The Week: Most Recent Parenting:Parenting Controversies recent posts.en-usFri, 12 Apr 2013 10:35:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Parenting:Parenting Controversies from THE WEEKFri, 12 Apr 2013 10:35:00 -0400'Mexican Barbie' and 10 other controversial Barbies [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p>"Mexican Barbie," part of Mattel's "Dolls of the World" collection, wears a fiesta dress, and carries a Chihuahua and a big pink passport. Mattel says all the collection's dolls carry documentation, but Jason Ruiz, a professor at Notre Dame, takes exception. "It is a point of contention and great sensitivity for people of Mexican origin, especially Mexican immigrants," he told&nbsp;ABC News,&nbsp;adding that "[Mexican Americans] are tired of being seen as merely colorful.&rdquo; Click through for more disputed dolls.</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffFri, 12 Apr 2013 10:35:00 -0400Is having kids now a 'social failure'?<img src="" /></P><p><br /></p><p>Demographers and environmentalists have long warned about the coming perils of overpopulation &mdash; in the 1970s and 80s, books like <em>The Population Explosion</em>, <em>Earth: Our Crowded Spaceship</em>, and <em>Planetary Overload</em> filled bookstores, and in 1979 China created its infamous "one-child policy" program to curb overcrowding.</p><p>But it turns out they couldn't have been more wrong, according to Jonathan V. Last, a senior writer at <em>The Weekly Standard</em> and author of the new book, <em>What to Expect When No One's Expecting: America's Coming Demographic Disaster.</em> Ninety-seven percent of the world's population...</p> <a href="">More</a>By Blaire BriodyThu, 07 Feb 2013 15:41:00 -0500The sperm donor who might be forced to pay child support<img src="" /></P><p>When 46-year-old William Marotta of Topeka, Kansas, donated his sperm for artificial insemination to Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner in 2009, he thought he was giving the lesbian couple a beautiful gift: A child to call their own. Now, he's fighting a state effort to make him pay thousands in child support even though<strong> he signed a contract freeing him from all parenting</strong> <strong>responsibilities</strong>, including financial burdens, from the very beginning.</p><p class="p2">Why is the state of Kansas after him? Bauer and Schreiner, who broke up in 2010 but still co-parent eight children, <strong>filed for state health insurance for...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Wed, 02 Jan 2013 14:04:00 -0500The top 8 parenting controversies of 2012<img src="" /></P><p>Go to Amazon, do a search for "parenting" books, and you'll get about 118,039 results. Desperate moms and dads can find advice on raising healthy, happy, successful kids with a well-timed spank... or an avalanche of hugs. There are books on <em>Grace-based Parenting</em>, and something called <em>Duct-tape Parenting</em>, apparently an alternative to helicopter parenting. Caregivers, it seems, can never agree on how to do the job, and 2012 proved it. Here, a list of eight parenting controversies that heated up dinner-table conversations over the past year: <br /><br /><strong>1. The dad who used pics of his scantily clad daughter to...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/harold-maass" ><span class="byline">Harold Maass</span></a>Fri, 28 Dec 2012 10:26:00 -0500The shocking number of deaths caused by falling TVs<img src="" /></P><p class="p2">On Black Friday, many Americans lined up in the biting cold to take advantage of steep discounts on new TVs. But, as desirable as this go-to appliance is, it also poses unsuspected dangers. According to the latest report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, <strong>41 people &mdash; mostly children &mdash; were killed by falling TVs in 2011</strong>. Since 2000, more than 200 children have died that way. More startling stats: 18,000 people are injured by falling sets every year; three children are injured by a tipped-over TV every hour; and one child is killed every two weeks.</p><p class="p2">The tip-overs are mainly...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Fri, 14 Dec 2012 14:21:00 -0500The secret to a longer life: Having kids?<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong>The question:</strong> Does having children extend your lifespan? The U.S. birth rate recently hit its lowest point since 1920, arguably reflecting reports that many Americans are making the conscious decision to opt out of having children for personal and economic reasons. But these child-free Americans may be facing a trade-off, according to a new Danish study that examines the mortality rates of childless couples and parents &mdash; including adoptive ones &mdash; to see who ends up living longer.&nbsp;</p><p class="p1"><strong>How it was tested:</strong> Researchers at Denmark's Aarhus University studied more than 21,000 couples trying...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/chris-gayomali" ><span class="byline">Chris Gayomali</span></a>Thu, 06 Dec 2012 10:45:00 -0500The Oregon dad who used his scantily clad daughter to sell his Datsun<img src="" /></P><p>When an Oregon man wanted to sell his 1977 Datsun on eBay, he tapped into his inner sleazy used-car salesman and procured a sexy young woman to help make his old vehicle look hot. The problem? That scantily clad woman is his 20-year-old daughter,&nbsp;Lexxa. On his eBay listing, Kim Ridley showcases his daughter in a myriad of provocative positions around the banana-yellow car. In one shot, the vehicle is viewed through Lexxa's bare legs. In another, the tattooed girl is draped over the hood, revealing her cleavage, bra, and come-hither stare. In yet another, Lexxa&nbsp;leans against the trunk...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Wed, 28 Nov 2012 09:25:00 -0500The viral email from the most disappointed father on earth<img src="" /></P><p>Parents expressing disappointment in their children is common enough in the annals of human history, but Nick Crews, a retired officer of the British Royal Navy, may take the prize as the most embittered father to have ever walked this miserable earth. In a scathing email that has gone viral across the pond (and which is only now making the rounds in the U.S.), Crews chastises his three adult children for wallowing in utter fecklessness and incompetence, and jeopardizing the future happiness of his grandchildren. Says Crews:</p><p >With last evening's crop of whinges and tidings of more rotten news for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/ryu-spaeth" ><span class="byline">Ryu Spaeth</span></a>Tue, 27 Nov 2012 13:50:00 -0500Should a 7-year-old cancer patient be treated with medical marijuana?<img src="" /></P><p>Mykayla Comstock is one of 2,201 cancer patients authorized by the state of Oregon to use medical marijuana. Unlike most of those people, Mykayla is a child. The marijuana that 7-year-old Mykayla takes in capsule form, with the help of her mom, eases the effects of the chemotherapy that combats her aggressive leukemia. While the little girl admits the drug makes her "feel funny," it also helps her sleep through the night and stomach meals. But critics, including the girl's father, who lives in North Dakota, are quick to point out that the grade-schooler is still developing and that the possible...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/lauren-hansen" ><span class="byline">Lauren Hansen</span></a>Tue, 27 Nov 2012 07:47:00 -0500Is it safe for teens to guzzle protein shakes?<img src="" /></P><p><strong>The question:</strong> With the media fixating on six-pack abs and bulging biceps with the same fervor it once reserved for female body parts, it's no surprise that more young men are trying to get ripped. But how far are they willing to go? A new study published in the journal <em>Pediatrics</em> takes a look at adolescents' muscle-building habits and what kinds of practices, however dangerous, teens are willing to partake in.</p><p class="p2"><strong>How it was tested:</strong> Maria Eisenberg, a researcher at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and her team surveyed 2,800 kids and teens at 20 different middle schools and high schools...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 19 Nov 2012 15:19:00 -0500Coming soon: Making babies... without sperm?<img src="" /></P><p>Advances in technology, like in vitro fertilization and surrogacy, have opened up whole new ways for people to reproduce and start families. Now, Dr. Arathi Prasad, a writer with a PhD in mammalian cell cycle biology,&nbsp;says the parent of the future may not even require any assistance at all from a partner &mdash; spouse, surrogate, sperm donor, or otherwise. In her book, <em>Like a Virgin: How Science is Redesigning the Rules of Sex</em>, Prasad describes the "ultimate solo parents" of tomorrow, who are able to use their own stem cells to produce the eggs and sperm necessary for offspring &mdash; all...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 05 Nov 2012 14:22:00 -0500The man who sued his wife for birthing an ugly baby [Updated]<img src="" /></P><p><em><strong>Updated 12/5/2013: </strong></em>Snopes<em> claims the story might be a hoax.</em></p><p>"Failed relationships can get ugly," says Ji Lin at the <em>Irish Examiner</em>, but the weird, sad tale of Jian Feng and his wife "really gives meaning to the old clich&eacute;." The story starts out conventionally enough: Feng, a resident of northern China, met and married a beautiful woman, and they had a baby girl. That's when things reportedly got, um, ugly. Feng was "so sure of his own good looks, so crushed by the wrinkly ugly mess that was handed to him in a swaddle, that he decided to sue his wife because the awful looking baby was totally...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 01 Nov 2012 11:05:00 -0400The puzzling case of boys who are hitting puberty earlier<img src="" /></P><p class="p1"><strong>The research question:</strong> The scientific consensus is that girls are hitting puberty earlier than ever, developing breasts as young as 7 or 8. Experts credit higher levels of childhood obesity (body fat is linked to estrogen production) and chemicals in our food and water. Is the same trend affecting boys?&nbsp;</p><p class="p2"><strong>How the question was tested:</strong> By focusing on testicle size. The conventional wisdom is that boys hit puberty around 11<span class="s1">&frac12;.&nbsp;</span>For this study, published in the<em> Journal of Pediatrics</em>, researchers looked at the records of 4,131 boys ages 6 to 16 in 41 states. The data was compiled between...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffMon, 22 Oct 2012 10:52:00 -0400Why it's impossible to ignore the sound of a crying baby<img src="" /></P><p>Anyone who has found themselves on a plane next to a crying baby knows the disgruntled "bundle of joy" is impossible to ignore. A team of researchers from Oxford University says there's a reason for that: It's science. The cries of a baby, they've found, trigger emotional responses in the brain that we're hardwired to hear &mdash; no matter how hard we try to tune them out. Here, a brief guide to the findings:</p><p class="p2"><strong>What happened in the experiment?</strong><br />A team of Oxford University researchers, led by Dr. Katie Young and Dr. Christine Parsons, subjected 28 people to the sound of babies and adults crying, as...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffThu, 18 Oct 2012 12:50:00 -0400Yahoo's CEO crowdsources for a baby name: A hot new parenting trend?<img src="" /></P><p>While her controversially abbreviated two-week maternity leave is not a model for most women, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's unique baby-naming process is already a hot trend among digitally hip parents. Mayer is reaching out to her online community to crowdsource a name for her baby boy, born on Sept. 30. What is the Silicon Valley bigwig thinking? A closer look at her campaign:</p><p><strong>How do we know Mayer's actually doing this?<br /></strong>With the help of Twitter, naturally. Journalist and Mayer buddy Jeff Jarvis tweeted on Oct. 1: "Just got a large-group email from @marissamayer. She's crowdsourcing suggestions for...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffWed, 03 Oct 2012 16:15:00 -0400Yahoo's Marissa Mayer: The debate over her brief maternity leave<img src="" /></P><p>Yahoo's recently appointed CEO Marissa Mayer gave birth to her first child, a baby boy, on Sunday night &mdash; "and so begins the most scrutinized maternity leave in business history," says Jonathan Anker at <em>HLN</em>. After working right up to childbirth, Mayer, 37, is sticking to her plan to take only a week or two of leave before returning to the office, and working from home until then. This has reignited a heated debate about motherhood, family leave, feminism, and the provocative question raised in <em>The Atlantic</em> by Anne-Marie Slaughter: Can women "have it all"? Is it fair to ask if Mayer's decision...</p> <a href="">More</a>By The Week StaffTue, 02 Oct 2012 07:50:00 -0400