Table of Contents
Clashing Views in Childhood and Society, Tenth Edition
Unit 1 Infancy
- Issue: Is Institutional Child Care Beneficial to Children?
YES: Greg Parks, from The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, Juvenile Justice Bulletin (October 2000)
NO: US Department of Health & Human Services, NIH, from The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development: Findings for Children up to age 4 1/2 years (2006)
Greg Parks, an intern program specialist at the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, details the results of the Perry Preschool Project. Parks contends that evaluations of the program show significant benefits in adulthood for the children who attended the preschool. The NICHD Study that the National Institute of Health conducted was a multi-year study that describes some of the possible outcomes associated with quality and quantity of institutional child care. The findings indicate that quantity and quality of institutional child care do have a slightly negative impact on children's development.
- Issue: Does Maternal Employment Have Negative Effects on Childrens Development?
YES: J. L. Hill, J. Waldfogel, J. Brooks-Gunn, W. Han, from Maternal Employment and Child Developmnet: A fresh look using newer methods, Developmental Psychology (2005)
NO: Daniel de Vise, from Study: Working mothers not necessarily harmful to child development", The Washington Post, (2010)
Researchers from Columbia University conclude that there are significant negative effects on children's cognitive development when mothers return to work within the first year of life. These effects are different than what is demonstrated if the mother waits until after the first year to return to work. Daniel de Vise describes the results of a study conducted at Columbia University which indicate that the negative and positive effects of maternal employment balance each other out, to yield a neutral effect.
- Issue: Should Parents be Able to Genetically Engineer Their Children?
YES: R. Alleyne, from Genetically Engineering 'ethical' Babies is a Moral Obligation, says Oxford Professor, The Telegraph (2012)
NO: B. McKibben, from Designer Genes, Orion Magazine, (2003)
Richard Alleyne reports on an expert in practical ethics and his argument that it is a moral obligation for parents to pursue genetically engineering children who are superior by identifying and removing genes associated with problem behaviors. The argument indicates that doing so will benefit society by producing more intelligent and less violent children. Bill McKibben discusses the vision of genetic engineers and some of the ways that genes can be modified to 'improve' a human. He argues that the technology is not perfected, thus it may contain flaws. Additionally, he argues that much of humanity within people stands to be lost if scientists begin to interfere with human nature.
- Issue: Do Federal Laws Make Transracial Adoptions More Commonplace?
YES: Ezra E. H. Griffith and Rachel L. Bergeron, from Cultural Stereotypes Die Hard: The Case of Transracial Adoption, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (November 3, 2006)
NO: Elizabeth Bartholet, from Commentary: Cultural Stereotypes Can and Do Die: Its Time to Move on with Transracial Adoption, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (November 3, 2006); Diane H. Schetky, from Commentary: Transracial AdoptionChanging Trends and Attitudes, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (November 3, 2006)
Ezra Griffith and Rachel Bergeron, formerly professors at Harvard Law School, suggest that there is a cultural preference for race matching in adoptions. As a result, federal statutory attempts to omit race as a factor in child placement decisions have not been effective. Elizabeth Bartholet, the Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law and faculty director of the Child Advocacy Program at the Harvard Law School, and Diane Schetky, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Maine Medical Center, state that the current law is clear and effective in prohibiting adoptions based on race. They suggest that in the future, the need for legislation in this area will diminish even further.
Unit: Early Childhood
- Issue: Is Spanking Detrimental to Children?
YES: R. Shepherd, from Spanking Children can Cause Mental Illness", Medical News Today, (2012)
NO: Rupert Shepherd discusses findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics that state spanking can cause children to have an increased risk of mental problems as they age.
Rupert Shepherd discusses findings from the American Academy of Pediatrics that state spanking can cause children to have an increased risk of mental problems as they age. CTV News reports on a study that argues children who are spanked might grow up to be happier and more productive than children who are not spanked.
- Issue: Are Fathers Really Necessary?
YES: CIViTAS: The Institute for the Study of Civil Society, from How Do Fathers Fit in?, The Role of Fathers (2013)
NO: Peggy Drexler and Linden Gross, from Good News from the Home Front, Raising Boys Without Men (Rodale Books, 2005)
Civitas: The Institute for the Study of Civil Society, identifies how fathers fit into a family and the unique strengths that they contribute to family life. Peggy Drexler, assistant professor of psychology in psychiatry, and special features editor, and Linden Gross assert that women are capable of raising children without a father figure in the home. Their book is based on Drexlers research that compared boys from female-headed households with boys from traditional mom-and-dad families.
- Issue: Does Divorce Create Long-Term Negative Effects for Children?
YES: Elizabeth Marquardt, from The Bad Divorce, First Things (February 2005)
NO: Constance Ahrons, from No Easy Answers: Why the Popular View of Divorce Is Wrong, Were Still Family: What Grown Children Have to Say About Their Parents Divorce (Harper Collins, 2004)
Elizabeth Marquardt, author and director of the Center for Marriage and Families, states that divorce is a tragedy, which has negative lifelong effects on children. She specifically argues against the data collection method that Constance Ahrons used in her current study. Constance Ahrons, author, therapist, and co-chair of the Council on Contemporary Families, believes that the idea that children of divorce end up troubled and unable to form adult attachments is a myth. Her research found that children of divorce were strong, wise, and had close family relationships.
- Issue: Is Viewing Television Violence Harmful for Children?
YES: L. Rowell Huesmann, Jessica Moise-Titus, Cheryl-Lynn Podolski, and Leonard D. Eron, from Longitudinal Relations Between Childrens Exposure to TV Violence and Their Aggressive and Violent Behavior in Young Adulthood: 1977 1992, Developmental Psychology (March 2003)
NO: Grohol, J., from TV, Violence, & Children: More weak pediatrics studies, psychcentral.com (2013)
L. Rowell Huesmann, Jessica Moise-Titus, Cheryl-Lynn Podolski, and Leonard Eron, from the Research Center for Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, found that both males and females are more likely to develop violent behavior in adulthood as a result of watching violent TV shows in early childhood. J. Grohol, an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, asserts that the studies that condemn television watching in children fail to consider a myriad of factors involved with children that might also be the cause of negative outcomes.
Unit: Middle Childhood
- Issue: Does Marriage Improve Living Standards for Children?
YES: Wade F. Horn, from Healthy Marriages Provide Numerous Benefits to Adults, Children, and Society, Insight (March 18, 2002)
NO: Stephanie Coontz and Nancy Folbre, from Marriage, Poverty, and Public Policy, The American Prospect Online, http://www.prospect.org/webfeatures/2002/03/coontz-s-03-19.html (March 19, 2002)
Wade F. Horn, who heads the Marriage Initiative for President George W. Bush, asserts that marriage can remedy the ills of society, including family poverty and poor living standards for children. Stephanie Coontz, author and family advocate, and Nancy Folbre, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, contend that improving the living standards of children is a complicated issue, which needs to be approached from many different angles in order to make improvements.
- Issue: Do Children Who Are Homeschooled Have a Limited View of Society?
YES: Rob Reich, from The Civic Perils of Homeschooling, Educational Leadership (April 2002)
NO: Thomas W. Washburne, from The Boundaries of Parental Authority: A Response to Rob Reich of Stanford University, National Center for Home Education Special Report (Home School Legal Defense Association, http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/ 000010/200204230.asp, April 22, 2002)
Rob Reich, assistant professor of political science, at Stanford University, states that children who are homeschooled are limited by their teachers, who are usually their parents. Thomas Washburne, director of the National Center for Home Education, disagrees with Reich and believes his opposition to homeschooling denies parents their unalienable right to educate their children as they choose.
- Issue: Is The Media Responsible for the Rise in Childhood Obesity?
YES: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, from The Role of Media in Childhood Obesity, Issue BriefThe Henry J. Kaiser Foundation (February 2004)
NO: Center for Science in the Public Interest, from Dispensing Junk: How School Vending Undermines Efforts to Feed Children Well, Report from Center for Science in the Public Interest (May 2004)
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation focusing on major health care issues facing the nation, cites research studies that show that the more children watch television, the more likely they will be overweight. They also contend that the rise in childhood obesity can be traced to the increased use of media. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy organization on nutrition and health, views the high-calorie, nonnutritious foods found in school vending machines as the culprit in the rise in childhood obesity rates.
- Issue: Do Bilingual Education Programs Help Non-English-Speaking Children Succeed?
YES: Jill Wu, from A View from the Classroom, Educational Leadership (December 2004/January 2005)
NO: Christine Rossell, from Teaching English Through English, Educational Leadership (December 2004/January 2005)
Jill Wu, a former graduate student at the University of Colorado, shares her experiences in helping students develop literacy skills in their native languages first, as a more effective means of transferring those skills to learning English. Christine Rossell, a professor of political science at Boston University, suggests that English immersion programs tend to be a more effective for students learning English because they actually learn in the second language (i.e., English).
- Issue: Is Gay Adoption and Foster Parenting Healthy for Children?
YES: National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, from Gay and Lesbian Adoptive Parents: Resources for Professionals and Parents, Adoption Information Clearinghouse (April 2000)
NO: Paul Cameron, from Gay Foster Parents More Apt to Molest, Journal of the Family Research Institute (November 2002)
The National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC) presents facts regarding gay and lesbian adoptive parents. The NAIC gives current information on the background and laws regarding homosexual parenting, and confronts the issues and concerns many people have regarding homosexual adoption, including the idea that children are molested by homosexual parents. Dr. Paul Cameron, of the Family Research Institute, presents his case against allowing homosexuals to become parentsfoster parents in particular. He mainly discusses case study information regarding the proclivity for homosexual parents to molest foster children.
- Issue: Should the HPV Vaccination Be Mandatory for Girls in Later Childhood?
YES: Cynthia Dailard, from Achieving Universal Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer in the United States: The Need and the Means, Guttmacher Policy Review (Fall 2006)
NO: Roni Rabin, from A New Vaccine for Girls, but Should It Be Compulsory? The New York Times (July 18, 2006)
Cynthia Dailard, a senior public policy associate for the Alan Guttmacher Institute, suggests that the HPV vaccine be administered to females as a school entry requirement. She believes the vaccine is safe and effective and therefore should be universally administered to young girls. The best way to ensure the vaccine is available to these girls is by enacting state laws or policies requiring children to be vaccinated before school or day care enrollment. Roni Rabin, a columnist for The New York Times, objects to making the HPV vaccine mandatory for girls. She agrees that the vaccine is a significant development for the health and safety of our children. However, she does not believe every girl should be required to be vaccinated because the vaccine is costly and HRV can be managed through current, less costly procedures such as Pap smears.
- Issue: Are Male Teens More Aggressive Than Female Teens?
YES: L. R. Centi, from Teenage Boys: From Sweet Sons to Narcissistic Teens, The Washington Times, (2012)
NO: The Frances McClelland Institute shares a fact sheet which dispels myths about the differences in male and female teens. It reports on a meta-analysis of 148 studies and the resulting major findings. Different types of aggression are defined and discussed.
Lori Rose Centi addresses the differences in male and female brain development, and how gray and white matter in the brain can impact adolescent behaviors. She also discusses other brain changes that may contribute to males being more impulsive and less careful than their female peers. The Frances McClelland Institute shares a fact sheet which dispels myths about the differences in male and female teens. It reports on a meta-analysis of 148 studies and the resulting major findings. Different types of aggression are defined and discussed.
- Issue: Is Abstinence-Only Sex Education the Best Way to Teach about Sex?
YES: Robert E. Rector, Melissa G. Pardue, and Shannan Martin, from What Do Parents Want Taught in Sex Education Programs? The Heritage Foundation Backgrounder (January 28, 2004)
NO: Debra Hauser, from Five Years of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education: Assessing the Impact (Advocates for Youth, 2008)
Robert Rector, who is a research fellow for the Heritage Foundation, and Melissa Pardue and Shannan Martin, policy analysts for the Heritage Foundation, argue that comprehensive sex education approaches are misleading because they do little to promote abstinence. Under the auspices of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative organization based in Washington, D.C., they present the results of a poll they conducted that sought to measure parental support for ideas taught in abstinence-only and comprehensive sex education programs. Debra Hauser, vice president of Advocates for Youth, argues that the assertions made by proponents of abstinence-only sex education are unfounded. In reviewing the efficacy of abstinence-only programs, she found that although these programs may show changes in attitudes about abstinence, they also discourage safe sexual practices and actually increase the risks of premarital pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
- Issue: Is the Internet a Safe Place for Teens to Explore?
YES: Michele Fleming and Debra Rickwood, from Teens in Cyberspace: Do They Encounter Friend or Foe? Youth Studies Australia (vol. 23, no. 3, 2004)
NO: Chang-Hoan Cho and Hongsik John Cheon, from Childrens Exposure to Negative Internet Content: Effects of Family Content, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media (December 2005)
Michele Fleming and Debra Rickwood, professors at the University of Canberra in Australia, contend that parents need to be vigilant about their teens surfing the Web, but that it is generally a safe place and that the prevalence of cyber predators is overstated. Chang-Hoan Cho, assistant professor at the University of Florida, and Hongsik John Cheon, assistant professor at Frostburg State University, believe that the Web can be a dangerous place for teens to explore. They conducted a study that found that children are exposed to more negative Internet content than parents expect. Factors that reduced childrens exposure to negative Internet content included parental interaction and family cohesion.
- Issue: Do Video Games Increase Aggression in Teenagers?
YES: B. Bushman, from Video Games Can Spark Aggression:, New York Daily News, (2013)
NO: B. Carey, from Shooting in the Dark, NY Times, (2013)
Brad Bushman recognizes that there is no definitive way to prove that violent video games cause violence. However, he describes evidence that they do contribute to an increase in aggressive behaviors. He concludes with the recommendation that we as a society limit access to violent video games for children and teens. Benedict Carey highlights the debate about how much video games contribute to increased societal violence. He shares findings from three types of studies: short-term lab experiments, long-term studies, and correlational studies. Included are recommendations for parents about how to manage their childs exposure to video games.
- Issue: Is Cyberbullying Really a Problem?
YES: H. A. S. Popkin, from Cyberbullying Really is That Bad, NBC News, (2007)
NO: N. Gillespie, from Stop Panicking About Bullies, Wall Street Journal (2012)
Helen A. S. Popkin discusses the identified impacts that cyberbullying can have on a teenager. She identifies some of the reasons that cyberbullying is so often downplayed, and provides examples of how it has affected individual victims. Nick Gillespie acknowledges that bullying occurs, but argues that there are other issues that parents should be more concerned about. He discusses some of the reasons he believes that people have become so sensitive to bullying, and how it may be impacting parenting strategies.