CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Why the Fertility Crisis?

Apr 1, 2000

Pro-family forces have long warned about declining fertility rates and the erosion of parenthood. When a woman who is known more for her commitment to feminism than for her allegiance to conservatism raises the same issues, then we need to

Continue reading...

And Baby Makes Five

Mar 2, 2000

A recent court case involving a baby conceived by IVF for two lesbians has reopened the issue of homosexual access to children. A Melbourne court decided in late February that two lesbians had not mislead an IVF treatment centre. Six-month-old

Continue reading...

Youth Suicide and Secularisation

Sep 18, 1998

Australia has one of the highest youth suicide rates among the world’s developed nations, with 27.3 out of 100,000 Australian males aged 15 to 24 expected to kill themselves. In 1996, 2367 Australians killed themselves, and perhaps a quarter of

Continue reading...

The Battle For Our Children

Jul 15, 1998

These are not good days for our children. Most adults can simply compare their own childhoods with those of today’s young people to see that a major shift has taken place in our society. We have gone from being a

Continue reading...

The Economic Costs of Divorce

Jul 1, 1998

A new Federal report has been released which puts marriage back on the public policy agenda. The report, To Have and To Hold: Strategies to Strengthen Marriage and Relationships, was released in June by the House of Representatives Standing

Continue reading...

The Case for Corporal Punishment

May 30, 1998

The case of the Ringwood mother who was found guilty of assault has again opened up the debate about spanking in particular and corporal punishment in general. Should spanking be made illegal? Many Scandinavian countries have already outlawed corporal punishment.

Continue reading...

Questions About Child Care

Apr 30, 1998

With over $1.5 billion a year spent on child care by Australian Governments, child care is big business.  And with over 600,000 children involved, it affects a lot of people. There is no denying that child care is a

Continue reading...

Marriage in an Age of Rights

Mar 30, 1998

While flicking through our local community newspaper recently, I came across two ads which struck my attention. Both ads were for divorce services. One ad read simply: “Divorce ‘R’ Us: low cost divorce” and gave a phone number. The second

Continue reading...

Families and the New Eugenics

Oct 25, 1997

In the brave new world of the 1990s, a number of emerging technological possibilities pose a threat to the family unit. The ability to ascertain various physical ailments in utero, and the ability to preselect the sex of the child

Continue reading...

Protection From Internet Dangers

Aug 25, 1997

A recent survey found that 2.7 million (41 per cent) of Australia’s 6.6 million households had computers, with between a third and a half of these households hooked up to the Internet. In Victoria, every school is to be online

Continue reading...

The Fallout from Divorce

Aug 4, 1997

The number of divorces has quadrupled in Australia over the past twenty years. Last year Australia had the highest divorce rate since no-fault divorce laws were introduced in 1976. We have also recorded the lowest number of marriages per capita

Continue reading...

The War Against Our Children

Mar 20, 1997

“It is children’s right to be children, to enjoy the pleasures of a childhood. . . . In the end, a childhood is the most basic human right of children.” So wrote David Elkind in his important 1981 book, The

Continue reading...

Women, Work and Divorce

Jul 26, 1996

The latest ABS catalogue on marriage and divorce says that 4 out of 10 marriages will eventually end in divorce. Over the years the divorce rate has continued to rise. A number of factors are at play here: the decline

Continue reading...

Reestablishing Marriage

Jul 15, 1996

We live in a culture that no longer believes in the importance of marriage. Indeed, we have moved from being a culture of marriage to a culture of divorce. At a time when the institution of marriage is maligned and

Continue reading...

The 60’s Legacy on the Family

Jul 3, 1996

As one who has grown up in, and been a part of, the counter-culture of the 60’s and 70’s, I want to examine the way it has radically redefined the shape and character of modern society. It is my conviction

Continue reading...

Families Penalised Again

Nov 26, 1995

Tasmanian Independent Senator Brian Harradine has revealed that more than 107,000 families will lose up to $741 per year under a Government budget decision.

Family Minister Rosemary Crowley admitted in question time that families may lose anywhere from $64 to

Continue reading...

Do We Need a Special Children’s Rights Body?

Nov 1, 1995

The West Australian Labor Opposition has called for the establishment of a children’s rights body. Various elements have been proposed, including a children’s advocate, a children’s charter, a children’s commissioner, and a children’s council. The Opposition said it would establish

Continue reading...