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Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | FEBRUARY 07, 2011 7:10 AM

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Hazardous sport

Boxer Emily Klinefelter’s University of Iowa education apparently didn’t do much to improve her critical thinking. Boxing leads to brain damage, period.

What person with even average intelligence would voluntarily engage in this “sport”?

Mike Norton
UI alumnus

Glad for Apartments Downtown legal action

It’s about time someone investigated Apartments Downtown. It takes advantage of students and assumes that no one will follow up. It is particularly abusive toward out-of-state students. Can old students get their security deposits back?

I am the mother of a student who graduated last May. He lived in a pit of a place. The downstairs bathroom had a shower stall with black mold everywhere, because there was no connection between the wall and the sides of the shower. The place was filthy when they moved in, and I came out from California to help clean when he moved out — we left it much cleaner than when he moved in, but he did not receive his security deposit back.

The place was such a dump; it was unbelievable. There are good landlords in Iowa City, but so many of the buildings are owned by this group. Who are these people, anyway, that they can get away with this? The security deposit on this dump was something like $4,200. What a scam. I lived in New York City for 13 years and I never saw anything like this.

Nancy Youngblut
Los Angeles

Parenting is a nonissue in gay-marriage debate

Child-rearing has been a focus of anti-gay-marriage advocates, but all research data to date contradict their argument. According to the recent findings of the largest, longest running, prospective, longitudinal study of same-sex–parented families (see Pediatrics, Gartrell & Bos, 2010), children raised by lesbians not only have fewer behavioral problems but also scored higher on adjustment than kids from traditional families. They were also no more or less likely to be gay than their peers, and there were zero incidences of child physical or sexual abuse.

Biblarz and Stacey’s (Journal of Marriage and Family, 72, 2010) meta-analysis of all the research to date on the issue could not find one study that supported the argument that gay parents do a worse job than their heterosexual counterparts. In fact, they found lesbian parents (there is less research on gay men’s parenting) scored higher on parenting skills, warmth, and affection, and time spent with children.

Their children scored higher on interest, effort, success in school, security of attachment with parents, perceived their parents as more available and dependable, and more likely to feel like they could discuss emotional issues with parents. They scored better on teacher’s ratings of children’s behavioral and attention and lower on disputes with parents.

Despite a lack of social legitimacy, relative privilege, and legal statuses, no research supports the widely held conviction that the sexual orientation of parents matters for child well-being.

Claire Wofford
UI graduate student

Frustration about tuition-hike apathy

Why isn’t there more protest against these annual tuition hikes? Are loans so substantial that we don’t even care anymore? I am continually surprised by the epidemic of indifference on the part of students here regarding this subject.

When funding for the university is slashed or expenditures go up, the state Board of Regents can, and does, pass the burden on to the students. Students stuck with these costs often are forced into deeper debt, heavier reliance on family reserves, or a tougher work-school schedule. It’s like that ridiculous Catch Phrase game — only we, the students, are always caught holding the thing when it goes off.

Though I’m sure we are in excellent hands with the current student government, its powers of budgetary negotiation are likely limited. We need to let the administrators know that, from our angle, unexplained tuition increases are not cool.

Epic, British-style uprisings may not be necessary just yet, but there should be much more self-advocacy by students. So, if you’re upset that your discussion session has more people than chairs while you’re expected to pay higher tuition without a proportional improvement in quality, react. Complain. Mobilize like you did against a certain ordinance, only better.

Liam Hovey
UI sophomore


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