People using my book for in their classes get excellent teaching materials from Norton to use. They also have a Facebook group for sharing ideas and materials (instructors visit here). For extra support, and to maximize timeliness, I also regularly update this list of blog posts that might help you with your course, whether or not you’re using my book.
As in previous lists, there are recent posts and some older favorites. Plenty of good material is still available on the supplements 2013, 2014, and 2015. As always, I appreciate feedback on what works and what doesn’t.
- Interview: Independence, uncertainty, defamilialization: I did a radio interview on family trends, and drew on some themes related to modernity and individualization that show up in Chapter 1.
- Why I called it The Family, and what that has to do with Cosby: Explaining the origins of the “family as an institutional arena” frame I used in the book — and how the secrets in real and imaginary families like the Huxtables illustrate the concept.
- Deciphering a well-told data story, cars are good for kids edition: A parable of misleading statistical stories inspired by recent claims about marriage, with tips for critical reading.
- This word ‘generation,’ I do not think it means what you think it means: How people talk about “Millennials,” and what a historical cohort means.
- Diversity is the new normal (pdf): A short report I wrote explaining family demographic trends, comparing the 1950s and today.
3. Race, ethnicity, and immigration
- Why Heritage is wrong on the new Census race/ethnicity question: The Census Bureau has good ideas about improving data collection on race and ethnicity. Will the new regime let them do it?
- Black men raping White women: BJS’s Table 42 problem: American racists have always loved the Black rapist myth. Unfortunately, the government helped them with a badly constructed table.
- Six grueling demographic indicators of Detroit’s decline (and some pictures): The population dropped 64% since 1950, and shifted from 16% Black to more than 80% Black. The city that remains is a demographic disaster.
4. Social class
- US policy fails at reducing child poverty because it aims to fix the poor: An essay I wrote for the Washington Post argues for getting poor people more money instead of getting them to change their family behavior.
- Policy, politics, and promoting education versus marriage: Instead of blaming poor women for not being married, how about decreasing the number of poor women, by increasing access to higher education?
- Turns out marriage and income inequality go pretty well together: Does the decline of marriage increase economic inequality? Yes and no.
- My, what dimorphic parents you have! Updating Disney dimorphism to include Moana, with a look at extremely different parents.
- Transgender discrimination is sex discrimination: A brief argument for using the law on sex discrimination to protect transgender rights, in response to the former Obama administration’s education reforms.
- Pregnancy discrimination and the gender gap, involuntary job choice edition: One example helps illustrate the problem of measuring the gender gap by comparing men and women in the same jobs.
- Couple fact patterns about sexuality and attitudes: Updating trends on attitudes toward homosexuality; and same sex behavior, identity, and attraction.
- What was I supposed to do, not report the results? What if it’s true that women are more likely to wear red on dates — does that mean our sexual behavior is “hard wired”? I don’t think so.
7. Love and romantic relationships
- Is dating still dead? The death of dating is now 50 years old, and its been eulogized so many times that its feelings are starting to get hurt.
- Online dating: efficiency, inequality, and anxiety: I’m skeptical about efficiency, and concerned about inequality, as more dating moves online. Some of the numbers I use in this post are already dated, but this could be good for a debate about dating rules and preferences.
- Is the price of sex too damn low? To hear some researchers tell it in a recent YouTube video, women in general — and feminism in particular — have ruined not only sex, but society itself. The theory is wrong. Also, they’re insanely sexist.
8. Marriage and cohabitation
- We can’t build our social system around marriage anymore: Marriage has declined in every state every decade since 1980. So what are you going to do about it?
- This “Supporting Health Marriage,” I do not think it means what you think it means: More than a billion dollars taken from the welfare program to promote marriage, and not a single healthy marriage to show it.
- Does gay marriage make straight men hate children? In the steadily losing battle against marriage equality, one of the more pernicious claims is that gay marriage threatens to turn all men against children.
9. Families and children
- The fathers behind teen births (or, statistical memes and motivated blind trust): A combination demography and media literacy post, in which I pick on a popular meme. (I followed up with a meme attempt of my own.)
- International adoption to the US has fallen 75%: Updating the trend, with detail on the countries of origin, and some explanation for what’s going on with China.
- Delayed parenting and anti-poverty policy: Policies intended to prevent poverty by delaying parenthood are mostly misplaced, especially with regard to Black women.
10. Divorce, remarriage, and blended families
I never put this on the blog, but here’s my update for divorce rates through 2015.
- The liberalization of divorce attitudes proceeds apace: More and more Americans think divorce is morally acceptable, and should be easier to get.
- Life table says divorce rate is 52.7%: Spelling out my method for estimating the risk of divorce from marriage through death (or divorce, whichever comes first).
- Check that: Most marrying people are remarrying above age 31: As the age at first marriage rises, second and third weddings are taking a larger share of the limelight.
11. Work and families
- Why male and female ‘breadwinners’ aren’t equivalent (in one chart): Pushing back on the tendency to call women who earn $.01 more than their husbands “breadwinners.”
- How Can We Jump-Start the Struggle for Gender Equality? In this New York Times essay, I argue for paid family leave, reduced work hours, and public child care.
- What drives the rise of stay at home fathers? How you interpret the trend depends on how you define stay at home fathers. With the “hardcore” definition, stay at home mothers still outnumber stay at home fathers 24-to-1.
12. Family violence and abuse
- Survivor bias and the 92% of Southern Black men who support spanking: With NFL family violence in the news, I asked why so many Americans rationalize spanking by referring to their own childhoods.
- Getting beyond how the ‘Factual Feminist’ is wrong about the prevalence of rape: It’s not perfect, but if you had to pick a number it’s reasonable to estimate that one in five women will be a victim of rape in their lifetime.
- Final proof there is no human tragedy Brad Wilcox will not exploit in order to promote marriage: Did he really just say that women should get married if they don’t want to be raped? (In fact, marriage and rape have both fallen a lot in the last few decades.)
13. The future of the family
- Thought leader for a day: Families in uncertain times: I gave an interview on diversity and uncertainty, and — yes — plasticity in family life.
- Get your dependency ratio off my lawn: Old people are doing more work than they used to. A new way of showing how much weight they pull now.
- Tripping on tipping points: Minority births are now the majority. Is this a tipping point, a milestone, or a watershed? On the importance of accurately representing trends.