jueves, 28 de septiembre de 2017

Melania, the media, and bullies | MercatorNet |September 28, 2017| MercatorNet |

Melania, the media, and bullies

MercatorNet  |September 28, 2017| MercatorNet  |

Melania, the media, and bullies

Teens from single-parent households are more vulnerable to bullying.
Nicole M. King | Sep 28 2017 | comment 

The News Story: Melania Trump Condemns Bullying at U.N. Luncheon
First Lady Melania Trump recently made headlines for her speech at a U.N. luncheon, where she spoke out against the world’s dire treatment of children, and spoke to bullying in particular.
Said Mrs. Trump, “No child should ever feel hungry, stalked, frightened, terrorized, bullied, isolated or afraid, with nowhere to turn. . . . We need to step up, come together, and ensure that our children's future is bright.” The President had announced back in November that as First Lady, Melania Trump’s first policy initiative would be an anti-bullying campaign. Instead of addressing the issue of bullying, however, the media instantly attacked the First Lady, or rather, used her speech as an excuse to attack the President’s Twitter feed.
Her choice of an anti-bullying campaign as a public cause “struck some as ironic,” snidely reported Politico. Her speech “raises some eyebrows,” reported the Washington Post.
Unfortunately, both the speech itself and the media’s own rather bully-like response to it demonstrate that when it comes to bullying, our policymakers are missing the point—and hence, the remedy. Research reveals that only by fostering enduring marriages and stable families can we address the root causes of bullying and other forms of childhood pain. 
(Sources: Louis Nelson and Rebecca Morin, “Melania Trump condemns bullying at U.N. luncheon CTV News,” September 20, 2017.)
The New Research: The Fatherless Victims of Bullying
Few problems have captured the attention of school officials in recent years more than that of bullying, including on-line cyberbullying. To combat this problem, these officials typically develop school-based policies. But the findings of a recent British study suggest that the measures most likely to truly protect young people from this problem may include those that foster lasting parental marriages.
Affiliated with a number of institutions—including Cardiff University, King’s College London, and the University of Auckland—the authors of the new study express concern about “bullying and cyberbullying [as] common phenomena in schools” that may “have a significant impact on the health and particularly the mental health of those involved.” Enumerating bullying’s harmful effects, the researchers cite previous studies implicating bullying as a cause of “anxiety problems, depression and self-harm, antisocial behaviour, and suicide or attempted suicide, as well as substance misuse and poor educational outcomes.”
To identify the school and family circumstances most likely to expose adolescents to bullying, particularly cyberbullying, the researchers scrutinize data from 6,667 seventh-grade students enrolled in 40 English schools. 
Not surprisingly, the researchers conclude that students attending schools rated “outstanding” were less likely to experience bullying than those rated merely “good.” Also predictable is the finding that students who came from economically deprived families were particularly vulnerable to cyberbullying.
But economic status is not the only family characteristic significantly affecting whether adolescents will be subjected to bullying. “Independently of deprivation,” the researchers remark, “young people from a single-parent household were more likely to be bullied and cyberbullied compared to those coming from a two-parent household” (emphasis added). Statistical analysis established that, compared to peers from intact families, adolescents from single-parent families are more likely to experience “significant bullying” of any sort (p = 0.009) and cyberbullying in particular (p = 0.03). 
Adolescents from single-parent families face an especially elevated risk of cyberbullying, a risk almost half again that found among peers from intact families (Odds Ratio of 1.44). 
In their concluding remarks, the authors of the new study express the hope that their findings will “pave the way for future research investigating which school factors and processes promote or prevent bullying and inform development of interventions to prevent bullying and cyberbullying in schools.” 
Given the character of their findings, it is deeply unfortunate that these researchers have nothing at all to say about measures that will foster the enduring parental marriages that will shield teens from bullying and all its ill effects.
Nicole King is the Managing Editor of The Family in America. Republished from The Family in America, a MercatorNet partner site. 
(Source: Bryce Christensen and Nicole M. King, forthcoming in The Natural Family. Study: Leonardo Bevilacqua et al., “The Role of Family and School-Level Factors in Bullying and Cyberbullying: A Cross-Sectional Study,” BMC Pediatrics 17 [2017]: 160, Web.)


September 28, 2017

The death of Playboy magnate Hugh Hefner today is a reminder that pornography “came out” into the mainstream of society in the middle of last century. And if Playboy magazine had pretensions to “class” compared with the offerings of the internet today, it nevertheless established the precedent that it was a perfectly acceptable thing for middle-class men to consume images of women for sexual pleasure. Today, this type of consumption can become a habit, an addiction, even for teenagers, thanks to the ease of access online.
By coincidence, Zac Alstin had already written an article in which he applies his philosophical mind to the problem of addiction and to porn addiction in particular. On a positive note, he describes an online community dedicated to abstaining from porn and related behaviour. They are the “first generation of those who went through their teenage years with the existence of high-speed internet porn”. The group is neither religious nor moral but members have discovered for themselves the importance of virtue. What a pity that Hugh Hefner never seems to have made that discovery.
Also of note today is an article by a scholar of Asian affairs surveying the rise and fall of Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi in international estimation. If you are finding it hard to understand how a woman who was regarded as a saint until quite recently has suddenly become the opposite, read Andrew Selth’s detailed analysis.

Carolyn Moynihan

Deputy Editor,
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