Friday, September 01, 2006

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Martha Bridegam blogs about a no-bid grant from "the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support a study on "Gendered Parenting and Its Implications for Child Well-Being and Couple Relationships" by a group called the Institute for American Values." She went to the site of the Institute and found fascinating facts aplenty:

Read deeper into the site and it turns out these people are dedicated to a hypertraditional idea of marriage at all costs -- one biological mother, one biological father, no divorce, no same-sex parents, apparently not even caregiving friends of the family -- none of the lively variation that has always existed in real human households whether labeled as irregular or not. They observe that divorce hurts children, as though happy marriage were the alternative. They fail to observe that unhappy marriages also hurt children. They publish tracts against "the weakening of marriage." Their members publish articles in the likes of the Weekly Standard that carefully and almost politely denigrate not only gay parenthood, not only single motherhood, but even the broad (and thoroughly traditional, and savingly humane) possibility that a person not related by blood can become a de facto parent to a child.

A linked site (look on the main page: it's the fifth item under "Marriage") is called "The Happiest Wives," and it's not pseudo-Shakespeare, it's pseudo-science, publicizing supposed findings that "American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income," and "Wives who stay at home tend to be happier in their marriages than wives who work outside the home."

And imagine that they didn't even have to compete with anybody else on getting some money to "prove" their point of view with our money. Have a lollypop, anybody?