It’s Time to Embrace that Boys do Cry


Boys will be boys, as in they will need emotional support and when they are babies they will need more of it than girls. The approach to raising boys who are “tough” and need to “man up” only leads to machismo and other societal ills. So let’s raise boys with more hugs and even more care. It’s time to drop the false assumption that boys ought not to feel emotion or that they can handle distressing moments on their own. If you’re raising a human then I hope you show unfaltering love and emotional care regardless of their gender.

Gendered expectations from parents, teachers and coaches only amplify when boys start school. There’s a prevailing myth that boys are tough enough to handle the barbs of bullying, especially the smaller ones, but research tells us otherwise. A 2021 study showed that boys are more vulnerable to the toxic effects of bullying. In fact, bullied boys reported mental health problems at a rate four times higher than boys who weren’t bullied. That’s especially concerning given the long, toxic tail that bullying has for all children and given that bullying is one of several risk factors  that increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors.

It’s ironic, but independence isn’t something you can learn all by yourself. Boys need tolerant, empathetic adults in their lives in order to become self-reliant. They need to know that we care about and value them, even when we don’t agree with their desires and decisions.

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Dads That Stay Home Are Less Sexist


Moms and dads both can take parental leave in the majority of countries around the world, and researchers have found in places that men take parental leave that the dads become less sexist. Turns out when dads are the primary caregiver for their children learn more about the gendered roles our society place on people. As dads get exposed to the realities of childrearing and other classic domestic duties they get more understanding. So if you’re thinking about becoming a parent make sure to take as much time as possible to be with your little one.

Research shows that sexist attitudes are deeply ingrained, with adverse consequences in the socioeconomic and political sphere. We argue that parental leave for fathers—a policy reform that disrupts traditional gender roles and promotes less stereotypical ones—has the power to decrease attitudinal gender bias. Contrasting the attitudes of new parents who were (and were not) directly affected by a real-world policy reform that tripled the amount of fathers’ leave, we provide causal evidence that the reform increased gender-egalitarian views in the socioeconomic and political domains among mothers and fathers, and raised support for pro-female policies that potentially displace men among mothers. In contrast, informational, indirect exposure to the reform among the general public produced no attitudinal change. These results show that direct exposure to progressive social policy can weaken sexist attitudes, providing governments with a practical and effective tool to reduce harmful biases.

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You Won’t Regret Not Having Kids


People with kids put a lot of pressure on couples without kids to procreate, which is obviously rude but happens anyway. This could lead to people thinking they want kids when really they don’t. In some places there is even social stigma around not having a child.

If you’re in the no kid camp then good for you! Don’t listen to the parents justifying their life decisions to make more of themselves. Indeed, you will not regret your decision to not have children later on. So go ahead and live the life you want to live.

Childfree individuals, who are also described as ‘childless by choice’ or ‘voluntarily childless’, have decided they do not want biological or adopted children. This is an important population to understand because its members have unique reproductive health and end-of-life needs, and they encounter challenges managing work-life balance and with stereotypes. Prior estimates of childfree adults’ prevalence in the United States, their age of decision, and interpersonal warmth judgements have varied widely over time and by study design. To clarify these characteristics of the contemporary childfree population, we conduct a pre-registered direct replication of a recent population-representative study. All estimates concerning childfree adults replicate, boosting confidence in earlier conclusions that childfree people are numerous and decide early in life, and that parents exhibit strong in-group favoritism while childfree adults do not.

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Kids Love Living in Cities

Good Street from Streetmix

Urban places are already good places since they are more environmentally friendly than sub-urban places and have fantastic access to culture. Research in Toronto has revealed that children love cities too. In North America there’s a myth that suburban developments are better for children (despite the reliance on automobiles to do anything), and we need to address that myth. The way the Toronto-based researchers examined this was simply by asking kids what they like, and called it Kidscore.

The KidScore is both an engagement tool and a metric for evaluating the child-friendliness of urban places. It measures what matters
to kids in cities and towns, and was made by kids and experts with the goal of creating happier, healthier urban places for kids.
The objective of the KidScore is to push beyond the kinds of statements typically generated by child engagement processes and consultations, such as, “We want more parks to play in,” or, “We want a safer city.”

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Funding Childhood Programs Improves Life and the Economy

Ensuring that kids have a chance to succeed is the best thing we can do for society. If children of all backgrounds and stations in life get the support the need from the start then all of us benefit, not just the child. We have known this for years, but it’s important to remember now as we face “uncertain times” when traditionally right-wing leaning individuals call for budget cuts and “austerity”. A recent study has proven that for every dollar spent on early childhood programs the government actually earns $7.3 back.

This paper quantifies and aggregates the multiple lifetime benefits of an influential high-quality early-childhood program with outcomes measured through midlife. Guided by economic theory, we supplement experimental data with nonexperimental data to forecast the life-cycle benefits and costs of the program. Our point estimate of the internal rate of return is 13.7%, with an associated benefit/cost ratio of 7.3. We account for model estimation and forecasting error and present estimates from extensive sensitivity analyses. This paper is a template for synthesizing experimental and nonexperimental data using economic theory to estimate the long-run life-cycle benefits of social programs.

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