Me in the news, latest first.
Parade, December 27, 2017: Americans Enhance Their Clans by Welcoming Exchange Students
The classic nuclear family has blossomed and evolved to include stepparents, multigenerational households, interracial and same-sex marriages, adopted children, single parents and more. As University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen, Ph.D., puts it, “Diversity is the new normal.”
NPR All Things Considered, November 7, 2017: First Amendment Advocates Charge Trump Can’t Block Critics On Twitter
Cohen says once he was blocked, his tweets about the president reached fewer people. So he believes the blocking is censoring his ability to criticize the government. Cohen is now one of the plaintiffs in a ground-breaking lawsuit brought by the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
Inside Higher Ed, October 25, 2017: A Broadening Battle Over Archives to Share Papers
Cohen said he hoped that AAA’s note would be a “wake-up call” to anthropologists “reminding them of the rights they have signed away” when publishing their work. He noted that the bad press generated by Elsevier’s takeover of SSRN had “led a lot of people to consider nonprofit, open-access alternatives like SocArXiv.”
Inside Higher Ed, October 24, 2017: Peer Review’s Give-and-Take
Cohen further proposed that all reviews be made public, or at least that the option be available. Reviews are scholarly work and should therefore be part of the scholarly record, he said. And making them public would not only help readers get credit for their work but might also push them to write reviews of a higher quality.
Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2017: Divorce was long taboo for Vietnamese immigrants. After years in the U.S., they’re accepting it more
Today, the divorce rate for Vietnamese Americans, while still below the national average, is getting closer. According to a study of U.S. Census data by University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen, there are about 16 divorces per 1,000 marriages among Vietnamese Americans. The national average is 19.
The College Fix, October 19, 2017: U. Maryland professor sues Trump because POTUS blocked him on Twitter
Philip N. Cohen said he was “shocked” upon seeing he was prohibited from viewing the president’s Twitter feed, despite the fact the block came after the prof’s tweet of “Corrupt Incompetent Authoritarian. And then there are the policies. RESIST.”
Cornell Daily Sun, October 18, 2017: Blocked by Trump on Twitter, Ithacan Sues President and White House Aides
Philip N. Cohen is a sociology professor at the University of Maryland who grew up in Ithaca. And on June 6, he joined a relatively exclusively club of people blocked by @realDonaldTrump, the president’s personal Twitter, which more than 40 million users follow.
Daily Mail, October 2, 2017: Rich white men with extreme political views are most likely to have a happy marriage, researchers reveal
When it comes to marriage, wealthy white men with extreme political views are the most likely group to be happy in their situation, according to a new analysis. For the new analysis, University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen examined data from the General Social Survey, which goes back to 1973.
Bloomberg, October 2, 2017: Rich Men With Extreme Politics Have the Happiest Marriages
What’s souring American marriages? University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen looked for clues by analyzing which Americans are happiest in their marriages.
The Verge, September 21, 2017: The invention of AI ‘gaydar’ could be the start of something much worse
As Philip Cohen, who wrote a blog post critiquing the paper, told The Verge: “People are scared of a situation where you have a private life and your sexual orientation isn’t known, and you go to an airport or a sporting event and a computer scans the crowd and identifies whether you’re gay or straight. But there’s just not much evidence this technology can do that.”
New York Magazine, September 17, 2017: 26 People Who’ve Been Blocked by Trump on Twitter
Philip Cohen @familyunequal: “I get up around 6:30 or 7 in the morning when he does his first tweets, so I got into the habit of responding. I thought of it like holding a sign at a protest. I love the idea that he was annoyed. I’m so happy to see this lawsuit. Norms are not enough — we have to decide what norms we are going to codify as rules.”
Quartz, September 16, 2017: A Stanford scientist says he built a gaydar using “the lamest” AI to prove a point
“We don’t actually have a way to measure the thing we’re trying to explain,” says Philip N. Cohen. “We don’t know who’s gay. We don’t even know what that means. Is it an identity where you stand up and say ‘I am gay,’ is it an underlying attraction, or is it a behavior? If it’s any of those things, it’s not going to be dichotomous.”
Inside Higher Ed, September 12, 2017: How Good Is Your Gaydar? How Good Is Your Science?
Philip Cohen said that scholars today “have to expect blowback when their research becomes public,” since academic research no longer “operates in a separate space from public discourse.” Universities need to protect researchers whose work is attacked, he added, and “to earn that respect, researchers need to behave ethically as well as transparently.”
Inverse, July 20, 2017: Tennessee Judge Reduces Sentences for Inmates Who Get Vasectomies
“Without making too much of one crackpot judge,” Cohen said, “it does show a whole way of thinking about people who are considered undesirable by authorities or people in power; that if only they had fewer children they’d have fewer problems. In that sense it’s really like eugenics.”
Buzzfeed News, July 11, 2017: Donald Trump Blocked These People On Twitter. Now They’re Suing Him
Represented in the suit are seven individuals, all of whom were blocked after criticizing Trump. While a majority appear to be Trump critics, a few claim to be joining the suit for less partisan reasons. “I’m troubled that the president can create a space on Twitter — where there are millions of people — that he can manipulate to give the impression that more agree with him than actually do,” Philip Cohen, a university professor, said in a statement about the suit.
Live Science, June 16, 2017: The Science of Sexism: Why Workplaces Are So Hard to Change
Cohen stressed that it’s important that companies set clear goals to eliminate workplace inequality and communicate that those goals are important. “You can’t just react when something unpleasant happens and expect the climate to change,” he said.
Inside Higher Ed, April 25, 2017: Past as prologue
Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park who’s previously criticized aspects of On the Run, noted this week that he saw research value in the project, too. As to Pomona, Cohen said, “If I were evaluating [Alice Goffman] for a position, I would consider the whole story, as well as her current work, and make a judgment. I couldn’t say how that might turn out, but I don’t see the case for a lifetime ban from academia.”
New York Magazine, February 17, 2017: Let’s Stop Treating the Divorce Rate Like the Crime Rate
As Cohen tells Science of Us, one should not be so quick to make value judgments regarding whether a divorce number is optimistic or pessimistic.“You don’t want to look at the trend and say marriage is doing well or doing bad,” he says. “We don’t know … if we’re measuring a problem, or some kind of healthy churning.”
The Economist, February 4, 2017: New research suggests that effort at work is correlated with race
Worse treatment by managers of minority workers may itself encourage slacking, says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland.
Christian Science Monitor, December 22, 2016: Young Americans living at home hits 1940 levels. Why that may be a good thing
“Economic pressures are closely related to delayed household formation, but the trend toward later marriage and more education has been going on for decades, largely driven by the increased opportunities and independence for women,” says Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park. “So what looks like prolonged adolescence and disengaged couch-surfing is also a story of increased opportunity and independence for some people in the long run.”
Washington Post, December 22, 2016: U.S. population growth is lower than at any time since the Great Depression
Outmigration from areas with declining economies can create a vicious cycle, said Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland. “When the good prospects are elsewhere, people with good prospects leave,” he said, adding, “The middle of the country is still hollowing out overall in the long-term.”
Washington Post, December 20, 2016: The staggering difference between rich Asian Americans and poor Asian Americans
“The problem is that ‘Asian American’ doesn’t hold together as a category,” said Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland. “The group is too diverse. It doesn’t really make sense to compare recent Chinese, Korean or Pakistani immigrants who are working in tech and engineering jobs to people who came as refugees in the 1980s and their working-class descendants.”
Vox, December 13, 2016: These maps show how Americans are dying younger. It’s not just the opioid epidemic
“It’s important to note that the population is falling in a lot of the places with rising mortality rates — people are leaving those places when they have the opportunity to,” said University of Maryland health inequality researcher Philip Cohen. “That partly means that the less healthy people are left behind, so you see higher mortality rates in those places. But in addition to declining economic fortunes from economic shifts, it’s also depressing and isolating to live in a place that people are trying to leave.”
New York Times, December 8, 2016: Dating with a disability
The overall first-marriage rate in the United States for people ages 18 to 49 is 48.9 per 1,000. For people with disabilities it’s just 24.4, according to Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland-College Park who studies family inequality issues.
Wired, November 30, 2016: Trump’s transition team is all tied up with anti-gay pseudoscience
“The FRC’s research is just a giant exercise in selection bias,” says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “If being rich makes you more likely to be married, a study that says being married makes you rich will always find that result.”
Inside Higher Ed, November 10, 2016: ‘This election is catastrophic’
Cohen said that as academics, teachers and researchers, he and his colleagues “have to be distressed at the anti-intellectual wave that Trump rode, the proud flaunting of facts and big-lie political tactics. These are threats not just to our intellectual climate, but to our political system, as well.” He tries to teach his students to gather data, think critically, evaluate evidence and use the result of studies to reflect on values and political views, and while the process is “messy and imperfect,” he said, it must be “anchored in a commitment to honest discourse and open-minded consideration of the facts.”
Business Insider, October 18, 2016: Here’s how bad government math spawned a racist lie about sexual assault
Now of course, it’s not worth responding to every idiotic meme that circulates in the backwater swamps of the racist internet. But, as Cohen notes, this one seems to have become unusually viral. David Duke, America’s most famous ex-KKK leader, recently repeated a version of the meme’s central lie in a video streamed live to 8,000 people on Facebook.
Inside Higher Ed, September 8, 2016: Tweeting your way to tenure
Cohen said, “We’d all love to be promoted for authoring a great tweet, but no one wants to be fired for a bad one.” So assessment of public engagement “needs to be holistic and qualitative, taking into account the quality, quantity and impact of the work.”
MSN Money, August 12, 2016: More adult Americans live with their parents and grandparents
Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, sees this trend as a sign that the definition of families is more fluid in America, and that they are more culturally diverse rather than a decline in the traditional family.
WYPR Midday, July 5, 2016: Marriage in America
Why are Americans delaying or even shunning the institution? What could this decline mean for their economic futures? Does marriage still matter? University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen explains what factors, from gender equality to educational attainment, have played a role in the decline of marriage rates.
Bloomberg, June 17, 2016: Boomers Are Making Sure the Divorces Keep Coming
The statistic that half of all marriages fail, long whispered by wedding guests and worried over by reluctant brides and grooms, has garnered some new support. If current behavior continues, 52.7 percent of marriages will end in tears, University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen concludes, based on recent survey data
Washington Post, May 24, 2016: Young people now more likely to live with parents than partners
Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, said the study signals an important demographic milestone. “Marriage has declined faster for people with low levels of education, and that has a lot to do with their ability to attain the kind of economic security to make them feel able to settle down and be excited to do so.”
Washington Post Wonkblog, May 11, 2016: What didn’t happen after Sanders slammed Clinton on helping poor people
Cohen said that focusing benefits on poor people who work is easier politically, since opponents can accuse those without a steady job of laziness. “If you say what you’re doing is for working families, nobody who votes objects to that,” he said. This focus “has shifted assistance to people who are just barely poor and not the seriously poor,” he added.
Wisconsin Public Radio, Joy Cardin show, March 9, 2016: Do men need to do more housework?
In the United States, women spend 40 more minutes per day on chores than men do on average. What will it take to close this gap? Joy Cardin talks to guest sociologist Philip Cohen about the housework divide and its fallout.
Inside Higher Ed, January 26, 2016: Are Academics Disproportionately Gay?
As a result of their status in a marginalized group, gays and lesbians “may also be more likely to value careers that involve critical examination of social life, including jobs as sociologists or college teachers,” Cohen said.
Slate, January 20, 2016: Black women don’t reap the same health benefits from delaying motherhood as Whites
“Using data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on all infant deaths in the U.S. in 2013, sociologist Philip N. Cohen recently found that the declining health part of Geronimus’s “weathering hypothesis” holds water.”
New York Times, January 15, 2016: How to Bridge That Stubborn Pay Gap
“If a cashier gets pregnant, has no parental leave, has to leave and reapply for her job, that’s not the same as making a career choice,” said Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “One thing policy can do is make it easier for women to stick with their careers.”
Canvas8, December 11, 2015: 2016 Expert Outlook
Philip Cohen: “Changing family dynamics mean the rules are unclear in terms of the way people negotiate family boundaries and relationships.”
Washington Post, December 1, 2015: In single moms’ households, two heads are often better than one
“You wouldn’t want to change the arrangement more often than necessary,” Cohen said. “The concern would be that children don’t deal very well with relationship ambiguity. Children do need to know who they can count on and they need stability and security.”
Inside Higher Ed, November 24, 2015: Whose Bias?
Generally, Cohen added, “Social change on marriage equality and gay and lesbian rights has been incredibly rapid, but is far from settled, and the rapid change has left many raw wounds. We should all be mindful of the sharp culture clash that persists.”
Deseret News, November 1, 2015: Anti-porn advocates recast growing acceptance of pornography as public health problem
“What’s interesting about that, with porn becoming so ubiquitous, is you might think (that because) men and women are exposed to the same culture that they would be increasingly similar in the way they see things,” said study co-author Philip N. Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland. “That fact that the lines are spreading apart … is a clue that all is not well in acceptance-of-pornography land.”
Vox, October 29, 2014: China’s infamous one-child policy is finally over. Here’s why
University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen writes, “People have few children in China today because children have become too expensive—good schools especially cost too much, and the health care burdens of children outweigh the hoped-for future return of a child to care for parents when they’re retired.”
For Harriet, October 9, 2015: The Stats on Black Women and Marriage are Probably Not as Bad as You Think
Philip Cohen is a sociologist and demographer who teaches at the University of Maryland. For Harriet’s editor-in-chief, Kimberly Foster, spoke to him about his work on Black women and the marriage market. His work reveals how a closer look at the data complicates popular narratives about Black women and partnership.
Chronicle of Higher Education, September 14, 2015: Students’ Requests for Trigger Warnings Grow More Varied
Philip N. Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park, was in the middle of a lecture on abortion last year in his course on contemporary family issues when a student got up and left. She later told him she wouldn’t be able to participate in class discussions concerning abortion.
Yahoo! Health, August 17, 2015: The ‘Right’ Age to Get Married
There have been some naysayers of the findings, notably Phillip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. He found there’s, ultimately, no reason to worry if you get married later on.
The New York Times, June 5, 2015: Alice Goffman’s Heralded Book on Crime Is Disputed
Mr. Cohen said that Ms. Goffman’s book, whatever its faults, remained “timely and important.” He questioned what he called efforts to not just criticize her work but to “discredit her as a person and scholar. It should be possible to say,” he said, “ ‘Here’s a promising young scholar who did a really impressive project. Her book is flawed. Let’s learn from the mistakes and move on.’ ”
The Economist, May 23, 2015: Having it all, and then some
Older women who, in the past, wanted children but were unable to have them are now able to. But according to Philip Cohen, a demographer at the University of Maryland, this does not explain the entire leap. Rather, social changes in the nature of marriage seem to be driving the change. Getting an education and having a career are no longer always a barrier to having children; sometimes, they make it easier.
Washington Post Wonkblog, May 17, 2015: Why parents should stop hoping their kids will get married
University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen, who has tracked falling marriage rates around the world, has projected that, if the current pattern continues, the marriage rate will hit zero in 2042.
Kojo Nnamdi Show, May 14, 2015: Grandparent Deficit
We’re talking about aging grandparents and how having children later in life could mean fewer years together, with Philip Cohen, Ellen Weber Libby, and Susanna Schrobsdorff.
PunditFact (Tampa Bay Times), May 11, 2015: Maria Shriver: 2 in 3 U.S. families ‘rely on the mother’s income to stay above the poverty level’
We asked Philip Cohen, who researches inequality and families at the University of Maryland, to see if he could find the actual percentage of families who rely on a mother’s income to stay above the poverty level.
New York Times Upshot, May 8, 2015: Single Motherhood, in Decline Over All, Rises for Women 35 and Older
Women without college degrees are “women for whom the hardships of single motherhood are most acute,” Mr. Cohen said. “This could be deliberate planning, or it could reflect relationship problems or economic stress undermining their family plans.”
Washington Post Wonkblog, May 8, 2015: Why educated women are having more babies:
Sociologist Philip Cohen puts it this way: “Women with more education have more opportunities for productive lives doing work other than childbearing.”
Boston Globe, April 26, 2015: They do: The scholarly about-face on marriage:
“The idea that the culture is going downhill, and we need a cultural revival happens to be very closely related to the idea that we should not address poor peoples’ problems by raising taxes and giving poor people money,” Cohen said. “So there’s a political element to this.”
Vox.com, March 26, 2015: The real reason research blaming black poverty on black culture has fallen out of favor:
I spoke to University of Maryland Sociologist Philip N. Cohen about why he says the narrative about liberals stifling studies like Moynihan’s doesn’t make sense, and how it connects to modern-day complaints about “political correctness.”
Host Celeste Headlee sits down with Melvin Konner and a panel of guests to discuss the biological, intellectual and social differences between women and men and suss out whether or not there is a dominant sex after all.
Deseret News, March 9, 2015: A report on the instability and economic challenges of black families is still debated 50 years later:
“Historic changes in family structure do pose many challenges for families, but the economic trends over the half century since Moynihan wrote largely reflect other forces — forces that are more amenable to policy intervention than family structure,” wrote Philip Cohen and his colleagues.
Washington Post, March 3, 2015: The zombie statistic about women’s share of income and property:
Amazingly enough, most of this factoid — the 66 percent of work, 10 percent of income and 1 percent of property — dates back to some very fuzzy research from the late 1970s. Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociology professor, in 2011 traced it to a journal published by the International Labor Organization in 1978.
Deseret News, February 20, 2015: New study says children with same-sex parents are worse off
“The basic problem here is obvious, and was apparent in the infamous Regnerus paper as well: same-sex couples, regardless of their history — married, divorced, never-married, just-married, married before the kid was born, just got together yesterday when the kid was 15, and so on — are all combined in one undifferentiated category,” Cohen wrote.
NewstalkFM (Ireland) The Green Room, January 24, 2015: Sex Dimorphism and Disney Cartoons:
Frozen, How To Train Your Dragon, Gnomeo and Juliet are all guilty of sex dimorphism, says Sociology Professor Philip N Cohen. So what is it? [podcast]
Marketwatch, December 24, 2014: Less than half of kids now live in a ‘traditional’ family:
“You could look at this as a decline of traditional marriage, but I think it’s better described as an increase in family diversity,” says Philip Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland and author of The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change. He says people are marrying later, cohabiting instead of marrying, becoming single parents or forming blended families. “There’s been an explosion of family diversity in the last half century.”
Wisconsin Pubic Radio, Kathleen Dunn Show, December 16, 2014: The Effect Of The Great Recession On Families
The effects of the Great Recession on families in the United States has been dramatic in regard to birth rates and divorce. It has also been strongly suggestive of domestic violence. Philip Cohen joins Kathleen to discuss the results of a recent study on the issue and what it means.
Voice of America, December 10, 2014: Is the ‘Average’ American Family Vanishing?
“It’s become more possible for people to divorce out of an unhappy marriage or an abusive marriage,” said Cohen, “and more possible to raise children as a single parent, rather than have a shotgun wedding or marriage with a partner that’s not someone’s desired marriage partner.”
NPR Morning Edition, November 28, 2014: Census Bureau May Stop Asking Marital History Questions
Philip Cohen is a sociologist at the University of Maryland. He points out marriage is in dramatic decline. Families are growing more complex — having people’s marital histories helps researchers understand such shifts and who’s affected. “Such as, what are the ages? What are the education levels and race or ethnic groups? What’s happening with same-sex couples?”
Mic.com, November 7, 2014: Is Portland the Worst City for Young Married People?
“It looks to me like people move to places like Portland after their marriages break up,” Cohen told Mic. “Maybe [states like Portland, Wyoming and New Mexico] are seen as desirable remarriage markets, or good job markets, or interesting places to move to start over.”
Washington Post, Time, Deseret News, US News, and others reported: Diversity is the new normal for America’s children.
Washington Post, September 4, 2014: Unlike in the 1950s, there is no ‘typical’ U.S. family today
“There hasn’t been the collapse of one dominant family structure and the rise of another. It’s really a fanning out into all kinds of family structures,” said Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “Different is the new normal.”
New York Times, September 6, 2014: Why Don’t More Men Go Into Teaching?
“We’re not beyond having a cultural devaluation of women’s work,” said Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “So that if a job is done primarily by women, people tend to believe it has less value.”
Science Magazine, September 3, 2014: Bad Economy Good for Marriages?
There were probably about 150,000 fewer breakups during the Great Recession than would have been expected—a 4% drop—finds University of Maryland, College Park, sociologist Philip Cohen.
New York Times, August 22, 2014: Time Marches On, Even at Fortress Astoria
According to Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland and the author of “The Family: Diversity, Inequality, and Social Change,” his time at the Fortress might be excellent preparation. “Living as a committed roommate is in some ways similar to marriage — chores, schedules, sharing secure physical space with people one is close to,” Mr. Cohen said. “So if that’s something people learn as adults, that might help with a marriage, more than, say, living as a single bachelor.”
USA Today, August 19, 2014: Elderly caregiving: Daughters, not sons, step up
“This means that gender probably is having a big impact throughout (women’s) whole lives,” said Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland. “We see part of the reason for the gender gap in pay is because women spend more time out of the workforce, taking care of children, making career sacrifices for family. This suggests that parent care is also a big factor in the gender gap.”
Los Angeles Times, August 12, 2104: Racism, the misuse of genetics and a huge scientific protest
Commenters have argued that Wade’s approach is fundamentally racist, in that he purports to identify characteristics that ostensibly account for the success of certain races or ethnic groups, and finds their source in those groups’ genes. In an exhaustive piece in the Boston Review, sociologist Philip Cohen places this “in the grand tradition of scientific racism.”
The Atlantic, August 8, 2014: Why Are There So Many Women in Public Relations?
“It looks like women are more likely than men to prepare for [a PR] career in college,” Cohen said. Meanwhile, women decidedly do not major in fields that could lead to other types of high-paying jobs, like in engineering or computer science.
New York Times Op Talk, June 11, 2014: Does Marriage Protect Women Against Violence?
“[Cohen] also worried about the larger message some would take from the op-ed: ‘The impression created is that if you are not married and you have experienced sexual violence or intimate-partner violence, then shame on you.'”
Time, May 27, 2014: The Shame of the Male Virgin
“This is one place where women have more flexibility than men,” says Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies family and gender dynamics. “Especially in adolescence, the question is: If you can’t be good at sports or have sex, what makes you a man? Maybe it’s violence.”
Deseret News, May 23, 2014: The potential impact of falling fertility rates on the economy and culture
I said: “The price of raising a child goes up, but the benefits also go up. The hope is the increase in children’s fortunes makes up for the greater expense and they do better in school, in college, are more productive economically.”
Wall Street Journal, May 9, 2014: For More American Moms, Kids Are a Late-30s Thing
Delayed childbearing has allowed more women to pursue educations and careers, and achieve some measure of financial independence… “This is good news,” says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “They are more protected against the shock of earnings loss, and they’re probably more independent and better-established in their relationships.”
National Post, March 28, 2014: Canadian economist never knew he would become centre of a U.S. firestorm over his research on same-sex parenting
Ever since U.S. judges began overturning interracial marriage ban in the 1960s, the United States has not decided civil rights “based on grade-point averages of the children,” Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, and a critic of Mr. Allen, wrote to the National Post.
Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2014: How We Meet Our Spouses
Though the leads of “How I Met Your Mother” are likely to end the series coupled off, many Americans aren’t so lucky. “Most demographers believe that about 15% of Americans will never marry, up from only 5% in the 1950s and early 1960s,” says Stephanie Coontz… And about half of those who married in 2012 will eventually divorce, according to sociologist Philip Cohen of the University of Maryland.
Cosmopolitan, March 7, 2014: Are Women Hiding Their Career Achievements From Potential Partners?
“It’s great to see men openly saying they want women who have ambitious career trajectories,” says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland at College Park, who studies changing gender and family dynamics. “If they follow through on those statements — relocating for her job or taking the day off when the kids are sick, even half the time — that’s even better. The more people successfully model such relationships, the more men might turn these statements into real-life changes.”
Live Science, February 24, 2014: The truth about how mom’s stress affects baby’s brain
“Controlling for mother’s age and father’s age, I find that the more education you have, the less likely your child is to have a disability,” [Cohen] told Live Science. Additionally, “the more income your family has, the less likely your child is to have a disability.”
Albany Business Review, February 13, 2014: Divorces up 17 percent in New York since recession ended
“In this recession, it appears that the increased costs were a bigger factor than the increased strains, so the divorce rate fell temporarily before rebounding when people were able to manage the expense and related difficulties of the divorce itself,” Cohen said.
Gawker, January 28, 2014: Now That The Economy Is Back, Time to Get Divorced
We’ve had some hard times in the past five years. But thanks to The Fed and Almighty God, the economy is booming again. Now you can finally get divorced. … Congratulations on your new job and Match.com profile.
Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2014: Divorces rise as economy recovers, study finds
Divorces plunged when the recession struck and slowly started to rise as the recovery began, according to a study to be published in Population Research and Policy Review. From 2009 to 2011, about 150,000 fewer divorces occurred than would otherwise have been expected, University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen estimated.
Cleveland Public Radio’s The Sound of Ideas, January 13, 2014: War on Poverty: Who’s Winning?
I said: “You can think about ways that we can provide the sustenance needed [for single parents] so that people can live happy and successful lives and children can grow up and thrive. We do that a little bit with our patchwork of poverty support programs. But we don’t have a very comprehensive effort at taking care of the people who do that valuable work that we all benefit from.”
Wisconsin Public Radio, January 6, 2014: The War on Poverty’s Effect on Families
I said: “People who have children and can’t get a job, or can’t manage to hold a job while they are taking care of their family responsibilities, that’s work. It’s effort, it’s productive, it takes creativity. It produces something of value that other people benefit from. And the idea of spreading resources around to make sure that people who do that kind of work are also cared for — I guess justice’ is a good word for it. It also seems like common sense.”
Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2013: ‘Men are stuck’ in gender roles, data suggest
Familiar measures of progress toward gender equality, such as women working in management or men picking up housework, began to plateau in the 1990s. Cohen found that in the first decade of the millennium jobs stayed similarly segregated by gender — the first time since 1960 that gender integration in the workplace had slowed to a virtual halt.
MSNBC The Cycle, December 2, 2013: Continuing the fight against ‘the pay gap’
I said: “We really saw a strong pattern of women entering men’s occupations, especially in middle class jobs. But not so much movement the other way. … There’s a lot more we can do support the work-family integration that I think is going to help break down these gender barriers.”
Gender News, September 26, 2013: Gay marriage, politics, and the ivory tower
I said: “The general direction of social change is toward increasing diversity in family form and structure. The law and other institutions are catching up to this…but also will inevitably have to come to grips with the fact that we cannot legislate for every situation in advance. We need universal principles of protection and equality.”
Christian Science Monitor, September 17, 2013: US poverty rate steady at 15 percent, but ‘lower class’ is booming
I said: “The overall economic uncertainty exacerbates some of the problems we’re having. Look at this intensive parenting mania … that’s partly because we see inequality widening and we don’t want our kids to end up on the wrong side of that line.”
Los Angeles Times, September 16, 2013: Amid slow economic recovery, more Americans identify as ‘lower class’
University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen, who pointed out on his blog the rising numbers of people identifying as lower class, hypothesized that more struggling twentysomethings were doing so because fewer have been raised in union households.
Washington Post, September 11, 2013: Children suffer from growing economic inequality among families since recession
“The vast majority of people want to have long-term, stable relationships,” said Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies family inequality. “The fact that rich people are becoming more able to do that than poor people is just another indicator of the unequal society we live in.”
CSPAN Washington Journal, September 6, 2013: The Changing American Household
“Welfare reform was supposed to crack down and make people get married before they had children, and it really didn’t. What it did do was make it harder for them to get by with their children.”
MSN News, August 8, 2013: Rumor, Smarter Women Have Fewer or No Children
Cohen continued: “…this claim is socially corrosive, because it distracts us from the reality that low fertility levels are essential for women’s equality and well-being, and have in fact contributed to the historical rise in education levels — and independence — for women.”
Huffpo Live, August 5, 2013: Legally Defining a Family
I said: “I don’t think specifying the nature of the relationships the law is going to recognize in advance is going to help us. We need to try to specify the concrete relationships in individual cases and protect those.”
Inside Higher Ed, August 2, 2013: Controversy Continues Over Gay Parenting Study
In a post to his blog, Family Inequality, Philip N. Cohen, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, calls for editor James Wright, professor of sociology at the University of Central Florida, to step down. Cohen says he’ll boycott the journal as a contributor and reviewer until Wright leaves the Elsevier publication and urges others to do so.
Huffpo Live, June 28, 2013: The Disestablishment of Marriage.
“We really have never tried a society in which marriage was truly free and voluntary. It’s always been that one or the other spouse has been forced, coerced, or needed marriage for their survival or well-being. So we don’t know what it would look like to have a society in which marriage was really freely chosen.”
International Herald Tribune, June 28, 2013: Redrawing the Family Debate.
“Is ‘the family’ a barbaric, premodern holdover institution, perpetuating irrational relations and inherited forms of inequality?” Philip N. Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies the institution, writes on his blog. “Or is it a ‘haven in a heartless world,”’ he asks, “one of the few places where people still have any loyalty to anyone but themselves? I think it’s both.”
Time Healthland, June 13, 2013: What part family plays in poverty.
“Black child poverty fell drastically during the 1990s and then rose again during the 2000s,” notes Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. “Why? It wasn’t family structure that did it, it was the economy principally—and, economists would say, the Earned Income Tax Credit.”
Washington Post, May 29, 2013: Nearly 40 percent of mothers are now the family breadwinners, report says.
“The decade of the 2000s witnessed the most rapid change in the percentage of married mothers earning more than their husbands of any decade since 1960,” said Philip Cohen, a University of Maryland sociologist who studies gender and family trends. “This reflects the larger job losses experienced by men at the beginning of the Great Recession. Also, some women decided to work more hours or seek better jobs in response to their husbands’ job loss, potential loss or declining wages.”
Inside Story Americas on Al Jazeera English, May 10, 2013: The American single mother’s burden.
I said: “The deficits that single mothers have are money and time. And if you can’t afford high quality child care – and very few people can – and you don’t have time because you are working at a low wage job that isn’t flexible, doesn’t permit time off and can fire you for missing a day of work, then the complications add up.”
The Joy Cardin Show on Wisconsin Public Radio, March 26, 2013: Converging Gender Roles.
A Pew Research Center poll on time use shows fathers have more than doubled the amount of time they spend on housework, and almost a quarter of single-earner families have women as the sole breadwinner. Joy Cardin speaks to sociologist Philip Cohen about how family gender roles are converging and what this means. (MP3 Audio file here)
The Daily Circuit on Minnesota Public Radio, March 5, 2013: The Women’s Movement 50 Years After The Feminine Mystique
In which Philip Cohen says, “The concept of stall has been growing on us in the last 10 years, and as you look across the indicators the evidence is now very strong.”
Inside Higher Ed, February 21, 2013: The Rise of Women
For those who do make it to college, “The biggest problem for gender inequality among the college-educated remains the lack of gender integration across fields of study,” said Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Midday with Dan Rodricks, January 30, 2013: The Pay Gap
In his inauguration speech, President Obama highlighted equal pay for women as a priority for his second term. It has been 50 years since another Democratic president, John F. Kennedy, signed the Equal Pay Act, which mandated compensation equality between the sexes. While women have made gains in pay, they still lag 18 to 20 percent behind their male peers. Our guests: Linda Barrington, managing director of the Institute for Compensation Studies at Cornell; Philip Cohen, professor of sociology at the University of Maryland and author of the Family Inequality blog; and Kate C. Farrar director of the American Association of University Women Campus Leadership Programs.
Wall Street Journal‘s The Numbers Guy, December 7, 2012: Fertility Figures
“The birth rate and general fertility rate are much easier to measure because you don’t need to know the ages of the women having children, just how many babies and how many total people or women,” said Philip N. Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park. “So sometimes we use them for historical trends and comparisons.”
Marketplace, November 29, 2012: Census breaks down occupations by gender, ethnicity
Philip Cohen is a sociologist at the University of Maryland. He says women did make great strides in the ’70s and ’80s, but things have stagnated since. “And I think one of the reasons why we haven’t seen more progress is women have sort of hit a wall where there’s not enough flexibility at home and work,” he says. Cohen says employers could help by being more open to flextime. And the government could step in with more public preschool programs.
Time Healthland, October 19, 2012: Tracing the Link Between Single Moms and Gun Violence
“I think the research shows that the biggest negative effect of single parenthood results from lack of resources,” says Cohen. “Getting people married is not the answer, getting families the support they need is.”
New York Times, October 12, 2012: Want Your Union to Last? Marry in New Jersey
A study of other data by Philip N. Cohen, a sociology professor at the University of Maryland, found that Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and North Dakota had the lowest rate of divorces the previous year compared with their populations — only 6 or 7 per 1,000, compared with 31 states that recorded more than 10 divorces per 1,000 residents, and Oklahoma, where nearly 14 per 1,000 said they were divorced.
Bloomberg, September 20, 2016: What we know about why couples get divorced
Assuming Millennials follow more or less the same pattern as their Boomer parents, about half of American marriages will continue to end in divorce, according to a recent estimate by University of Maryland sociology professor Philip Cohen.
To The Point on KCRW, September 14, 2012: Is This the End of Men?
Philip Cohen: “The idea that women are rising to an actual position of dominance is completely invented and there really is no evidence for this. It’s a projection into the future, which you can do, but there’s just no evidence for it. … At all ages, at all education levels, men earn more than women. … So we have change in the direction that Hanna Rosin is talking about, but there’s … no historical basis for projecting into the future and saying we’re actually toward female dominance. I think we need to see if we can find a place for equality in our imaginations.”
Zocalo Public Square, September 9, 2012: In Praise of the Male Biological Clock
“The age difference between a husband and wife is a big predictor of gender inequality,” said Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, explaining that even a small difference in earnings affects how a family makes decisions like who should stay home with the children or dial back a career.
New York Magazine, August 16, 2012: Do the Rich Get More Recession Divorces?
It is possible, says Cohen, that the small uptick in divorces among educated people in fragile housing markets represents the tip of an iceberg — that if the economy continues to sputter along, more people will contemplate breaking up but delay it until they can get disentangled, causing a pent-up demand and, eventually, a boom. He calls this the divorce/recession lull-rebound hypothesis.
Life’s Little Mysteries, August 1, 2012: Why Is Pink for Girls and Blue for Boys?
“This happened during a time when mass marketing was appearing,” Cohen told Life’s Little Mysteries. “Being ‘gender normal’ is very important to us, and as a marketing technique, if retailers can convince you that being gender normal means you need to buy a certain product — cosmetics, plastic surgery, blue or pink clothing, etc. — it just makes sense from a production or mass marketing perspective.”
NPR’s Talk of the Nation, June 12, 2012: Improving the lives of single moms and their kids
COHEN: I think it’s important to realize that there are different ways of investing in children’s future. It can be direct through their own education and care, and it can also be through investment in the skills and opportunities of the parents. And if we can cross that hurdle of public recognition that we have a collective interest in that kind of investment, I think we’ll be much better off and find that, like with good-quality childcare, making education available to single parents may translate into not only economic benefits for them but future benefits for the children.
Time Healthland, June 11, 2012: Do Children of Same-Sex Parents Really Fare Worse?
Another damning critique: the NFSS compares kids of “any parent who ever ‘had a relationship’ with someone of the same sex to those who lived with both married biological parents from birth to age 18,” says Philip N. Cohen, professor of sociology at University of Maryland, College Park. “It is not about people who were ‘raised by’ lesbians or gay men.”
Time Magazine, March 26, 2012: The Richer Sex
The glass ceiling remain solid; according to Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, the percentage of managers who are women has risen from 35% to only 38% in the past 20 years.
ABC2-TV, May 14, 2012: “Is it cheating if you have permission?”
Cohen says people are creating their own definitions of what makes a successful union. They marry later, have kids without ever marrying at all and even marry several times, looking for the perfect partner. Cohen says, “Traditional marriage is really still an ideal that many people, I would say, most people still hold. What they find is it’s often not practical or doesn’t work.”
NPR, Jan, 2, 2012: Google Searches Are A Window Into Our Culture
Philip Cohen: “On the liberal list are arugula pasta, beets nutrition, beets urine, fake meat, fennel salad, firm tofu, a variety of vegetarian cooking, vegetarian recipes. Something like a Republican stereotype of what a liberal food diet might be.”
NPR, Dec. 20, 2011: Marriage Economy: ‘I Couldn’t Afford To Get Divorced’
Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, says that multiple studies have found that the marital distress that comes from money problems and feeling trapped is strongly associated with an increased risk of domestic violence. “I’m quite confident from the research on couples — and what drives violence within couples — that among the people who are experiencing economic shock or dislocation or unemployment, there is an increased risk of violence. And I would not expect that to be any different during this recession.”
Time Healthland, Dec. 12, 2011: The Five Secrets of Happily Married Parents,
“Marriage can be beneficial, but that does not necessarily mean that taking unmarried people and persuading them to get married will bring them all those benefits,” says Cohen, who thinks getting people educated and employed would do more to create happy families.
Marketplace, Aug. 30, 2011: Multigenerational home numbers on the rise
Philip Cohen: “Well, the first thing that happens is that people turn to those they expect to care for them, or people that have some moral obligation. And whether its young people looking up a generation or old people looking down a generation, the family is the first place that people have to turn.”
Raleigh News Observer, July 25, 2011: What’s happening to all of North Carolina’s men?
Women giving birth to more boys than girls is “apparently evolution’s answer to the fact that, as the weaker sex, males die more often at all ages,” said Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at UNC-Chapel Hill.
WUNC The State of Things, Feb. 8, 2011: Happily Ever After
Host Frank Stasio considers the changing state of our personal unions with guests Philip Cohen, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of the blog “Family Inequality”; Leah Stewart, author of the novel “Husband and Wife”; Kristin Celello, author of the book “Making Marriage Work”; and Lisa Levenstein, associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
WUNC The State of Things, Aug. 11, 2010: The Aging of the Baby Boom Generation
Philip Cohen: So if you were born in 1960, graduated college in 1982, and entered the labor force in the middle of an awful recession, then managed to pull some kind of career together, got married and divorced, by the 90s it was time to be downsized already for the first time, you’re 40 in 2000, and it’s time for the dot-com bubble, you’re out of your job again, and here you are ready for your retirement, finally, you’ve been left in your own 401(k), having to put together your own pension, and of course now that’s in the tank and your house isn’t worth anything. So that insecurity and instability is really imprinted this group. We talk about the 60s, and civil rights and antiwar, and great music and everything, but that’s seeming like a long time ago now for people who are looking at retirement.
Newsweek, June 11, 2010: “I Don’t” — The Case Against Marriage
“The bottom line is that men, not women, are much happier when they’re married,” says Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina who studies marriage and family.
WRAL-TV, Nov. 4, 2009: Mothers struggle with work-home balance
Philip Cohen: “The pressure falls on [women], and all the progress we’ve made has so far not alleviated that pressure.”
For older bits, see the Press Clips section of my website.