The New York Times campaign to replace fathers with checks

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Ohen is only one study showing a tiny effect that is not likely to be reproduced worthy of a New York Times alert to the latest news? When this study shows that giving free money to poor mothers improves child development.

Last week the New York Times sent an alert to subscribers linking to an article about a new article showing slightly higher brain activity in babies of single mothers receiving $333 per month than in those whose mothers received only $20 per month.

The article admits that “the differences were modest – the researchers compared them in terms of statistical magnitude to moving to 7th position on a 100 line from 81st”, but that didn’t stop some of the researchers associated with studying to make pretty bold claims.

“It’s a great scientific discovery,” said Martha J. Farah, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania. New York Times. “This is proof that simply giving families more money, even a modest sum, leads to better brain development.”

“Proof” is a very strong word here. Not only was the magnitude of brain activity mentioned above very small, but the likelihood that the results could be replicated by another study is even smaller – so small that, in statistical terms, the results would be classified as ” not statistically significant”.

Even then, the article in question did not establish any link between the detected increase in brain activity and an actual measurable improvement in the child’s development. That will have to come later, as the babies in the study get older.

What is not mentioned anywhere in the study, and only once in New York Time article, is marriage. And even then the New York Times only mentions it in passing as something that conservative critics of free money for single mothers worry about.

But previous research has clearly shown, with statistical significance, that paternal involvement increases the intelligence of a child, improved school results, and decreases behavioral problems. Marriage is also a much more stable environment for childhood development than cohabitation, leading to better child development outcomes.

None of these studies was the subject of alerts New York Times. Most were completely ignored by the press. This is why, unfortunately, a the majority of people now believe that unmarried couples raise their children as well as married couples.

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