Perspectives

Perspectives presents both (scientific) research articles and (opinion) commentaries investigating topics related to the well-being of children. These works are offered to stimulate the reader’s interest in matters that directly or indirectly affect children, the family, and the society in which they live. While these articles have been reviewed by the Board, they do not necessarily represent official policy or position of the American College of Pediatricians. Click on the bolded title below to link to the article. Please note: Some files will download more slowly than others due to their large size.

Scientific Perspectives

Abstinence and Its Critics The United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform has compiled an analysis of the effectiveness of abstinence sex education versus comprehensive sex education in public schools. This October 2006 report finds that “abstinence programs provide character development and health education that empowers children and adolescents to make healthy decisions. Studies indicate that abstinence education serves to reduce teen pregnancy and the contraction of STDs, as well as guarding the emotional health of those who participate in abstinence programs.”

Corporal Punishment by Parents Debate over the use of corporal punishment in child-rearing is often heated and emotional. Is disciplinary spanking harmful to children and is it really necessary? This 1996 monograph from the Family Research Council (FRC) addresses this subject with relevant research and practical advice. This Adobe PDF version is posted with permission from the FRC.

Family Matters This research report presents existing evidence on the association between family structure and child achievement, child behavior, and child well-being. Research has consistently shown that family structure can facilitate or limit the ways in which parents are able to positively influence the future outcomes of their children. In general, most children in non-intact families are at an educational and social disadvantage compared to children in traditional families.

Healthcare Financing Systems Healthcare financing systems play a significant role in shaping the bioethical landscape. Dr. Willson’s paper summarizes the current state of the healthcare financing system in the United States, analyzes reformers’ basic underlying worldviews and ideologies, and evaluates implications of proposed healthcare financing systems in relation to specific bioethical issues.

Ideas Have Consequences This condensed version of Richard Weaver’s 1948 text, Ideas Have Consequences, is one of the “Essential Readings for the Modern Conservative” commissioned by the Alabama Policy Institute. Weaver’s purpose for the book is “examining the dissolution of Western civilization by a deduction from first principles rather than by analogy.” He promises to provide the beginnings of a solution to the crisis.

Marijuana is Dangerous to Our Youth  Two recent articles have appeared in the lay press which clearly emphasize and reiterate all of the concerns and admonitions which the College has documented in the statement, Marijuana Use: Detrimental to Youth. In this perspective piece, the author reviews the information provided in these reports.

Obesity: A Different Perspective on the Obesity Epidemic About 20% of the population is prone to store any calories not needed for basal metabolic needs as body fat. This genetic entity, known variably as metabolic syndrome, or syndrome-X, predisposes to ever-increasing body fat mass.

Our Marital Future David Blankenhorn’s new book, The Future of Marriage, explodes the widely promoted myth that redefining marriage to include same-sex partnerships would be a harmless innovation. In this article Robert P. George & Ryan T. Anderson offer a summary of the book’s analysis of the issue.

Response to the American Psychological Association (APA) Dale O’Leary, Dr. Dean Byrd, Dr. Richard P. Fitzgibbons, and James E. Phelan have prepared a scientific rebuttal to the brochure, Just the Facts about Sexual Orientation and Youth, released by a coalition of organizations in January 2008 and mailed to all public school superintendents in the US. These authors claim that the brochure, which portrays homosexual attraction among youth as an immutable trait, is biased and scientifically unfounded. This article was published in the August 2008 edition of the NARTH Bulletin.

Opinion Perspectives

A Mom and Her Baby Miriam Grossman, M.D., suggests that biological truths are not always politically correct, but ignoring them can be hazardous.

Adoption Conundrums Same-sex parenting deprives children of a mother or father. But isn’t the same thing happening with heterosexual adoption? The short answer is no; there is a moral difference between adoption by same-sex couples and heterosexual couples.

Breathtaking Conformity “Conformism” is a sinister little thing precisely because the use of science for political ends too often distorts the scientific record.

Condoms Not Always Safe Certainly the risks of a student (or other unmarried person) having sex with a condom are less than without a condom, but that does not mean that having sex with a condom is not “so bad” or by any means “safe”, nor should we assume that no students are abstaining from sex.

Cosmo Girl Lifestyle Is Dangerous and Deadly for Tweens & Teens In this report, Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., and Mary E. McAlister, Esq., state that popular culture is the leading source of sex education in the nation, and foremost among the tween and teen girl culture is Cosmopolitan. It is a commercial culture that sexualizes and objectifies children and glorifies casual, early sex in order to increase profits for a multiplicity of industries and pharmaceuticals with whom it shares financial interests, both private and public. It portrays a cavalier attitude about sex that is particularly dangerous and actually deadly to children.

Ignoring an Inequality Culprit: Single-Parent Families Researchers led by Harvard economist Raj Chetty reported that communities with a high percentage of single-parent families are less likely to experience upward mobility. Why isn’t this matter at the center of policy discussions? Maranto and Crouch propose three reasons.

Maintenance of Certification (MOC) – Do We Need Another Test? The American College of Pediatricians supports the highest standards of medical practice among its members and within the field of pediatrics. The College therefore supports ongoing medical education for physicians to incorporate applicable new research in the care of patients. The College questions; however, whether the costly and intrusive process of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program assists in education or practice.

Our Crazed Sexuality Standards – Mona Charen I never thought I’d see the words “he gave birth to a daughter” outside of science fiction. This story occupies the juncture of two appalling trends. The first is an obsession with sexuality as identity, and the second is a devaluing of the best interests of children in favor of the self-expression of adults.

With Same-sex Marriage, What Happens to the Rights of Children? Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of The Ruth Institute believes we are experimenting with vulnerable children.