rush physical intimacy. We should all make an effort to make relationships more about communication and co-operation. If we care about the next generation, then we will do what it takes to provide them with a stable environment in which to grow up.

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New studies shed light on the expected outcomes of sexual behavior

This is a guest post by Mathetes entitled “Reasonable expectations of risky sexual behavior”.

One of the enlightening, and sobering, aspects of being an informed Christian is knowing how the world works, and then seeing a world that behaves oppositely. It is like watching an accident as it occurs, knowing how it happened, what objects collided, who was at fault, and yet being unable to stop the carnage.

In our country the social carnage is most often carnal. We see the lives of others being disordered because of stupid sexual choices. And the consequences of these choices can be known by those who are willing to step back and examine the evidence.

Case in point. Risky sexual behavior is present in most places where feminism and the sexual revolution has taken a firm footing. A study in New Zealand highlighted the sexual behavior of students.

The study found that students aged 17 to 24 displayed “low condom use, multiple sexual partners and unintended pregnancies.”

Our intrepid researcher is Rebecca Psutka, and she informs us that: “Sexual health is an integral, but often neglected component of overall wellbeing, but if there is very little information it is difficult to set priorities for improvement and to monitor progress.”

Oh Rebecca, if only you knew. She operates out of a mindset where more information will supposedly change behavior. But this behavior that she decries is not a result of too little information. If there’s one thing the students know, it’s how to know one another.

Of the 2922 students who responded, 69 per cent said they were sexually active. The average age they lost their virginity was 17.

One in five said they had three or more sexual partners in the past year and almost one-third said they had been drinking the last time they had sex.

And what message does the student welfare vice-president, Rory McCourt, have to say to this eminently useless waste of a college education. Not much, besides the normal platitudes that one would expect from a college administrator. Rory’s solution is one that would make every educator proud. He and his ilk have tried their best to make sure that “messages on safe sex and drinking responsibly were circulated around campus.”

So yeah, the adults are particularly clueless about the whole sexual education business. Rory tells us that “There’s literally thousands of stories out there about it. It’s something that we have to tackle.”

So, they have to tackle the problem of unsafe sex by making sure the thousands of stories that are already out there will somehow become more noticeable. What’s that definition of insanity again? Oh, yeah, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

I know what you’re thinking. The solution is easy. Say it with me: more condoms!

Ms Edmond said there had not been a major public campaign on condoms or contraception for many years. ‘We obviously have some sexual education happening in schools, though that’s a bit haphazard and inconsistent. As a country, New Zealand doesn’t have an up-to-date sexual and reproductive health strategy, and that’s something we’d like to see.’

Yeah, that’s the reason. Students don’t know enough about sex and how to stop pregnancies. Sure. Unfortunately there’s that annoying fact that the students do indeed know how to stop unplanned pregnancies:

The study found one in 20 students had, or had contributed to, at least one unintended pregnancy.

Of those pregnancies, 74 per cent of women and 72 per cent of men reported that it was aborted, while a further 19 per cent of men did not know the outcome.

What about that mysterious 19 per cent? Well, unless the girl moved away, or she was placed in an underground dungeon, and the guy never saw her again, we can guess the outcome … adoption, right?

So actually, the students know all about birth control, and how to get rid of a pregnancy.

Now, given that this might be classified as bad behavior, perhaps the students realize what’s happening and will try to end these coital escapades. Not likely.

“No-one has sex unless they’re drunk,” said Stella Blake-Kelly, 21.

“The university can ply them with as many brochures about sexual health as they want – drinking the way that young people do, a lot of your common sense just goes out the window,” Ms Blake-Kelly said.

Harry Evans, 20, agreed. “I know very few people who haven’t had a dumb, alcohol-fuelled sexual experience.”

Molly McCarthy, 21, said students were more likely to have unprotected sex when they were “wasted”.

“When else do you think it’s appropriate to go home with someone you’ve just met?”

First-year students living in halls of residence were particularly likely to take risks, she said.

“You’re in such close confines. You’ve gone out drinking together, you come home together – all the ingredients are there.”

And there we are. The students know what’s going. We see what’s going. Our educators are dim-witted enablers. And the behavior goes on.

Seeing that these casual encounters are taking place, what effect are they likely to have on adult relationships? Or put another way, what’s going to happen to all these students as they search and try to maintain adult relationships?

A US study “found those who waited to have sex were happier in the long-run.”

“Women particularly benefited from not leaping into bed at the first opportunity. Marriage also seemed to make them happier than co-habiting.”

The researchers note that:

“Courtship is a time for exploration and decision-making about the relationship, when partners assess compatibility, make commitments and build on emotional and physical intimacy.”

“The rapid entry into sexual relationships may, however, cut short this process, setting the stage for “sliding” rather than “deciding” to enter co-habiting unions.”

“Around a third of the men and women said they’d had sex within the first month of dating, while about 28 per cent waited at least six months, the Journal of Marriage and Family reported.”

“Analysis of the data clearly showed the women who had waited to have sex to be happier. And those who waited at least six months scored more highly in every category measured than those who got intimate within the first month. Even their sex lives were better.”

“The link was weaker for men. However, those who waited to get physically involved had fewer rows.

The researchers said couples may benefit from taking things slowly.

‘A strong sexual desire may thwart the development of other key ingredients of a healthy relationship such as commitment, mutual understanding or shared values,’ the report said. ‘Good sex is sometimes confused with love; some couples overlook problematic aspects of their relationship that ultimately matter more in the long run.’”

So we see the end result of the risky student behavior. The students are setting themselves up for long term relationship pain and failure. And this goes along with what we know about biological bonding – the more sexual partners you have, the more difficult it is for you (especially the woman) to bond with your mate. In practical terms, studies have shown that the more sexual partners you have the more likely you are to divorce.

So our bright students are doing the exact things that will set themselves up for future relationship failures.

I work with my church’s youth group quite often, and I’ve always dreamed of giving a Sunday school lesson titled: “Your worst life now and forever: how to fail at life”. Joel Osteen might not preach it, since it wouldn’t sell well, but it would make for a good talk.

First step: sleep with random people, when you’re young, while you are drunk, so that your conscience and biology will be dulled and you’ll be more likely to have casual encounters as you get older.

Further steps would include: don’t use birth control, abort your pregnancies (to ensure an increased risk of breast cancer and moral guilt and anguish), have children out of wedlock, and divorce your mate.

It’s a perfect plan – for disaster. And it’s one that students have already mastered.

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