It’s the Poverty, Stupid

Buried within a lengthy article last week in the NYT about the menace to society presented by a group of middle-aged, single women raising children without fathers, are some interesting tidbits about poverty and single mothers.

Since the mid-1990s, in England, Susan Golombok of the Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge has been conducting a longitudinal study of middle-class single mothers. She is comparing the children of 38 two-parent heterosexual couples with those of 25 lesbian couples and 38 single mothers. Most of the mothers have a university degree and a professional or managerial job.

When the children turned 12, Golombok measured their emotional and behavioral development, school adjustment, peer relationships and self-esteem and found no differences among the groups. That held true in the latest round of interviews with the kids, who are now 18.

That’s not what I’ve been hearing from social conservatives, demographic winter types, or the religious right! Perhaps no one has told them of this research. Continue reading

A Lesbian Runs Iceland!

Johanna Sigurdardottir
Minn tími hefur koma!

Iceland just named its first female Prime Minister, and she happens to also be the world’s first (modern) queer head of state!

Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir was once a flight stewardess and married to a man. She entered politics after working for a union. She is now Iceland’s longest serving MP, and at 60 married a woman (gay marriage has been legal in Iceland since 1996). She is incredibly well-liked, with a 73% approval rating.

Jóhanna even has her own catch phrase, “My time will come!” (“Minn tími mun koma!”), which she ‘coined’ during her concession speech after losing the election for President of the Social Democratic Party. Her time has indeed come, and then some.

From BBC:

In Iceland itself … the new prime minister’s sexual orientation appears to be causing less excitement than it is abroad.

What is really historic about this new cabinet, says Skuli Helgeson, the general secretary of Ms Sigurardottir’s Social Democratic Alliance, is not the fact that its leader is a lesbian, but that for the first time in Icelandic history it boasts an equal number of men and women.