Tag Archives: Single-Mother

Scientists discover how fathers improve brain development of children

Story from the Wall Street Journal. (H/T Andrew)


Dr. Braun’s group found that at 21 days, the fatherless animals had less dense dendritic spines compared to animals raised by both parents, though they “caught up” by day 90. However, the length of some types of dendrites was significantly shorter in some parts of the brain, even in adulthood, in fatherless animals.

“It just shows that parents are leaving footprints on the brain of their kids,” says Dr. Braun, 54 years old.

The neuronal differences were observed in a part of the brain called the amygdala, which is related to emotional responses and fear, and the orbitofrontal cortex, or OFC, the brain’s decision-making center.

[…]The balance between these two brain parts is critical to normal emotional and cognitive functioning, according to Dr. Braun. If the OFC isn’t active, the amygdala “goes crazy, like a horse without a rider,” she says. In the case of the fatherless pups, there were fewer dendritic spines in the OFC, while the dendrite trees in the amygdala grew more and longer branches.

A preliminary analysis of the degus’ behavior showed that fatherless animals seemed to have a lack of impulse control, Dr. Braun says. And, when they played with siblings, they engaged in more play-fighting or aggressive behavior.

In a separate study in Dr. Braun’s lab conducted by post-doctoral researcher Joerg Bock, degu pups were removed from their caregivers for one hour a day. Just this small amount of stress leads the pups to exhibit more hyperactive behaviors and less focused attention, compared to those who aren’t separated, Dr. Braun says. They also exhibit changes in their brain.

The basic wiring between the brain regions in the degus is the same as in humans, and the nerve cells are identical in their function. “So on that level we can assume that what happens in the animal’s brain when it’s raised in an impoverished environment … should be very similar to what happens in our children’s brain,” Dr. Braun says.

Read the whole thing.

Related posts

How socialism undermines the traditional family in Sweden

Take a look at this guest post by LN at Gates of Vienna. He describes how socialism in Sweden has undermined traditional marriage and traditional parenting and caused health problems for children. For example, he discusses the effects of day care and schooling of children from the ages of 1-12 years.


In large parts of the world it is natural — or at least it was — that young mothers work less than men or not at all. Career women and mothers with small children gave notice and abandoned their top skilled jobs to become “stay at home” mothers. In countries where motherliness and motherhood is a large and accepted part of life, women could leave work to become full-time mothers without losing prestige or merit.

But not in Sweden. Taxes are now so high that today it is generally required that both parents work and pay taxes to the yawning chasm that the state has become.

And this has profound effects on the children.


Professor Jay Belsky is an internationally recognized expert in the field of child development and family studies. His areas of special expertise include the effects of day care, parent-child relations during the infancy and early childhood years, the transition to parenthood, the etiology of child maltreatment, and the evolutionary basis of parent and child functioning.

[…]Many hours in pre-school, regardless of quality, results in increased behavioral problems. Nor can pre-school compensate for the weak mothering of young children. A one-or two-year-old child with a less responsive mother develops better in the mother’s care than in many hours (10 hours/week) at pre-school. Children with a less responsive parent (mother) seem to need more time with the mother, said Belsky. Nor is there any evidence that preschool would improve the child’s social development.

And here’s another excerpt:

Dr. Gordon Neufeld is a clinical psychologist from Canada with a reputation for penetrating to the heart of complex parenting issues, and the author of the internationally recognized book Hold On to Your Kids — why parents need to matter more than peers. Dr. Neufeld’s message was that the younger generation’s lack of adult contacts in the Western world is one of the most disturbing and misunderstood trends of our time — peers replacing parents in the lives of our children. Dr. Neufeld has dubbed this phenomenon peer orientation [jämnårigorientering], which refers to the tendency of children and youth to look to their peers for direction: for a sense of right and wrong, for values, identity and codes of behaviour.

But peer orientation undermines family cohesion, poisons the school atmosphere, and fosters an aggressively hostile and sexualized youth culture. It provides a powerful explanation for conformism, aggression, schoolyard bullying, and youth violence; its effects are painfully evident in the context of teenage gangs and criminal activity.

Gates of Vienna also had a recent post about the epidemic of gang rape that is currently going on in Britain. (Click here to watch a British documentary which features interviews of women and men talking about this gang rape problem). This is especially sad because young unmarried women who are the victims of the breakdown of the family actually voted 77 percent for Obama, who favors the same socialist policies that cause mothers to leave the home and put the children into the hands of strangers.

Obama praises non-traditional families on National Family Day

Story in Life Site News.


President Obama has included homosexual couples raising children in a list of “American families” in a recent proclamation declaring Monday National Family Day.

“Whether children are raised by two parents, a single parent, grandparents, a same-sex couple, or a guardian,” said Obama in the proclamation, “families encourage us to do our best and enable us to accomplish great things.”

The president went on to encourage participation in Family Day by sharing an evening meal as a family unit.  “A strong nation is made up of strong families, and on this Family Day, we rededicate ourselves to ensuring that every American family has the chance to build a better, healthier future for themselves and their children,” he said.

The family day proclamation is in keeping with Obama’s oft-professed support for the homosexualist agenda.

When Obama proclaimed June “LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) Pride Month,” he reiterated that he supports several issues on the homosexual docket, including homosexual hate crime legislation, homosexual “affirmative action” in the workplace, allowing open homosexuals in the military, and adoption to homosexual couples.

During the same month, Obama signed a presidential memorandum extending spousal benefits to homosexual partners and other unmarried partners of federal employees.

Remember, lots of Christians voted for Obama.

How does the promotion and celebration of adult selfishness over the needs of children square with a Christian worldview? Children do best when they are raised by two opposite-sex parents, linked to them biologically, who stay together in  a stable, loving relationship. Children have a right to their mother and father.

For more information, please see my previous post explaining how traditional families differ from same-sex arrangements.

British tax and benefit system favors single parents over married couples

ECM found this article by Carolyn Moynihan on MercatorNet.


An analysis of 98 couples with different earnings and numbers of children carried out by the charity Care showed that 76 of the couples would be better off if they split up and claimed welfare benefits that average £8007. Increasingly it is middle-income families where both parents work that suffer this “couple penalty”.

[…]Many do stay single — but they have children anyway, which entitles them to tax credits that take account of only one working adult per household.

Last year Labour MP Frank Field calculated that a single mother on the minimum wage with two children under eleven would get a weekly income of £487 if she worked 16 hours a week. A two-parent family with one earner would have to put in 116 hours of work on the same pay to get the same money.

It would be a poor sort of marriage that could break under the “pressure” of the partners receiving less in the way of tax breaks than the solo mum down the road (who has other disadvantages, to be sure) — as the Daily Mail suggests — but the messages being sent out are certainly not supportive of marriage as the best environment for children growing up.

The Conservative Party has promised to give back tax breaks to married couples.

This is how big government discourages marriage. The left-wing parties get elected by promising to help the poor. They help the poor by confiscating the wealth from married couples and giving it to single mothers. People see this wealth redistribution, and they stop marrying in order to get more money for doing less work. The children suffer from being raised without a father. This is called “compassion”.

Christians! Stop being ignorant! If you want to do some good in the world, do it with your own money. Don’t give it to a secular government who will try to solve the problem without any awareness of the moral law or human nature. Secular-left elites can’t solve social problems because they have no wisdom. Solve the problem yourself!

Featured blog: Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse

One of my favorite topics is the interplay between economics and marriage. And the best blog on the topic is Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse. She has excellent credentials as a sound fiscal conservative and a staunch social conservative. She is not only solid on abortion and traditional marriage, but she is one of the few people with enough vision to know the damage caused to the family by no-fault divorce and big government, as well.

Note to you young men who are thinking of marrying: marry someone like Dr. Morse, who understands how economic policy affects the marriage. Regular readers will know how I regularly gush over Michele Bachmann’s attempts to try to wrestle with Democrats to cut spending. That is how wives ought to be – defending their family from high taxes and regulations.


Here is one of the papers from Dr. J that I really liked. (the PDF version is better!)

In the paper, she addresses many topics related to feminism:

  • work/parenting balance
  • no-fault divorce
  • marriage vs. cohabitation
  • domestic violence
  • fertility
  • single-mother subsidies
  • income disparities
  • recreational sex
  • power struggles in marriage

She also discusses remedies from a Catholic perspective. (Note: the Wintery Knight is a proud evangelical Protestant)

Dr. J’s full list of articles is here.


Here is a 30-minute lecture version of that paper by Dr. J, if you prefer watching and listening to reading. The title is “Freedom, the Family and the Market”.

The description of the lecture is:

“The socialist ideal of equality has played an independent role in the breakdown of the family. Socialism has attacked the family directly, and has adopted policies that have led to demographic collapse. Christianity and capitalism offer more appealing solutions to the problems socialism claims to solve.”

I highly recommend this lecture. It’s as good as William Lane Craig, just on a different topic. This lecture is especially suitable for men.

Here’s her bio:

Born into a Catholic working class family, Dr. Morse earned a doctorate in economics during her twelve year lapse from the faith. A committed career woman before having children, she taught economics for fifteen years at Yale University and George Mason University.

The devastating experience of infertility brought her to her knees and back to the practice of the Catholic faith. In 1991, she and her husband adopted a two year old Romanian boy, and gave birth to a baby girl. She left her full-time university teaching post in 1996 to move with her family to California. She is now a part-time Research Fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty.

Dr. Morse writes about the family and the free society. Her first book, Love and Economics: Why the Laissez-Faire Family Doesn’t Work, shows why the family is the necessary building block for a free society and why so many modern attempted substitutes for the family do not work. Her second book, Smart Sex: Finding Life-Long Love in a Hook-Up World, exposes the sexual revolution’s fraudulent promise of freedom and points the way to the most thrilling adventure of all–life-long love.

Her public policy articles have appeared in Forbes, Policy Review, The American Enterprise, Fortune, Reason, the Wall Street Journal, Vital Speeches,
and Religion and Liberty.

Dr. Morse’s scholarly articles have appeared in the Journal of Political Economy, Economic Inquiry, the Journal of Economic History, Publius: the Journal of Federalism, the University of Chicago Law Review, and the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Social Philosophy and Policy, The Independent Review, townhall.com, and The Notre Dame Journal of Law Ethics and Public Policy.

I know I don’t have to tell you George Mason University is home to Walter Williams, one of my two favorite living economists, whose work I often feature. GMU has the best economics school in the entire nation, featuring 2 Nobel prize winners. (Their only black mark is their shoddy treatment of intelligent design theorist Dr. Caroline Crocker).