Category Archives: Family

Women Are Not Men

That was the title of a recent rebroadcast of the Freakonomics podcast, which asks what do Wikipedia edits and murder have in common? Answer: women statistically do them far less frequently than men.  The podcast also explores why women tend to be less competitive than men, why they make less and why they have become less happy.

Here is a description of the episode from the Freakonomics website:

We take a look at the ways in which the gender gap is closing, and the ways in which it’s not. You’ll hear about the gender gap among editors of the world’s biggest encyclopedia, and what a study conducted in Tanzania and India has to say about female-male differences in competition. You’ll also hear about the female happiness paradox and one of the biggest gender gaps out there: crime. Which begs the question: if you’re rooting for women and men to become completely equal, should you root for women to commit more crimes?

Leave a comment

March 26, 2014 · 11:58 am

“Do Baby Girls Cause Divorce? “

That was the question explored by economists on the Freakonomics podcast.

Here is a description of the podcast:

This episode was inspired by a question from a reader named John Dolan-Heitlinger, who wrote the following:

My wife has observed that in marriages where there is a son there is less chance of the husband leaving the marriage.

I wonder if that is true.

Thanks for your consideration.

Mr. Dolan-Heitlinger asks, and we deliver. And his wife, as it turns out, is right. In a paper called “The Demand for Sons,” the economists Enrico Moretti and Gordon B. Dahl examined differences in marital rates based on whether a first-born child is a son or daughter. Here are some of their findings:

  • Couples who conceive a child out of wedlock and find out that it will be a boy are more likely to marry before the birth of their baby.
  • Parents who have first-born girls are significantly more likely to be divorced.
  • Fathers are significantly less likely to be living with their children if they have daughters versus sons.
  • In any given year, roughly 52,000 first-born daughters younger than 12 years (and all their siblings) would have had a resident father if they had been boys.
  • Divorced fathers are much more likely to obtain custody of sons compared to daughters.

Leave a comment

August 28, 2013 · 7:47 am

“Child custody rights for rapists? Most states have them”

I could not believe this story when I learned of it. In 31 states, rapists have child custody rights. Shauna Prewitt, attorney, author, and rape vicitm, is currently fighting to change these baffling laws.  Prewitt gained notoriety for writing an open letter former Congressman Todd Akin, who infamous stated that in the case of “a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

Leave a comment

August 7, 2013 · 2:53 pm

Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl

Lost the fervor relating to the gay marriage cases currently pending before the Supreme Court is another fascinating case that will be decided decided this month, Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl. 

Here is a description of the Radio Lab segment previewing the case: 

This is the story of a three-year-old girl and the highest court in the land. The Supreme Court case Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl is a legal battle that has entangled a biological father, a heart-broken couple, and the tragic history of Native American children taken from their families.

When producer Tim Howard first read about this case, it struck him as a sad but seemingly straightforward custody dispute. But, as he started talking to lawyers and historians and the families involved in the case, it became clear that it was much more than that. Because Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl challenges parts of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, this case puts one little girl at the center of a storm of legal intricacies, Native American tribal culture, and heart-wrenching personal stakes.

1 Comment

June 19, 2013 · 7:40 pm

Wage Inequality 50 Years After the Equal Pay Act

Yesterday, NPR’s Morning Edition commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act and discussed woman in the workplace today.  

Here is an introduction the story: 

On this day 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in an effort to abolish wage discrimination based on gender. Half a century later, the Obama administration is pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, designed to make wage differences more transparent.

Some dispute the frequently cited figure that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. But even those who argue the gap is narrower agree it’s most prominent when a woman enters her childbearing years.


Leave a comment

June 11, 2013 · 8:54 pm