Category Archives: The Whole Man

Web Access Improves Chances at Relationships

Adults who have Internet access at home are much more likely to be in romantic relationships than adults without Internet access, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

“Although prior research on the social impacts of Internet use has been rather ambiguous about the social cost of time spent online, our research suggests that Internet access has an important role to play in helping Americans find mates,” said Michael J. Rosenfeld, an associate professor of sociology at Stanford University and the lead author of the study, “Meeting Online: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary.”

According to the study, 82.2 percent of participants who had Internet access at home also had a spouse or romantic partner, compared to a 62.8-percent partnership rate for adults who did not have Internet access. The paper uses data from Wave I of the How Couples Meet and Stay Together (HCMST) survey, a nationally representative survey of 4,002 adults, of whom 3,009 had a spouse or romantic partner.

In addition to finding that people are more likely to be in romantic relationships if they have Internet access in their homes, Rosenfeld and study co-author Reuben J. Thomas, an assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, found that the Internet is the one social arena that is unambiguously gaining importance over time as a place where couples meet.

“With the meteoric rise of the Internet as a way couples have met in the past few years, and the concomitant recent decline in the central role of friends, it is possible that in the next several years the Internet could eclipse friends as the most influential way Americans meet their romantic partners, displacing friends out of the top position for the first time since the early 1940s,” Rosenfeld said.

The study also found that the Internet is especially important for finding potential partners in groups where the supply is small or difficult to identify such as in the gay, lesbian, and middle-aged heterosexual communities.

Among couples who met within two years of the HCMST Wave I survey in the winter of 2009, 61 percent of same-sex couples and 21.5 percent of heterosexual couples met online.

“Couples who meet online are much more likely to be same-sex couples, and somewhat more likely to be from different religious backgrounds,” Rosenfeld said. “The Internet is not simply a new and more efficient way to keep in touch with our existing networks; rather the Internet is a new kind of social intermediary that may reshape the kinds of partners and relationships we have.”

The paper, “Meeting Online: The Rise of the Internet as a Social Intermediary,” will be presented on Monday, Aug. 16, at 8:30 a.m. EST in the Atlanta Marriott Marquis at the American Sociological Association’s 105th Annual Meeting.

About the American Sociological Association
The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

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Coupling Reduces Stress

Newswise — Being married has often been associated with improving people’s health, but a new study suggests that having that long-term bond also alters hormones in a way that reduces stress.
Unmarried people in a committed, romantic relationship show the same reduced responses to stress as do married people, said Dario Maestripieri, Professor in Comparative Human Development at the University of Chicago and lead author of the study, published in the current issue of the journal Stress.
“These results suggest that single and unpaired individuals are more responsive to psychological stress than married individuals, a finding consistent with a growing body of evidence showing that marriage and social support can buffer against stress,” Maestripieri writes in the article, “Between- and Within-sex Variations in Hormonal Responses to Psychological Stress in a Large Sample of College Students.”
The team of researchers from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University studied 500 masters’ degree students at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. About 40 percent of the men and 53 percent of the women were married or in relationships. The group included 348 men with a mean age of 29 and 153 women with a mean age of 27.
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The students were asked to play a series of computer games that tested economic behaviors, and saliva samples were taken before and after to measure hormone levels and changes.
Each student was told that the test was a course requirement, and it would impact their future career placement. That made the test a potentially stressful experience that could affect levels of cortisol, known as the stress hormone.
The researchers found cortisol concentrations increased in all participants, but that females experienced a higher average increase than males. The exercise also decreased testosterone in male subjects, but not in females, a stress effect previously observed in humans and animals.
But a piece of personal information collected before the test provided another interesting difference within the subjects. “We found that unpaired individuals of both sexes had higher cortisol levels than married individuals,” Maestripieri said.
“Although marriage can be pretty stressful, it should make it easier for people to handle other stressors in their lives,” Maestripieri said. “What we found is that marriage has a dampening effect on cortisol responses to psychological stress, and that is very new.”
The study also found that single business school students also displayed higher baseline testosterone levels than their married or committed colleagues, a finding that mirrors previous human research as well as animal observations.
Maestripieri, who conducts the majority of his research on monkeys in Puerto Rico, said that in species of primates and birds where males assist females with rearing offspring show similar changes. In species that show monogamous pairing and shared rearing of offspring, testosterone levels in males drop as they engage in more fatherly behavior.
Maestripieri’s co-authors are former University of Chicago student Nicole Baran, AB ’09, now a graduate student at Cornell University; Luigi Zingales, the Robert C. McCormack Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance, University of Chicago Booth School of Business; and Paola Sapienza, Professor of Finance at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
The Templeton Foundation helped support the study with a grant.

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Who Progams YOU?

Are you the product of your own making, or is your way of thinking created for you by the mass media?  Does it really matter?  The folks at Vigilant Citizen has posted a new article that says:

Mass media is the most powerful tool used by the ruling class to manipulate the masses. It shapes and molds opinions and attitudes and defines what is normal and acceptable. This article looks at the workings of mass media through the theories of its major thinkers, its power structure and the techniques it uses, in order to understand its true role in society.

From The Vigilant Citizen:

The merger of media companies in the last decades generated a small oligarchy of media conglomerates. The TV shows we follow, the music we listen to, the movies we watch and the newspapers we read are all produced by FIVE corporations. The owners of those conglomerates have close ties with the world’s elite and, in many ways, they ARE the elite. By owning all of the possible outlets having the potential to reach the masses, these conglomerates have the power to create in the minds of the people a single and cohesive world view, engendering a “standardization of human thought”.

Even movements or styles that are considered marginal are, in fact, extensions of mainstream thinking. Mass medias produce their own rebels who definitely look the part but are still part of the establishment and do not question any of it. Artists, creations and ideas that do not fit the mainstream way of thinking are mercilessly rejected and forgotten by the conglomerates, which in turn makes them virtually disappear from society itself. However, ideas that are deemed to be valid and desirable to be accepted by society are skillfully marketed to the masses in order to make them become self-evident norm.

In 1928, Edward Bernays already saw the immense potential of motion pictures to standardize thought:

“The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today. It is a great distributor for ideas and opinions. The motion picture can standardize the ideas and habits of a nation. Because pictures are made to meet market demands, they reflect, emphasize and even exaggerate broad popular tendencies, rather than stimulate new ideas and opinions. The motion picture avails itself only of ideas and facts which are in vogue. As the newspaper seeks to purvey news, it seeks to purvey entertainment.”
– Edward Bernays, Propaganda

These facts were flagged as dangers to human freedom in the 1930’s by thinkers of the school of Frankfurt such as Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse. They identified three main problems with the cultural industry. The industry can:

  1. reduce human beings to the state of mass by hindering the development of emancipated individuals, who are capable of making rational decisions;
  2. replace the legitimate drive for autonomy and self-awareness by the safe laziness of conformism and passivity; and
  3. validate the idea that men actually seek to escape the absurd and cruel world in which they live by losing themselves in a hypnotic state self-satisfaction.

The notion of escapism is even more relevant today with advent of online video games, 3D movies and home theaters. The masses, constantly seeking state-of-the-art entertainment, will resort to high-budget products that can only be produced by the biggest media corporations of the world. These products contain carefully calculated messages and symbols which are nothing more and nothing less than entertaining propaganda. The public have been trained to LOVE its propaganda to the extent that it spends its hard-earned money to be exposed to it. Propaganda (used in both political, cultural and commercial sense) is no longer the coercive or authoritative communication form found in dictatorships: it has become the synonym of entertainment and pleasure.

“In regard to propaganda the early advocates of universal literacy and a free press envisaged only two possibilities: the propaganda might be true, or it might be false. They did not foresee what in fact has happened, above all in our Western capitalist democracies — the development of a vast mass communications industry, concerned in the main neither with the true nor the false, but with the unreal, the more or less totally irrelevant. In a word, they failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.”
– Aldous Huxley, Preface to A Brave New World

A single piece of media often does not have a lasting effect on the human psyche. Mass media, however, by its omnipresent nature, creates a living environment we evolve in on a daily basis. It defines the norm and excludes the undesirable. The same way carriage horses wear blinders so they can only see what is right in front of them, the masses can only see where they are supposed to go.

Read the rest at The Vigilant Citizen.

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George Carlin, They Own You

George Carlin is known for telling things like they are. His language is harsh, but his message resounds long
after his demise.  In this editorial segment from his tv special Carlin explains the real politics of mankind.
Who owns the companies, the media, the government and you?  Watch this video and see what Carlin says.

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Pierre Bernard, yoga’s American proselytizer.

Several decades ago, you would have received a baffled stare if you had asked a stranger what a “downward facing dog” was. Today most strangers would nod knowingly and point you to their yoga studio, where the “downward facing dog” (feet and hands planted on the ground, torso stretched into an inverted “V”) and other poses are common practices for the more than 20 million people who study yoga in the U.S.

[BOOKREVIEW1] Bernard Collection, Historical Society of Rockland County Doing yoga outdoors in New York.

But yoga wasn’t always mainstream, as Robert Love informs us in “The Great Oom,” his rollicking and well-researched history of yoga’s early days in America. The spiritual discipline that has colonized America’s gyms and trendy loft spaces was once a fringe practice, its advocates treated as charlatans and, occasionally, criminals. Yoga’s cultural rise is a story of scandal, financial shenanigans, bodily discipline, oversize egos and bizarre love triangles, with a few performing elephants thrown in for good measure.

Mr. Love tells his story through the life of one of yoga’s earliest promoters, Pierre Bernard—known as the “Great Oom”—a zany man whose talent for self-invention rivaled that of P.T. Barnum. Born Perry Baker in Leon, Iowa, in 1876, Bernard’s early and serendipitous meeting with an Indian tutor in 1889 put him on the path to promoting yoga as his life’s work.

The “hatha yoga” that Bernard learned from his tutor emphasized postures (called asanas) as well as controlled breathing techniques and a range of “meditative arts.” His education also included “tantric yoga,” whose goal is to “merge the individual’s soul with the ultimate reality, divinity, or god.” Yoga’s origins reach back to ancient India, where it developed alongside Hindu and Buddhist traditions.

Bernard Collection, Historical Society of Rockland CountyMr. Bernard’s acolytes flexing their muscles outdoors in New York.
BOOKREVIEW1

BOOKREVIEW1

Becoming yoga’s U.S. champion was not an obviously wise career move for Pierre Bernard. (He changed his name around 1896 to give himself a more mystical aura.) Over the course of his lifetime, Mr. Love writes, “yoga was labeled a criminal fraud and an abomination against the purity of American women. It was associated with sexual promiscuity and kicked to the fringes of society.”

But Bernard was a believer. He soon became a lauded hypnotist in 1890s San Francisco. During one demonstration, he used “mind control” to put himself in a trance that he claimed left him immune to pain. As the crowd watched, a doctor pushed pins through Bernard’s earlobes and cheeks and rammed a “large ladies hat pin” through his tongue—or so the newspapers reported. A bloodied Bernard awoke and showed his fitness by promptly hypnotizing someone else.

[BOOKREVIEW6] Bernard Collection, Historical Society of Rockland CountyPierre Bernard, yoga’s American proselytizer.

As Bernard’s reputation grew, he became a sought-after personal guru to wealthy San Francisco residents and established a “Tantrik Order” of disaffected socialites, artists and musicians who lived communally and practiced mystical rites—including yoga, which, Bernard promised, would bring its adherents a direct connection to the divine. Like many a guru before and since, he had his choice of sexual partners, from whom he demanded absolute loyalty and not a little forbearance, given his carefree attitude toward monogamy. Most of the women didn’t seem to mind; one 19-year-old declared herself “cured of her heart trouble and in fine spirits” after a months-long involvement with the guru.

But Bernard’s open sexual practices eventually cause trouble. In an era when hysteria over “white slavery” and prostitution dominated the news, his conduct fed into a “moral panic” (as Mr. Love puts it) fueled by yellow journalists and the purity crusader Anthony Comstock. In 1910, after relocating with his acolytes to New York City, Bernard was charged with having “inveigled and enticed” a young woman “for the purpose of sexual intercourse.” Although the charges were eventually dismissed, the taint lingered, and Bernard—whom newspapers dubbed “the Great Oom” after the common yoga chant “Om”—and his yogic band fled to more bucolic prospects in Nyack, N.Y.

There, with financial support from the Vanderbilt family— especially Anne Vanderbilt, whose daughters studied yoga with Bernard—he established a yoga center on an old Nyack estate. According to Mr. Love, it catered to “the idle wealthy with recreation, parties, and celebrity buzz” and promoted a philosophy of “self-expression, diet, and an attention to inner cleanliness” that included a startling devotion to colonics.

As Bernard’s fortunes improved so did his desire to bring his enterprise into the mainstream. He started calling his Nyack property the “Clarkstown Country Club” and sponsoring theater performances, circus-like entertainments (complete with elephants) and even a baseball team. His marriage to a former vaudevillian performer ensured that he had a partner in charming the needy heiresses on whom his fortunes often relied.

[BOOKS1]

The Great Oom

By Robert Love
Viking, 402 pages, $27.95

Bernard’s luck faltered during the Depression, as did his relationship with the Vanderbilts. The club was soon in arrears. Yoga’s appeal, however, was just beginning to spread. By the 1950s an increasing number of Americans were practicing yoga, seeing it less as a cultish practice than as a means of restoring one’s health in the stressful modern world. Bernard became a Miss Havisham figure, spending his final years alone, wandering around his decaying manse in Nyack. He died in 1955, at age 79, but many of his devotees went on to become teachers themselves and trained a new generation of yoga students who in turn spread the gospel of good health through yoga.

Today yoga flourishes even in the Great Oom’s home state of Iowa, and the yoga industrial complex has broadened to include magazines, books, clothing and celebrity followers. Eager students can study Christian yoga (or “Yahweh Yoga,” as it is sometimes called) and Jewish Yoga, where students replace “om” with “shalom.” What was once exotic is now simply part of America’s multicultural mix.

Mr. Love has the gift of the good biographer: He has sympathy for his subject’s “flamboyant weirdness” but the rigor to present him for what he was. Although yoga was an import, Pierre Bernard was an example of a fascinating American type: the spiritual entrepreneur. His life reminds us that the appeal of spiritual cures that promise practical results is not a new phenomenon; it is an enduring part of our country’s history. If our current pursuit of “wellness” is any guide, it will remain so for the foreseeable future.

—Ms. Rosen is senior editor of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology & Society.

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Meet Up: Florida 2010


Men4Men.com panel discussion “The State of Gay in Florida” June 25 at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – MEN4MEN.COM® had our first ever “Meet Up” panel discussion focusing on the State of Gay in the Sunshine State” on Friday, June 25 starting at 5 p.m. at the Studio@620.

Attendees enjoyed wine and such as topics of discussion includes the status of legalizing gay marriage and adoption in Florida, the state of gays in the military and how repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will affect soldiers stationed in the sunshine state, what the rights of local life partners are in hospital decisions and what are the major health issues facing the gay community in the new century. Panelists are Air Force Captain Timothy Watson, local lawyer John Hixenbaugh and Dr. Roy Finley.

“We were delighted that such a diverse group of people were interested in learning more about gay issues in Florida, thanks to having the event on Pride Weekend,” said the founder of MEN4MEN.COM®. “Our goal with MEN4MEN.COM® is to facilitate these kinds of discussions online and in at events like tonight. ” Check back for our next MEN4MEN.COM® MEET UP focusing on local gay groups and businesses networking.

ABOUT MEN4MEN.COM®

Men4Men was a Tampa Bay computer club (BBS) long before the days of the web. Today, Men4Men.com® is being re-imagined as an inclusive social hub for the gay community with professionally written articles on politics, culture and relationships as well local news and information provided by existing sources. Open to all genders and ages, men4men.com aspires to present and facilitate healthy lifestyle information and social opportunities like this Meet Up event.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

American Stage, Adventures & Outings, Carter’s Florist, Greaton’s Jewelers, Internet Adept, Studio@620

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Be Careful What You Wish For

By Brian Feist

When I consider the debate over same-gender marriage a thought comes to mind that isn’t usually part of the dialog: “Be careful what you wish for.”

First, let me say that I am a staunch advocate for full marriage equality for same-gender couples. According to pro-marriage equality organizations, such as the National Center for Lesbian Rights, civil marriage, at the federal level, provides for some 1,500 legal rights and responsibilities that are virtually ironclad and guaranteed with a $35 (or whatever the going rate) marriage license and an “I do.” The Full Faith and Credit clause (Article IV) of the U.S. Constitution guarantees that for heterosexual married couples those rights are consistent and transferable throughout the United States, regardless of where the marriage was performed. (Thanks to “DOMA,” the Defense of Marriage Act, married same-sex couples are exempted from the Full Faith and Credit clause.)

In contrast, the rights afforded by state-sanctioned Civil Unions number in the low-to-mid hundreds, while municipally-granted Domestic Partner benefits generally top out at no more than a couple of dozen. Further, neither Domestic Partnerships nor Civil Unions are recognized outside of their home jurisdictions.

Couples not covered by local, state or federal regulations can have certain documents drawn up to provide for limited protections, but the cost of these documents can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars, and unless carefully drafted they can be challenged and overturned by “legal” relatives.

The bottom line is that all couples should have equal access to all of the rights and responsibilities of federal civil marriage without having to incur exorbitant costs in securing those rights.

Ironically, during the “sexual revolution” of the 1960s and 1970s, the “rights” of marriage were of little interest to those denouncing the “rites” of marriage. The mantra of the day was, “We don’t need a piece of paper to prove our love.” And they were absolutely correct. When a relationship is basking in the first bloom of love there is no need for the legal protections that come with a marriage license. It’s only when the relationship is threatened, whether from without or within, that the legal ramifications of marriage become important.

When most of us think of marriage equality we judge ourselves by our intentions we tend to think primarily of the rights and privileges associated with legal marriage. As soon as that marriage license is signed and notarized, your spouse is your legal heir and next-of-kin. With the stroke of a pen your legal spouse moves to the head of the line, ahead of Mom and Dad, your brothers and sisters, and any other blood relatives.

But let’s take a look at the flip side—the “fine print,” if you will, of the marriage contract. Let’s look at a few of the responsibilities that come with legal marriage.

Credit. We’ve all seen those ads on TV where the guy is singing about knowing your credit score. Well, he’s telling the truth. When you marry the love of your life, you’re also marrying his or her credit score. Later, when you go looking to buy your little “dream home,” your partner’s poor credit history can mean you can’t get a loan, even if you can afford it on your own income. At the very least, it may bounce you into a considerably higher interest rate, costing you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your mortgage. The same holds true for buying a new car.

Bills. When unmarried couples have bills, each partner is only legally responsible for his or her own expenses. Not so for marrieds. If lover boy is a shop-aholic who has more shoes than Imelda Marcos and whose favorite pastime is “acquisition therapy,” you may be left holding more than the shopping bags. Maybe a few reading books for 2nd graders hundred dollars at Macy’s isn’t a problem, but bills aren’t limited to shopping binges. Suppose your sweetie is hospitalized with a serious illness. As the data mining practical machine learning tools and techniques legal spouse, you not only get hospital visitation rights, you are also responsible for the expenses not covered by insurance.

Fidelity. As sexual mavericks who cannot legally marry, gay people have often crafted their relationships on their own terms. Some opt for traditional monogamy, while others prefer something more “open,” where sex outside of the relationship is permitted. Still others may even have a more communal arrangement, with three or more people involved. When someone breaks the rules the relationship may end, but it’s usually not much more complicated than stronger than you think quote picking up the pieces and going their separate ways. With legal marriage, however, things become much more complicated. Tricking with that hot number down the street can cost a lot more than a broken heart. Divorce can be messy and expensive, and if the guilty party is the primary breadwinner or there is considerable disparity in income, he or she can even be required to pay alimony.

These are just a few of the responsibilities that come with legal marriage. Am I suggesting that gays should not marry? Not at all. What I’m saying is, be careful what you wish for. Marriage equality will eventually be the law of the land, but marriage is more than a fancy wedding and Happily Ever After. It is a legally binding contract that we should not take lightly or rush into, just because it’s suddenly available. Know what you’re getting into before you say, “I do.”

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Gay Fathers Day: Two-Dad Families Doing Well in Transition to Parenthood

The first study ever to examine the experiences of gay male partners who became fathers via surrogacy shows that they are more likely than heterosexual fathers to scale back their careers in order to care for their children. Also, these fathers report that their self-esteem and their closeness with their extended families increases after becoming parents.
In most respects, life changes resulting from parenthood were very much like those experienced by heterosexual couples – closer relations with co-workers, a transition away from single friends toward other couples (straight and gay) with children, and less time for sleep, exercise, and hobbies.
The study involved 40 gay men who became parents through surrogacy, an assisted reproductive technique in which prospective parents contract with a woman to carry a child through pregnancy to birth. In most cases, the egg is obtained independently from a different woman (an “egg donor”) than the woman who carries the baby (the “surrogate”). The child is genetically related to one of the gay male parents. The surrogacy process is complex and very expensive, and participating couples in the study were affluent.
The study was conducted by four psychology researchers–Kim Bergman of Growing Generations in Los Angeles (a surrogacy agency), and Ritchie J. Rubio, Robert-Jay Green, and Elena Padrón of the Rockway Institute at the California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, San Francisco. Study results were published in the latest issue of the Journal of GLBT Family Studies, 6:111-141, 2010.
The study gathered information from one partner in each of 40 couples through hour-long interviews conducted in person or by telephone. The parents’ median age was 41, and their average annual household income was $270,000. The median age of participants’ children was one year and ten months.
The study gathered information on four aspects of the participants’ experience as they transitioned to parenthood: 1) work and career changes, 2) lifestyle issues, 3) couple, family and friendship experiences, and 4) self-esteem and self-care.
Work and career changes included changing work life in terms of travel, hours and career path (reported by 70 percent of participants); going through occupational changes (65 percent); having sacrifices, losses and missed opportunities in work life (53 percent); and making changes in career goals (53 percent). The fathers reported that their relationships with peers at work improved, while their relationship with superiors at work remained the same. “It is noteworthy,” the researchers wrote, “that many of these gay fathers negotiated their career prospects downward and focused on their parenting responsibilities as being primary, at least for the time being while their children were so young… This is in sharp contrast to heterosexual fathers, who often augment their work hours and career commitments after having children.”
Lifestyle issues involved a variety of experiences, from buying a larger car or expanding the house to lower frequency and cost of travel. Nearly two-thirds of the new dads bought a new car or made changes in their housing to accommodate their child. Sixty percent hired child care assistance. Nearly all (90 percent) reported changing their business and leisure travel in terms of frequency, length of time, and cost. Two-thirds (65 percent) reported changes in their financial status. Eighty-five percent reported completing or updating their estate planning.
The new fathers encountered many changes in relations with family, friends and co-workers. The couples had been together an average of 12 years, and none had dissolved their relationship after becoming parents. They acknowledged a decrease in romance and personal intimacy with their partners, though they said their relationships remained romantic. Most fathers reported that relationships with their families of origin had become closer and that having a baby increased recognition of the couple as a family. Relations with co-workers often improved because of the shared parenting experience. The new dads reported changes to their social life, with fewer late-night and weekday engagements and a gradual trend toward socializing with other couples who have children, rather than single friends.
One of the notable findings was that having a child significantly improved the gay fathers’ self esteem. Nearly all (95 percent) said having a child “makes me feel good about myself” and that their self-esteem had improved since being a parent. The new fathers reported they were taking less care of themselves by sleeping and exercising less and devoting less time to hobbies, leisure activities and involvement in personal causes. Although their reported spirituality had not changed significantly, more of the new parents (an increase from 25 to 38 percent) reported they were attending religious services since adding a child to their family.
The researchers observed that the new fathers “felt extremely positive and proud about being parents… The narratives of the gay fathers in this study underscore how being a parent contributed to greater meaning in their lives… They derived pleasure and pride in taking care of their children, while they also received increasing validation from their families and their communities.”
“Our findings reinforce the growing research evidence that the sexual orientation of the parents makes little difference in parenting. At this early stage of child development, the infant’s or toddler’s needs drive the family interactions and structure the couples’ relationships with friends and relatives. This is as it should be. Gay couples are making major accommodations in their lives just like their heterosexual counterparts who become parents,” said Robert-Jay Green, PhD., executive director of the Rockway Institute.

The researchers’ next study will compare the psychological outcomes of children raised by heterosexual parents and children conceived via surrogacy and raised by gay male parents.
About Rockway Institute: The nonpartisan Rockway Institute promotes scientific and professional expertise to counter antigay prejudice and improve public policies affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The Institute’s view is that public opinion, policies, and programs should be shaped by the facts about LGBT lives, not by political ideology. A primary goal is to organize the most knowledgeable social scientists, mental health professionals, and physicians in the United States to provide accurate information about LGBT issues to the media, legislatures, and the courts. The Institute also conducts targeted research projects to address the nation’s most pressing LGBT public policy concerns. Website: www.rockwayinstitute.org
To obtain a copy of the original article as published:
Dr. Robert-Jay Green, Tel. 415-955-2121; Email: rjgreen@alliant.edu.
To contact the researchers for further information:
Dr. Kim Bergman, Growing Generations, LLC, Los Angeles, CA
Tel. 323-965-7500 ext. 4715; Email: kim@fertilitycounselingservices.com
Dr. Robert-Jay Green, Rockway Institute at Alliant International University, San Francisco, CA
Tel. 415-955-2121; Email: rjgreen@alliant.edu

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Education Survey

SECTION I: You  and Your High School Experience

Please take this survey and tell us about your environment and happenings.
This survey collects data regarding education experiences of glbtq students including harassment and discrimination as well as exposure to gay role models and culture.

If you wish, enter the name of your High School or Secondary School here.

Location of your school.

What is your graduation year?

Your GPA

Your sex

Sexual Orientation:

How public are you about your GLBTQ identity? Please indicate  any/all areas that you are out.

Would you say you are completely \”Out of the Closet\”?

What age were you when you came out?

Were/are you out of the closet in high school?

Was/is there a GSA (Gay Student Alliance) at your school?

If so, was it openly supported by the teachers and/or administration?

Were/are you aware of any other GLBTQ students in your school?

SECTION II: The Classroom and GLBTQ Issues
Please make sure to answer these questions as honestly as you can and do not be afraid to include graphic material.

Were you ever given reading assignments that openly referenced or included GLBTQ themes? If so, please state the titles and authors.

Were GLBTQ issues ever discussed or referenced in the classroom?

Was homophobia ever discussed or referenced in the classroom?

Were religious topics or beliefs (i.e. God, the devil, Jesus, the Koran etc.) ever discussed or referenced in the classroom?

Were there any books/stories assigned that you personally felt had GLBTQ themes that were ignored or overlooked by teachers? If so, which books/author? Why?

What are some other GLBTQ authors/books that you’ve read for pleasure?

What information do you think would help a student who is struggling with his or her own GLBTQ identity?

SECTION III: Homophobia and Anti-GLBTQ Attitudes in Your School

Were homophobic/anti-GLBTQ attitudes common in your high school?

Were you ever called names for being identified as a GLBTQ student? If so, what names? Do not be afraid to be graphic!

Did any of your teachers and/or administrators tolerate, ignore or enforce homophobic/anti-GLBTQ attitudes? If so, explain how.

Were you ever openly threatened or attacked by other students for being identified as GLBTQ? If so, please give examples.

Do you feel homophobic/anti-GLBTQ attitudes can negatively affect the learning process and your overall experience in school?

Were you ever afraid to participate in class due to anxiety about being harassed for being GLBTQ?

Indicate any connections you observed between racism, sexism, ageism and homophobia/anti-GLBTQ attitudes.

Do you feel that homophobia/anti-GLBTQ attitudes were/are institutionalized at your school?

SECTION IV: Final Thoughts and Suggestions

What other questions could we ask?

Say anything that comes to mind!

survey_questions_per_page = 0;

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