By Christy Barritt
Fatherlessness Neurologically Harms Children
A new study has proven what many people already knew: kids need dads.
A neurobiological study was conducted by the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Canada, and published in the journal Cerebral Cortex. Their findings showed that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of offspring.
To test their theory, researchers actually used mice—California mice, in particular, because they are monogamous and raise their offspring together. Researchers found that the mice raised without a father had abnormal social interactions and were more aggressive than mice raised with a father. The effects were stronger among daughters than sons. They said these traits are “consistent with human studies of children raised without a father.”
They also found that being raised without a father actually changed the brains of test subjects. They found defects in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, which controls social and cognitive functions.
L.A. Considers Ban on Feeding Homeless
After complaints from residents, the Los Angeles City Council is considering a ban on feeding the homeless in public spaces.
Supporters of the ban say there are too many people squatting on the streets and that being fed by individual groups that come in sporadically doesn’t help the overall problem. They would rather help the homeless establish long-term relationships with nonprofits in the area to be more effective.
While in most parts of the country, homelessness had declined in recent years, it’s grown by 15 percent in L.A. between 2011 and 2013, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. They also state that there are currently 57,737 homeless people living in Los Angeles. This gives the city the second highest homeless population in the country, following behind New York City.
Over 50 cities across the country have previously adopted some kind of anti-camping or anti-food-sharing laws, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.
Concerns Raised Over Common Core
With the introduction of national Common Core educational standards, many across the country have been debating the pros and cons of these new standards, which have already been adopted by 45 states.
Supporters of Common Core say that these benchmarks are critical to ensuring that all of the nation’s middle and high school students meet a baseline in math and English. The standards aren’t a curriculum, but are instead a set of standardized tests.
Critics of the standardized criteria argue that establishing these standards is a backdoor way of establishing a nationalized curriculum, which is supposed to be decided on a state and local level. Many also fear that teachers will become data dispensers instead of engaging educators.
There are efforts underway in several states to repeal participation.
Bible Translator Gunned Down
A Bible translator working in the country of the Central African Republican was gunned down in December while attempting to help his family escape violence. Elisee Zama, who was working for Wycliffe Bible Translators, was translating the Bible into the Mandja language while training at a seminary in Bangui.
The country has been in an upheaval since March 2013, when Islamic rebel groups led a coup there and took over the government. Many have fled to hospitals and airports as they seek safety for their families.
The rebel group has continued to inflict violence on locals, especially Christians. They’ve been reported to attack villages in the middle of the night and loot homes while murdering residents. Some Christians there have formed small fighting groups of their own in response to the rebel violence.
Zama is survived by his wife and three children.
Christy Barritt is an award-winning author, freelance writer, and speaker living in Chesapeake, Virginia. She and her husband Scott have two sons.