Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Dads Who Do Dishes Raise Ambitious Daughters(?)

I have read the academic journal article behind the popular report below and must advise caution about the assertions below.

For a start, the sampling underlying the article was a mess.  Respondents were recruited from visitors to a Canadian science center so would have been solidly middle class -- and the authors (Croft et al) even then had data for both parents for only 27% of their sample. 

More importantly, however, I think the results can be fully explained by saying that parental attitudes towards sex roles tend to be transmitted to their children  -- which is not much of a surprise.  Fathers with less traditional attitudes tended to raise children with less traditional attitudes.  Nothing new there, with the results explicable on both genetic and learning grounds.  As has been known since the '80s, social attitudes are highly transmissable genetically

Dads who equally divided the drudgery of household chores with their wives tended to have daughters whose “when I grow up” aspirations were less gender-stereotypical, suggests an upcoming paper in Psychological Science.

Moms’ work-equality beliefs did also color their daughters’ attitudes toward gender roles, but this study found that a stronger predictor of girls’ career goals was the way their dads handled domestic duties. The daughters of parents who shared housework were more likely to tell the researchers they wanted to be a police officer, a doctor, an accountant, or a "scientist (who studies germs to help doctors find what medicine each patient needs)," lead author Alyssa Croft wrote via email, quoting one little girl in the study.

Here’s more from the Association for Psychological Science:

    "The study results suggest that parents’ domestic actions may speak louder than words. Even when fathers publicly endorsed gender equality, if they retained a traditional division of labor at home, their daughters were more likely to envision themselves in traditionally female-dominant jobs, such as nurse, teacher, librarian or stay-at-home-mom.

Even feminist fathers who fail to lift a finger around the house might be unconsciously telling their daughters that housework equals women's work, this study suggests. So, dads: Do the damn dishes already."


Lest we forget

Satan's children at work

IT was a day of excitement and wonder that turned to horror in the flash of a gun.  Scores of tourists marvelling at awe-inspiring ruins of Luxor, in Egypt, were ambushed by Islamic terrorists.

In the space of 45 minutes, a mere six attackers hunted down and butchered 62 people as they cowered among the ancient temple walls.

The killers, screaming “Allah Akbar” (God is Great), used guns and machetes, their victims — 58 foreign visitors and four locals — ranging from children to pensioners.

Some survivors said young women were first sexually assaulted; others that victims’ bodies were mutilated.

The massacre was in November 1997, four years before the world learned to fear the names of Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda.

There have been numerous deadly attacks since, some directed at tourist hot spots such as the Sharm el Sheik slaughter of 2005 and the following year’s strike in Dahab.

Muslim-Christian riots rock the country’s cities regularly. And it was an interview with the controversial Muslim Brotherhood that led to this week’s politically-motivated jailing of Australian Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste.

The attack at Luxor was a chilling low mark, however, for its ferocity and brutality as much as for its unexpectedness.

On the morning of 17 November, as tourists wandered among the well-preserved 3,500-year-old columns of Hatshepsut’s Temple, close to the Nile, the six attackers, disguised as security men, approached.

They swiftly killed the two police guards — leaving their real target, the tourists, entirely unprotected and effectively trapped in the temple.

Then the slaughter began.

The killers were disaffected members of al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, also known as the Islamic Group.

The tourists nearest to the fanatics were the first to realise what was happening, some desperately trying to flee — but their efforts were in vain.

Others at first heard gunfire and wondered what was happening — the chilling truth swiftly dawning as the shots blended with screams and war cries.

‘’People were running away, left and right,’’ one survivor, Swiss writer Linka Fingerhuth, said days later.

She saw two visitors topple over as they were hit; then men carrying assault rifles charged towards her — blasting a Japanese woman in the face at point blank range as they came.

Four couples on honeymoon were among Japan’s ten dead; a five-year-old British girl was murdered alongside her mother, grandma and three other Britons; Germans and Colombians were also slain. The majority — 36 of the victims — were Swiss.

As the tourists scattered and tried to hide, the gunmen apparently split up and began crisscrossing the temple area, hunting for victims.

“I kept waiting to hear someone firing back, but there was nothing,’’ said Ms. Fingerhuth, a widow who had mercifully left her two young children with relatives in Zurich while she went on holiday.

But, she added: “There were only the screams of the victims, and the attackers shouting ‘Allah Akbar!’”

Despite her fears one terrorist had spotted her, she was able to climb over a wall into a ruined enclosure, where she cowered with three others.

One of them was a fellow journalist, Felix Muller.

“Now the shooting is very close,’’ he wrote a few days later. “There are hysterical screams, rending cries, Arabic commands — all sending multiple echoes from the rock walls around us.”

Swiss survivor Stefan Kopp lost his wife, Nanette, who he spotted lying dead just two meteres away as he lifted his head during a lull in the firing.

“I took my wife in my arms, and closed her eyes and mouth,” he told Al-Jazeera later.

Tour guide Nahla al Kadi, who also survived, told Al-Jazeera: “I felt only a few seconds would be left of my life ... I do not know how to tell you the sound but I was hearing people dying.”

As the attackers exhausted their targets — but not their bullets: they had carried stacks of magazines, prepared for an even greater slaughter — and the gunshots stopped, some survivors began to hope it was over.

They were wrong.

The fanatics apparently launched a second sweep across the courtyard, finding more victims who they dispatched.

The killing was methodical but also brutal. A number of women’s bodies were slashed with machetes, either in post-death mutilation or possibly to finish them off after they were wounded with gunshots.

A note praising Islam was reportedly found in one disembowelled body.

It is not clear what eventually ended the killing, but eventually the attackers fled. It may have been the approach of security forces, who later came in for criticism for taking so long to respond.

The attackers first left in a taxi then hijacked a bus — at which point they ran into a security force checkpoint and their final, bloody stand began.

One was wounded in the shootout and dispatched by his colleagues to prevent his capture; the others then fled into the hills where, over the next two hours, they were either shot dead or committed suicide.

The attack is believed to have been an attempt to undermine Hosni Mubarak’s secular government by sparking repression against Islamist groups which would then swell into a revolution.

However it failed spectacularly, with the tourist industry hit hard and a widespread public backlash against the terrorists.

In clumsy attempts to distance Islamist movements from the massacre, Islamic Group leader Omar Abdelrhaman (now incarcerated in the US for terrorist acts) said the killers were Israeli, and Egyptian al Qaeda lieutenant Ayman al Zawahiri — once bin Laden’s right-hand man — blamed Egyptian police.
Three generations lost ... Briton Katrina Turner, her five-year-old daughter Shaunnah and

Three generations lost ... Briton Katrina Turner, her five-year-old daughter Shaunnah and mother Joan all died at Luxor. Source: Supplied

The fundamentalist Muslim menace has not left Egypt, with attacks making the country increasingly dangerous right up until the 2011 overthrow of Mubarak and the brief rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tourist hotels frequented largely by Israelis in the Sinai Peninsula in 2004, leaving 34 dead; eighty-eight people died in the following year’s attack on Sharm el Sheik — most of the victims were Egyptian, although Britons and Italians were among the foreigners killed; and 23 people were slain in the 2006 attack on resort town Dabhab.

The unrest since the 2011 revolution and the following 2013 military overthrow of then-President Mohamed Morsi have done nothing to make Egypt safer.


British false rape accuser goes to jail

A lying law graduate has been labelled 'utterly wicked' after she falsely accused her boyfriend of rape so she would have an excuse for failing her legal exams.

Rhiannon Brooker, 30, has been jailed for three and a half years after she was found guilty of perverting the course of justice by claiming Paul Fensome, 46, forced her to have sex with him on five occasions.

The Birmingham law graduate even faked injuries to suggest Mr Fensome had beaten her, and alleged that he caused her to have a miscarriage by punching her in the stomach.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Brooker falsified the allegations because her party lifestyle led her to fail her bar assessments.

She repeatedly told an exam committee that her performance suffered from 'extenuating circumstances'.

Mr Fensome, a 6ft 8in heavy metal fan, was arrested, charged and held in custody for 36 days before police realised he had clear alibis for the dates of the alleged rapes.

Brooker, of Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire, denied 20 charges of perverting the course of justice between May 2011 and January 2012.

But a jury of 10 men and two women convicted her of 12 charges - five false rape claims, six assaults and one of false imprisonment - earlier this month.

Jurors were discharged after failing to reach verdicts on the eight remaining charges.

Judge Julian Lambert said Brooker, who did not wish to be present in court as the sentence was passed, had lied in an 'utterly wicked' way.

'Rhiannon Brooker was a bright star and shining example of what can be achieved by those who lack special privileges,' the judge said.

'All that went terribly wrong with tragic consequences when she began to lie. These lies had a terrible, corrosive effect. The effect was like ripples spreading through a pool of sadness.

'The effect continues today. Rhiannon Brooker lied and lied and lied again and was relentless in her attempts to mislead.'

Judge Lambert said Brooker began to circulate false stories about being sexually abused by Mr Fensome in 2011.

Her lies led to Mr Fensome’s arrest, charge and detention in Horfield Prison, where he was subjected to abuse by fellow inmates.

'She does bear the ultimate responsibility for circulating then doggedly pursuing false rape allegations,' the judge said.

'Prison is a terrible humiliation and degradation, particularly for a person of previous good character. The irony is that is what she inflicted on her former partner.'

Judge Lambert said he had sat through 'hour after hour' of video interviews in which Brooker told officers how she had been raped, during the eight-week trial.

'What I observed was someone of high intelligence who went to significant devious lengths to pervert the course of public justice,' he said.

'The conduct was utterly cynical, calculating, determined and repeated.'

Judge Lambert said two people suffered 'dreadfully' as a consequence of Brooker’s actions - Mr Fensome and Brooker’s nine-month-old baby, who cannot be named for legal reasons.

'What the defendant did here was cold, calculated, sustained, repeated and under any analysis utterly wicked,' he added.

Judge Lambert sentenced Brooker to three and a half years for each of the five false rape allegations, to run concurrently.

He imposed nine-month sentences for the remaining six false assault allegations and one charge of false imprisonment, also to run concurrently.

Prosecutor David Bartlett had told the court that Brooker’s actions could have resulted in Mr Fensome, an innocent man, receiving a substantial prison sentence.

'There can be no doubt that if Mr Fensome was convicted of five rapes, six assaults and one false imprisonment, he would have faced a very long term of imprisonment, measured in double figures,' Mr Bartlett said.

'Despite his good character, a sentence of life imprisonment would have been considered.'

Mr Bartlett said Brooker submitted a statement containing the false allegations to her tutor at the University of West of England on April 11 2011.

Police were called and began their investigation on May 24 that year, with Mr Fensome arrested on August 1.

Brooker continued her lies in interviews with police between August 2 and August 22 and further interviews in November that year.

Mr Fensome spent 36 days in custody, after which he was subjected to an electronic tag and curfew and had to report to police by phone call six times per day.

In January 2012, prosecutors offered no evidence against Mr Fensome as phone records and work rosters from his railway signalman job proved he could not have committed the attacks.

Mr Bartlett said Brooker even used a secret second phone to send abusive messages to herself - then pretended they were from Mr Fensome.

'Miss Brooker has shown no remorse,' Mr Bartlett said.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Fensome, who has since received £38,000 in compensation from Avon and Somerset Police, said: 'My life has been turned upside-down and ripped apart. My family and I have been put through an immense amount of stress and heartache, which continues to the present day.

'We cannot come to terms with why we have been put through this. If I had not been able to prove my whereabouts, I could have been locked away for something that I had not done which would have lost me my career, my home - everything I have worked so hard for.

'Please be assured I have the utmost sympathy for anyone who has been through a genuine attack but I also feel strongly that false claims must be dealt with strongly to send the message that such acts will not be tolerated.'


Court Rules Marriage Must Be Redefined Under 14th Amendment. Why That’s Wrong

Today the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an important ruling on Utah’s marriage amendment. This is the first time a circuit court has ruled on marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) this time last year. In a 2-1 split decision, the 10th circuit ruled that Utah’s marriage amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The majority held that “the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry” and that “a state may not deny the issuance of a marriage license to two persons, or refuse to recognize their marriage, based solely upon the sex of the persons in the marriage union.” The decision will almost certainly be appealed.

Of course the Fourteenth Amendment protects the fundamental right to marry—but the Supreme Court decisions that established a fundamental right to marry understood marriage as the union of a man and a woman. In issuing today’s ruling, the court implicitly supplied its own, new answer to the central question in this debate: what is marriage?

The only way the 10th Circuit could reach its decision today was to smuggle in a view of marriage that sees it as an essentially genderless institution and then declare that the Constitution requires that the States (re)define marriage in such a way.

But our Constitution is silent on what marriage is. And there are good arguments on both sides of this debate. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution.

Indeed, this is the message that Judge Paul Kelly delivered in his dissenting opinion in today’s case. Quoting Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, Judge Kelly explains: “‘Same-sex marriage presents a highly emotional and important question of public policy—but not a difficult question of constitutional law,’ at least when it comes to the States’ right to enact laws preserving or altering the traditional composition of marriage.”

Kelly continued:

The Constitution is silent on the regulation of marriage; accordingly, that power is reserved to the States, albeit consistent with federal constitutional guarantees. And while the Court has recognized a fundamental right to marriage, every decision vindicating that right has involved two persons of the opposite gender.

Kelly explained that we need not seek from the courts a single 50-state answer: “If the States are the laboratories of democracy, requiring every state to recognize same-gender unions—contrary to the views of its electorate and representatives—turns the notion of a limited national government on its head.”

In citing Justice Alito, Judge Kelly hit on an important point—that there are competing policy arguments on the definition of marriage and that in a system of limited constitutional self-government, the people and their elected representatives should be making these decisions.

Justice Alito’s opinion on DOMA cited my book, What Is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense, as an example of one view of marriage: a “comprehensive, exclusive, permanent union that is intrinsically ordered to producing new life.” And he cited Jonathan Rauch as a proponent of the idea that marriage is a commitment marked by emotional union.

Alito explained that the Constitution is silent on which of these substantive visions of marriage is correct. The Court, he explained, should defer to democratic debate.

Indeed, whatever any individual American thinks about marriage, the courts shouldn’t redefine it. Marriage policy should be worked out through the democratic process, not dictated by unelected judges. The courts should uphold the freedom of the American people and their elected representatives to make marriage policy.

Last summer, when the Supreme Court struck down DOMA, Chief Justice John Roberts emphasized the limits of the majority’s opinion. He made clear that neither the holding nor its logic required redefining state marriage laws. The states remain free to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

If marriage ends up back at the Supreme Court again next year, the Court will be less likely to usurp the authority of citizens if it is obvious that citizens are engaged in this democratic debate and care about the future of marriage.

We must rally in support of our constitutional authority to pass laws defining marriage. We must make clear that court-imposed same-sex marriage via a Roe v. Wade-style decision will not settle the marriage debate any better than it has settled the abortion debate.

We must insist, with Judge Kelly, that judges “should resist the temptation to become philosopher-kings, imposing [their] views under the guise of constitutional interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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