Below is the newest installation of Research News Reporter (RNR) Online. Previous editions can be viewed in the Archives.
IWPR’s Research News Reporter is distributed to highlight informative, innovative, and sometimes controversial research related to women and their families.
Research Making News
1. “Katie Couric’s Notebook: The Pill”
2. “Report Finds It Wasn’t Just a ‘Mancession’”
3. "More Native American Women Experience ‘Non-Consenting’ Sex"
4. "More New Moms Unmarried, Older"
1. The Costs and Benefits of In-Home Supportive Services for the Elderly and Persons With Disabilities: A California Case Study
2.Social and Economic Status of Latina Immigrant Women in Phoenix
3. Child Care: Multiple Factors Could Have Contributed to Recent Decline in the Number of Children Whose Families Receive Subsidies
4. The Wage Penalty for State and Local Government Employees
5. Characteristics of Abortion Patients, 2008
Each selection includes a short excerpt, link to the news article, and link to the research cited:
By Katie Couric
Katie Couric’s Notebook, CBS News.com
May 13, 2010
Citing: Contraceptive Needs and Services: National and State Data, 2008 by Jennifer J. Frost, Stanley K. Henshaw and Adam Sonfield of the Guttmacher Institute
“This month marks the 50th anniversary of the birth control pill, a tiny tablet that revolutionized women's health.
But before we break out the cake and streamers, we should remember the pill is still off limits to millions of American women.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, roughly 17.4 million low-income women need publicly-funded contraception but only 9.4 million are receiving it. As many as 8 million lack adequate care.
Planned Parenthood and other groups are trying to address this gap by encouraging the government to define contraception as preventive medicine, so it's covered under health care reform at little or no cost to the patient.
Insurance companies might balk at that idea, but with half of all pregnancies still unplanned, it deserves careful consideration. […]”
By Jocelyn Noveck
May 7, 2010
Citing: Understanding the Economy: Working Mothers in the Great Recession by the Joint Economic Committee of the United States Congress
“[…A] congressional committee has issued a report, timed for Mother's Day, outlining the adverse impact the recession has had on working women -- especially on mothers, and particularly single moms. […]
Strikingly, the report, by the Joint Economic Committee, finds that whereas during the bulk of the recession job losses were overwhelmingly male, as the economy edged toward recovery, the trend began reversing.
‘As job losses slowed in the final months of 2009, women continued to lose jobs as men found employment,’ says the report, based on the committee's analysis of data from the Bureau of labor Statistics, including unpublished data. […]
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., chair of the committee, noted that the findings were especially dire for single mothers -- their unemployment rate went from 8 percent to 13.6 percent between 2007 and 2009.
"Women are losing more jobs, yet families are more dependent on their earnings," she said in a telephone interview.
In all, one-third of jobs lost during the Great Recession belonged to women, Maloney notes. That's striking, she says, because in earlier recessions the percentage was much lower; women accounted for 15 percent of job losses in the 2001 recession, for example. […]
Another problem for working women is what the report terms the "part-time penalty," meaning those in part-time work often earn far less per hour than their full-time counterparts in the same occupation.
In 2009, 3.3 million women worked part time for economic reasons, the report says, meaning that they didn't choose it: Either they couldn't find full-time work, or their hours had been cut from full-time.”
By Rachel D’Oro
May 6, 2010
Citing: Reproductive Health of Urban American Indian and Native Alaskan Women: Examining Unintended Pregnancy, Contraception, Sexual Behavior and History, and Non-Voluntary Sexual Intercourse by the Urban Indian Health Institute
“Alaska Native and American Indian women living in the nation's urban centers are more than twice as likely to experience nonconsenting sexual intercourse in their first encounter, a new study shows.
The report released Wednesday also shows that a third of urban indigenous women surveyed chose sterilization as a form of birth control.
The study was conducted by the Urban Indian Health Institute in Seattle on data collected in the 2002 edition of the National Survey of Family Growth, which looks at U.S. populations between the reproductive ages of 15 and 44.
Of the 7,643 women surveyed in the 2002 study, health institute researchers focused comparisons between 299 urban indigenous women and 3,173 non-Hispanic whites. […]
[…] Among Alaska Native and American Indian women, 17% had experienced non-voluntary sex their first time, compared with 8% white women, according to the 63-page report. Almost 14% of indigenous women said their first sex partner was seven or more years older, while 9% of white women reported sex partners who were much older. […]
Another finding that stunned researchers was the rate at which women chose sterilization, 34% compared with whites at 20%. Also prevalent among young Native women between the ages of 15 and 24 was the use of the injectable long-lasting hormonal contraceptive Depo-Provera, which researchers say can cause weight gain. That's a possible health risk for American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are three times more likely to die from diabetes.”
To read the full article, click here. . To download a free copy of the report or visit the website for the Urban Indian Health Institute, click here.
By Leanne Italie
May 6, 2010
Citing: The New Demography of American Motherhood by Gretchen Livingston and D’Vera Cohn, Pew Research Center
“New mothers in the U.S. are increasingly older and better educated than they were two decades ago, according to a study on the state of American motherhood released Thursday by the Pew Research Center.
But that doesn't mean women are waiting for just the right moment: The study also found that half of mothers surveyed said that parenthood "just happened."
While most women giving birth are doing it within the context of marriage, the study found a record 41 percent of births were to unmarried women in 2008. That's up from 28 percent in 1990, according to the study, "The New Demography of American Motherhood." The trend crossed major racial and ethnic groups.
Nearly 14 percent of mothers of newborns were 35 or older two years ago — and only about 10 percent were in their teens. The age trend was reversed in 1990, when teens had a 13 percent share of births. […]
[…] Most mothers of newborns (54 percent) had at least some college education in 2006, an increase from 41 percent in 1990. Among mothers 35 or older, 71 percent had at least some college education.
[…] ‘The rise in women's education levels has changed the profile of the typical mother of a newborn baby,’ the report said. Cohn added that a lower share of mothers ended their education after high school, ‘so some of those mothers who would have been high school graduates in 1990 have some college education today.’
Stephanie Coontz, director of research and public education for the nonprofit Council on Contemporary Families and a writer who teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash., said the rise of single motherhood and an increase in older women giving birth is significant.
‘It's yet another nail in the coffin in the hope that we can solve the challenges facing us today by shoehorning everyone back into marriages,’ she said. ‘One of the big problems with that at this point is very often kids do worse if their mother rushes into a marriage that may be unstable.’ […]
Each selection includes a short excerpt from the research and a link to the report:
Institute for Women’s Policy Research and PHI
Candace Howes, Ph.D., Connecticut College
May 3, 2010
“California’s Medicaid (called Medi‐Cal in California) long‐term care program currently places it among the top 5 states in terms of coverage, balance between nursing home and home‐ and community‐based care, and cost effectiveness. Yet, Governor Schwarzenegger, in his proposed Budget for 2010‐2011, has recommended cutting the In‐Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program for 444,000 people, leaving IHSS recipients with two options: to rely on unpaid family care or to enter a nursing facility. In a January 2010 report, the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) argued that IHSS is just barely cost effective to the state (by keeping people out of more expensive nursing homes) and that the state could increase the fiscal benefits of IHSS if it implemented a 3‐tiered targeting proposal in which only the most impaired IHSS recipients would receive IHSS services while services for the other two thirds would be reduced or eliminated altogether. This Briefing Paper summarizes the conclusions of the LAO report, and shows that some of the LAO’s assumptions are unrealistic. It presents a more realistic set of assumptions and then re‐estimates the relative benefits of the IHSS program. Finally, it considers the savings to the state if, instead of cutting all or part of the IHSS program, the state transitioned one‐third of nursing home residents back into the community.”
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
“One in ten Arizona residents was born abroad and identifies as Latino or Latina. In Phoenix, this number is nearly one in eight. Nationally, Latino immigrant men slightly outnumber women (54 percent to 46 percent), but in Arizona and Phoenix, the proportions of men and women are approximately equal. Latino/a immigrants face a range of social and economic vulnerabilities that often disproportionately affect women.”
U.S. Government Accountability Office
“As Congress considers reauthorization of the laws which provide funding for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), there is interest in understanding what accounts for recent trends in child care subsidy receipt among eligible families and what research says about subsidies' effects on parents' ability to obtain and maintain employment. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers CCDF, but states have flexibility in its implementation. As requested, GAO examined: (1) trends in federal estimates of the number and proportion of eligible children and families who receive child care subsidies, (2) factors that may affect trends in estimates of the number of children served, and (3) what is known about the extent to which access to subsidies supports low-income parents' employment. To address these issues, GAO reviewed recent federal estimates of the number and proportion of eligible children and families served; conducted a survey of state child care administrators in 50 states and the District of Columbia; interviewed HHS officials, state officials in four selected states, and researchers and experts in child care subsidies; and reviewed research on the relationship between subsidy receipt and employment outcomes. GAO is not making recommendations in this report. HHS generally agreed with the report and provided technical comments, which GAO incorporated as appropriate.”
Center for Economic and Policy Research
“As recent reports in the media have emphasized, on average, state and local government employees appear to earn more than private-sector workers. But, on average, state and local workers are also older and substantially better educated than private sector workers. Half of state and local employees have a four-year college degree or more, and almost one-fourth have an advanced degree. Less than 30 percent of private-sector workers have a four-year college degree, and less than 10 percent have an advanced degree. The typical state and local worker is also about four years older than the typical private-sector worker. Sixty percent of state and local government employees are women, compared to 46 percent of employees in the private sector. When state and local government employees are compared to private-sector workers with similar characteristics – particularly when workers are matched by age and education – state and local workers actually earn 4 percent less, on average, than their private-sector counterparts. For women workers, the public-sector penalty is about 2 percent of earnings; for men, it is about 6 percent of earnings.”
Rachel K. Jones, Lawrence B. Finer and Susheela Singh
“This report draws on data from the latest Guttmacher survey to provide a profile of the population of U.S. women who accessed abortion services in 2008. It includes new information about several previously unexamined characteristics: length of relationship with male partners, foreign-born status, attendance at religious services, health insurance status and payment for abortion services. Information from this report can help identify those groups most likely to be affected when new abortion restrictions are implemented, as well as those most at risk of unintended pregnancy.”