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People who wait until their 20s before having sex are more likely to enjoy a happy, satisfying relationship in later life than those who have sex in their teens, a major new study has found. Research conducted by the University of Texas also found those who abstain until at least 20 years old were more likely to have had a university education and work in a well-paid job, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph. Those who delayed their first sexual experience were also likely to have fewer sexual partners later in life but less likely to be married.
Feminism is not popular among modern women, according to a new survey. Just one in seven women in a poll now describe themselves as a feminist, with most saying the traditional respect of motherhood has been undermined, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Legislation preventing same-sex couples and unmarried heterosexual couples from adopting has been deemed unlawful by the High Court of Northern Ireland. Mr Justice Treacy said the ban discriminated against all unmarried couples, gay or straight, and was against the best interests of children.
The number of Catholics in the country is at its highest level since independence, but those who define themselves as having no religion are the fastest growing group, according to Census figures published yesterday by the CSO. Catholics in the country total 3.8 million, the highest since 1922, but their share of the population, while still very high at 84 percent is the lowest since 1922.
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore has said that if we pass the children’s right amendment we will be turning our back on a time when the State “kowtowed to Churches in respect of the care of children, to the detriment of children”. He was speaking yesterday at the launch of Labour’s campaign in favour of the amendment.
The UK Government must keep its promise to introduce tax breaks for married couples by 2015, the Work and Pension Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith has demanded. Plans to introduce such a tax break are strongly opposed by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. Proponents say it will signal the importance of marriage for society and for children, but Clegg believes it is wrong to favour married couples over cohabiting couples.
The constitutional amendment will ensure all children in Ireland are treated equally under law, the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Frances Fitzgerald, has said. Writing in The Irish Times today she says the amendment will make it easier to adopt the children of married parents.
A record one in five American now describe themselves as religiously unaffiliated and for the first time less than half the population is Protestant according to a major new poll. However, more than half of the unaffiliated describe themselves as either ‘religious’ or ‘spiritual’ and 21 percent pray every day.
The UK's Attorney General has said the possible introduction of same-sex marriage will raise 'profound philosophical difficulties' for some religious workers in the public sector. In an interview with a Christian radio station in the UK, Mr Dominic Grieve, said that same-sex marriage would inevitably create “friction”.
Good parenting is more important than the quality of a school in terms of educational attainment, a new study suggests. According to research involving 10,000 teenagers, the home environment is three times more important than the school when it comes to 18-year-olds' test results, reports The Daily Telegraph.
Traditional families were the only households in Ireland to see their income drop in the last few years according to the CSO. The new figures compare the period 2004-2005 with 2009-2010. It found that despite the recession every type of households expect for those comprising a mother and a father with children saw their gross income rise.
The Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin has once again pressed Taoiseach Enda Kenny (pictured) to say he supports a referendum on same-sex marriage. Speaking in the Dáil on Tuesday in a debate about the forthcoming constitutional convention, Mr Kenny said that a referendum on the issue was “certainly feasible within the lifetime of this Government” but he would not confirm it.
There were a record number of complaints to the Office of the Ombudsman for Children last year, according to its report, published today. The report showed that the Office received 1,393 complaints last year, a 22pc on 2010. Forty seven percent of these complaints related to dealings with the education system, with a further 32pc relating to dealings with the health system.
The former President of Ireland, Mary McAleese (pictured) has said she has “no problem at all” with same-sex marriage. She made the remarks in an interview with Gay Byrne to be broadcast tonight as part of his Meaning of Life series. Mrs McAleese said she believed that for centuries “gay people have lived in a dark secretive world of indeterminate loneliness, dreadful complexity”.
British teens clock up six hours’ screen time a day at home, while North American children manage almost eight hours, and this poses major health risks, according to a leading psychologist. According to research cited by Dr Sigman, negative impacts on health and wellbeing kick in after just two hours.
A UK High Court judge has warned of the pitfalls of surrogacy after the Indian mother of twin boys 'disappeared' before giving her formal consent for them to be brought up by a British homosexual couple. Surrogacy involves gestating a baby in another woman's womb. In a number of countries, surrogacy arrangements are illegal, because they “split” motherhood between a gestational mother and a genetic or “social” mother.
France, Germany, Greece, Romania and the UK have a high degree of social hostility towards religion, and the level of hostility is growing, according to a new survey. The study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life says that in 2010 there were 95 countries worldwide in which Christians suffered harassment by the government.
Education Minister Ruairi Quinn (pictured) has said he has no intention of implementing a controversial recommendation to abolish Rule 68 for National Schools. The rule recognises religious instruction as a fundamental part of the school day and permits a religious spirit to "inform and vivify the whole work of the school".
A judge in Dublin Children's Court has called discussion of the Government's children’s rights referendum “a joke” and said it will change nothing. Speaking yesterday at the Dublin Children's Court, Justice Ann Ryan said that the fact that the State had just 10 places for troubled teenagers in need of secure and special therapeutic care was “a shame, a sin and a disgrace,” the Irish Times reports.
There have been an average of two civil partnership ceremonies have per day since their introduction last year, with a total of 862 ceremonies registered between April 2011 and September 2012. In that time period, 1,724 lesbian and gay people from 61 countries entered into civil partnerships, , the Irish Times reports. The majority, or 1,334 people, were Irish.
Over half the number of births in Limerick city were to unmarried mothers in the last quarter, according to the latest Vital Statistics report from the Central Statistics report, released today. The figures also show a decline in the marriage rate, and a rise in the percentage of children being born outside marriage to just under 36pc, a record high. The report showed that 56pc of all births in Limerick city were to unmarried parents. Nearly a quarter of all births in Limerick city were to cohabiting parents.
Secularism is the most important challenge faced by Christians in Ireland today, the new Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Richard Clarke, has said. And he added that he fully accepted his Church’s belief that marriage should be between a man and a woman, the Irish Times reports.
Proposals to create a two tier Child Benefit system could have a negative effect on family formation, a leading think tank has warned. Social Justice Ireland (SJI), in response to suggestions that child benefit be cut in the Government's upcoming Budget, said that was “currently the only universal payment or benefit made by Government to children and families”. SJI is headed by Fr Sean Healy.
The wording of the Government's children’s rights amendment is balanced and creates “a new focus on the centrality of the child’s interests,” the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr Diarmuid Martin (pictured), has said. Speaking at the annual Mass for the commencement of the new legal year, he said: “I believe that proposed wording for the upcoming Children’s Referendum is one which has attempted to address the rights and obligations of the various interested groups in a balanced way, while giving a new focus on the centrality of the child’s interests.”
The Northern Ireland Assembly has narrowly voted against a motion to legalise same-sex marriage. Fifty members of the Assembly (MLAs) voted against the motion, which was tabled by Sinn Féin and the Green Party, while 45 MLAs voted in favour. No members of the Sinn Féin or SDLP, the two Nationalist parties, voted against the motion. Only one SDLP member, Alban McGuinness, abstained.
Labour leader Ed Miliband (pictured) has said same-sex weddings should be allowed in churches, the BBC reports. His call goes further than the policy being proposed by the Tory-Lib Dem coalition Government which only proposes to allow gay marriages in civic settings. He made the statement in a video for the Out4Marriage campaign.
Two Labour TDs have said that the Catholic Church should come out in support of the Government's children's rights referendum. Speaking in the Dáil yesterday in the debate on the referendum, Anne Ferris (pictured) and Michael McNamara said the Church should support the amendment.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of fathers demanding more access to their children in divorce cases, according to new UK figures. The increase comes in the wake of moves by the UK government to introduce shared parenting into law, the Daily Telegraph reports. A second reason offered by experts for the increase is the effect of the recession on people’s relationships.
Churches should come out and support the Government's referendum on children's rights, the Minister for Finance, Michael Noonan, has said. Speaking during the debate on the legislation to allow the referendum take place on November 10th, Mr Noonan said he would like “if the churches made a clear statement at an early date indicating that they favoured this referendum”.
A Danish man who fathered 43 children at 14 different IVF clinics in ten different countries by donating sperm, passed on a genetic disorder known as NF1 to at least five babies born from IVF procedures, it has been revealed. The man was allowed to continue donating, despite national rules in Denmark restricting donors to 25 times.
The Pope has defended marriage at a meeting in Rome of Christian Democrat leaders which included Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Speaking at the weekend to a meeting of the Christian/Centrist Democrat international organization’s Executive Committee, Pope Benedict said that the commitment to protect all human life was “interwoven with respecting marriage as an indissoluble union between a man and a woman and, in its turn, as the foundation for the community of family life”.
A legal academic has questioned whether the upcoming children’s rights amendment goes far enough in making it easier for the State to intervene in families. Writing in yesterday's Irish Examiner, Dr Conor O'Mahony, a lecturer in Constitutional law in UCC, suggested that the retention of the phrase “in exceptional circumstances” in the amendment raised questions as to whether what he called “the excessively high threshold for State intervention” would really be lowered.
France's new Socialist Government is set to remove the words 'mother' and 'father' from all official documents under its plans to legalise same-sex marriage. The draft law states that 'marriage is a union of two people, of different or the same gender'. The new law will also swap all references to 'mothers and fathers' for the word “parents" in the French civil code, the Daily Mail reports.
Mums in the UK would like to stay at home and look after their children but financial pressures are forcing them back to work, according to a new study. According to research, 75 per cent of new mothers would remain at home if money was no object. Almost 60 per cent told the study they are forced back to work because of debt and financial worries.
Living together is no longer simply a “trial run” for marriage, but it has replaced marriage for many couples, an academic study into the shape of family life in Britain has found. The finding comes after official figures showed that the proportion of cohabiting couples with children equalled that for married couples for the first time, the Daily Telegraph reports.
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