Cairo Association of Teachers - Newsletter

CAT Tracks for February 8, 2007

The bad seed? Born to be wild?

Take your pick...they're all silly!

And I thought what I heard on the news just a few minutes ago was "reaching for the stars"...looking for excuses for bad behavior. Namely, the speculation that fallen astronaut Lisa Nowak suffered "mental anguish"...which I might buy, but "post shuttle depression"? Give me a break!

Who funds these the "scientists" who spend their lives studying bat fecal matter and the like?

Here, we have a study of the offspring of parents behaving badly. Researchers are postulating that it's not the parents behavior...which is already a given...that is causing similar exhibitions in their offspring.'s their genes that are causing the kiddies to go berserk in your classroom!

You know where this is going...cursing out teacher...slashing teacher's tires...was a medical condition...something to be treated...definitely NOT to be punished! I mean, you wouldn't punish a poor child with asthma who passed out in your classroom...would you? It's NOT their fault!

Ya know...if they keep passing out these grants for scientific study, somebody out there is going to eventually get around to attacking the "Holy Grail"...namely, No Child Left Behind. Somebody out there is going to try to rationalize away the failure of teachers to teach...those over-paid, shirking teachers, hiding behind their labor unions and tenure laws. Somebody is going to have the audacity to claim that the children who don't meet and exceed state standards were just...born dumb!

Things that make you go...hmmmmmm!

From the Reuters News Service...

Children's behavior problems may be in their genes

By Amy Norton

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - If some children seem like they were born to be bad, new research suggests it may be true.

In a study of adult twins and their children, researchers found that genes, rather than parents' own argumentative behavior, seemed key in the children's odds of serious conduct problems -- like bullying, skipping school and shoplifting.

The findings, published in the journal Child Development, touch on the classic nature-versus-nurture question.

In the case of child behavior, research has linked parents' marital conflicts to long-term, serious conduct problems in their children. However, it has been unclear whether that means that marital woes themselves cause the behavioral problems.

The new findings suggest it's more a matter of genes. That is, parents who are naturally argumentative pass on these traits to their kids.

"Marital conflict doesn't appear, in this study, to cause stable patterns of conduct disorder," explained lead study author K. Paige Harden of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.

"Rather, marital conflict is influenced by parents' own characteristics -- including their genes -- and these genes are passed on to children," she told Reuters Health.

Harden and her colleagues arrived at their conclusions by studying 1,045 adult twins and their children. Some of the twin pairs were identical, which means they shared all of their genes; the rest were fraternal, meaning they shared only some of their genes.

Such studies allow researchers to tease out the effects of genes and environment on a given behavior.

In this case, Harden's team found that genetic influences were important in parents' marital conflicts, and genes, in turn, explained the link between marital discord and children's conduct problems.

There may be no "argument" gene, but genes do influence personality traits, including those that make people more or less prone to confrontation.

According to Harden, it's possible that genes involved in risk-taking, sensation-seeking and other aspects of antisocial behavior may make parents more likely to clash, and, when passed on to their kids, make conduct problems more likely.

However, the researchers stress, none of this means that fights between parents do no harm to children.

Even if genes are more important in long-term, serious behavioral problems, parents' conflicts do distress their kids, explained Dr. Robert E. Emery, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and a co-author on the study.

The study "does not mean that children are unaffected by parents' disputes," he told Reuters Health.

"Think about how you feel when friends, a couple you know, start fighting. Now make them your parents, you're six, and they're screaming about moving out. Parental conflicts definitely are not healthy for children."

SOURCE: Child Development, January/February 2007.'s society's fault.

Another "study" the "well, duh" category!

Where are the rocket scientists when you need them? Oh, that's right, she's out on bond...seeking help for her "post shuttle depression". Only she and her GPS tracking device know the answer to that one!

As far as the researchers below...they can shut down their project right now...and forget about blaming society. I have it on good advice that the teenagers' sexual behavior stems from physiological traits inherited from their parents...who are rumored to have had sex prior to the birth of their children. Any exceptions to this hypothesis, with further research, CAN most likely be attributed to society; namely, artificial insemination and/or test tube babies.

From the Reuters News Service...

Teen Sex May Take Emotional Toll

(WebMD) Teen sex oral or vaginal may have negative emotional consequences, especially for girls, according to a new study in Pediatrics.

Parents and health professionals should help teens prepare for and cope with the emotions attached to sex, say Sonya Brady, Ph.D., and Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, Ph.D. The two researchers work at the University of California, San Francisco.

They studied a diverse group of 273 sexually active students at two California public schools between 2002 and 2004. The students, 56 percent of whom were girls, all reported having had vaginal and/or oral sex by spring of 10th grade.

Of the students, 116 said they had had only oral sex, 43 said they had had only vaginal sex, and 114 said they had had both.

For the study, the students completed surveys every six months between 9th and 10th grade about the consequences they experienced from sex.

Overall, the teens reported positive consequences such as pleasure, popularity, and stronger relationships. But a sizeable percentage noted negative consequences such as feeling used, getting pregnant, contracting a sexually transmitted infection, or feeling bad about themselves.

Those reporting at least one negative effect included 31 percent of those who had had only oral sex, 58 percent of those who had had only vaginal sex, and nearly 62 percent of those who had had both.

Girls were more than twice as likely as boys to say they felt bad about themselves. Girls were also more than three times as likely to say they felt used as a result of having sex.

Those findings may partly stem from society's double standard about sex.

"These findings are consistent with research showing that boys are encouraged to be sexually experienced, whereas girls are encouraged to restrict sexual behavior," the researchers write.

Boys were more likely to say their popularity rose when they became sexually active. But they were also more likely to report a pregnancy or sexually transmitted infection as a result of their sexual activity.

The reasons for those findings aren't clear. The boys may have been more sexually active, had more partners or risky sex, or been more willing to admit those consequences, say the researchers.

Teens may need help in coping with the emotions that surround sex, the researchers say. They encourage health professionals and other adults to talk with adolescents "about how decisions to engage in any type of sexual activity may have important consequences."

The study has limits. For instance, it's not clear if the results apply to all sexually active 9th- and 10th-grade students.

Also, the surveys didn't label the listed consequences as good or bad; the researchers classified consequences as positive or negative without teen input.

"We do not know whether consequences were viewed as positive or negative by adolescents," write Brady and Halpern-Felsher.

SOURCES: Brady, S. Pediatrics, February 2007; Vol. 119: pp. 229-236. Reuters.

Further proof that it's in the genes...passed down from their great, great, great, great...granddaddy and grandmomma!

From the website...

Prehistoric lovers found locked in eternal embrace

ROME, Italy (AP) -- It could be humanity's oldest story of doomed love.

Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua. The site is just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of "Romeo and Juliet."

Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig.

"As far as we know, it's unique," Menotti told The Associated Press by telephone from Milan. "Double burials from the Neolithic are unheard of, and these are even hugging."

The burial site was located Monday during construction work for a factory building in the outskirts of Mantua. Alongside the couple, archaeologists found flint tools, including arrowheads and a knife, Menotti said.

Experts will now study the artifacts and the skeletons to determine the burial site's age and how old the two were when they died, she said.

Although the Mantua pair strike a rare and touching pose, archaeologists have found prehistoric burials in which the dead hold hands or have other contact, said Luca Bondioli, an anthropologist at Rome's National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum.

The find has "more of an emotional than a scientific value." But it does highlight how the relationship people have with each other and with death has not changed much from the period in which humanity first settled in villages, learning to farm the land and tame animals, he said.

"The Neolithic is a very formative period for our society," he said. "It was when the roots of our religious sentiment were formed."

The two bodies, which cuddle closely while facing each other on their sides, were probably buried at the same time, an indication of a possible sudden and tragic death, Bondioli said.

"It's rare for two young people to die at the same time, and that makes us want to know why and who they were, but it will be very difficult to find out."

He said DNA testing could determine whether the two were related, "but that still leaves other hypotheses; the Romeo and Juliet possibility is just one of many."