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Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships

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Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships



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Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships by David M. Hall
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"Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships, 8/e" presents current controversial issues in a debate-style format designed to stimulate student interest and develop critical thinking skills. Each issue is thoughtfully framed with an issue summary, an issue introduction, and a postscript. An instructor's manual with testing material is available for each volume. "Using Taking Sides in the Classroom" is also an excellent instructor resource with practical suggestions on incorporating this effective approach in the classroom. Each "Taking Sides" reader features an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites and is supported by a book website.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents Clashing Views in Family and Personal Relationships, Eighth Edition Unit 1 Parental Decision Making: What s Best for Children ... or What s Best for Parents? Issue 1. Should Parents Be Allowed to Opt Their Children Out of Sexuality Education Classes? YES: William J. Taverner, from The Right to Pass, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships, (2009) NO: Allyson Sandak, from Let the Teachers Teach, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009)William J. Taverner is a nationally known sex educator and trainer who has authored a number of sexuality education manuals and is the Editor- in-Chief of the American Journal of Sexuality Education. Taverner argues that despite his strong support for comprehensive sexuality education, respecting the moral beliefs of the parents who choose to opt out is more important than including all students. Allyson Sandak has been a sexuality educator and trainer for a decade, as well as an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and the Editor-in-Chief of Contemporary Sexuality, a publication of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT). Sandak argues that comprehensive sexuality education is a public health issue and that opting-out provisions are harmful to young people. Issue 2. Should Adoptive Parents Adopt Only within Their Own Racial/Ethnic Group?YES: Leslie Doty Hollingsworth, from Promoting Same-Race Adoption for Children of Color, Social Work (vol. 43, no. 2, 1998) NO: Ezra E. H. Griffith and Rachel L. Bergeron, from Cultural Stereotypes Die Hard: The Case of Transracial Adoption, The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (vol. 34, no. 3, 2006)Leslie Doty Hollingsworth, an associate professor of social work at the University of Michigan, offers a history of transracial adoption that has involved primarily white adoptive parents and black or African American children. She argues that children are best served if they are adopted by families of their same racial background, and that systematic changes such as adoption services and programs better geared toward adults of color would enable more families to adopt children from their own backgrounds. Ezra Griffith and Rachel Bergeron, both faculty members of the Yale University School of Medicine s psychiatry department, argue that requiring racial and ethnic matching, although an appropriate effort, would leave too many children of color languishing in the foster and adoption systems. By maintaining that only in-race adoption is the best and ideal situation, they ask rhetorically, does our society actually do more to reinforce cultural stereotypes or to truly serve children needing homes? Issue 3. Should Unhappy Couples Stay Together for the Sake of Their Children?YES: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser, from Because Unhappy Divorces Are Not All Alike, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009)NO: Lara Riscol, from Pursuing Happiness for the Sake of Your Children, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009)Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a writer and lives in Northampton. She earned her BA at Hampshire College and her MFA from Warren Wilson College. Contributor to many magazines, newspapers, and online publications, she has a blog called Standing in the Shadows, which can be found at Lara Riscol is a freelance writer who explores societal conflict surrounding sexuality and family. She has been published in The Nation, Salon, AlterNet, and other national media outlets, and is working on a book called Ten Sex Myths That Screw America. Issue 4. Should Parents Home-school Their Children? YES: Chris Jeub, from Home School Focus on the Family (2006)NO: Carole Moore, from Why Home-schooling Isn t Right for Us, (2006) Chris Jeub, writer and president of Training Minds Ministries, is a former public school teacher with 11 children, all of whom he and his wife have home-schooled. Naming several famous home-schooled individuals, such as Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, and Florence Nightingale, he argues that the home is the best environment in which to teach children, for social, academic, family strengthening, and religious reasons. Home-schooling, he maintains, frees parents to impart their own values to their children without concern for how these beliefs might clash with what is presented in the public school system. Carole Moore, a freelance writer, discusses how she weighed the options of home-schooling vs. public schooling and argues that even though home-schooling might offer some benefits to children, in the end, home-schooling provides children a distorted view of the world at large. Children will, she writes, make good decisions and bad decisions as a part of growing up, and whether they are home-schooled or public schooled is not the determining factor in whether they grow up healthy and well-adjusted. Issue 5. Do Mothers Who Work Outside of the Home Have a Negative Effect on Their Children?YES: Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Wen-Jui Han, and Jane Waldfogel, from Maternal Employment and Child Cognitive Outcomes in the First Three Years of Life: The NICHD Study of Early Child Care, Child Development ( July/August 2002)NO: Thomas M. Vander Ven et al., from Home Alone: The Impact of Maternal Employment on Delinquency, Social Problems (May 2001)Child developmentalists Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, Wen-Jui Han, and Jane Waldfogel assert that their findings show many types of negative effects from maternal employment on the later cognitive and educational outcomes of children. Professor of sociology and anthropology Thomas M. Vander Ven and his colleagues argue that their studies show that a mother working will have relatively little or no negative influence on the social, emotional, and behavioral functioning of her children. Unit 2 How Much Control Should Parents Have Over Their Children s Lives? Issue 6. Should Abstinence-Until-Marriage Be the Only Message for Teens?YES: Bridget E. Maher, from Abstinence Until Marriage: The Best Message for Teens, Family Research Council (2004)NO: Sue Alford, from What s Wrong with Federal Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Requirements? Transitions (March 2001)Bridget E. Maher, an analyst on marriage and family issues at the Family Research Council, argues that far too much funding has gone into programs that teach young people about sexuality and contraception programs that she asserts are ineffective. She argues that most teens say they and their peers should receive strong messages about abstinence. Sue Alford, editor and director of public information services at Advocates for Youth, argues that young people are receiving sexuality information and messages from so many sources that it is irresponsible to limit sexuality and other educators to discussing only abstinence. She maintains that the programs taught under the Abstinence Until Marriage funding often provide factually inaccurate information and hyperbolic assertions pertaining to the potential consequences of sexual relationships outside of marriage. Issue 7. Should Parents Be Able to Select the Biological Sex of Their Children? YES: John A. Robertson, from Preconception Gender Selection, The American Journal of Bioethics (Winter 2001) NO: Norman Daniels, from It Isn t Just the Sex ...; Carson Strong, from Can t You Control Your Children?; Mary B. Mahowald, from Reverse Sexism? Not to Worry; and Mark V. Sauer, from Preconception Sex Selection: A Commentary, The American Journal of Bioethics (Winter 2001) Professor John A. Robertson of the University of Texas at Austin s School of Law argues that preconception gender selection of infants in utero for medical purposes should be allowed, and that insufficient data exist to demonstrate that any clear harm exists in allowing parents to do so. Norman Daniels (Tufts University), Carson Strong (University of Tennessee), Mary B. Mahowald (University of Chicago), and Mark V. Sauer (Columbia University) each take one aspect of Professor Robertson s arguments to demonstrate why prec onception gender selection should not be allowed, including, for example, the socioeconomic status inequity that allowing such a procedure, which likely would not be covered by health insurance, would create. Issue 8. Should Parents Surgically Alter Their Intersex Infants? YES: Amicur Farkas, B. Chertin, and Irith Hadas-Halpren, from One-Stage Feminizing Genitoplasty: Eight Years of Experience with Forty-Nine Cases, The Journal of Urology (June 2001)NO: Paul McHugh, from Surgical Sex, First Things (November 2004) Amicur Farkas, B. Chertin, and Irith Hadas-Halpren, faculty of the Ben-Gurion University in Jerusalem, Israel, see ambiguous genitalia as a true emergency. They assert that feminizing surgery should be done on an infant with congenital adrenal hyperplasia to ensure that as an adult woman, she will have sexual functioning and be able to give birth. Paul McHugh argues that a person s sense of gender identity is biologically based that by changing an infant s or child s body before that child has a sense of who he or she is and risking being wrong about that sex assignment can do much more damage than good. Issue 9. Should Minors Be Required to Get Their Parents Permission in Order to Obtain an Abortion?YES: Teresa Stanton Collett, from Testimony Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. House of Representatives (September 6, 2001) NO: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., from Fact Sheet: Teenagers, Abortion, and Government Intrusion Laws, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (August 1999) Teresa Stanton Collett, former professor at South Texas College of Law, testifies in front of the U.S. House of Representatives in support of the federal Child Custody Protection Act. She advocates parental involvement in a minor s pregnancy, regardless of the girl s intention to carry or terminate the pregnancy. Parental involvement, Collett maintains, is not punitive; rather, it offers the girl herself additional protection against injury and sexual assault. Minors tend to have less access to information and education than adults; without this information and education, they are not able to provide truly informed consent, concludes Collett. Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc., the oldest and largest reproductive health organization in the United States, argues that parental notification and consent laws keep girls from exercising their legal right to access abortion. Notifying parents of their daughter s intent to terminate a pregnancy puts many girls at risk for severe punishment, expulsion from the home, or even physical violence. Planned Parenthood contends that just as minors have the power to give their consent for other surgical procedures, they should be able to give their own consent to terminate a pregnancy. Unit 3 Being Inclusive: Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Individuals, Couples, and Families Issue 10. Should Same-Sex Couples Be Allowed to Marry Legally?YES: Human Rights Campaign, from Answers to Questions About Marriage Equality (HRC s FamilyNet Project, 2004) NO: Peter Sprigg, from Questions and Answers: What s Wrong with Letting Same-Sex Couples Marry ? (Family Research Council, 2004)The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America s largest lesbian and gay organization, outlines the current disparities American lesbian and gay couples experience because they are not allowed to marry legally, as well as the logistical considerations involved in granting same-sex couples the right to marry. Peter Sprigg, director of the Center for Marriage and Family Studies at the Family Research Council, outlines why nonheterosexual relationships do not carry with them the same validity as heterosexual relationships, and therefore should not be allowed to marry legally. Issue 11. Should Men Who Have Sex with Men Be Allowed to Donate Blood? YES: Bob Roehr, from The Gift of Life: Gay Men and U.S. Blood Donation Policy, Liberty Education Forum (2006) NO: Marc Germain and Graham Sher, from Men Who Have Had Sex with Men and Blood Donation: Is It Time to Change Our Deferral Criteria? Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care ( July/September 2002)Journalist and medical writer Bob Roehr believes that the blood donation policy that continues to ban men who have sex with other men is irrational because it discriminates based on a behavior, not on risk factors. Why, for example, is a heterosexual woman who has unprotected intercourse with many male partners allowed to donate blood, but a man who is in a monogamous relationship with only one other man in which they use condoms consistently is not? Dr. Marc Germain, medical director of microbiology and epidemiology at Hema-Quebec, and Graham Sher, chief executive officer of the Canadian Blood Services, cite data that show a small increase in risk of transmitting HIV between men who have sex with other men and argue that even this small increase merits restricting who can donate blood in order to serve the safety of the greater society. The expectation of the people receiving a blood donation that their blood will be disease-free outweighs, they say, the rights of those who are seen as high risk for HIV and other transfusion-transmitted diseases. Issue 12. Should Lesbian and Gay Individuals Be Allowed to Adopt Children?YES: Joan Biskupic, from Same-Sex Couples Redefining Family Life in USA, USA Today (February 17, 2003)NO: Timothy J. Dailey, from State of the States: Update on Homosexual Adoption in the U.S. Family Research Council (no. 243, 2004) Joan Biskupic, legal affairs correspondent for USA Today, discusses the personal challenges for same-gender couples attempting to adopt in states that are not friendly to them and provides an update of legal issues and options available to lesbian and gay couples; these indicate a changing tide of acceptance toward couples of the same gender, as well as lesbian and gay individuals, adopting children. Timothy J. Dailey, senior research fellow at the Center for Marriage and Family Studies, provides an overview of state laws pertaining to adoption by lesbian or gay parents. He points to studies showing that children do much better in family settings that include both a mother and a father, and that the sexual behaviors same-sex parents engage in make them, by definition, inappropriate role models for children. Issue 13. Should Private Sexual Acts between Gay and Lesbian Couples Be Legal? YES: Anthony Kennedy, excerpts from Majority Opinion, Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court (2003) NO: Antonin Scalia, excerpts from Dissenting Opinion, Lawrence v. Texas, U.S. Supreme Court (2003) Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was appointed to the Court by President Reagan in 1988. In this case, Kennedy is writing for a six-member majority that overturns a previous case, Bowers v. Hardwick. Bowers is overturned by Kennedy s opinion, therefore striking down state antisodomy laws. Antonin Scalia, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was appointed to the Court by President Reagan in 1986. Scalia writes that there are no constitutional protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and that state sodomy laws should be upheld. Unit 4 Twenty-First-Century Sexuality Issues Issue 14. Is Cybersex Cheating ?YES: Susan A. Milstein, from Any Way You Slice It ... Cheating Is Cheating, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009)NO: Crystal Bedley, from Cybersex as Relationship Enhancer, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009) Susan Milstein is a certified health education specialist and a certified sexuality educator. She is an associate professor in the Department of Health Enhancement at Montgomery College in Maryland, as well as the lead consultant for Milstein Health Consulting. Milstein contends that while it is difficult to create a universal definition of cheating, the majority of people feel that cybersex outside of a primary relationship is cheating. Crystal Bedley argues that the anonymous nature of cybersex means that it is not cheating. Issue 15. Are Open Relationships Healthy?YES: Donald Dyson, from Seeing Relationships Through a Wider Lens: Open Relationships As A Healthy Option, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009)NO: Stanley Kurtz, from Here Come the Brides: Plural Marriage Is Waiting in the Wings, The Weekly Standard (December 26, 2005) Donald Dyson is assistant professor of human sexuality education at Widener University and the national co-chair of the conference for the American Association of Sexuality Educat ors, Counselors and Therapists. Dyson argues that there are essential qualities of a healthy relationship and that an open relationship can be successful. Stanley Kurtz, a writer and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, argues that allowing for same-sex marriage will create a slippery slope, eventually leading to plural marriages. Kurtz contends that such marriages prove destructive to the institution of marriage itself. Issue 16. Is Pornography Harmful to Teenagers? YES: Wayne Grinwis, from Is Pornography Harmful to Teenagers? Yes! written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009) NO: Justin A. Sitron, from Why Porn Is Not Harmful to Teens, written for Taking Sides: Family and Personal Relationships (2009) Wayne Grinwis, has been a sexual health educator for Planned Parenthood for 15 years. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Health at West Chester University. Grinwis credits Andrea Daniels for help with this article. Grinwis argues that pornography is all right for adults, but for teenagers it can create unrealistic expectations about sex, provide a negative and inaccurate sexuality education, and increase sexual violence against women. Justin Sitron, is assistant professor of Education at Widener University. Sitron argues that pornography has no negative impact on teenagers and, in fact, has potential benefits. Sitron contends that Internet pornography can be helpful in providing teens an opportunity to see real bodies, a chance to learn about sex from seeing rather than doing, and an open door for communication with parents. Issue 17. Are Statutory Rape Laws Effective at Protecting Minors? YES: Sherry F. Colb, from The Pros and Cons of Statutory Rape Laws, (February 11, 2004) NO: Marc Tunzi, from Curbside Consultation: Isn t This Statutory Rape? American Family Physician (May 1, 2002) Sherry F. Colb, columnist and law professor, uses a case study involving a statutory rape case to raise concerns about whether rape and assault cases would be prosecuted sufficiently without statutory rape laws. Although not perfect, statutory rape laws can be assets in such rape cases as when the older partner denies the rape occurred or denies responsibility for a resulting pregnancy or infection. Marc Tunzi, a family physician, believes that statutory rape laws are ineffective because people can get around them too easily. These laws, he argues, require that an otherwise healthy relationship between two people of different ages be criminalized solely because there is some kind of sexual activity involved. As a result, medical and other licensed professionals do not want to break up these relationships that, in their professional opinion, are not problematic based on just the age difference between the two partners.
Release date Australia
December 11th, 2009
Country of Publication
United States
8th Revised edition
McGraw Hill Higher Education
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