Family & Society

Gender roles are formed and reinforced from earliest childhood through family relations, social and cultural strictures and norms. Today, family structures are shifting as nuclear and extended families undergo transformations due to economic and societal changes. The traditional archetype of one father and one mother plus children reflects only 25 percent of families in the U.S. Parental roles are also evolving as single-parent, same-sex couples and adoptive parents become increasingly common. Laws and employment policies are gradually reflecting these changes but more effort needs to be focused on providing family-friendly support from affordable, accessible, quality child and elder care to flexible work arrangements.

Being a good mom: Talking the talk

In the immediate aftermath of Trayvon Martin’s death, The Talk was a buzzphrase in many mouths.  The Talk – the cautions, warnings, do’s and don’ts many parents of African American boys give them as they stretch forward out of childhood into manhood.  The Talk is part of the being-a-good-mom checklist, if you’re the mother of an African American boy. It is being responsible, proactive, aware.

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This Father’s Day, If You Care to Send the Very Best, Don’t Reinforce Sexist Gender Role Stereotypes

Sexism is not a one-party issue. Expectations to fulfill gender role requirements do not only negatively affect women, but men as well. The cards we give to fathers and mothers on their respective holidays exemplify how we view their roles as a society—views that may act as a barrier to men and women’s familial and workplace fulfillment. For example, we tell fathers on Father’s Day that they are providers and protectors whose wisdom, toughness, and strength maintain their families. They are bearers of respect and integrity.


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Mothers Can’t Win for Losing...

Is it possible to think of your mother without also conjuring up notions of the Great Mother, that archetype so deeply embedded within our cultures and psyches? Richard Stromer doesn’t think so, as he says in his paper, The Good and the Terrible, Exploring the Two faces of the Great Mother: “In exploring the idea of ‘mother,’ it is useful to recognize the existence of both a personal and biographical dimension and a collective and mythic one.”  That mythic mother appears all around us, especially in the stories we consume from an early age.


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Great Gifts for Mothers of Young Children: Quality, Accessible, Affordable Early Care and Education

Quality early care and education are truly a gifts that will keep on giving, not only to mothers, but to all of us.  We’re not saying that it’s only important to mothers; fathers need and want this too.  However, there has been much research on its impact on mothers, especially single mothers.  According to the Center for American Progress, “...although mothers are now the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American households with children, women spend more than twice as much time as men providing primary care to children.


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The Pregnancy Assistance Fund as a Support for Student Parents in Postsecondary Education

The Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) is a competitive grant program created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that provides funding to states and tribes to support programs that provide pregnant and parenting women and girls with supportive services to help them complete high school or postsecondary degrees (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2010a). Only two states, Minnesota and Virginia, have used their PAF grants to provide services related to postsecondary institutions. This fact sheet describes several of the programs and initiatives created by these PAF grantees. Unless otherwise noted, all program information comes from interviews with program officials and staff.

by Rhiana Gunn-Wright (July 2012)

URL: 
http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-pregnancy-assistance-fund-as-a-support-for-student-parents-in-postsecondary-education

Intended and Unintended Births in the United States: 1982–2010

Report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Objectives—This report shows trends since 1982 in whether a woman wanted to get pregnant just before the pregnancy occurred. This is the most direct measure available of the extent to which women are able (or unable) to choose to have the number of births they want, when they want them. In this report, this is called the ‘‘standard measure of unintended pregnancy.’’

Methods—The data used in this report are primarily from the 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The 2006–2010 NSFG included in-person interviews with 12,279 women aged 15–44. Some data in the trend analyses are taken from NSFG surveys conducted in
1982, 1988, 1995, and 2002.

URL: 
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr055.pdf

Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women: 2012-2013 Prudential Research Study

Prudential's 2012-2013 Research Study, "Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women," reveals that while women are more in control of their finances than ever, they are facing significant challenges with financial decision making.

URL: 
http://www.prudential.com/media/managed/wm/WM-Women_are_Taking_on_Greater_Financial_Challenges.html
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