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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb 28, 2014 / 28 Adar I, 5774

Modern Family?

By Mona Charen




JewishWorldReview.com | The traditional family is dead, so we've been informed. It's been replaced by blended families, cohabitation, single-parent families, and, if the latest scientific controversy regarding mitochondrial DNA pans out, multiple biological parents for a single child.

It's not wrong to declare that the face of the American family is changing (even if most of the changes have been for the worse), but it may be overwrought. The only way to sing a dirge for the "traditional" family is to define it exceedingly narrowly — and even then, it's not dead, just diminished. If you define "traditional" as a father working and mother not working outside the home, and 2.4 children (OK, kidding about the .4), then yes, only about 23 percent of families fit that model today. But if you broaden the definition a bit to include households in which one spouse, usually the husband, works full time and the other, usually the wife, works only part time in order to care for children, then you get a majority of married couples. Among parents of children younger than 6, married mothers are less likely to be working at all, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, making those families look very traditional indeed.

The mode for married parents today is supposed to be egalitarian — that is, mom and dad sharing equally in the tasks of breadwinning, housework and child care. Remember the great hubbub about the rise of so-called breadwinner moms? That was much less than it appeared, a case of media exuberance untethered to facts. They counted, for example, single moms on welfare as "breadwinners," which is quite a stretch of the definition.

Examining married parents, Brad Wilcox of the Institute for Family Studies, finds that most are following a "neo-traditional" pattern. Mothers do nearly 70 percent of the child care and housework in these households, while fathers do 65 percent of the breadwinning. Though scorned as outmoded, this pattern actually matches women's preferences. Fifty-three percent of married mothers say that part-time work is ideal, and another 23 percent prefer to be stay-at-home moms.

Surveys consistently find that women do much more housework than men, even in cohabitating relationships. Feminists howl at the injustice of it, and economists attempt to measure and quantify it. It's really no mystery. Men do less housework because they don't care! Is the sink getting rust stains around the drain? Are the potatoes in the pantry sprouting green shoots? Does the TV screen have fingerprints on it? How many men would notice, and what percentage of those would care?

After my first year of marriage, I suggested that the best place to hide jewels would be in the back of the refrigerator since most thieves are men, and men can never find anything in the back of the refrigerator. Raising three sons confirms that it's testosterone-induced blindness.

This is not to disparage the stronger sex. Married men tend to earn more money than single men — as much as 44 percent more after controlling for age, IQ, education, experience, race and number of children. Economists call it the marriage premium.

Speculation as to the provenance of this bounty includes "ability bias," i.e., those men who are able to earn more money are better able to attract spouses; "signaling," meaning that being married signals reliability and other valuable traits to employers; and "human capital," i.e., being married makes men work harder, curb their tempers, and otherwise perform better at work.

I lean to the human capital explanation. Brain research has shown that, on average, women are better at understanding emotions than men. Married men have advantage over their single co-workers, in that they can consult their wives regarding interpersonal conflicts and questions. Their wives can help them to understand what's really going on. My mother performed this function for my dad for years.

This is only part of the explanation (which is pure speculation I freely admit). By itself, this feminine psychological insight would suggest that women should earn more than men, and that isn't the case. No, the other piece of the puzzle regarding married men and work is love and appreciation. Married men work harder because they know they are working for the welfare of those they love. Married women probably convey their gratitude to their husbands for providing the security they and the children need, and this cements a man's place in the world.

The "marriage premium" doesn't work for cohabitating men, nor for those who father children they don't raise. The "piece of paper" matters. Something to consider the next time someone celebrates the decline of "traditional" marriage.

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Mona Charen Archives

© 2014 Creators Syndicate.

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