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Family Update, Online!

Volume 05  Issue 50 14 December 2004
Topic: Family, Immaculate contraception?

Family Fact: Virtually Universal

Family Quote: "Immaculate contraception"

Family Research Abstract: Solitary in the Schoolroom

Family Fact of the Week: Virtually Universal TOP of PAGE

According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics, the use of contraceptives is "virtually universal":

"More than 98 percent of women 15-44 years of who have ever had sexual intercourse have used at least one contraceptive method."

"38 million women 15-44 were using contraception in 2002. ...Female sterilization is the leading method choice among those 35-44.  In contrast, the Pill is the leading method among those under age 30."

(Source: United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, "Use of Contraception and Use of Family Planning Services in the United States: 1982-2002 A Fact Sheet for Advance Data No. 350," A summary of findings from "Use of Contraception and Use of Family Planning Services in the United States: 1982-2002," Advance Data No. 350. 35 pp. (PHS) 2005-1250; http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad350FactSheet.pdf .)

Family Quote of the Week: "Immaculate contraception" TOP of PAGE

"A Christmas 'immaculate contraception' campaign for a morning-after pill has been pulled by a drug company after causing religious offence.

The poster, which appeared on London Underground trains, asked: 'Immaculate contraception? If only.'

'It might be Christmas time,' it continued, 'but condoms still split and pills still get forgotten. So if your contraception lets you down, ask your pharmacist for Levonelle One Step.'

Schering Health Care, a subsidiary of Schering of Germany, said in a statement it had decided to withdraw the "inappropriate" advert after receiving several letters.

'We take this step as a responsible manufacturer in recognition of the religious concerns expressed to us,' it said."

(Source:  Jackie Dent, "'Immaculate contraception' ad withdrawn," Reuters, December 7, 2004; http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsArticle.jhtml?type=topNews&storyID=634707 .)

For More Information TOP of PAGE

The Howard Center and The World Congress of Families stock a number of pro-family books, including Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis, by Howard Center president Allan C. Carlson. Please visit:

    The Howard Center Bookstore   

 Call: 1-815-964-5819    USA: 1-800-461-3113    Fax: 1-815-965-1826    Contact: Bookstore 

934 North Main Street Rockford, Illinois 61103

Family Research Abstract of the Week: Solitary in the Schoolroom TOP of PAGE

How fair is the negative stereotype of the only child?  Some sociologists have decried that stereotype, calling it "unjustified."  And at a time when depressed fertility has dramatically multiplied the number of such children, many parents may hope that these sociologists are right.  However, in a study recently published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, researchers at the Ohio State University conclude that children without brothers or sisters "may miss out in important ways" on the formative experiences necessary to develop healthy social behavior.  

Parsing data collected for over twenty thousand kindergarten children, the Ohio State scholars uncover "consistent evidence that children are rated as exhibiting better social and interpersonal skills when they have at least one sibling."

The authors of the new study argue that their findings show that "children hone social and interpersonal skills through sibling interactions at home, and...these skills then become useful outside the home."  And although the researchers acknowledge that the size of the "social skills advantage for children with siblings" is statistically "modest" in this study, they plausibly suggest the patterns they observe in kindergarten "could cumulate over time so that the gap in social skills between only children and children with siblings would grow." 

The Ohio State researchers believe that their study results carry unusual weight because "in the last four decades, the average number of children ever born to American women has been nearly cut in half," resulting in a sharp climb in the number of only-child households. 

Other changes in American family life in recent decades also underscore the significance of this new study.  After decades of epidemic divorce has driven the number of stepfamilies to unprecedented levels, it may not come as good news that the Ohio State researchers' data indicate that "full siblings promote children's social skills more so than other types of siblings." 

(Source: Douglas B. Downey and Dennis J. Condron, "Playing Well with Others in Kindergarten: The Benefit of Siblings at Home," Journal of Marriage and Family 66 (2004): 333-350.)
 

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