Annual Editions : The Family 03/04, by Gilbert, Kathleen R.
- ISBN: 9780072838657 | 0072838655
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 6/1/2002
This Annual Editions reader of public press articles offers varied perspectives on the family; exploring and establishing relationships; maintaining relationships; the challenges and opportunities of crises; and maintaining healthy relationships in families. Dushkin Online (www.dushkin.com/online/) is a student Web site designed to support Annual Editions.
UNIT 1. Varied Perspectives on the Family
1. The American Family, Stephanie Coontz, Life, November 1999
Many assumptions exist about the family as it existed in the past. Stephanie Coontz, a family historian, discusses the fallacy of many of our beliefs about families in the “good old days.”
2. The Myth of the “Normal” Family, Louise B. Silverstein and Carl F. Auerbach, USA Today Magazine (Society for the Advancement of Education), January 2001
Rather than looking for a single “perfect” family form, parents are encouraged to be flexible and creative in finding strategies that work for their particular family.
3. Weighing the Price of ‘Perfect’ in Family Life, Marilyn Gardner, The Christian Science Monitor, January 23, 2002
Parents and children face enormous pressure to have the children participate in many activities, often at the expense of “family time.” Yet families can reclaim a more balanced approach to family life, as this article attests.
4. American Families Are Drifting Apart, Barbara LeBey, USA Today Magazine (Society for the Advancement of Education), September 2001
Social scientists are examining the decline of the American family. From mobile family members living far from their relatives to those engaged in our and out familial conflict, fewer American families remain intact. This article provides both anecdotal and statistical evidence to explore this issue and its myriad causes.
UNIT 2. Exploring and Establishing Relationships
Part A. Gender and Our View of the World
5. Sex Differences in the Brain, Doreen Kimura, Scientific American Presents, Summer 1999
Even before they are born, boys and girls experience hormonal influences on brain activity and these may later influence behavior and attitudes.
6. The New Woman: Daring to Be Less Than Perfect, Eric Lin, Sinorama, April 1999
In this article, Taiwan is described as being “at the intersection of old and new value systems.” The role of women and the nature of male-female relationships retain remnants of traditional self-sacrificing, family-centered definitions; however, a “new good woman” with greater independence is evolving.
7. The Feminization of American Culture, Leonard Sax, The World & I, October 2001
Emotional maturity is equated with expressing feelings in contemporary culture. In 50 years, gender stereotypes have reversed: women are now being considered more mature than men. School girls are 3 years ahead of boys in language skills. Male self-esteem is plummeting. Are males’ genetic traits being feminized by estrogen-like modern chemicals? The author explores this possibility.
Part B. Emotions, Relating, and Mating
8. Can Men and Women Be Friends?, Camille Chatterjee, Psychology Today, September/October 2001
Contrary to the common belief that men and women cannot be real friends, this author argues that sexual tensions are not a given and that male-female relationships are not inevitably romantic.
9. What’s Your Love Story?, Robert J. Sternberg, Psychology Today, July/August 2000
Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of stories that we construct to explain and validate choices that we make in life. Robert Sternberg proposes and describes 12 love stories that inform intimate relationships.
10. Love Is Not All You Need, Pepper Schwartz, Psychology Today, May/June 2002
Although we may want to believe that love is all that is needed to make a relationship work, Pepper Schwartz reports in this article that a number of compatibility factors actually are crucial for the success of the relationship.
Part C. Sexuality, Conception, and Pregnancy
11. Sex for Grown-Ups, Carol Lynn Mithers, Ladies’ Home Journal, March 1999
Although television, other media, and even most people’s fantasies seem to suggest that sex is for the young, the experts in this article explain that lovemaking, like fine wine, gets better with age. Greater self-acceptance and self-awareness, increased male-female biological similarities, and long-term relationships actually intensify and enrich lovemaking.
12. Making Time for a Baby, Nancy Gibbs, Time, April 15, 2002
As women age, they face a diminishing capacity to produce a child. Assisted reproduction technologies may improve their odds of having a child, but there are risks associated with these technologies.
13. Too Posh to Push?, Susan Brink, U.S. News & World Report, August 5, 2002
The number of caesarean section deliveries has increased dramatically in recent years. Currently, 25 percent of births in the United States are via C-sections. This article addresses possible causes for this increase and potential risks of C-sections.
Part D. The Next Generation
14. Shaped by Life in the Womb, Sharon Begley, Newsweek, September 27, 1999
New scientific advances have been made in understanding the future impact of life in the uterine environment. Increasingly, we are faced with questions regarding prenatal health and its long-term effects.
15. Our Babies, Ourselves, Meredith F. Small, Natural History, October 1997
Cross-cultural research in child development shows that parents readily accept their society’s prevailing ideology on how babies should be treated, usually because it makes sense in their environmental or social circumstances.
UNIT 3. Finding a Balance: Maintaining Relationships
Part A. Marriage and Other Committed Relationships
16. The Science of a Good Marriage, Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert, Newsweek, April 19, 1999
The myth of marriage presents it as a meeting of two perfect soul mates. In reality, making marriage work can be a difficult and daunting task. The author describes the work being done at the Family Research Laboratory by John Gottman where efforts are being made to unlock the secrets of happy marriages.
17. No Wedding? No Ring? No Problem, Jay Tolson, U.S. News & World Report, March 13, 2000
Increasing numbers of couples are choosing to forgo marriage for cohabitation. Some do this as a precursor of marriage, seeing it as a test. Others see marriage as a troubled institution and view cohabitation as a less painful alternative.
18. Welcome to the Love Lab, John Gottman and Sybil Carrere, Psychology Today, October 2000
Using three dialogues from couples, the authors demonstrate how to detect troubled relationships. Results of actual research are also shared in order to enable the reader to detect problems.
Part B. Relationships Between Parents and Children
19. New Evidence for the Benefits of Never Spanking, Murray A. Straus, Society, September/October 2001
Murray Straus, a renowned long-time researcher on the effects of corporal punishment, documents the negative effects of spanking, both short- and long-term.
20. Family Matters, Meredith F. Small, Discover, August 2000
Contrary to the suggestion that “parents don’t matter,” this article details a 13-year study in Dominica, Santa Domingo, that claims that family life and parents are central to mental health among children.
21. Who’s Raising Baby?, Anne R. Pierce, The World & I, February 2002
What happens to self-esteem and emotional/personality development when babies are rushed to do everything sooner and better than others? The author contends that parenting and infancy should be more about love of learning. Through play, babies discover their individuality and genetically driven interests. Pressuring them to conform to gender-appropriate activities (e.g., sports, ballet) or academic pursuits is miseducation.
22. Father Nature: The Making of a Modern Dad, Douglas Carlton Abrams, Psychology Today, March/April 2002
When men become fathers and are involved in rearing their children, they undergo hormonal changes that shape their behavior and encourage them to feel a strong bond with their children.
23. What About Black Fathers?, Ronald B. Mincy, The American Prospect, April 8, 2002
Public policy regarding parental responsibilities needs to attend to the particular concerns of low-income African American fathers. These men may not marry their partners, but many remain involved in their children’s lives. Thus, the emphasis should be on strengthening existing family forms rather than enforcing a simplistic solution.
24. Unmarried, With Children, Barbara Kantrowitz and Pat Wingert, Newsweek, May 28, 2001
Traditional households, headed by a married couple, are on the wane, while single-parent households are rising in numbers. What are the effects on children of being raised in these households, and how do these children differ from those raised in traditional households?
25. Adoption by Lesbian Couples, Susan Golombok, British Medical Journal, June 15, 2002
This article addresses the controversy regarding potential short- and long-term risks to children raised in same-sex households. In the review of the literature, the author found no difference between children raised in same-sex households and those raised by heterosexual couples.
Part C. Other Family Relationships
26. Why We Break Up With Our Siblings, Lise Funderburg, Time, December 18, 2000
Although it is a common belief that sibling conflicts will naturally transform into sibling closeness, aging siblings sometimes find that closeness in middle and old age may be an empty wish. Old patterns and “emotional baggage” can get in the way of a sibling relationship.
27. The Importance of Partners to Lesbians’ Intergenerational Relationships, Michael C. LaSala, Social Work Research, March 2001
Research indicates that a strong likelihood of parental disapproval follows a lesbian daughter’s coming out. Partners often provide a beneficial effect on intergenerational relationships between parents and their lesbian daughter.
UNIT 4. Crises—Challenges and Opportunities
Part A. Family Violence and Chaos
28. Hitting Home, Cara Feinberg, The American Prospect, April 8, 2002
This article discusses the potential risks of promoting marriage as the primary solution for social and moral problems and of making divorce more difficult, even when violence is present in the relationship. Combined with a “blame the victim” mentality, these efforts threaten to roll back efforts to combat domestic violence.
Part B. Sexual Issues and Infidelity
29. Sex & Marriage, Patricia Chisholm, Maclean’s, August 9, 1999
Couples often list a good sex life as important to married life, yet outside demands on the partners may lead to problems in their sexual relationship. This is particularly true during the partners’ demanding and stressful middle years. Yet couples who maintain an intimate sexual relationship through these years experience a tremendous return on their investment in their relationship.
30. Is Your Dog (Cat, Bird, Fish) More Faithful Than Your Spouse?, Emily M. Brown, Bonkers!, July/August/September 2001
Affairs are never just about sex; they signal problems in the marriage. This article presents six examples of problems in marriages that could lead to affairs.
Part C. Work/Family Stress
31. The Politics of Fatigue: The Gender War Has Been Replaced by the Exhaustion of Trying to Do It All, Richard Morin and Megan Rosenfeld, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, April 20, 1998
Although men and women are attempting to adapt to changing gender roles, gender differences continue to exist in the workplace and at home. One result of this struggle is exhaustion for both men and women.
32. What Kids (Really) Need, Nancy Gibbs, Time, April 30, 2001
Controversy swirls around day care, and attention has been placed on the potential risks to children associated with day care. For example, day care may make children more aggressive than children who are cared for at home. Yet day care can lead to greater intellectual achievement on the part of the children as well.
Part D. Mental Illness in the Family
33. The Binds That Tie—and Heal: How Families Cope With Mental Illness, Herbert Gravitz, Psychology Today, March/April 2001
Families of those with mental illness are often viewed as causing or contributing to the illness. Yet families can be one of the most important factors in the treatment of mental illness.
Part E. Divorce
34. Marriage and Divorce American Style, E. Mavis Hetherington, The American Prospect, April 8, 2002
For children, is marriage always preferable to divorce? Mavis Hetherington reports from her long-standing research program that parental divorce does not have the dramatic negative effect on children that it is commonly believed to have. In some cases, parental divorce is preferable to living in a hostile and emotionally toxic household.
35. Is Divorce Too Easy?, Benedict Carey, Health, September 1999
In recent years, divorce has become increasingly easier. The impact that this experience has on the partners and what should be done about taking marriage seriously are discussed in this article.
36. The Happy Divorce: How to Break Up and Make Up, Nora Underwood, Maclean’s, January 21, 2002
Is it possible to create a positive, adult relationship with one’s ex-spouse after the end of a marriage? The author argues that a “healthy breakup” requires hard work and commitment from both parties, but it is possible.
Part F. Remarriage
37. Divorced? Don’t Even Think of Remarrying Until You Read This, Hara Estroff Marano, Psychology Today, March/April 2000
Going through a divorce does not necessarily provide anyone with insight on what went wrong and what is needed to enter a satisfying remarriage. This article presents reasons for why this is so and suggests methods of successfully remarrying.
38. When Strangers Become Family, Wray Herbert, U.S. News & World Report, November 29, 1999
Creating and maintaining a successful blended family is a challenging proposition. Realism and flexibility are key among the characteristics identified in this article.
Part G. Caring and Caregiving
39. Elder Care: Making the Right Choice, John Greenwald, Time, August 30, 1999
As the population ages, families are faced with the question of how to assist and care for aging relatives. Nursing homes are only one of the choices that can be made in an increasing diversity of elder-care choices.
40. Still Birth, Robin Wallace, And Baby, September/October, 2002
This touching, personal account presents one woman’s experience of the stillbirth death of her daughter.
41. After a Loss, Kids Need to Mourn—and Be Reassured, Katy Kelly, U.S. News & World Report, January 8, 2001
Death, illness, and divorce leave children dealing with a tremendous sense of loss and confusion. They need support and comfort from adults in their lives. They also need adults to understand that their grief will not look like adult grief, and that their developmental level determines how much they can understand and what their behavior will be.
UNIT 5. Families, Now and Into the Future
42. Breaking Free of the Family Tree, Jennifer Matlack, Health, September 2001
Looking at our family histories for patterns of behavior can help us to understand the decisions we make in relationships and what draws us to other people.
43. Generation 9-11, Barbara Kantrowitz and Keith Naughton, Newsweek, November 12, 2001
Adolescents are reexaming their moral values, drug use, language, racism, gender roles, and career choices in the wake of September 11, 2001. Family and patriotism have become cool again. Many more students want to understand Arabs and Islam than react aggressively against them. Reducing stress and seeking peace are goals of youth.
44. Getting the Word, Sharon DeBartolo Carmack, Family Tree Magazine, April 2000
Interviewing family members, using oral history techniques, can enrich one’s understanding of family members and create a sense of “place” in one’s family. This article describes how one might go about doing such an interview.
45. What’s Ahead for Families: Five Major Forces of Change, Joseph F. Coates, The Futurist, September/October 1996
In this article, Joseph Coates identifies five trends that will have dramatic effects on family life in the future: stress, economics, divorce, nontraditional families, and aging families.
46. Happiness Explained, Holly J. Morris, U.S. News & World Report, September 3, 2001
Holly Morris examines the science of contentment, happiness, and optimism. Morris shares with the reader scientific insights into why people are or are not happy. Happy people generally establish good relationships with family and friends that promote an upward spiral of continuing happiness. A self-scoring quiz is provided.
47. Examining Family Rituals, Grace M. Viere, The Family Journal: Counseling and Therapy for Couples and Families, July 2001
This scholarly article explores the definitions and classification of family rituals. Ways of differentiating rituals from routines as well as reports of empirical studies of the use of family rituals are also presented.
48. Reconnect With Your Family, Dr. Joyce Brothers, Parade, November 4, 2001
Family gatherings provide opportunities for rituals of reconciliation and healing. This article addresses ways in which this can take place.