The Mom question: Seattle-area women share their complicated decisions
NATASHA MARIN PUTS her hands on the sides of her daughter’s head; looks straight into her eyes; and tells her, “You do not need to get married and have children.” Marin, 38, doesn’t want 13-year-old Roman to feel pressure to have a child because it’s what other people expect.
“I really hope my daughter has a chance to be herself before necessarily being protector and guardian and guide to another person,” Marin says.
It wasn’t until she was breast-feeding her second child that Marin realized she could have chosen not to have children. It didn’t really feel like a conscious choice at the time she had kids, she says: just the next step in her life.
Her kids are one of the best parts of her life, but Marin wants Roman and her 6-year-old son to know they don’t have to become a parent when they grow up.
“The idea of opting not to have children has entered public consciousness in a way that we have not seen previously in our culture,” says Amy Blackstone, a professor at the University of Maine who has been studying child-free families for years. “Parenthood is now thought worthy of a thoughtful choice as opposed to the next thing you do.”
In the Seattle area, where many women work in technology or have intense careers, it is easier to talk about the choice, says Nancy J. Kenney, an associate professor of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington.
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Kate McLaughlin was interviewed in this BBC World Service radio show about the effects of poverty on brain development.June 21, 2017
Does Poverty Change The Way We Think?
BBC World Service
Does the experience of poverty actually take a physical toll on your brain? The Inquiry investigates the scientific claims that being poor affects how our brains work.
It's well known that children from poorer backgrounds do worse at school. And adults who are poor are often criticised for making bad life decisions - ones that don't help them in the long-term.
Some say the problems are rooted in the unfair way our society functions. Others argue it's simple genetics. But a growing body of research suggests that something else may be going on too.
The Inquiry assesses the evidence and asks: does poverty change the way we think?
Link to the podcast here.
UW Scientist and International Colleagues Celebrate Monumental 20th Year of Field Course
Washington National Primate Research Center
Where in the world is Dr. Randall Kyes? Friends, colleagues and students call him Randy. Ask any of them and they will tell you that Randy is always on the move. Dealing with the hustle and bustle of crowded airport terminals in far-flung corners of the world is just another day at “the office” for Kyes. Treacherous foreign tuk-tuk rides come with the territory for this nomadic primatologist and University of Washington Psych professor.
Kyes, also a Core Staff scientist at the Washington National Primate Research Center (WaNPRC), and Director of the Center for Global Field Study(CGFS), spends much of his time away from his home in Seattle. Stretching every dollar of his modest grant money, he often sleeps in cockroach-infested motels or in tents stationed out in the bush.
Depending upon the time of year, you might find him in Indonesia, Nepal, or Thailand. These are only a few of the countries that Kyes has added over time to his expanding portfolio of international collaboration.
Since its infancy in 1990, beginning on Tinjil Island in Indonesia, three themes have emerged as driving forces for Randy’s global programs: Science, Collaboration and Community. Year after year, his colleagues and students personify those themes – as they work together on research projects addressing primate conservation and related human health, conduct field-training courses, and provide community outreach education – which may explain the longevity and success.
“It’s important to understand that all our programs are 100% collaborative,” notes Kyes. “I am honored to work with wonderful international colleagues and have the highest respect for the dedication and passion they bring in support of environmental conservation and global health. It’s truly inspiring.”
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