Monday, January 17, 2011

Notes: Thursday-Monday, January 13-17, 2011

1. Some figures on attitudes of mothers towards paid work

From the on-line version of an article which expands on a shorter article which I read in the Sydney Daily Telegraph last week:

... a British survey has found nearly two-thirds of women would love to find a husband with a bigger pay packet than theirs to allow them to care for their kids full time.

The YouGov survey of 922 women found 55 per cent of respondents would like to be home with their children full time if money were not an issue.

And 60 per cent said they felt pressured by society to go out and work.

[...] "Research evidence consistently shows most mothers would prefer not to have competing demands of family work and paid jobs," Dr [Catherine] Hakim said.

Her report arrives as the biggest Australian survey of parents in decades has found a third of women would like to work less, and two-thirds thought working made them less effective as a parent.

But only about 15 per cent of women could afford to be at home full time because their partner earned enough money to support them.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies' Growing Up in Australia study of 10,000 children and their parents shows two-thirds of mothers with four to eight-year-olds worked 20 to 30 hours a week.

Two thirds of these women enjoyed work and thought it made them a good role model for their kids, but they didn't always find it compatible with family life, and would prefer to work less.

[...] Jenny Baxter, Australian Institute of Family Studies senior research fellow, said women might like the idea of being at home full-time, especially if they had young children.

"But many women are highly educated and like working, and would worry about financial dependency given thehigh rate of relationship breakdown," Ms Baxter said.


Labels: families, parenthood, social trends, work

2. Some observations about Mme. Le Pen

If I'm not mistaken, Msgr. Lefebvre regarded M. Jean-Marie Le Pen as the 'least-worst' altervative among French politicians with realistic chances of electoral success. I'm not sure that he would have the same regard for M. Le Pen's daughter and likely successor as leader of the National Front:

She has campaigned against immigration and Brussels but favours a woman's right to have an abortion. She also advocates the return of the death penalty. In a more sober style than her father she has denounced “fundamentalist Catholics” and “those obsessed by the Holocaust”.

“Marine Le Pen portrays herself as a lawyer, a mother, twice-divorced, very liberal on issues like abortion or homosexuality,” said Sylvain Crepon, a sociologist at West-Nanterre University.

“She can woo the working and middle classes, who are worried about crime and immigration and who used to see the National Front as too conservative.”


Labels: Marine Le Pen

3. An interesting discussion at Fr. Zuhlsdorf's blog

With some suprising contributions, such as the first red-coloured interpolation in this comment, by Fr. Zuhlsdorf:

Labels: John Zuhlsdorf, Papacy, theology

4. Dr. Sudlow is blogging again

Labels: blogs, Brian Sudlow

(brought to my attention by this AQ comment)

Labels: State of Israel

6. Cardinal Pell and the so-called Catholic Charismatic Renewal (C.C.R.)

I was interested to read the following in Msgr. Coleridge's eulogy for the late Lord Bishop of Sandhurst (may he rest in peace):

A sign that things were changing in the Church came when Archbishop Pell chose Joe to be spiritual director of the seminary, an appointment which surprised some who either didn’t know Joe or who underestimated him.

I did not know that Cardinal Pell endorsed the C.C.R. so strongly as to appoint one of its major local figures to such a position.

Labels: C.C.R., George Pell

7. Ms Legge on so-called gay marriage

Excerpts (I don't have time to comment on them, unfortunately, so I'm just saving here for future reference the excerpts of most interest to me):

... But when a son or a daughter or a brother or a sister or a niece or a nephew turns out to be gay there’s an inevitable mellowing of suspicion and prejudice. Is there a grandparent on the planet who would spurn a soft, warm bundle of kinship, however tangled the threads?

[...] Days after Liberal frontbencher Malcolm Turnbull spoke against gay marriage, he began to equivocate. He now acknowledges he’s “open” to persuasion. ...

[...] That’s how Tasmanian gay activist Rodney Croome explains the desire for marriage amongst a younger cohort he calls “the Family Law Act generation”. ... The institution of marriage has evolved through no-fault divorce and the rise of de facto relationships. ...

[...] Marriage matters to ["Alex Grimshaw, 30, spokesman for Australian Marriage Equality"]: “It’s important for equality, the symbolism, because it allows us to be more comfortable with who we are.”

[...] Frank Bates, emeritus Professor of Law at Newcastle University, can’t see what’s wrong with another shift to account for the rise of same-sex relationships. Originally seen as a means of securing property rights, marriage became invested with romantic and emotional baggage in the 19th century. “There’s nothing magical about the Marriage Act – it’s just another piece of legislation,” says Bates. ...

[...] Concerns at how these offspring will fare may not be resolved until a generation are well into adulthood. A US study that followed 78 children raised by lesbian mothers for 17 years reported last June that these adolescents demonstrated healthy psychological adjustment. But critics have challenged the veracity of these results. The academic arena is so heavily politicised that one Australian academic who has reviewed the scientific literature for state parliamentary reviews examining same-sex couple adoption now begs anonymity because of the abuse he’s copped for pointing out methodological flaws in the research. He believes work on the children raised in these families is embryonic and suffers from bad science and bias.

Little is known about the impact of donor anonymity on children’s welfare. Much depends on the individual personality of the child and the stability of their adult relationships. There is no rulebook; each couple devises strategies to suit their needs. Australian researcher Dr Ruth McNair shares a three-year-old son, Sam, with her lesbian partner. Sam knows the identity of the man who helped his mothers conceive. The man visits from time to time. Sam calls him by his first name. Eilis Hughes of the Melbourne based Rainbow Families Council says her daughter Drew enjoys frequent contact with the biological father she calls “Dad”. The Mok children can access the identity of their donor father when they turn 17. The Luiciani-Crouts say they have chosen anonymity to limit problems and confusion for their daughter. The Fergusons were concerned to avoid donor intervention down the track.

[...] The couples I interviewed try very hard to bring a mix of genders into their family circle so that male or female family and friends counter the imbalance in their household. Megan and Leanne Ferguson held a “naming ceremony” for baby James where guests were invited to contribute to his lifelong education. ...


Labels: families, G.L.B.T., marriage, morality, parenthood, social trends

Feast of St. Anthony, Abbot, A.D. 2011


Cardinal Pole said...

Possibly related to item 1:

"Almost one quarter of older women working part-time want to do more hours, however, half of the group working full-time want to work less.

"If all mature-aged women were to work the hours they preferred, the net effect would be a fall in total hours worked of nearly 11 per cent," the commission stated."

The Herald had coverage of that (Productivity C)ommission report, too:

Cardinal Pole said...

More regarding item 1:

"The theme ... that volunteering and caring work will suffer if more older women engage in paid work is not supported by the data. "Time use" surveys show that as older women's time spent in employment has risen, they have given up leisure time, and to a lesser extent household chores, rather than time spent on volunteering and caring.

"[...] Jenny Gordon, Principal Advisor Research, Productivity Commission, Canberra, ACT"
[bold type in the original,]