Archive for the 'Culture, Values and Attitudes' Category

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Stretching the boundaries of population science

Here is a link to Christine Bachrach’s 2013 PAA Presidential Address:

Culture and Demography: From Reluctant Bedfellows to Committed Partners
Christine Bachrach | Demography
Winter 2014
html | pdf

And, here is a link to a neuroscience/population science article co-authored by several PSC researchers:

What is a representative brain? Neuroscience meets population science
Emily Falk, et.al. | PNAS
October 2013
html | pdf

Measuring Morality Data

The first phase of the Measuring Morality project is complete and the data are freely available once the user has registered on the website (and agreed to send citations to the project).

Measuring Morality website
Technical Details | Codebook

In the second phase of this project, selected items from the above survey will be included in the fourth wave of the National Study of Youth and Religion.

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.

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.

Research on Black First Names

The first paper is by former PSC post-doc, Trevon Logan, which shows that blacks had distinctive names in the early 20th Century – that this is not new. He and his co-authors used historical census data as well as data from death certificates. The second paper explores whether searches involving ‘black’ names results in different ads being displayed via a Google search. Interestingly, one of the black names is ‘Trevon.’ Likewise, one of the female black names is ‘Latanya’ which is the author’s first name. The final paper is probably a familiar paper to most – does having a black name make a difference in interview call backs.

Distinctively Black Names in the American Past
Lisa Cook, Trevon Logan, and John Parman | NBER (Working paper 18802)
February 2013

Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery
Latanya Sweeney | Harvard University [working paper posted on arcxiv.org]
January 2013

Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination
Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan | NBER (working paper 9873)
July 2003

Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore?

Why Don’t Parents Name Their Daughters Mary Anymore?
Philip Cohen | the Atlantic
December 12, 2012

This article is by Philip Cohen, a professor at the University of Maryland. The Atlantic has picked up his blog, Family Inequality, where he posts short, but scholarly snippets.

This piece illustrates the decline in the name Mary via the Social Security Administration’s names database. He posits that this is due to a rise in the cultural value of individuality. Accordingly, people value names that are not common, perhaps even unique. A repercussion of this is that there were only 21,695 baby girls named Sophia (most popular name in 2011) whereas back in 1961, there were 47,655 girls name Mary.

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.

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.

Most Muslims Want Democracy, Personal Freedoms, and Islam in Political Life

Source: Pew Research Center, Global Attitudes Project

From overview:

More than a year after the first stirrings of the Arab Spring, there continues to be a strong desire for democracy in Arab and other predominantly Muslim nations. Solid majorities in Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan believe democracy is the best form of government, as do a plurality of Pakistanis.

Indeed, these publics do not just support the general notion of democracy – they also embrace specific features of a democratic system, such as competitive elections and free speech.

A substantial number in key Muslim countries want a large role for Islam in political life. However, there are significant differences over the degree to which the legal system should be based on Islam.

Publication website
Complete Report (PDF)
Topline Questionnaire (PDF)

Households and Families: 2010

By: Daphne Lofquist, Terry Ligaila, Martin O’Connell, and Sarah Feliz
Source: United States Census Bureau

From the news release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, Households and Families: 2010, that showed interracial or interethnic opposite-sex married couple households grew by 28 percent over the decade from 7 percent in 2000 to 10 percent in 2010. States with higher percentages of couples of a different race or Hispanic origin in 2010 were primarily located in the western and southwestern parts of the United States, along with Hawaii and Alaska.

A higher percentage of unmarried partners were interracial or interethnic than married couples. Nationally, 10 percent of opposite-sex married couples had partners of a different race or Hispanic origin, compared with 18 percent of opposite-sex unmarried partners and 21 percent of same-sex unmarried partners.

Full text (PDF)