Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Broken families undermine the self-confidence of the children

The study below was of girls only but is unusually strong in that it is a twin study, which means that genetic and environmental infuences can be separated out. We can therefore conclude that a degree of reduced confidence is not of genetic origin but an effect of childhood circumstances

Family violence, physical abuse or parents divorcing can play a role in keeping a girl from becoming an entrepreneur later in life. That’s according to new research led by Zhen Zhang, assistant professor in the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. The research shows that without positive intervention negative experiences in adolescence might help discourage a girl from owning a business as an adult.

“Childhood trauma might impede girls’ natural genetic inclination to become entrepreneurs,” Zhang said. “But environmental factors such as peer support, mentor programs, positive internships, and other activities where kids learn about financial independence and being a business owner can help mediate that. In the end, if girls get enough social and environmental support, their chances of becoming entrepreneurs can remain the same.”

Zhang is presenting his latest study at the prestigious annual meeting of the Academy of Management next week in Montreal. He completed the research with colleagues from Michigan State University and the National University of Singapore. They surveyed about 1,400 female pairs of fraternal and identical twins, asking them various questions about their childhoods and work history to help find out whether genetic influences on entrepreneurship are fixed or whether they can be weakened or strengthened by social environment. Statistical analyses showed parental divorce, family violence and physical abuse all significantly weaken the genetic influences on girls becoming entrepreneurs.

“Even though DNA is fixed, it needs human behavior to manifest itself,” Zhang said. “It’s the same thing for someone genetically inclined to be a scientist or an artist - they still need to be nurtured through social and environmental factors. Girls who have a supportive environment during adolescence will be more likely to reach their full genetic potential as entrepreneurs, while those affected by negative, stressful events can have their natural genetic disposition weakened.”

Zhang did earlier research on genetics and entrepreneurship published in the academic journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes last year. It explains that genetic influence has no bearing on whether boys become entrepreneurs, but many social factors, including family influence, do prompt men to own businesses. For girls, genetic factors play a role in determining personality traits such as extroversion and emotional stability, and those traits can help sway whether girls become entrepreneurs. However, this new research adds the wrinkle that childhood trauma can still impede that genetic influence on girls.

Zhang hopes policymakers will use his research to focus on programs that will help shore up the social and environmental factors encouraging teens to become entrepreneurs.

“We want to make society better,” Zhang said. “We want to be clear that genes don’t determine everything, so we can provide training programs and other opportunities to help open up kids’ eyes to the possibility of working for themselves.”


Evil British social workers again

Couple who had son removed by social workers cleared of neglect

A couple who had their son taken away by social workers who accused them of starving him have been cleared. Lisa and Paul Hessey have spent 12 months in a battle for Zak, two, who was taken into care for four months last year when doctors raised concerns over his “failure to thrive”.

The couple, of Bolsover, near Chesterfield, who are expecting their sixth child, suspected that he was autistic but said they were ignored. Experts have now confirmed Zak’s eating problems were caused by the disorder and the case has been dropped.

Mrs Hessey, 28, and her 48-year-old husband became worried last May over the fussy eating of Zak, then 18 months. Their GP referred him to Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Doctors said he showed “autistic tendencies” and health workers would be in touch.

Last June Zak became very ill. Hospital doctors suggested a dairy-free diet. When this did not work, the couple said, doctors asked that he undergo a two-week assessment. Social workers then told the couple Zak was being taken into care as doctors were worried they were not feeding him.

Derbyshire County Council refused to hand Zak back to them until November 17 last year. It continued to battle over Zak but has now withdrawn a court application, effectively clearing the couple, who are planning to sue.

Mr Hessey said: “We have been through hell for no reason at all.” Derbyshire County Council said workers acted in “the best interests of the child”.


Episcopal church weirdness

There is a fair chance that it will end up as a totally homosexual church. Bible-believing Anglicans are steadily breaking away

The Who is Mr. BH page has a paragraph that has garnered some questions over the years. That paragraph reads:
My current spiritual state was probably impacted in some way by my stint as a potential ordinand of the Episcopal Church in 1998. During that two year Ordination Exploration Program, I learned quite a bit about myself, but even more about progressive Christianity. Needless to say, I was, to my chagrin at the time, found not worthy to continue toward ordination in the Episcopal Church. Seems I was a bit " too rigid theologically" as some were quick to point out. I think however that my downfall began when I inadequately expressed how I felt about my penis. Yes, my penis. It seemed that the ECUSA was very concerned as to whether I could talk freely about my member during the psychological phase of the program. I was literally speechless about it at the time, given that I had never really considered giving much thought to the notion before.

Some have wondered if I was kidding when I wrote it. And no, I wasn't. It actually happened. For brevity's sake, I'm leaving lots out so bear with me.

The Ordination Exploration Program was intense, with lots of oversight (as you can imagine), and as noted, took two full years to complete.

It began, from an organized perspective, in my local church where a committee met to decide whether I'd make a decent candidate. Once properly vetted, I advanced to the Diocesan level, where the program began in earnest.

The initial hurdle was a series of psychological tests. I had to trek up to Richmond for the day to take them. It took hours to complete the battery. Once I learned that I had passed that satisfactorily (weeks went by before I knew), I moved on to the next level.

I, and my fellow potential ordinands, met with a Diocesan discernment board made up of clergy, laity and mental health professionals. The cluster of candidates included a handful of men, a number of women and an out of the closet homosexual.

We met regularly over a number of months as I recall and it was during one of these meetings when the penis question was asked. I had to follow the homosexual who went first and who gave a lengthy and most descriptive answer, one that communicated openly and excitedly how fantastic he thought his penis was. You'd have thought he was talking about a puppy. In fact, he had named it. I kid you not. And no, I don't recall the name though Binky seems to ring a bell. Dinky Binky or some such rot. He went on and on and in fact had to be cut short as he had exceeded the time limit imposed. And then it was my turn.

It didn't take me nearly as long.

I questioned the relevance of the topic and received blank stares. I remember mentioning something to the effect that I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about it. That when I did, it was for biological reasons. That unlike the feller before me, I didn't have a name for it I cared to share with anybody ('Johnson' had come to mind but I thought it wise at the time to keep that to myself). I think it took me all of 27 seconds. There was a long pause as Board members jotted down notes. The silence was deafening. Clearly the expectation was that I would more readily speak. I deliberately chose not to. Those who followed me were more verbose though not quite as chatty as Dinky Binky's owner. And then it was over. A most uncomfortable session coming to a most desirable end.

I went on to start and complete an internship at a nearby church, a time I enjoyed immensely but a time where it became clearer that my fitting in with the Episcopal Church was going to be problematic.

At the end of the 2 year program (in early 2000), the Diocesan board, with the Bishop and my own priest present, communicated to my wife and I in person that I would not be moving to the next step in the process, citing a need for me to "continue my own discernment process". At the time, it was a tough blow but today, 10 years later, I'm convinced that God was guiding the process and in fact had saved me, my loved ones and the Episcopal Church from even more heartache.

Today, as regular readers know, the missus and I are willing participants in the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults in a local Catholic parish. We're being exposed to the core of Catholic teaching and are to this point enjoying it a lot.

As of this writing, my penis has not been on the agenda. I don't expect that to change moving forward.


Weird British prosecutors again

A British drunk cost taxpayers thousands of pounds when he opened a beer in the street.

The London Evening Standard reported that Stephen Geddes, 42, was banned from possessing alcohol in public after a series of drunken incidents at Turnham Green, in western London. However, in June he was caught near his home with a can of Heineken beer.

He was sentenced to an 18-month behaviour order, ordered to undergo alcohol treatment, and told to do 40 hours of community work. But his case was still sent to the Old Bailey court - normally used to try the most serious criminal cases - for sentencing over a breach to an earlier suspended sentence.

The decision to send the case to court surprised the judge, Recorder William Clegg. "The only thing he's done is to open a can of beer. It is rather a brave order to make for an alcoholic. It's not exactly stealing the crown jewels," he said. "Who would have thought a can of beer would have cost so much public money?"

The judge said it would be "unjust" to impose any further sentence on Geddes because he was still subject to the community order. He added, "I do not propose to implement the suspended sentence. Indeed you have made good progress. I am pleased to see you seem to be getting on top of the problems that you had."



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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