CultureWatch

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

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Australia Urged To Treat Families the Swedish Way

Jul 28, 1995

Australia has been asked to respond to a United Nations program, the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children. Called the Program of Action, Australia’s response is to be developed from three sources: Federal Government ministries; States

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Sexualising Our Teens

Feb 8, 1995

Some 800 sexologists were asked at a recent world congress whether they would rely on a condom for protection if they had available the partner of their dreams and knew the person carried HIV. After a long delay, one hand

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Young Mums Want to Stay Home

Dec 6, 1994

A new survey put out by the Australian National University has found that the majority of Australians prefer that mothers with young children stay home.

The survey, conducted by the International Social Science Survey, found that 65 per cent

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Blurring the AIDS Message

Aug 30, 1994

A new Federal Government-sponsored pamphlet on how to talk to children about AIDS has been released by Family Planning Victoria. The pamphlet is titled, Talking to Kids about AIDS: For Parents and Caregivers of Children Under 10 Years.

The

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Television and Families

Jul 28, 1994

Not long ago the Pope came out with an attack on television, claiming that it was anti-family and undermined traditional values. Critics quickly responded saying the Pope was ignorant and out of touch. One newspaper editorial even claimed that if

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Lesbian mums

Jul 4, 1994

It cannot be denied that Martina Navratilova is a great tennis player. But can she be as successful at motherhood? The tennis star and up-front lesbian has recently declared that she would like to be a mother. The desire for

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