Do kids raised by same-sex couples really fare better?

The media has been trumpeting an Australian study that purported to show that children raised by same-sex parents actually fare better than those raised in traditional families.  That’s quite a claim.  Until you look more closely at the study. [Read more...]

Effects of churches that teach vocation?

A Baylor study has found that people who attend churches that teach God’s presence in the workplace and the like have better job satisfaction, higher commitment to their work, and a stronger entrepreneurial spirit.  But is this really what the doctrine of vocation is all about? [Read more...]

Divorce statistics are greatly exaggerated

It’s often said that 50% of marriages end in divorce.  A new book says that the real number is between 20% and 25%.  For churchgoers, the rate is somewhere in the single digits or teens.

The author of The Good News about Marriage, Shaunti Feldhahn, says that hopelessness–which is nurtured by the discouraging but wrong statistics about marriage–is itself a major reason for divorce.  Actually, the institution of marriage is not in as bad a shape as people assume it is. [Read more...]

Social scientists discover love

In a column on efforts to help young people in the Dominican Republic, Michael Gerson finds both from an aid worker and a social scientist that the biggest need of troubled children is love.  I’m intrigued by how the social scientist defined it. [Read more...]

Global poverty is plummeting, but no one believes it

Thirty years ago, 52% of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.  Now only 21% do.  There is lots of other good news about economic progress in the developing world, including declines in child deaths.  But 84% of Americans are unaware of this progress, and 67% think that world-wide poverty has increased.

So says a Barna study, which expresses a concern that Western attitudes are becoming fatalistic–”nothing can be done about it”–which can stymie efforts to address the very real problems of the 21%, even though they may be quite solvable.  Or is the lesson that global economic progress is happening of itself by market forces apart from outside help, especially governmental help?

[Read more...]

Life’s happiness as a U-shaped curve

When you’re a child, you are happy, but you become less so during your teenage years.  Then you get more and more miserable.  But in your 40′s you bottom out.  Then you keep getting happier.  When you are old, you are happier than you ever have been.  Not only that, the older you get, the happier you become.

The level of happiness in your life can be graphed as a U-shaped curve.  That’s the pattern documented in a recent study.  And it seems to apply, with variations, to every culture studied.  With one exception:  Russia, in which happiness keeps going down until the age of 91, which few Russians reach. [Read more...]


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