Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Population Pyramids of the Whole World

So, I figured out the spellchecker....I hope (it seems chrome does not like to have German as your browsers language and to spellcheck in English). On with the queue which is at about 351 (350 with that one) posts. Anyhow, this is one of my recent links and well, to be honest there isn't much I could say about this one in particular. It gives you a look at population pyramids, so one can check out the development after say WWII or recent age differences. Russia is a prime example as there is a huge gap, both in the path and more recently.

*sigh*

I am not sure what happened, but I am in slump right now. It is not that I really do miss the time, even though there is less time, it seems the work is piling and I am essentially avoiding getting shit done. Escapism. I am still passionate about this topic, in fact so much that I find it emotionally exhausting. So I try to slowly get back to action, getting rid of one of the things that keeps me from continuing. The spellchecker. If you use chrome and you want to have an English spellchecker as a German, that is not that easy, as it does not work out of the box for me. The one I am using right now certainly is not getting everything right (sigh). But anyhow, I haven't looked at the unpublished post queue yet, but will see if I can get some posts done to slowly get rid of the queue (I am not reading new stuff (well I tend to avoid it) right now) once I figure out installing a fucking spellcheck. In 2013.....Jesus.

So hopefully there is more content here soon.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The myth of the tyrannical dad and the reason why there are not that many stay-at-home-dads

We start with this BBC News Article:

We tend to picture them as tyrannical patriarchs whose children were seen and not heard and lived in fear of father's punishments. It is only in recent decades - or so we imagine - that dads have become approachable, caring and committed to the wellbeing of their children. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The testimonies of fathers, and of their sons and daughters during the first half of the 20th Century, reveal just how prevalent the loving and devoted dad was.
This is not to say that corporal punishment wasn't sometimes used, or that some fathers weren't cold and distant figures. But the popular myth of the tyrannical father has seriously distorted our view of the care and commitment shown by generations of fathers towards their children.[...]

The research of academic historian Dr Julie Marie Strange, of Manchester University, reveals how the temperance movement helped demonise and create a working class folk devil father that bore little resemblance to most, who only drank in moderation, worked hard and were devoted to their children.
If schoolteachers tried to cane children who were naughty, they would often find themselves confronted by angry fathers who strongly disapproved of any physical punishment of their children - especially their daughters. Social reformers often criticised working class fathers for being too spoiling and indulging their young ones.[...]

In Professor Joanna Bourke's study of 250 working class autobiographies written during the first decades of the century, she found that "for every one who said that father did not do childcare, 14 explicitly stated that he did."

I glanced over the first comment that is listed at the end of that article. The words "thoughts provoking" were used, to describe that dads in the past were not tyrannical monsters. That is quite sad.

We continue with stay-at-home-dads and some statistical tomfoolery:

When both parents are present in the household, the Census Bureau assumes for the purposes of its “Who’s Minding the Kids?” report, that the mother is the “designated parent.” And when the designated parent is working or at school, the bureau would like to know who’s providing child care.

If the answer is Daddy, as it was 26 percent of the time when these numbers were last released, in 2005, and 32 percent of the time in 2010, the Census Bureau calls that “care.” But if Mom is caring for a child while Dad’s at work, that’s not a “child care arrangement,” but something else. Parenting, presumably. [...]

[A]ccording to the U.S. Census Bureau you only count as [stay-at-home-dad] if you have gone 52 weeks of the previous year without making any income. In fact, just looking for job, even part-time or freelance work, means you’re no longer a “stay-at-home dad,” you’re just an unemployed member of the “work force” and acting as temporary “primary caregiver” in the meantime.

(If you ever wonder why the number of stay-at-home dads is seen as so low, this is why. By this self-reported definition, the Bureau reported only 174,000 stay-at-home fathers in the U.S., perpetuating the idea that dad-as-primary caregiver is a rare thing and making those who do it out to be some sort of aberration. Yet, by their own numbers, they also reported that fully one-third of fathers with working wives regularly acted as primary caregivers for their children. One third!)

It might be interesting to have the full citations of the Study for future references:

US Census: Who's Minding the Kids? Child Care Arrangements: Spring 2010

Among fathers with a wife in the workforce, 32 percent were a regular source of care for their children under age 15, up from 26 percent in 2002, the U.S. Census Bureau reported today. Among these fathers with preschool-age children, one in five fathers was the primary caregiver, meaning their child spent more time in their care than any other type of arrangement.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Both men and women judged for sex lives: study. Is this equality? - The Globe and Mail

I posted about that topic before, now there is more evidence:

[A] survey of 19,000 students at 22 American colleges, research being presented at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association in Denver on Monday.[...]

In the survey, college students aged 19 to 22 were asked to respond to the statement, “If (wo)men hook up or have sex with lots of people, I respect them less.” Based on their answers, the researchers slotted the students into one of four categories: egalitarian conservative, egalitarian libertarian, traditional double standard and reverse double standard.

A breakdown of the findings:

48 per cent: “Egalitarian conservatives” who lost equal respect for men and women they believed were hooking up too much (54 per cent of women surveyed fell into this category, compared with 35 per cent of men).

27 per cent: “Egalitarian libertarians” who do not lose respect for men or women, no matter how much they sleep around.

12 per cent: “Traditional double standard” holders who lost respect for women, but not men, for hooking up too much.

13 per cent: “Reverse double standard” holders who lost respect for men, but not women, for having casual sex with too many partners.

By a slight margin (1 percent) there are more students now that lost respect for men for casual hookups than there are for women. Who would have thought....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I am kind of back...

Kind of....right now going through my google reader (600+ links) looking at interesting things I missed and I guess I will start posting again once I am up-to-date.

Anyhow....welcome back me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Circumcision the AAP and some data....

Your usual Feckblog post. The reason I am chiming in is this current development:

American Academy of Pediatrics - POLICY STATEMENT Circumcision Policy Statement - 2012

In 2007, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) formed a multidisciplinary task force of AAP members and other stakeholders to evaluate the recent evidence on male circumcision and update the Academy’s 1999 recommendations in this area. Evaluation of current evidence indicates that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks and that the procedure’s benefits justify access to this procedure for families who choose it. Specific benefits identified included prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and transmission of some sexually transmitted infections, including HIV. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has endorsed this statement. [...]

Although health benefits are not great enough to recommend routine circumcision for all male newborns, the benefits of circumcision are sufficient to justify access to this procedure for families choosing it and to warrant third-party payment for circumcision of male newborns. It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner

Sigh...before we continue with the above, some data on health benefits:

USING MALE CIRCUMCISION TO UNDERSTAND SOCIAL NORMS AS MULTIPLIERS - Sarah E. Waldeck - 2003

1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

The AAP estimates that noncircumcision means a four- to ten-fold increase in risk during the first year of life. However, the actual incidence of UTI is low, even for uncircumcised boys. According to the AAP, at most approximately one percent (1 out of 100) of uncircumcised males contract UTI during their first year. Since publication of the Task Force's report, a new study reports that among uncircumcised boys, the actual incidence of UTI is 2.15 percent. But even if this new statistic is correct, less than 3 out of every 100 uncircumcised males will contract UTI, and most who do can be easily treated with antibiotics.

2. Penile Cancer

[W]hile penile cancer is serious, it is also exceedingly rare, even for uncircumcised men. [...M]ost cases of penile cancer occur in uncircumcised males, who have an incidence rate of 2.2 per 100,000.

3. HIV

The connection between HIV and circumcision has not been heavily studied in the United States. [...] The only random population study conducted in the United States found no correlation between circumcision status and the rate of HIV. What is undoubtedly true is that behavioral factors are "far more important risk factors in the acquisition of HIV infection than circumcision status." The United States itself illustrates this point: it has both the highest rate of circumcision and the highest rate of HIV infection in the Western world.

4. Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

If circumcision makes a difference, it is probably for reasons that are similar to why noncircumcision is a risk factor for HIV: the moist environment under the foreskin and the susceptibility of particular cells in the foreskin. In addition, the foreskin may be prone to small abrasions during intercourse, which would facilitate transmission of STDs. Importantly, as with HIV, behavioral factors are far more significant than circumcision status in determining whether a person contracts an STD. Again, the United States has both the highest rate of circumcision and the highest rate of STDs in the Western world.

5. Cervical Cancer

In sum, more research needs to be done before prevention of cervical cancer can be added to the list of circumcision's potential health benefits. But because of the issue of distributional fairness, as well as the dubiousness of the parent's ability to consent to circumcision when its purpose is to benefit adult women, we should view with caution any argument that promotes the prevention of cervical cancer as a justification for routine circumcision.

Let me summarize the health benefits of circumcision for you: It helps with 2 rare medical problems, UTIs and Penile Cancer. With HIV and STDs, behavior is far more important (the US has the highest rates of circumcision and STDs in the western world). Cervical Cancer / HPV....there is a vaccine for that:

In 2010, 49% of teenage girls in the US got the HPV vaccine, while in comparison around two-thirds of teens have gotten shots for meningitis and DPT vaccine.

Not even talking about complications here or other negative effects of circumcision. It just seems the argument for medical benefits does not have much meat. The AAP says:

It is important that clinicians routinely inform parents of the health benefits and risks of male newborn circumcision in an unbiased and accurate manner.

This however does not really matter as circumcision in the USA is not about health benefits.

From the Waldeck paper:

If routine circumcision is not medically recommended, is painful, and carries the risk of complications, why do more than 65 percent of American parents choose to do it? While there is no simple answer to this question, the existing social science research shows that the procedure is highly path dependent: in large part, parents circumcise because their parents did it and because their peers are doing it. Indeed, surveys of parental decisionmaking reveal that the single most prominent factor is usually what researchers term "social concerns," that is, the desire for the boy to look like his peers or his father. With regard to the former, parents worry that a boy whose penis is different from others will be ridiculed by his schoolmates, or that his sex life will be negatively affected in later years. In other words, parents perceive that the presence or absence of a foreskin is a basis for what McAdams describes as esteem-based sanctions. And there is room here for Posner's signaling theory as well. With no medical reason for the procedure, the circumcision decision is wholly arbitrary and an opportunity to signal a "good type."

Another study I came across:

Factors Affecting the Circumcision Decision - Jeffrey D. Tiemstra MD - 1999

Although this study is clearly limited by the small and heterogenous sample, the findings are consistent with those from studies from 15 years ago, which showed that (1) that the circumcision decision is most often made before parents discuss the issue with their care providers, (2) that social concerns are more important than medical ones, and (3) that providers' discussions have limited impact on the decision made. Medical benefits were cited more frequently in this study than in past studies, although medical issues remain secondary to hygience and convenience. Given the limitations of this study, the minor increase in parents citing medical issues might or might not be important. The study design could have contributed to this finding as well, because the mere presence of this item on the survey could have prompted parents to choose it. [...] In summary, then, this study suggests that parents continue to have preformed decisions regarding circumcision based primarily on non-medical concerns, which are unlikely to be changed by attempting neutral discussion of the relative risks and benefits.

There was one thing that was missing from all of this and it can be said in one short sentence:

It is his body, it should be his choice.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

+1

As I already mentioned in a previous post a hiatus is probably going to happen....well now. My little boy has just been born. He and his mother are fine thus far and his big sister is pretty cool about this, too. Pretty proud of my whole family right now.

One of the best feelings in the world is chilling in bed with your 1-day old sleeping on your chest. That is pretty awesome and I am making sure too miss much of that in the following days. I will have a 1 month break from work before going into parenting time and working part time for the next 2 months. Then things will turn more normal I assume.

Anyhow, don't be surprised if there are not much updates here.