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Moving piece that I read today

Letting go of a newborn by Julie Egan.

Although I read it at work, I could still feel tears pricking at the back of my eyelids. I swallowed hard, sent a quick prayer for the mother who gave up her son for adoption, and for the son himself, becoming a young man.

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Older mums – a bit more

I wrote an earlier response here to a WA professor’s declaration that older mothers are selfish for a variety of reasons.

One thing that has come back again and again to me from friends, older mothers and those who have not had the opportunity to become mothers, is that there’s a disconnect in some people’s lives between one person wanting to have children, and their partner not wanting children, or not wanting to settle down.

I was interested to read an article today by Sara Holton, Jane Fisher and Heather Rowe that asserts that women delaying having children for selfish reasons in order to pursue personal ambitions or hedonistic activities such as travel are not supported by the evidence.

The article is based upon To have or not to have? Australian women’s childbearing desires, expectations and outcomes by the above women in JOURNAL OF POPULATION RESEARCH DOI: 10.1007/s12546-011-9072-3. I have the article here on my screen (the joys of access to a university library – thank you).

From the news article:

[T]he selfish, career-focused woman who chooses not to have children or delays childbearing is a myth. Women are not helped by the accusations that have been directed at them in recent weeks.

Women would benefit from public policies that are more sensitive to and address the barriers they face in having children.

In addition to the welcome recent improvements in maternity benefits, such sensitive public policies could include education for men about female fertility and the risks to their partner’s health of postponing childbearing.

Other initiatives could include flexible repayment options to permit suspension of higher-education debts while women provide unpaid care for dependent young children, and maximising housing affordability.

Many women would have more children if they could and if circumstances allowed. Women reported a main barrier was their partner’s reluctance to have a child, or another child.

Given that, I feel it is irresponsible for pundits and researchers to yell at ‘older mothers’ for being ‘selfish’ and having children later in life.

 
 

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Bookmarks on your internet browser – good or not?

I admit that I have a lot of bookmarks for internet browsers, usually methodically filed under various headings (e.g. Education, Journals, Children, Psychology, etc.) I also bookmark things which I come across while doing research for lecturers, not necessarily what they wanted but things I’d found serendipitously.

The drawback is, of course, that I find the bookmarks later when I think “How on earth did I get to that one?” Or worse still, “Why did I take the effort to bookmark that?”

My treat today is from the American Association of Wine Economists, the AAWE Working Paper No. 36, .

After ranking the samples on the basis
of taste, subjects were challenged to identify which of the five was dog food. Although
72% of subjects ranked the dog food as the worst of the five samples in terms of taste
(Newell and MacFarlane multiple comparison, P<0.05), subjects were not better than
random at correctly identifying the dog food.

Best bit:

44% (8) of subjects incorrectly chose liverwurst (sample E) as the dog food.

We conclude that, although human beings do not enjoy eating dog food, they are
also not able to distinguish its flavor profile from other meat-based products that are
intended for human consumption.

 
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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Academia, Article, Food, Odd stuff

 

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