A Perspective on the APA

Joan Callahan posted this to SWIP-L today.  Given discussion below on the APA, and Calypso’s (and  others’) remarks on behavior in the profession, I think it’s worth a separate post:

From the most recent APA Proceedings and Addresses:

Dear Editor,

I recently received my 9-year-old son’s yearly schoolwork portfolio from his fourth-grade teacher, adn I was pleasantly surprised to find included an account of his impressions of the Eastern Division Meeting in Washington, D.C. this past winter. In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that my family chose to accompany me to the meeting despite my warnings!

In any case, here’s what Atticus had to say.

[see attached document]

Best,
Charles Bolyard

“2 days after Christmas I went to a philosophy confrence [sic]. It was horrible. There were 200 philosophers. They all did weird things. They couldn’t make jokes, many had beards.

In the elevator it was worse. Once a philosopher got off on the wrong floor, so said, “wait for me.” “We’ll take you to the 27th,” said another. Nobody laughed. “Get it there are only 10 floors,” said some random old guy in a country accent. You get the point it was creepy.

A few days later there was a fire. Only one person was hurt, but everyone did weird things. Like people were standing in the roads, so nonphilosophers had to lead them out. Some people went back into the hotel. Firefighters had to lead them away. Still one guy stayed and had his bags blocking the door. Firefighters told him to move his bags, so he did, but when they left he put them back. I’ll never go to a philosophy confrence [sic] again.”

If you haven’t gone before, consider yourself warned!

Sad and Embarrassing

The NY Times reports that in the US the birth rate among teenagers has risen for the first time since1991.

The birth rate among teenagers 15 to 19 in the United States rose 3 percent in 2006, according to a report issued Wednesday, the first such increase since 1991.

The finding has “fueled a debate about whether the Bush administration’s abstinence-only sexual education efforts are working,” thank goodness.

It may be that the changes track a lessening of fear about aids; however, the US figures are out of line with the “developed” world’s.

Kristin A. Moore, a senior scholar at Child Trends, a nonprofit children’s research organization, said the increase in the teenage birth rate was particularly alarming because even the 2005 rate was far higher than that in other industrialized countries.

A spokesman from the conservative heritage foundation tells us that the teenagers wanted to get pregnant, but

Dr. Santelli of Columbia said that many abstinence-only educational efforts tended to emphasize that contraceptives often fail. “They scare kids about contraception,” he said

“Gay Rights Have Gone Too Far!”

A likely response, I expect, to news that a UK man who donated sperm to a lesbian couple, now separated, is being required to pay child support.   The truth, actually, is precisely the opposite.  (1) If the couple had obtained sperm from a donor bank, the man would have no legal responsibilities.  But donor banks are currently permitted (though not required) to turn away lesbian couples because of the absence of a male role model.  (2) If the non-birth-mother had been legally recognised as a parent, the man would not have had any legal responsibilities.  So really what’s needed is MORE gay rights.  Changes to the law are currently being considered: 

Proposed legislation, at committee stage in the House of Lords before passing to the Commons, would give equal parenting rights, including financial responsibilities, to both members of same sex couples, but the change will come too late for Bathie, who is lobbying for the laws to be made retrospective and for him not to be seen as the legal parent of the children, now aged two and four.   

A really nice illustration of interconnectedness. Lesbian rights help heterosexual man!