Two BYU clinical psychology PhD graduates, Ashley Levan and Ann Clawson, received prestigious post docs in pediatric neuropsychology.
Levan received her PhD in clinical psychology from BYU in 2016. Her dissertation research studied children with epileptic and non-epileptic seizures and learned how their social and executive functioning skills were affected by those seizures. Levan also researched social and cognitive functioning following traumatic brain injury in children.
Levan has practiced and researched at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Children’s National is a leading clinical and research institution, ranked best in the nation for children, and has been around since 1870. Dr. Levan was accepted into the Pediatric Neuropsychology concussion and mild traumatic brain injury track.
As a postdoctoral fellow at Children’s National Medical Center, Levan’s clinical work focused on completing neuropsychological evaluations with children and adolescents with concussion, autism spectrum disorders, and additional neurodevelopmental and acquired conditions, according to Leesa Scott of the psychology department. Levan also examines academic outcomes in pediatric concussion populations.
At BYU, Clawson graduated in the Clinical Psychology Doctoral program with an emphasis in neuropsychology. She continues her training as a postdoctoral fellow in pediatric neuropsychology at Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Kennedy Krieger Institute is an internationally recognized facility dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with pediatric developmental disabilities through patient care, special education, research and professional training.
In her post doc program, Clawson is developing skills and knowledge through working with a variety of children and youth in the oncology, genetic/congenital, and epilepsy clinics. Clawson is receiving specialized training in autism spectrum disorder. She continues her research in autism and am currently involved in a project examining neuropsychological outcomes in autism.
“I am incredibly grateful for my current opportunities, and for all those at BYU whose guidance and support have helped me succeed,” Clawson said.
We’re proud of the great work Doctors Levan and Clawson are doing to expand knowledge of pediatric psychology and development!
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, who coined the phrase “well-behaved women seldom make history,” recently discussed how well-behaved women in polygamist marriages in mid-1800s Utah benefited from and in fact brought benefit to the entire then-territory of Utah, making a niche in Mormon history all their own. At an event on campus in March, she spoke to many women and a handful of curious men about her exploration of the role women played in the early days of the Church. Through her research, she said that she found that she, like other modern women, “…could be a woman of faith,…activism and scholarship.”
In the early days of the LDS church, men and women worked together, she said. Early diaries affirmed that women spoke in the earliest LDS gatherings, and they testified. Other events took place in homes under the joint-leadership of men and women. When the saints moved to Nauvoo, the Relief Society was established. “Relief Society began as an individual initiative within a community of women,” Ulrich said. “Prophecies,” “prophetess,” “authority,” and “keys” were all words used in Joseph Smith’s establishment of the organization. Some of those words, such as “authority” and “keys” are more typically associated with men in modern LDS practice. But the Relief Society became an opportunity for women to have authority and to lead. Ulrich said it was a godly community where everyone had a place. In a painting of Joseph and Emma Smith, both held symbols of mastery and authority. Ulrich interpreted this as depicting their equality to each other.
When polygamy was first introduced, Ulrich said there were dissenters who claimed the Relief Society was where Joseph Smith found “harlots.” The Relief Society pushed back at these claims, and defended the prophet and the church, according to Ulrich. The women unified, “huddling” closer together. “There is so little known about early Mormon polygamy,” Ulrich said. But what is know is that there was not cohabitation around 1843 and it was not yet publicly announced, but there were plural temple sealings. About these, Emma was upset. Ulrich said that there is no biological or DNA evidence that Joseph Smith ever fathered a child, except with Emma.
There was a rumor that Mormon women were promiscuous, so Emma asked for a reformation of both men and women in their duty to uphold the moral values in the law. Ulrich said Emma met with the Relief Society twice a day. After Joseph’s martyrdom, there was tension between Emma and Brigham Young, second president of the Church, who had embraced polygamy. Because Emma was the leader of the Relief Society, Brigham Young was upset with the Relief Society, and said “damning” things about it and women. Ulrich said that this was probably a time where Brigham Young wished he could take back his words.
“What I think is very, very clear from her behavior first in her rallying of Relief Society in defense of the church…[is that] she cared about the church, and she cared about the survival of the church,” Ulrich said. Ulrich suggests that Emma was “terrified” of Joseph Smith’s behavior because she had to learn if it was adulterous or visionary, and Emma was terrified of what would happen. Despite these difficulties and the general lack of information, Ulrich noted, there is evidence that women were seen as equals during plural marriage. In an announcement of the plural sealing of Mary Ann to Brigham Young, Mary Ann was referred to as “presidentess.” In Ulrich’s recently-published book A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism (1835-1870), she said: it could…have been described as an experiment in cooperative housekeeping and an incubator of female activism.”
Indeed, though many of the Mormon pioneer women indicated in their diaries that “they had not a clue what they were getting into,” they entered into the practice of plural marriage in faith and figured it out across the plains. When they arrived in Salt Lake City, the women gathered every other day. They were in constant contact. Men and women were still learning who should preside in a religious gathering in the home. Here again, was evidence that men and women were equals, Ulrich said. “Women sometimes stepped in when men failed in their duties,” Ulrich said. When the male leader decided to not come to a meeting, he would usually delegate the authority to the woman of the household to preside and conduct the meeting.
The Relief Society, which had been disbanded soon after Joseph Smith’s martyrdom, was not fully functional again for about 20 years. “The reorganization came from individual initiative of women,” Ulrich said. When it was reestablished, the minutes from the original Relief Society were used as guides to address the women in society. The women at the time moved into the women’s rights movements. Ulrich said the women said this of Relief Society: “They believed there was something more Joseph was offering.” And indeed, perhaps because of that unification and activism, Ulrich said that Utah, which was then a primarily female state, gave women voting rights fifty years before it was federally mandated by the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “These women felt the Spirit of God in each other’s company. They were able to carry on because they were huddling together.”
Ulrich, an American historian and professor at Harvard University, said Mormon women’s history during this time is an “uplifting” and a “really sad” story, but that is shows something about the resilience of these interesting women. That resiliency is still something that modern women can take to heart.
Utah is a model to many other states of upward mobility, or the ability of people to get themselves out of poverty, according to a 2014 study done by four Harvard and University of California, Berkley analysts. Bloomberg View reporter Megan McArdle visited Utah in March of 2017 to discover its secrets to the American dream. Along the way, she met two BYU economists, who weighed in on Utah’s success.
How Does Utah Do It?
She learned that The Church of Latter-day Saints leads the way in helping the impoverished rise to economic stability, if not success. She learned that Utahns emphasize education as a means of getting out of poverty. She learned, after meeting with government leaders and civil servants, that they form a “cheerfully effective bureaucracy.” And she saw that, in Utah, the community is heavily involved in helping others out of poverty, and Welfare Square is the center of the action. That is where volunteers provide help to those in need, but they help the needy help themselves.
Exposure to Different Social Networks in Schools
In the 2014 study she worked to understand, she learned that the inequality that best predicts low mobility is the distance between a community’s upper middle class and its poorest citizens. BYU economist David Sims has researched income mobility, and said that one of the reasons that Utah is better at it than other states is because its schools tend to introduce kids to different social networks, just by virtue of their school boundaries. This makes for a “leveling of the playing field,” so to speak. Says Sims: “What it’s especially good at is a sort of middle classness that’s so broad it’s almost infectious.”
Low Racial Diversity
A child born in Charlotte, North Carolina has a 6.8% less chance that one born in Utah to make it into the top quintile of income, if he or she was born into the lowest income quintile. McArdle theorizes that one of the reasons has to do with Utah’s relatively low racial diversity:
“When the poor people are, by and large, the same race as the richer ones, people find it easier to talk about them the way they might talk about, well, family members — as folks who may have made some mistakes and started with some disadvantages, but also as folks who could be self-sufficient after a little help from an uncle or a sister. It’s a very different conversation from “victim”/“oppressor” and “us”/“them”: a conversation that recognizes that poor people often make choices that keep them in poverty, but also that the constraints of poverty, including the social environment of poor neighborhoods, make it very difficult to make another choice.”
High Rates of Religious Practice and Marriage
She, along with the authors of the study (Chetty et al), also attribute the higher rate of upward mobility to relatively high rates of religious practice. Chetty et al state that “religiosity is very strongly positively correlated with upward mobility, while crime rates are negatively correlated with mobility.” Since Utah’s population is predominately LDS, there is less alcohol sold and more marriages. These are factors that reduce poverty, say McArdle. Likewise, Kathryn Edin, at a recent Hinckley lecture on poverty, said that family instability and complexity are both consequences and causes of poverty, and that it is more common among low-income families. Chetty et al also suggest that having two married parents is a bedrock foundation of economic mobility. However, society is shifting away from marriage. “Why don’t we use what we have?” asks BYU economist Joe Price, in response to that trend. “You’ve got this institution that has worked for thousands of years, [but] there’s a reluctance to use the word ‘marriage’ in public policy.”
Utah’s relative success at providing opportunities for getting out of poverty isn’t due to any heavy-handed government policy or large amounts of per-pupil spending on education. It is due, not only to the factors already listed, but also:
an aggressive war on homelessness by its government,
a brand of “compassionate conservativism that went hand-in-hand with an unusually functional bureaucracy”
the Mormon welfare network, which strongly encourages emergency preparedness, is staffed by an “unrivaled system of highly-organized community volunteer work,” and is structured so that recipients of financial help are led back to self-sufficiency.
What Does This Mean for Other States and People?
Beyond the reasons for Utah’s relative success in this area, though, there are bigger questions, the biggest of which is whether or not other states can replicate what Utah has done. She says:
This does raise some questions about the viability of Utah’s “compassionate conservative” model outside the state. The vast welfare infrastructure from the Mormon Church naturally makes it easier to have smaller government. Perhaps that could be replicated by other communities. But the values of the Mormon Church may create a public that simply needs less help. That’s harder for another community to imitate. I’m not sure this key ingredient is available in a secular version; I think religion might only come in religion flavor.
I really, really wanted to find pieces of Utah’s model that could somehow be exported. Price gave me some hope. The Mormon Church, he says, has created “scripts” for life, and you don’t need religious faith for those; you just need cultural agreement that they’re important. We have lots of secular authorities who could be encouraging marriage, and volunteering, and higher levels of community involvement of all kinds. Looking at the remarkable speed with which norms about gay marriage changed, thanks in part to an aggressive push on the topic from Hollywood icons, I have to believe that our norms about everyone else’s marriages could change too, if those same elites were courageous enough to recognize the evidence, and take a stand.
Not getting enough sleep can cause problems for anyone, but one would think that aging parents with adult children would be, to some extent, exempt from that particular problem. However, a recent study published by BYU Gerontology professor Jeremy Yorgason found that parents continue to worry about their children, even to the point that it affects their sleep.
“The topic of sleep is receiving more and more attention these days as biological factors are linked with many other aspects of life, including social factors,” Yorgason said. “Parents don’t really ever stop being parents in many ways, and so feeling stress about their children will likely have an impact on their physical and emotional processes (which may show up in sleep). Of the 186 heterosexual married, remarried, or cohabiting couples interviewed, only 10% of husbands age 40 to 60, and 6% of wives reported not worrying at all about their children.” They found that husbands’ worrying more frequently about their adult children was associated with less sleep for husbands, but not for wives. They also found that when husbands provided more frequent support to adult children, it was often more need-based than it was for mothers. “Support may be more taxing for fathers, making it more difficult for husbands to get a sufficient amount of sleep as a result of the time and energy demands related to giving such support,” they said.
Such findings may be highly relevant to those adult children, who may still find themselves needing their aging parents, even as they take care of their own younger children. “On the one hand,” Yorgason posits, “such support can be viewed as a benefit for adult children. As support sometimes reflects [the] needs of adult children, the concerns the parents have around the child’s need might be the source of less sleep. That is, adult children may be able to count on middle-aged and older parents to be available for support during difficult times (Merz, Consedine, Schulze, & Schuengel, 2009). On the other hand, because poor sleep quality is linked with physical and mental distress (Meerlo, Sgoifo, & Suchecki, 2008; Smagula, Stone, Fabio, & Cauley, 2016), such caring by older parents may take a physical and psychological toll.”
Adult children might be both heartened and worried by these results. At the least, they can inform their interactions with their aging parents so that their sleep patterns are taken into account. Yorgason e has a study in the process of publication which found that sleep affects marital interactions because a lack of sleep puts a spouse in a negative mood. Yorgason is also writing up how sleep may affect communication and problem solving within a marriage.
Jeremy B. Yorgason is an Associate Professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from Virginia Tech in marriage and family therapy. He also completed a graduate gerontology certificate at Kansas State University, and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Gerontology Center of Penn State University, with an emphasis in mental health and aging. Dr. Yorgason is a member of the Gerontology Program faculty at BYU. His research interests are in the area of later life family relationships, with a specific focus on health and marriage. His current research efforts focus on later life couple relationships in context of the effects of daily health stressors, managing multiple chronic illnesses, and on grandparent/grandchild relationships. He is also starting the Couple Relationships and Transitions Experiences study (CREATE), which explores how recently married couples manage minor and major life transitions.
Gordon Smith, a former Oregon senator, is no stranger to the strife of politics, but it is perhaps because of that very strife that he encourages others, particularly Latter-day Saints, to become involved in public service. “I am a witness to the fact that this world needs Latter-day Saints to excel in, not just medicine, not just law, not just business, not just the arts, but also in the art of government,” he said. He said the LDS values are the values that society, though without recognizing it, needs and admires.
At a recent Civic Engagement Leadership workshop, he cited a variety of public service opportunities, and reasons to take advantage of them, among them “a wonderful and rich life.” Smith said many LDS people will ask him what God cares about in government, and he responds by quoting Doctrine and Covenants 134, where God says that “the free exercise of conscience, the right to own property, and the protection of life is what God cares about in government. The rest is just stuff,” Smith said. “Remember those three principles, they were guiding principles for me and certainly can be for you.”
Whether you choose to be just an informed voter, or run for office, Smith provided helpful advice. To voters, he advised:
Ask of your elected officials: “Can you tell me one issue in which you would be in the minority, about which you feel so strongly that you would be willing to loose your office for?” “If they can’t do that, you might as well elect a weather vane,” Smith said.
Look for the “heart of the interest”, as many are motivated by a monetary interest.
To make sense of politicians, watch how they run their campaigns. They will often govern how they campaign.
Be wary of politicians who say that they are running because “its a natural extension of my service,” because that is self-centered, which is an antithesis of public service. He also warned against those who want to run government like a business, because it is not about a return on investment. It’s about writing rules that gives everybody a chance.
Look for authenticity. “People are hungry for [it,]” Smith said. “They want people that stand something, rather than fall for everything. Voters will forgive the differences of opinion, but they will not forgive failure to lead.”
Divide politicians into two groups: noisemakers and deal-makers. “It’s very difficult to be both,” he said. Noisemakers give the media what they want, and they make a lot of enemies, but they are needed because they set boundaries. Deal-makers are needed because they make things happen.
Holly Richardson, who spoke at a September 2016 Civic Engagement event, also provided these suggestions.
Running for Office
Though many may hesitate to fun for public office, particularly women, they may find that they’re more qualified than they think. Paige Albrecht, who ran for the Lehi Utah City Council in 2015 and won, met with community members, precinct chairs, and neighborhood influencers during her campaign. She said of them, in a 2016 Connections article: “The majority of them [were] women. They [were] extremely behind-the-scenes, [and] rarely [took] the stage themselves. When I ask[ed] why they [didn’t] run for office, I hear[d] things like ‘Oh, I could never do that!’ They just [didn’t] see themselves as leaders, while in reality they [were] doing more than they realize[d].”
That being said, Smith encouraged and cautioned those with a desire to run for office to:
Have a desire
Encourage and listen to criticism
Learn to communicate clearly and concisely. “Be able to answer why you are running, in 30 seconds or less,” he said.
Develop a conviction. Smith said the best advice he was ever given was to develop an opinion, through thorough research, and to write it out and and say it over and over, and that will help him develop a conviction.
Believe in something and fight to defend it.
Being in Elected Office
And for those who do run and win, he said:
Learn leadership. “You can’t be the jack of all trades,” Smith said.
Keep a vision
Learn how to delegate details
Practice the art of constructive compromise. “You have to remember that what you see depends on where you’ve sat in life, and where you sit in office,” Smith said. It’s critical for someone in authority to understand other people’s lives.”
Respond softly to vulgarity. “It will elevate and inform and protect you,” Smith said.
Do not forget the importance of honesty and integrity. These are your cornerstones. Smith said that people should be able to trust you, even if they disagree with you.
Keep your LDS covenants, because Smith said they will be a “shield and a protection to you.”
Smith’s Senate Service
The United States Senate influences the rest of the world through example, said Smith. The Bill of Rights and the Constitution are the greatest “exports” this country has. “We’re not a perfect nation, but we’re a good nation,” Smith said. “As long as we live up to the values of our founding documents, there is much good in the world.” For things that have a huge impact on many people, like Obamacare, both parties need to agree through compromise because things passed this way will last longer. But compromise can be very hard to achieve. It was one of the hardest things he was involved in during his time in the United States Senate.
What helped him was having a supportive family, because it was hard work, and meeting young people. “During my time as a senator, I delighted meeting with young people,” Smith said. They always asked Smith if he represented their ideas or his. Smith said he had two roles, one as a delegate and the other as a statesman.
This post is twelfth in a series of videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains tidbits of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advice on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and your family live better lives.
Are all video games negative? According to Dr. Brad Bushman, a 2014 Hinckley presenter, there are negative effects of violent video games, but there are positive effects of pro-social games.
Bushman lists video games that encourage kindness and helpfulness. He studied young adults who played pro-social, neutral, or violent video games. The young adults were assigned to give another young adult a puzzle. They could pick the difficulty level. If the person could figure out a certain number of puzzles within a certain amount of time, they got ten dollars. Bushman used this experiement to understand if pro-social games help people be kind.
As we mentioned in previous posts about his lecture on the subjects of measuring aggression in teenage boys and other effects of violent media, Dr. Bushman acknowledges that adults have the right to choose what media they consume, but he advocates making these effects on children known. Realizing that some of his findings are unpopular with mainstream channels, Bushman challenges popular conceptions by taking painstaking efforts to design his studies in accordance with the scientific method.
His studies have been published in prestigious scientific journals. He has testified in the U.S. Congress on topics related to youth violence and aggression, and has served as a member of President Obama’s committee on gun violence.
Since this topic can be controversial, we encourage viewers to watch the full lecture and the Q&A session that follows for a more complete look at these findings.
Bushman received his Bachelor’s in Psychology from Weber State in 1984 and holds an MEd in Secondary Education from Utah State University (1985), Masters in Psychology and Statistics from the University of Missouri (1987 and 1990 respectively), and a Doctorate in Social Psychology from the same school in 1989. He is the Rinehart Chair of Mass Communication at Ohio State University and teaches both psychology and communication classes. The professor has been featured in media such as BBC, NPR, and the New York Times.
The Marjorie Pay Hinckley Chair was created to strengthen, understand, and research families as well as create strategies to bolster families through challenges such as learning disabilities and single parenting.
Air pollution continues to be a problem in Utah and around the world, but the extent of that problem, both actual and understood, seems to vary widely. C. Arden Pope III, a professor of Economics at BYU, in the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences, spoke on the top 10 things skeptics, whether members of the public or policy makers, tend to ask about air pollution and health at a recent lecture, given as part of the Hickman series. In lay man’s terms, and with witty phrases and jokes, he captivated the audience of students, friends, faculty, and Hickman family members. Pope is the Mary Lou Fulton Professor of Economics at BYU. Pope has authored or coauthored about 200 research articles on the subject of air pollution and its effects on health. These articles have received over 62 thousand citations, making Pope one of the world’s most cited and recognized experts on health effects of air pollution.
Top 10 Controversies about air pollution
Was London’s smog romantic or deadly?
Many classical paintings included smog and smoke and a hazy view of London. In the 1930-1950’s, pollution was so high that thousands died, so it was indisputable that air pollution was detrimental.
Smog is deadly.
Can short-term, moderate levels of air pollution hurt people?
In Utah, Geneva Steel puffed pollutants in to the sky into the 1980’s. Then, Geneva Steel closed for 13 months. Once it reopened, a pattern emerged. Hospital admittance of children with asthma doubled when the mill was opened.
Further research revealed a correlation between daily death count (of respiratory and cardiovascular) and air pollution levels. The more polluted the air, the more people died. Air pollution is also associated with hospitalizations, lung infections, school absences, symptoms of respiratory illness, ischemic heart disease, cardiac-autonomic function, and more.
More researchers, such as John Samet, did similar studies in many cities all over the world.
Any level of air pollution is harmful.
Can long-term exposure to air pollution significantly contribute to disease or death?
After much research with many colleagues, Pope proposed new ambient air quality standards for the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce in 1997. Many people resisted and there was a call that other scientists confirm Pope’s data. These studies confirmed the accuracy of the data. Other countries replicated these studies as well.
Long-term exposure to air pollution contributes to disease and death.
Does reducing air pollution improve heath and mortality?
Pope said that there is almost a 25 percent improvement rate of health and mortality when air quality is improved. He referenced several other studies which confirmed this research.
Reducing air pollution improves health and mortality.
Does a save threshold for air pollution exist?
Is there any level of air pollution that will not harm a person? The answer seems to be no. Pope’s research taught him that there is no evidence of such a threshold. There has been research done to answer this question all over the world, and the conclusion is the same.
“We just never could see any evidence of a safe threshold,” Pope said.
Why aren’t all the smokers dead?
Skeptics have asked: “if it is so bad to breathe air pollution, why aren’t all the people who smoke dead? Pope’s research and studies did not find a definitive answer. He did find that there are “not linear-diminishing marginal effects.” There are too many other factors to be able to conclude or not conclude something so linear.
Are these health effects biologically plausible?
Air pollution leads to damage of the endothelial lining of the lungs. Damage to the lining can lead to diseases. Endothelial disease kills people the most if it leads to heart attacks. Pope did studies with BYU student volunteers to measure the healthiness of endothelial in the lungs. BYU is a great place for this study, because BYU students do not smoke, they just live in a polluted area.
Pope learned that there is still much to be learned, but it is plausible.
“Basically, you have more damage [in the lungs], and less repair” because of air pollution, Pope said.
Aren’t air pollution health effects small in comparison to other risk factors?
“OK, so what?” asked skeptics. Pope said he learned from other’s research that what we eat, drink, and breathe impacts our health. Air pollution is a big influence.
In comparison to other risk factors, the negative health effects of air pollution are substantial.
Won’t cleaning up air pollution be too expensive to fix? Won’t it hurt the economy?
Pope said that as an economist, he believes that cleaning up the air pollution will help the economy. “The benefits of improving our air quality are substantial,” Pope said. “These benefits are almost unbelievable, unimaginable.” He was adamant that any claim of damage to an economy caused by the cleaning up of an area’s air pollution is false. Improved air quality would also encourage more people to move to and visit Utah, which would boost the economy.
“It does appear that we can have a thriving economy and clean air,” Pope said.
How much evidence is needed before efforts to have clean air are no longer controversial?
“I have no more slides,” Pope said at the conclusion of his lecture.
“As [more] women have entered the work force, the hope was that men would make up the difference in household chores, said FHSSsociology Professor Renata Forste at a recent public lecture on campus. “Generally, this has not happened….resulting in a ‘stalled revolution.'” Forste said research shows that men have increased the amount of housework they do, and women have decreased the amount they do, but women are still doing more housework than men, even if they are working outside of the home as well. Why?
Forste offered several possible explanations for this differentiation, including:
the possibility that the person with more power usually has more power to argue to do less housework. In some households now and many historically, the man had more perceived power because he was earning the money.
gender construction, or the perspective that women are viewed as more caring, so they will care more for the home. A man’s fulfillment of his perceived gender role is not necessarily connected to how much he cares for his house by doing housework.
Family satisfaction is affected when house chores are not equal
But why does this matter? If a family has worked out an arrangement wherein both parents work outside the home full-time, the mother still does most of their housework, but she and the rest of the family are okay with that, is it a problem? It can be, said Forste, in that research shows that “family satisfaction depends on both partners contributing to housework. Gender imbalance is not seen as fair by either [gender], but it advantages men.” She cited research that said couples who believed each other was doing their “fair share” of housework were 60 percent more likely to say that they were satisfied with their marriage. Doing laundry, shopping for groceries, caring for sick children, and cleaning the house were the main chores that couples wanted to share equally.
Forste believes the underlying problem is that society does not value housework. She said it is valued “certainly less than paid income.” She suggested that housework is valued less because it is not visible in the public sphere. So what then, is the solution? If a couple or family is dissatisfied with their work/housework arrangement, what can they do?
View all housework as regular maintenance work.“If we consider housework as work, and not women’s work, its value will increase,” Forste said. “There’s no men’s work or women’s work; there’s just work that needs to be done.” Throughout history, there was an attitude that if women could do it, it must not be that hard. She cited examples of actual commercial posters portraying this perspective:
Nowadays, one is most likely to find ads like this:
2. Develop career and housework skills. “We live in a complex world where economic opportunities are constantly changing,” she said, “and I think that young couples need a broader set of skills in order to manage family and work life in today’s labor market.” Addressing students, she continued: “I encourage [you] to develop both employment skills and homemaking skills as you prepare for your future. You will have more flexibility and options in an unstable economy.” Female students should get degrees and develop employable skills; unless a female student has a guarantee that she will marry and her husband will always be able to support her and their family, she should earn a degree. “It’s better to have employable skills and not need them, than to need them and not have them.”
Virginia F. Cutler
This lecture is part of a series of annual presentations dedicated to the memory of Virginia Farrer Cutler, who spent her entire life educating people on the home and family. While she served as the University of Utah’s Head of the Home Economics Department, she founded their Family Home Living Center. She later went on to become the dean of BYU’s College of Family living, now known as the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences.
Throughout her lifetime, Dr. Cutler served in many capacities and received a plethora of awards. These include: “United States delegate to the World Forum on Women, Brussels, 1962,” “appointed by President Nixon to the Consumer Advisory Council, 1972-1975,” “Utah Mother of the year, 1972,” and “distinguished service awards from the University of Utah and Cornell University.”
Are you a faculty member interested in becoming a Fulbright Scholar or in learning more about the Fulbright Scholars Program? Are you an undergraduate or graduate student interested in doing research abroad? On March 23rd, the College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences will host two representatives of the Fulbright Program—Sophia Yang, and Lee Rivers—who can tell faculty and students how to apply for either kind of opportunity.
Fulbright student scholarships fund an academic year of international experience for U.S. citizens, and are open to graduating seniors and graduate students. With more than 1,900 awards available, the Fulbright is a terrific opportunity to study, conduct international research or work as an English teaching assistant abroad.
Faculty members interested in learning about opportunities with the Fulbright Scholar Program may attend the presentation given by Sophia Yang at 12:00 p.m. on March 23rd in the Hinckley Building east conference room. A light lunch will be served at 11:30. Ms. Yang’s presentation will be followed by an opportunity to speak with her one-on-one about the application process and more specific information about various opportunities. Faculty members should RSVP using this Google doc, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Faculty Informational Session
Thursday, March 23
12 p.m., lunch at 11:30 a.m.
Students interested in learning about opportunities with the Fulbright Student Program may attend the presentation given by Lee Rivers, the Assistant Manager for Outreach and Special Projects for the Institute of International Education. This presentation will be at 11:00 a.m. on March 23rd in room W170 of the Benson building.. There will also be a Q&A following the presentation.