This year we released the second edition of my book The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change, for fall. And my new book, a collection of essays, came out this spring: Enduring Bonds: Inequality, Marriage, Parenting, and Everything Else That Makes Families Great and Terrible, from University of California Press. (Also this year I sued the president.) But I keep writing blog posts about families, so I can update the list of syllabus supplements for this fall. (More resources are on the teaching page.)
So here are some new, and some old, organized by topic. As always, I appreciate your feedback.
- 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.
- Science finds tiny things nowadays (Malia edition): Malia is a very rare name, but modern social science can detect even tiny fluctuations — a few hundred families per year, out of millions who have children — to show the Obama effect.
- Demographic facts your students should know cold in 2018: Here are 30 facts we should all be familiar with before getting too far in this course — or in life.
- Visualizing family modernization, 1900-2016: Teen marriage is down and divorce is up, with graphics and maps showing the trends in every state.
- African American marital status by age, Du Bois replication edition: Updating a figure from the great Black historian, and visualizing family change.
- Two examples of why “Millennials” is wrong: Don’t take this “generation” label for granted. It’s an arbitrary designation, and on closer scrutiny it doesn’t define a coherent group.
3. Race, ethnicity, and immigration
- Who are you gonna marry? That one big assumption marriage promotion gets totally wrong: Black and White women have different marriage markets, and the economic prospects of the men in the pool matter. (This follows a new paper on race and marriage markets, which ties to Chapter 3 of The Family.)
- Made in America, by immigrants (children): “Children of immigrants” is not such a simple concept. This shows where the mothers and fathers of children of immigrants were born.
- 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
- The failure of the success sequence: Should the government use this formula to get young people to keep themselves out of poverty? I wrote an essay about it.
- New data show change in the class (identity) structure: What’s the trend is social class identification, and how does it relate to actual income?
- 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?
- 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.
- Prince Charles and Princess Diana height situation explained: Following up on an example in the book, what are the true facts, and do they matter?
- On artificially intelligent gaydar: Did someone really create an algorithm to detect gayness? Critique and implications of a new study.
- 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
- Who’s happy in marriage? (Not just rich, White, religious men, but kind of): A look at trends in marital satisfaction. Extra credit: See how this research was presented in an article in Bloomberg.
- Data analysis: Are older newlyweds saving marriage? Some methods and data on post-recession marriage trends.
- Marriage update: Less divorce, and less sex: Divorce is down across the board, but American married couples are also having sex less often than they used to.
9. Families and children
- Modernity, parenting, and families: The first chapter from Enduring Bonds is available as a free sample.
- Are middle children going extinct? The number of children per family has fallen over time, and one effect of that is that fewer children grow up sandwiched between older and younger siblings.
- Fertility trends explained, 2017 edition: Birth rates have dropped a lot, and it’s not just the Great Recession. In fact, it might already be about the next recession. Also looks at birth rates by age, and compares the U.S. to other countries.
10. Divorce, remarriage, and blended families
- The liberalization of divorce attitudes proceeds apace: More and more Americans think divorce is morally acceptable, and should be easier to get.
- How low is too low for divorce?: An update on divorce rates through 2015, and a question we don’t usually ask.
- 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
- Against Trump’s family separation policy: My critical commentary on the policy of separating children from parents at the border, with a petition signed by a thousand researchers and practitioners.
- 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.
- 2016 U.S. population pyramid, with Baby Boom: The latest age distribution, with data and instructions for making pyramids in Excel.