Monday, April 13, 2009

Your children shall be like olive branches.

MSNBC blandly claims that children decrease the quality of "marital satisfaction."

Admittedly, one researcher notes, there are different kinds of happiness: "Children don't ruin everything, Stanley points out. 'There are different types of happiness in life and that while some luster may be off marital happiness for at least a time during this period of life, there is a whole dimension of family happiness and contentment based on the family that couples are building,' he said. " Well, duh. But I will not mock too roundly this one little piece of light in what is, for the most part, a dark piece.

Elizabeth Foss has a beautiful reply to the snippet/article, which simply begs some sort of interpretation. Read and ponder.

UPDATE: And I love the First Things comment: "Sure. If by “marital quality” one means selfishness, self-centeredness, or egoism."


Gina Marie said...

MSNBC, like other network "news" generally serves up bland "reporting" like this, which was the same stuff I saw on the Yahoo homepage. The Denver Post (a real news organization) did a much better job with the story. In fact, they even thought to interview the researcher who conducted study! See:

When the DP interviewed Prof. Scott Stanley it became obvious that his study wasn't part of any anti-child sensational headline but was part of his book project, which is titled "Fighting For Your Marriage."

What the DP specifically said that MSNBC didn't spell out: "What the study doesn't capture: the richer, longer-lasting contentment that comes with building a family, he said."

e2 said...

Thanks, Gina! Todd also commented that popular "news" outlets rarely capture the context of scientific studies. So true, so true.