Table of Contents
Clashing Views in Childhood and Society, Eighth 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 (vol. 34, no. 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 (vol. 34, no. 3, 2006); Diane H. Schetky, from Commentary: Transracial AdoptionChanging Trends and Attitudes, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (vol. 34, no. 3, 2006)
Ezra E. H. Griffith and Rachel L. 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 (vol. 128, no. 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 (vol. 128, no. 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 A. Cowan, researchers from the University of CaliforniaBerkeley, and Robert E. 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: Sara S. McLanahan, and Marcia J. Carlson from Welfare Reform, Fertility and Father Involvement, The Future of Children, (Winter-Spring 2002)
NO: Peggy Drexler and Linden Gross, from Raising Boys without Men. New York: Rodale Books, 1732 (2005)
Sara McLanahan, professor of sociology and public affairs and Marcia Carlson, assistant professor of social work state that children whose fathers are actively involved with them have higher academic achievement and fewer behavior problems. They assert that responsible fathering programs need to ensure that fathers are part of their childrens lives from the very beginning. 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: Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, from The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study (Hyperion, 2000)
NO: E. Mavis Hetherington and John Kelly, from For Better or for Worse: Divorce Reconsidered (W.W. Norton, 2002)
Judith Wallerstein, Julia Lewis, and Sandra Blakeslee, authors of a long-term study on children of divorce, contend that children who experienced divorce carried the negative effects of post-divorce life into their adulthood. These children of divorce have difficulty developing trusting and intimate relationships with marriage partners. E. Mavis Hetherington, long-time researcher on children and divorce, and co-author John Kelly assert that children of divorce are mostly happy as adults. Although these children experienced unhappiness, they are able to develop normally and have successfully completed the tasks of young adulthood.
- 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: 19771992, 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 D. 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 on the News (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: Reich, Rob (April 2002) The civic perils of homeschooling. Educational Leadership: 59, 5659
NO: Washburne, Thomas W. (April 22, 2002) The boundaries of parental authority: A response to Rob Reich of Stanford University. Home School Legal Defense Association: National Center for Home Education Special Report http://nche.hslda.org/docs/nche/000010/200204230.asp
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 home schooling 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, non-nutritious 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: Wu, Jill (December 2004/January 2005) A View from the Classroom. Educational Leadership: 62, 4044
NO: Rossell, Christine (December 2004/January 2005) Teaching English through English. Educational Leadership: 62, 3236
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: Salmivalli, Christina, and Ari Kaukiainen (March/April 2004) Female Aggression Revisited: Variable and Person-Centered Approaches to Studying Gender Differences in Different Types of Aggression. Aggressive Behavior: 30, 158163
NO: Zimmer-Gembekc, Melanie J., Tasha C. Geiger, and Nicki R. Crick (November 2005) Relational and Physical Aggression, Prosocial Behavior and Peer Relations: Gender Moderation and Bidirectional Association. Journal of Early Adolescence: 25, 421452
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 that when in a group are more aggressive than males. Malanie Zimmer-Gembekc, Tasha Geiger, and Nicki Crick, researchers at Griffith University, University of Rochester, and the University of Minnesota, argue that once they reach ten years old, 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? Backgrounder (January 28, 2004)
NO: Advocates for Youth and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS), from Toward a Sexually Healthy America: Roadblocks Imposed by the Federal Governments Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education Program, SIECUS (2001)
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. Advocates for Youth and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) promote comprehensive education about sexuality and advocate for the right of individuals to make responsible sexual choices. SIECUS compares abstinence-only sex education to comprehensive sex education and finds shortcomings regarding abstinence-only programs.
- 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.