Sat, Aug 19, 2017 | updated 07:15 AM IST

Pop-culture news helped to open up about out-of-wedlock childbirth

Updated: Oct 30, 2016 11:17 IST      
Pop-culture news helped to open up about out-of-wedlock childbirth

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct. 30 (ANI): A new study says that celebrity news reports over the past four decades appear to have contributed to the changing makeup of the traditional American family by helping to destigmatize out-of-wedlock childbirths in the United States.

In the study by University at Buffalo sociologist, researcher Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk said, "Celebrities typically did not apologize for getting pregnant outside of marriage."

"But the family model also changed over time. The early model dictated that you should marry by the time the baby is born. By the mid-2000s that had changed, and it became widely acceptable in the celebrity world to have a child without marrying first," Grol-Prokopczyk added.

With People magazine as her proxy for popular culture news coverage, Grol-Prokopczyk analyzed nearly 400 cover stories dating from People's 1974 premier issue to the present to learn when the interest in celebrity pregnancies started and how the magazine's presentation of family norms changed over time.

A more detailed study, including calculations of celebrity non-marital birth rates, is currently under peer-review.

"I used People magazine because it's reputable in the sense that it doesn't publish fictional stories; it has been in continuous circulation for over 40 years; and it remains one of the most widely circulating magazines in the country," said Grol-Prokopczyk. "It also has a strong online presence, with as many as 72 million unique views in a given month."

Her curiosity about the media's fascination with celebrity baby news began when she was pregnant with her first child. She signed up for news alerts, expecting to get medical and nutrition stories relevant to expectant mothers, but instead received mostly news reports about celebrity pregnancies.

"Academics often scoff at celebrity news, but in fact there's evidence that celebrity culture is enormously influential in changing norms and has a very wide reach," she said. "For example, after Angelina Jolie wrote an op-ed after having her preventative mastectomy, a survey conducted weeks later found that 74 percent of Americans knew about her surgery and the decision."

This became known as the Angelina Effect, and research on its impact was published in the journal Genetics in Medicine. "That attests to the fact that decisions celebrities make reach us and affect our thinking," said Grol-Prokopczyk.

Her research further illustrates that point.

The first People magazine cover that showed a celebrity pregnancy was in May 1976. Goldie Hawn was pictured and the text makes it clear that she's pregnant and unmarried, but the caption reads, "She's laughing with a baby and a new hubby on the way."

"There aren't many non-marital fertility stories in the 1970s, but when they do appear there's almost always a promise that the parent will marry by the time the baby is born," said Grol-Prokopczyk. "It's like saying, 'Don't worry, readers. They'll be married by the time the baby arrives.'"

The model was still the same when People magazine announced Melanie Griffith's pregnancy in 1989, with a caption that said she and Don Johnson were "thinking about an April wedding."

Beginning in the 1990s, the normative model began to change, and by the mid-2000s, People magazine regularly showed celebrity couples who didn't marry by the time the baby was born, according to Grol-Prokopczyk. These non-marital births were almost without exception presented as happy, morally unproblematic events.

"This includes women who were partnered but didn't plan to marry the partner, but it also includes so-called 'single mothers' who we now know were in committed same-sex relationships, in particular Jodie Foster and Rosie O'Donnell," she said.

Seven covers about Foster and O'Donnell appeared between 1996 and 2002. None of them acknowledge that the women were in same-sex relationships, and two of them directly referred to the women as "single mothers."

"Based on biographies of them now, we know they were in long-term, committed relationships at the time," said Grol-Prokopczyk.

"People magazine was slow to show acceptance of same-sex parents, preferring to present them as single parents. This example shows that while celebrity media coverage can serve as an agent for social change -- by de-stigmatizing non-marital childbearing or transgenderism, for instance -- it does not always do so," she said.

The paper has been presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association.(ANI)

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 19 (ANI): Would-be-mothers, please take note! Women who experience hypertension during pregnancy face an increased risk of heart disease and hypertension later in life, reveals a new study.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 18 (ANI): There was a strong, social, cultural and environmental message from Urvashi Joneja's 'Concrete' collection at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017.

Full Story >>

Only clean washroom can keep germs at bay

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 17:55 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 18 (ANI): Gone are the days when people were complacent with a small washroom equipped with little functionality.

Full Story >>

LFW 2017 Day 2 witnesses 'Restart Fashion'

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 16:49 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 18 (ANI): What happens to all the old clothes that are discarded by the fashion-conscious people? Are they just waste or can they be used with inventive ideas?

Full Story >>

LFW 2017: Anavila's fashionable 'blur' ends day 2 with style

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 15:07 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 18 (ANI): Moving a few fashionable notches away from her comfort zone of muted hues, Anavila showcased her latest collection 'Blur' at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 where she redefined the use of the colour black for the first time.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 18 (ANI): Day Two at Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 has always been reserved for Sustainable Fashion and this season five Master Craftsmen of Paramparik Karigar were paired with five talented young designers for the opening show, 'Craft Is Cool'.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 18 (ANI): A new study has found that transgender adolescents are more than two times likelier to engage in substance use in their lifetimes than their non-transgender peers.

Full Story >>

Breakup or no breakup: When Sophie's choice hits

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 11:17 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 18 (ANI): Knowing whether to stay in or leave a romantic relationship is often an agonizing experience, but now a team of researchers has shed some light that may help couples' well-being whatever decision is made.

Full Story >>

Children avoid eye contact when anxious: Study

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 07:18 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 18 (ANI): A study recently revealed that children, aged nine to 13, pay close attention to potentially threatening information and avoid eye contact when anxious.

Full Story >>

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 17 (ANI): Attention people, your first and only preference should be clean drinking water, as a study has warned that cloudy drinking water is linked to increased cases of gastrointestinal illness.

Full Story >>

Cholesterol crystals up risk of heart attack: Study

Updated: Aug 18, 2017 07:18 IST     

Washington D.C. [USA], Aug 18 (ANI): A study has warned that cholesterol crystals may increase the risk of heart attack.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): 13-year-old Chahek Ladhani is one of the youngest Indians to represent the country in the 18th edition of Cracovia Danza festival in Krakow, Poland. Chahek and ten other students of 'Alkananda Institute of Performing arts' had participated alongside participants from 45 countries showcasing their culture.

Full Story >>

Food lovers, head to Cha Bar for its latest offerings!

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 18:30 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): Cha Bar, Delhi's most popular and frequented Tea Cafe has introduced its latest offerings, extending it's much loved menu.

Full Story >>

Here are a few remedies for erectile dysfunction

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 18:17 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): Thousands years ago, our ancestors had discovered some exceptionally useful medical and healing techniques to gift superior health, wisdom and quality of life to the mankind.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 (ANI): Day two of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week, which showcased sustainable fashion by Indian as well as international labels, witnessed the performance of one of the youngest voices of India Akasa Singh.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 (ANI): The 24th batch of five Gen Next designers presented by INIFD was a creative display of talent and fashion, at the opening show during Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 (ANI): Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2017 kicked off on August 16 with key designers such as Ritu Kumar, Masaba and Sanjay Garg presenting their collections on Day one.

Full Story >>

LFW 2017: Know inspiration behind designers' collection

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 14:19 IST     

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 (ANI): Lakme Fashion Week has always been one of the most anticipated events where top notch fashion designers showcase their collection.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], August 17 (ANI): Etihad Airways and Lakme Fashion Week recently announced a collaboration with one of the most inspiring international contemporary designers, Paris-based Manish Arora, who returns to the prestigious Mumbai fashion event after more than five years.

Full Story >>

Art lover? Here's a treat for you

Updated: Aug 17, 2017 13:20 IST     

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): Artworks by eminent artists such as Tyeb Mehta, VS Gaitonde, Manjit Bawa, Jogen Chowdhury, SH Razaamongst others are set to come under the hammer during Astaguru's'Modern & Contemporary Indian art auction'.

Full Story >>