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, | PNAS
October 2013
html | pdf

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.

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]
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.

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)

The UNESCO World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education

Source: UNESCO

From publication website:

With over 120 maps, charts and tables, the UNESCO World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education enables readers to visualize the educational pathways of girls and boys in terms of access, participation and progression from pre-primary to tertiary education.

The Atlas features a wide range of sex-disaggregated data and gender indicators from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. It also illustrates the extent to which gender disparities in education have changed since 1970 and are shaped by factors such as national wealth, geographic location, investment in education and fields of study.

Also planned for mid-2012 is an online data mapping tool for tracking trends over time, adapting the maps and exporting the data.

Full publication (PDF)
Download chapters
Leaflet (PDF)

The American Mosque: Basic Caracteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders

Report Number 1 from the US Mosque Study 2011
By: Ihsan Bagby
Source: Faith Communities Today

From Press Release:

A comprehensive study of mosques and the attitudes of mosque leaders in the United States released today indicates that the number of American mosques increased 74 percent since 2000 and that Islamic houses of worship are ethnically-diverse institutions led by officials who advocate positive civic engagement.

A coalition of major American Muslim and academic organizations released the report, titled “The American Mosque 2011: Basic Characteristics of the American Mosque, Attitudes of Mosque Leaders,” at a news conference this morning at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

The report is the first part of the larger U.S. Mosque Survey 2011 to be published. To conduct the survey, researchers counted all mosques in America and then conducted telephone interviews with a sample of mosque leaders. (The study has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent.)

Full text (PDF)

Election Administration by the Numbers

An Analysis of Available Datasets and How to Use Them
Source: Pew Center on the States

From the publication website:

This is the first-ever report to analyze the completeness, strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of data from sources such as state election divisions, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and its Election Administration and Voting Survey, public opinion surveys, and expert assessments.

This report finds that:

  • Extensive data are available from the sources analyzed here.
  • More effective use can be made of existing data.
  • Election officials, legislators, academic researchers, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders should collaborate to improve the collection and use of data about elections nationally and in the states.
  • The accuracy, completeness, and consistency of data, and even basic definitions of terms, vary considerably across states and localities. Although significant information is available now, better data and consistent definitions will help states continue to improve the effectiveness of election administration.

Full report (PDF)

Executive Summary

Introduction & Section 1: Datasets for Democracy

Section 2: The National Picture

Section 3: Measuring the Workflow of Elections

Appendices & Methodology, References, and Endnotes

The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010

By: Tina Norris, Paula L. Vines, and Elizabeth M. Hoeffel
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

From press release:

The U.S. Census Bureau today released a 2010 Census brief, The American Indian and Alaska Native Population: 2010, [PDF] that shows almost half (44 percent) of this population, or 2.3 million people, reported being American Indian and Alaska Native in combination with one or more other races. This multiracial group grew by 39 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Overall, 5.2 million people, or 1.7 percent of all people in the United States, identified as American Indian and Alaska Native, either alone or in combination with one or more races. This population grew by 27 percent from 2000 to 2010. Those who reported being American Indian and Alaska Native alone totaled 2.9 million, an increase of 18 percent from 2000 to 2010. The multiple race American Indian and Alaska Native population, as well as both the alone and alone-or-in-combination populations, all grew at a faster rate than the total U.S. population, which increased by 9.7 percent from 2000 to 2010.

Census Brief (PDF)

Election Administration and Voting Survey, 2010

Source: United States Election Assistance Commission

From Press Release:

The United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today released the results of its 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey. The survey contains comprehensive, nationwide data about election administration in the U.S. The complete results and all data provided by the states are available on the EAC website.

The EAC’s 2010 Election Administration and Voting Survey report (EAVS) covers the 2-year period from the November 2008 elections through the November 2010 elections and is based on the results of a survey of all States, the District of Columbia, and four territories—American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

As with past reports, responses from many States and territories varied significantly. In some cases, local election officials’ challenges with collecting data limited States’ ability to respond completely.

In some areas, however, State reporting improved. For example, ninety-six percent of the responding jurisdictions were able to report the number of domestic absentee ballots that were cast and counted in 2010; seventy-six percent of responding jurisdictions were able to report this information for the 2006 midterm election.

Link to the report web page for data sets, survey instrument, and additional materials
Full Report (PDF)