Archive for the 'Family, Fertility & Children' Category

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New Data: Unintended Childbearing/Abortion Psychology

What Happens to Women Who Are Denied Abortions?
Joshua Lang | New York Times
June 12, 2013
This reports on the Turnaway Study [described below], but as is typical with a piece in the popular press it personifies the data. Here’s the gist of the article:

Most studies on the effects of abortion compare women who have abortions with those who choose to carry their pregnancies to term. It is like comparing people who are divorced with people who stay married, instead of people who get the divorce they want with the people who don’t. Foster saw this as a fundamental flaw. By choosing the right comparison groups — women who obtain abortions just before the gestational deadline versus women who miss that deadline and are turned away — Foster hoped to paint a more accurate picture. Do the physical, psychological and socioeconomic outcomes for these two groups of women differ? Which is safer for them, abortion or childbirth? Which causes more depression and anxiety? “I tried to measure all the ways in which I thought having a baby might make you worse off,” Foster says, “and the ways in which having a baby might make you better off, and the same with having an abortion.

The Turnaway Study
ANSRH | University of California, San Francisco
The Turnaway Study is ANSIRH’s prospective longitudinal study examining the effects of unintended pregnancy on women’s lives. The major aim of the study is to describe the mental health, physical health, and socioeconomic consequences of receiving an abortion compared to carrying an unwanted pregnancy to term. From 2008 to 2010, we collaborated with 30 abortion facilities around the country—from Maine to Washington, Texas to Minnesota—to recruit over 1,000 women who sought abortions, some who received abortions because they presented for care under the gestational limit of the clinic and some who were “turned away” and carried to term because they were past the gestational limit.

Family Demography in the News

Below is a compilation of posts about family formation and childbearing. The last piece is less on marriage and childbearing and instead focuses on the “mom penalty” in academia.

How to Live in a World Where Marriage Is in Decline
Philip Cohen | The Atlantic
June 4, 2013
This piece examines trends in marriage over time in the US and discusses the policy implications of this to the “marriage movement” promoters.

Rising Trend of Births Outside Marriage
Carl Haub | Population Reference Bureau
April 2013
This short piece examines international trends and concludes “What we can say for certain is that this new household structure is quite unlikely to revert to times past.”

Autumn of the Patriarchs: Traditional demographic patterns are changing astonishingly fast
The Economist
June 1, 2013
This is another international piece, based on statistics from Latin America. It shows trends in fertility rates and childlessness. And it is based on research by our old friend Ron Lesthaeghe and colleagues.

Marriage: More than a Century of Change
Julissa Cruz | National Center for Marriage and Family Research
June 2013
This is a very nice resource based on data from the US Census, American Community Survey, and the Vital Statistics system. It shows trends in marriage rates for women from 1890 to 2010.

Recent Trends in Births and Fertility Rates Through December 2012
Brady Hamilton and Paul Sutton | CDC
June 2013
The recent decline in fertility rates may have reached bottom.

Births Rise as Parents-to-Be Renew Confidence in Economy
Stephanie Armour | Bloomberg News
June 6, 2013
Based on the CDC report, U.S. birth-rate increase a sign of growing confidence in the economy

The Mom Penalty
Colleen Flaherty | Inside Higher Education
June 6, 2013
Do babies matter to academic careers? (Spoiler alert: for moms, “yes.”) based on Do Babies Matter? Gender and Family in the Ivory Tower

Sex Selection: When Technology and Tradition Collide

When Technology and Tradition Collide: From Gender Bias to Sex Selection
Kate Gilles and Charlotte Feldman-Jacobs | Population Reference Bureau
September 2012

Bullet points from this policy brief are:

Normal sex ratios at birth range from 102 to 107 male babies born for every 100 female babies born

1.5 millions girls around the world are missing at birth every year.

In at least nine countries, the sex ratio at birth of boy babies to girl babies is at 110 or higher.

Measuring Marriage & Divorce among Same-Sex Couples

For Gays, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do – or Measure
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal [print column]
May 3, 2013
This article touches on the personal and on the aggregate. The personal stories are couples being unable to get a divorce because they live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. On the other hand, states have not modified divorce forms to collect data on same-sex couples.

Same-Sex Divorce Stats Lag
Carl Bialik | Wall Street Journal [blog]
May 3, 2013
This version provides links to sources of marriage and divorce statistics. European countries do collect data on these events, but so far do not have enough dissolutions to calculate robust rates. An NIH-funded study is following a cohort of couples who were married in Vermont.

Decennial Census Data on Same Sex Couples
Census Bureau
May 2013
The Census Bureau has a website with links to technical papers, data, etc. on same-sex couples from 1990+ as measured by this agency.

Census Bureau: Flaws in Same-Sex Couple Data
D’Vera Cohn | Pew: Social and Demographic Trends
September 27, 2011
The Census Bureau announced today that more than one-in-four same-sex couples counted in the 2010 Census was likely an opposite-sex couple, and identified a confusing questionnaire as a likely culprit. The bureau released a new set of “preferred” same-sex counts, including its first tally ever of same-sex spouses counted in the census.

How Accurate Are Counts of Same-Sex Couples?
D’Vera Cohn | Pew: Social and Demographic Trends
August 25, 2011
This is a nice brief on the obstacles to accuracy in measuring same-sex couples in census data. And, it illustrates the efforts that the Census Bureau makes in measuring concepts in an era of rapid social change.

ACS to drop “Number of Times Married” question

This notice is from a Minnesota Population Studies Center data alert:

Dear IPUMS User,

I am writing to alert you that the Census Bureau is planning to drop the question on “number of times married” from the American Community Survey. For those of us who study family demography, this change would be a major loss. The times married question is not only vital for understanding blended families, it is also necessary for basic studies of nuptiality and marital instability. A recent working paper by Sheela Kennedy and myself demonstrated that the ACS is the only reliable source currently available for national divorce statistics. Without the number of times married, however, the divorce data will be badly compromised; for example, it will be impossible to construct a life table for first marriages, or to estimate the percentage of people who have ever divorced.

The news of this plan appears in the Federal Register in a single sentence at the end of an otherwise harmless notice of request for comments. If you believe as I do that this change would significantly harm the nation’s statistical infrastructure, you should make your feelings known to the responsible OMB desk officer, Dr. Brian Harris-Kojetin. He can be reached at (202) 395-7245 or by email at bharrisk@omb.eop.gov. The deadline for comments is May 16.

Thank you,

Steven Ruggles
Regents Professor
Director, Minnesota Population Center

Living Apart Together: Data & Research

Living Apart Together: Uncoupling Intimacy and Co-Residence
S. Duncan, M. Phillips, S. Roseneil, J. Carter & M. Stoilova | NatCen Social Research Policy Brief
Winter 2013
Major conclusions from the research are (a) some “singles” are in LAT relationships; (b) living alone doesn’t always means being alone; and (c) intimacy doesn’t always imply co-residence

Note, a similar policy brief for the Canadian LAT population is in an earlier PSC-Info blog entry.

Living Apart Together

Canada has led the way in North America on gathering data on non-traditional living arrangements. The following is a report based on the Canadian General Social Survey on the living apart together population. Unlike the US, the Canadian GSS is collected by a federal entity, Statistics Canada.

Living Apart Together
Martin Turcotte | Statistics Canada
March 2013

Short version | Full report

Synopsis: A number of people are in a stable relationship but do not live together, and are known as non-cohabiting or ‘living apart together’ (LAT) couples. How many people are in such a situation? Are they transitioning towards a different kind of life together or making a deliberate lifestyle choice?

Questions
The following is a link to the items in the questionnaire that are used to determine LAT status. Warning, the link is pretty slow:

[LAT items from GSS (Canadian) questionnaire]

The Rise of Post-Famialism

The Rise of Post-Famialism: Humanity’s Future
Joel Klotkin | New Geography
October 2012

This is a summary of a longer report that looks at the shifts in family formation behavior world-wide. A great deal of attention to this issue has concentrated on high income countries, but the authors illustrate that this shift is occurring world-wide. The report focuses on both the short-term and long-term implications for the labor force, economic growth, and societal spending priorities.
[Summary]
[Report]

The full report is a publication from Civil Service College of Singapore. It includes several contributing authors, in addition to the author, Joel Klotkin.

Household Change in the United States

Household Change in the United States
Linda Jacobsen, Mark Mather, and Genevieve Dupuis | Population Bulletin
September 2012

[Synopsis] [Full Report] [Data Finder]

This Population Bureau report describes changes in household structure in the United States from 1940 to 2010. It covers various living arrangements: married couples, single-head families, living alone, cohabiting couples, etc. with some discussion of these relationships by age, race, education.

Olympic Britain

This is a book written by researchers of the House of Commons Library and published on 10 July 2012. It tells the story of social and economic change in the UK since the two previous London Games in 1908 and 1948, using data visualisations to bring to life a period during which our standards of living, the type of work we do, our leisure activities and our lifestyles have changed almost beyond recognition, much like the Olympics itself.

Full print version including charts and tables

Press release with sub-headings like Population, Housing and home life, Income and Education, etc.