Table of Contents
Clashing Views in Childhood and Society, Ninth Edition
Unit 1 Infancy
- Issue 1. Is Institutional Child Care Beneficial to Children?
YES: Greg Parks, from The High/Scope Perry Preschool Project, Juvenile Justice Bulletin (October 2000)
NO: T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley I. Greenspan, from The Irreducible Needs of Children: What Every Child Must Have to Grow, Learn, and Flourish (Perseus, 2000)
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. Pediatrician T. Berry Brazelton and Stanley I. Greenspan, clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at George Washington University Medical School, question the practice by many families of placing their children into the institutional settings of child-care centers.
- Issue 2. Does Maternal Employment Have Negative Effects on Childrens Development?
YES: Wen-Jui Han, Jane Waldfogel, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, from The Effects of Early Maternal Employment on Later Cognitive and Behavioral Outcomes, Journal of Marriage and Family (February 2001)
NO: Thomas M. Vander Ven, Francis T. Cullen, Mark A. Carrozza, and John Paul Wright, from Home Alone: The Impact of Maternal Employment on Delinquency, Social Problems (May 2001)
University professors and researchers Wen-Jui Han, Jane Waldfogel, and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn from Columbia University conclude that maternal employment in the first year of a childs life has a significant negative effect on verbal ability at age 3 or 4 and lowered math achievement when children were 7 to 8. When ethnicity was controlled for, these negative effects were found for white children, but not for African-American children. University professors and researchers Thomas M. Vander Ven, Francis T. Cullen, Mark A. Carrozza, and John Paul Wright found that mothers employment in the first year of the babys life had no effect on child delinquency when the child got older.
- Issue 3. Should Scientists Be Allowed to Clone Children?
YES: Kyla Dunn, from Cloning Trevor, The Atlantic Monthly (June 2002)
NO: Robert A. Weinberg, from Of Clones and Clowns, The Atlantic Monthly (June 2002)
Kyla Dunn, a former biotech researcher and now a reporter for PBS and CBS, details the six months that she spent with scientists inside the labs of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a group openly pursuing human cloning for medical purposes. Dunn outlines what the group hopes to accomplish through cloning, why the group believes that cloning is the best way to accomplish these goals, and the political and monetary trials that ACT faces. Robert A. Weinberg, a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and a biology professor at MIT, offers his concerns about what he calls the cloning circus. Weinberg discusses the damage that many cloning groups have been doing to serious research and the impending dangers of reproductive cloning.
- Issue 4. 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 2 Early Childhood
- Issue 5. Is Spanking Detrimental to Children?
YES: Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff, from Corporal Punishment by Parents and Associated Child Behaviors and Experiences: A Meta-Analytic and Theoretical Review, Psychological Bulletin (July 4, 2002)
NO: Diana Baumrind, Philip A. Cowan, and Robert E. Larzelere, from Ordinary Physical Punishment: Is It Harmful? Comment on Gershoff (2002), Psychological Bulletin (July 4, 2002)
Columbia University researcher Elizabeth Thompson Gershoff analyzed results from 88 studies and concluded that corporal punishment negatively affected childrens behavior. Among the 10 negative outcomes were increased child aggression, decreased quality of the parent-child relationship, and increased risk of abusing a child or spouse in adulthood. Diana Baumrind and Philip Cowan, researchers from the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and Robert Larzelere, from the Nebraska Medical Center, refuted Gershoffs findings by questioning her definition of corporal punishment and analysis techniques of the 88 studies. They feel mild spankings, when appropriately administered, are useful in shaping childrens behavior.
- Issue 6. Are Fathers Really Necessary?
YES: Natasha J. Cabrera, Jacqueline D. Shannon, and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, from Fathers Influence on Their Childrens Cognitive and Emotional Development from Toddlers to Pre-K, Applied Developmental Science (vol. 11, no. 4, 2007)
NO: Peggy Drexler and Linden Gross, from Good News from the Home Front, Raising Boys Without Men (Rodale Books, 2005)
Natasha Cabrera, associate professor of human development, Jacqueline Shannon, assistant professor of early childhood education, and Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, professor of applied psychology, found that young children who experience positive father interaction have increased intellectual, social, emotional, and language development. 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 7. 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 8. 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: Jib Fowles, from The Whipping Boy: The Hidden Conflicts Underlying the Campaign against Violent TV, Reason (March 2001)
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. Jib Fowles, a professor of communication at the University of Houston, asserts that television violence has increased steadily, but the violent crime rate has in fact decreased.
Unit 3 Middle Childhood
- Issue 9. 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 10. 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 11. Is Television Viewing 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 12. 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 13. 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 14. 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.
Unit 4 Adolescence
- Issue 15. Are Male Teens More Aggressive Than Female Teens?
YES: Christina Salmivalli and Ari Kaukiainen, from Female Aggression Revisited: Variable and Person-Centered Approaches to Studying Gender Differences in Different Types of Aggression, Aggressive Behavior (March/April 2004)
NO: Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck, Tasha C. Geiger, and Nicki R. Crick, from Relational and Physical Aggression, Prosocial Behavior, and Peer Relations: Gender Moderation and Bidirectional Associations, Journal of Early Adolescence (November 2005)
Christina Salmivalli and Ari Kaukiainen, both professors of psychology at the University of Turku, argue that on the whole male teens are more relationally and physically aggressive than female teens. However, there is a small subset of girls who when in a group are more aggressive than males. Melanie Zimmer-Gembeck, Tasha Geiger, and Nicki Crick, researchers at Griffith University, University of Rochester, and the University of Minnesota, argue that once they attain the age of 10 years, girls are actually more relationally aggressive than boys.
- Issue 16. 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 17. 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.