Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Is the root cause of crime poverty or fatherlessness?

If we were really serious about stopping gun crime, then we should go after the root cause of gun crime. So what is that root cause? The answer might surprise you.

Here is Dr. Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation to explain:

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]

People on the left claim that poverty causes crime, but they don’t look for the root cause of poverty. The root cause of poverty is the decline of marriage, which produces fatherless children. Unfortunately, some people promote the decline of marriage because they do not like the “unequal gender roles” inherent in marriage. So what is the main tool that the anti-marriage people use to increase the number of fatherless children?

Dr. Michael Tanner of the libertarian Cato Institute explains one of the causes of fatherlessness in his testimony to Congress:

Welfare contributes to crime in several ways. First, children from single-parent families are more likely to become involved in criminal activity. According to one study, children raised in single-parent families are one-third more likely to exhibit anti-social behavior.(3) Moreover, O’Neill found that, holding other variables constant, black children from single- parent households are twice as likely to commit crimes as black children from a family where the father is present. Nearly 70 percent of juveniles in state reform institutions come from fatherless homes, as do 43 percent of prison inmates.(4) Research indicates a direct correlation between crime rates and the number of single-parent families in a neighborhood.(5)

As Barbara Dafoe Whitehead noted in her seminal article for The Atlantic Monthly:

The relationship [between single-parent families and crime] is so strong that controlling for family configuration erases the relationship between race and crime and between low income and crime. This conclusion shows up time and again in the literature. The nation’s mayors, as well as police officers, social workers, probation officers, and court officials, consistently point to family break up as the most important source of rising rates of crime.(6)

At the same time, the evidence of a link between the availability of welfare and out-of-wedlock births is overwhelming. There have been 13 major studies of the relationship between the availability of welfare benefits and out-of-wedlock birth. Of these, 11 found a statistically significant correlation. Among the best of these studies is the work done by June O’Neill for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Holding constant a wide range of variables, including income, education, and urban vs. suburban setting, the study found that a 50 percent increase in the value of AFDC and foodstamp payments led to a 43 percent increase in the number of out-of-wedlock births.(7) Likewise, research by Shelley Lundberg and Robert Plotnick of the University of Washington showed that an increase in welfare benefits of $200 per month per family increased the rate of out-of-wedlock births among teenagers by 150 percent.(8)

The same results can be seen from welfare systems in other countries. For example, a recent study of the impact of Canada’s social-welfare system on family structure concluded that “providing additional benefits to single parents encourages births of children to unwed women.”(9)

The poverty that everyone complains about is not the root cause of crime. The poverty is caused by fatherlessness. The fatherlessness is caused by welfare. Fatherlessness is also caused by laws and policies that make it easier for people to divorce, e.g. – no-fault divorce laws. Again, it’s people on the left who push for no-fault divorce laws. So the left is pushing two policies, welfare and no-fault divorce, which cause crime.

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Miriam Grossman: a brief history of sex education

Miriam Grossman is a psychiatrist at UCLA who helps the students there. She’s written two books on sex and college students, and I’ve gotten both of them. Here’s an article from the Public Discourse authored by her.

First, she explains that sex education today is not about biology, it’s about advocacy:

Now we have comprehensive sexuality education. It includes discussion of identity, gender, reproductive rights, and discrimination. Children learn that they’re sexual from birth, and that the proper time for sexual activity is when they feel ready. They’re taught that they have rights to pleasure, birth control, and abortion.

The terms husband and wife aren’t used, the union of man and woman is one of several options, and morality? Well, that’s judging, and judging is not allowed.

You won’t find much biology in sexuality education, but there’s voluminous information on the varieties of sexual expression, the pros and cons of different contraceptives and abortions, and the harms of gender stereotypes.

Gender itself is a complicated matter. A boy might turn into a man, a woman, or something else. A girl might feel she was born in the wrong body, and want her breasts removed. This is all normal, children learn.

There are over two dozen sexually transmitted diseases, and infection with one of these “lovebugs” is considered by some to be a part of growing up. A doctor declares on YouTube, “Expect to have HPV once you become sexually intimate. All of us get it.”

And childhood innocence? Forget it! Material created for children makes most adults uncomfortable. On websites recommended to students, nothing is taboo—sadomasochism, polyamory, and what were once called “deviant” behaviors . . . they’re all good.

Here’s how it came to be:

[I]n 1964 Dr. Mary Calderone founded the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). This is the group behind the sexuality education guidelines published by UNESCO, aggressively promoted to nations all over the world. Calderone created SIECUS with seed money provided by Hugh Hefner.

Like Kinsey, she was on a crusade to change society. Sex education has too much negativity, she insisted, too much focus on unwanted pregnancy and diseases. The real problem, she insisted, following Kinsey, was that society is puritanical and repressed.

There were too many nos in sex ed. The approach of SIECUS, Calderone promised, would be based on yesses. Proper sex ed would teach children that from the day they’re born they are sexual beings, and that the expression of their sexuality is positive, natural, and healthy.

She told parents, “Children are sexual and think sexual thoughts and do sexual things . . . parents must accept and honor their child’s erotic potential.” She also told them, “Professionals who study children have recently affirmed the strong sexuality of the newborn.”

What did it mean, exactly, to be open and positive, and to replace the nos of sex education with yesses? What did it mean to “break from traditional views”?

It meant more than premarital and extramarital sex. Much more. Modern sex ed was about breaking boundaries. There were officials within SIECUS who were so radical that they argued publicly for relaxing the taboos against adult/child sexuality, even incest. Wardell Pomeroy, for example, a disciple of Kinsey’s who served as president of SIECUS, argued, “It is time to admit that incest need not be a perversion or a symptom of mental illness.”

TIME magazine described Pomeroy as part of the “pro-incest lobby.” He wrote a book, Boys & Sex, for grades six and up. There he argued that “our sexual behavior…is like that of other animals….There is essentially nothing that humans do sexually that is abnormal.” Calderone provided a blurb for the book jacket: “As I read your manuscript, I kept saying to myself, ‘At last it is being said…’”

Another figure to know is Dr. John Money. In 1955, he introduced the radical concept that maleness and femaleness are feelings, separate from anatomy and chromosomes. He was convinced we are born without gender, then conditioned by society to identify either as male or female.

Money was a prominent psychologist; he’s well respected to this day. He described pedophilia as “a love affair between an age-discrepant couple.” Money was also part of the incest lobby: “For a child to have a sexual experience with a relative,” he wrote, “was not necessarily a problem.” Like Kinsey, Money had deep emotional wounds. His identity as a man was troubled, and he molested young boys.

What’s so astonishing is that these men, these very disturbed men, using fraudulent data and theories that have been discredited, succeeded in transforming much of society. Today’s sexuality education is based on their teachings.

Once I understood who the founders were—Kinsey, Calderone, Pomeroy, Money, and others—I understood how we got to today’s “comprehensive sexuality education.” I knew how we had reached today’s madness.

It came from disturbed individuals with dangerous ideas—radical activists who wanted to create a society that would not only accept their pathology, but celebrate it!

These men were pedophiles. It was in their interest to see children as miniature adults who enjoyed sexual contact, and had the right to consent to it, without other adults, or the law, interfering.

Why would they value childhood innocence? They didn’t believe that children were innocent to begin with. They also thought that restricting sex to husband and wife was unnatural and destructive. They weren’t fighting disease, they were fighting ancient taboos; they were fighting biblical morality.

The bottom line: sex ed began as a social movement, and it remains a social movement. Its goal is for students to be open to just about any form of sexual expression. Sex ed is not about preventing disease, it’s about sexual freedom, or better—sexual license. It’s about changing society, one child at a time.

I think that a lot of young people today are growing up in a household that is very different than what I grew up with. I grew up in a household where I had two parents biologically related to me who were married before they had me and are still married. People knew back then that the marital bond was stronger when two people had guarded their chastity prior to marrying one another. That stable marriage that I grew up with was an asset to my development. But thanks to sex education, which normalized recreational sex outside of marriage, children today are far less likely to have the kind of childhood that I had.

If you are growing up without a father, you should thank sex education. If you are growing up without a mother, you should thank sex education. If you were abused by a relative or your mothers boyfriend (or girlfriend), you should thank sex education. If you grew up fatherless and sought a boyfriend to have sex with before you could even vote, then thank sex education. If the premarital sex that your parents had caused them to divorce, thank sex education. If you are growing up in any household that is not a happily married long-lasting married household, thank sex education.

One last point. The fiscal conservative in me is appalled that this advocacy is all being taught in public schools with taxpayer money. You and I are paying these people to indoctrinate children in views that puts their safety, health and emotional well-being at risk. You and I are paying to have their sexually transmitted diseases treated. You and I are paying for their contraceptives and abortions. You and I are paying for the costs of teenage pregnancies and increases crime from fatherless boys. Thank sex education for all of these social ills.

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UK: Half a million new STI infections in 2012

From the left-leaning UK Independent.

Excerpt:

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are soaring among young people, with chlamydia the most virulent, health officials have warned.

Nearly half a million people were diagnosed with STIs last year, with those aged under-25 experiencing the highest rates of infection, according to new figures released today.

Health experts have warned that the rise in STIs shows too many young people are still putting themselves at risk by failing to practice safe-sex.

Last year there were 448,422 diagnoses, which was a rise of five per cent from 2011, said Public Health England (PHE).

Almost half of all infections were chlamydia, amounting to 46 per cent of total STI diagnoses.

The number of new gonorrhoea diagnoses increased by 21 per cent, which is a particular cause for concern among health officials as the global threat of antibiotic resistance grows.

People aged under-25 accounted for 64 per cent of all chlamydia and 54 per cent of genital warts diagnoses in 2012.

The UK has some of the most aggressive and early sex education of any Western country. But all of this effort to educate young people hasn’t reduced the amount of sexual activity at all. When young people learn about the mechanics of sex, and are taught that recreational sex is normal and healthy, then they have more of it. Young people aren’t able to assess risks like adults can. They think that nothing will happen to them. No amount of sex education can cure youthful recklessness.

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Pro-gay left’s new #FreeKate campaign seeks to normalize underage sex

Robert Stacy McCain writes about it in the American Spectator.

Excerpt:

In January, Rush Limbaugh warned that there was “an effort under way to normalize pedophilia,” and was ridiculed by liberals (including CNN’s Soledad O’Brien) for saying so. But now liberals have joined a crusade that, if successful, would effectively legalize sex with 14-year-olds in Florida.

The case involves Kaitlyn Ashley Hunt, an 18-year-old in Sebastian, Florida, who was arrested in February after admitting that she had a lesbian affair with a 14-year high-school freshman. (Click here to read the affidavit in Hunt’s arrest.) It is a felony in Florida to have sex with 14-year-olds. Hunt was expelled from Sebastian High School — where she and the younger girl had sex in a restroom stall — and charged with two counts of “felony lewd and lascivious battery on a child.” The charges could put Hunt in prison for up to 15 years. Prosecutors have offered Hunt a plea bargain that would spare her jail time, but her supporters have organized an online crusade to have her let off scot-free — in effect, nullifying Florida’s law, which sets the age of consent at 16.

Using the slogan “Stop the Hate, Free Kate” (the Twitter hashtag is #FreeKate) this social-media campaign has attracted the support of liberals including Chris Hayes of MSNBC, Daily Kos, Think Progress and the gay-rights group Equality Florida.

[...]This is “behavior that is both fairly innocuous and extremely common,” the American Civil Liberties Union declared Tuesday in a statement condemning the prosecution of Hunt. The ACLU statement parrots the arguments of all the other “Free Kate” crusaders who emphasize that the sex between Hunt and the 14-year-old was consensual, and who are apparently indifferent (or even openly hostile) to the right of parents to safeguard their minor children against sexual exploitation. The liberal Daily Kos blog goes so far as to proclaim that officials are “prosecuting an 18-year-old for being in love.”

This echoes other efforts to facilitate sex with children. The left regularly pushes for lowering the age of consent, as well as introducing sex education to younger and younger children. A common sense interpretation of these efforts leads one to believe that they want to normalize sex with children. Conservatives on the other hand favor strong marriages, more parental authority, and laws that protect children from sex before the children are old enough to understand what is happening to them. That’s the difference between the two sides. The left wants to indoctrinate children in school and sexualize them at an early age for the benefit of adults. The right wants to protect them and preserve their childhood and their bond to parents.

UPDATE: Letitia sent me this article about an entire movement trying to decriminalize sex with children.

UPDATE: Lydia sent me this article about how Planned Parenthood teaches sex classes to children.

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CDC: risk of HIV 150 times greater for gay men than for heterosexual men

MercatorNet reports on the latest HIV-related numbers from the United States government’s Center for Disease Control.

Excerpt:

Recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on HIV infection in the United States reveal some disturbing trends concerning gay males or, in CDC terminology, “men who have sex with men” (MSM). In recent data the CDC estimated that 61 percent of the 48,079 HIV infections diagnosed in 2010 occurred through male to male sexual contact.(1) According to the CDC data, sexual contact and injection drug use are the predominant means by which HIV is transmitted.

The CDC data on HIV diagnoses came from forty-six states and five U.S. dependent areas. Some 29,194 new HIV diagnoses in 2010 were linked to male homosexual contact where no injection drug use took place. There were approximately 4550 HIV male diagnoses linked to heterosexual contact. Injection drug use was involved in 5481 cases. Women contracting the HIV virus through heterosexual contact accounted for approximately 8,800 cases. Another 47 HIV cases came from sources other than the four listed. Included in the other 47 cases were blood transfusions and prenatal exposure.(2) When CDC statistics are analyzed using the estimate of the MSM population at 4 percent of the American male population and assuming the other 96 percent who do not have sex with men are heterosexual, the risk of HIV infection from sexual contact for MSM was approximately 150 times greater than the heterosexual male population in 2010.(3)

To put the HIV risk for MSM into perspective a comparison with the health risks of smoking can be made. Smoking tobacco is a causative factor of many types of cancer, the most common being lung cancer. According to the CDC the risk of lung cancer for men who smoke is 23 times greater than for men who do not smoke. For women who smoke the risk is 13 times greater than for women who do not. Those who smoke are also 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer coronary heart disease and 2 to 4 times more likely to suffer a stroke.(4)

[...]Similar to smoking, homosexual behavior has other unhealthy side effects. The CDC stated that the rate of primary and secondary syphilis among MSM is “more than 46 times that of other men and more than 71 times that of women.”(8) Studies have shown that MSM are at higher risk of alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety, major depression, and thoughts of suicide.(9)

The footnotes in the MercatorNet article either go directly back to the CDC web site, or in some cases to peer-reviewed published research.

CDC numbers were also recently reported in the Washington Times.

Excerpt:

Teens and young adults now account for more than a quarter of the new cases of HIV identified in the United States annually, and a clear majority of those cases involve young gay or bisexual men, the federal government said in a major new survey Tuesday.

Of the nearly 48,000 new HIV cases identified in the United States in 2010, the latest year for which complete data are available, more than 12,000 involved teens and young adults, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found in its latest report.

About 72 percent of these new HIV cases in younger adults occurred in young men who are gay or bisexual, according to the CDC report.

[...]According to the CDC figures, black youths accounted for the largest share of new HIV cases, with Hispanic youths and white youths accounting for about 20 percent each.

About 1.1 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in the United States. Some 47,129 new HIV cases were identified in 2010.

The CDC’s new report, “Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, Risk Behaviors Among Youths, United States,” estimated that youths aged 13 to 24 accounted for 12,200, or 26 percent, of new HIV infections in 2010.

Of these new cases, 7,000 were among black youths, 2,390 were among Hispanics, and 2,380 were among whites.

About 8,800 cases were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.

HIV/AIDS is incurable, and an estimated 17,774 people with AIDS died in 2009. Some 619,000 persons have died of AIDS in the United States since the epidemic began in the early 1980s, according to the CDC.

If you really love a person, you don’t hide the risks of certain activities from them. You tell them the truth about the risks, so that they have all the information they need when making decisions. I wouldn’t let any of my friends smoke cigarettes without getting a stern warning, supported by evidence. Somehow, we’ve redefined love to mean approving of whatever people want to do, regardless of risks. Why is that a good thing? Telling people the truth about what they doing are should never be viewed as “intolerant”.

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