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Law and Gender

University of Michigan Law School

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Children

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Stability Paradox: The Two-Parent Paradigm And The Perpetuation Of Violence Against Women In Termination Of Parental Rights And Custody Cases, Judith Lewis Feb 2021

The Stability Paradox: The Two-Parent Paradigm And The Perpetuation Of Violence Against Women In Termination Of Parental Rights And Custody Cases, Judith Lewis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Despite changing family compositions, entrenched in family law is the antiquated idea that a two-parent household, or its approximation vis-à-vis a shared custody arrangement, promotes stability and integrity and, thus, is in the best interest of the child. Yet, the concept that the two-parent household (or shared involvement of both parents in the child’s life if the parents separate) promotes stability for the family and is best for the child is a dangerous fallacy. When rape or intimate partner violence (IPV) is present, or the re-occurrence of violence remains a threat, the family unit is far from stable.

This Article …


Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet Jun 2020

Valuing All Identities Beyond The Schoolhouse Gate: The Case For Inclusivity As A Civic Virtue In K-12, Sacha M. Coupet

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Increasing social and political polarization in our society continues to exact a heavy toll marked by, among other social ills, a rise in uncivility, an increase in reported hate crimes, and a more pronounced overall climate of intolerance—for viewpoints, causes, and identities alike. Intolerance, either a cause or a consequence of our fraying networks of social engagement, is rampant, hindering our ability to live up to our de facto national motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One” and prompting calls for how best to build a cohesive civil society. Within the public school—an institution conceived primarily …


Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard Jan 2019

Properly Accounting For Domestic Violence In Child Custody Cases: An Evidence-Based Analysis And Reform Proposal, Debra Pogrund Stark, Jessica M. Choplin, Sarah Elizabeth Wellard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Promoting the best interests of children and protecting their safety and well-being in the context of a divorce or parentage case where domestic violence has been alleged has become highly politicized and highly gendered. There are claims by fathers’ rights groups that mothers often falsely accuse fathers of domestic violence to alienate the fathers from their children and to improve their financial position. They also claim that children do better when fathers are equally involved in their children’s lives, but that judges favor mothers over fathers in custody cases. As a consequence, fathers’ rights groups have engaged in a nationwide …


Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus Jan 2014

Fighting The Establishment: The Need For Procedural Reform Of Our Paternity Laws, Caroline Rogus

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Every state and the District of Columbia use voluntary acknowledgments of paternity. Created pursuant to federal law, the acknowledgment is signed by the purported biological parents and establishes paternity without requiring court involvement. Intended to be a “simple civil process” to establish paternity where the parents are unmarried, the acknowledgment is used by state governments to expedite child support litigation. But federal policy and state laws governing the acknowledgments do not sufficiently protect the interests of those men who have signed acknowledgments and who subsequently discover that they lack genetic ties to the children in question. A signatory who learns …


Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels Jan 2013

Surrender And Subordination: Birth Mothers And Adoption Law Reform, Elizabeth J. Samuels

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

For more than thirty years, adoption law reform advocates have been seeking to restore for adult adoptees the right to access their original birth certificates, a right that was lost in all but two states between the late 1930s and 1990. The advocates have faced strong opposition and have succeeded only in recent years and only in eight states. Among the most vigorous advocates for access are birth mothers who surrendered their children during a time it was believed that adoption would relieve unmarried women of shame and restore them to a respectable life. The birth mother advocates say that …


Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson Jan 2012

Displaced Mothers, Absent And Unnatural Fathers: Lgbt Transracial Adoption, Kim H. Pearson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While some might believe that Black versus gay discourse only surfaces in highly politicized settings like the military and marriage, it holds sway in the area of LGBT transracial adoption. LGBT transracial adoptions are a relatively small percentage of all adoptions, which include private adoptions, LGBT second-parent adoptions, and step-parent adoptions, but they are an important site for interrogating the Black versus gay discourse because adoption and custody decisions often address parent-child transmission. When claims intersect, as they do in a case where a White LGBT foster parent and a Black maternal grandmother dispute the adoption of a Black child, …


Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard Jan 2012

Against The New Maternalism, Naomi Mezey, Cornelia T. L. Pillard

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Parenting is a major preoccupation in law and culture. As a result of efforts of the American women's movement over the past forty years, the legal parent is, for the first time in history, sex-neutral. Our law has abandoned restrictions on women's education, employment, and civic participation that sprang from and reinforced beliefs about the primacy of motherhood as women's best destiny. On the flip side, U.S. law now also generally rejects formal constraints on men's family roles by requiring sex-neutrality of laws regulating custody, adoption, alimony, spousal benefits, and the like. The official de-linking of presumptive parenting roles from …


Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai Jan 2011

Tango Or More - From California's Lesson 9 To The Constitutionality Of A Gay-Friendly Curriculum In Public Elementary Schools, Amy Lai

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In August 2009, a group of parents in California filed a lawsuit, Balde v. Alameda Unified School District, in the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda. They alleged that the Alameda Unified School District refused them the right to excuse their children from a new curriculum, Lesson 9, that would teach public elementary school children about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) families. The proposed curriculum included short sessions about GLBT people, incorporated into more general lessons about family and health, once a year from kindergarten through fifth grade. Kindergarteners would learn the harms of teasing, while fifth graders …


When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis Jan 2011

When Sixteen Ain't So Sweet: Rethinking The Regulation Of Adolescent Sexuality, Nicole Phillis

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Legally speaking, sexual maturity poses a significant enough liberty interest for a minor to make medical decisions regarding contraceptive medicine or to choose motherhood without parental involvement, but not quite enough for her to obtain an abortion independently. The law incentivizes teenage motherhood by only granting decisional autonomy to those minors who choose to have a child; the minor female's right to procreate vests regardless of her individual maturity. The law discourages teenage abortions by using the choice to terminate a pregnancy to trigger a presumption of immaturity; the minor female's abortion right is pitted against personal autonomy via parental …


Parenting And Pregnant Students: An Evaluation Of The Implementation Of The Other Title Ix, Michelle Gough Jan 2011

Parenting And Pregnant Students: An Evaluation Of The Implementation Of The Other Title Ix, Michelle Gough

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits gender discrimination. Although pregnancy has been described as the "quintessential sex difference," Title IX's prohibition of gender discrimination in the context of parenting and pregnant students has often been left out of the discussion, and therefore the understanding, of the implementation of Title IX Regulations. The scholarship discussing the topic shows general agreement that the language and spirit of Title IX has not been given effect thus far by our schools or by some courts. This Article begins by looking to the Title IX regulations themselves and then to the research …


Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser Jan 2010

Defining Sex: On Marriage, Family, And Good Public Policy, Mark Strasser

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Transgendered individuals and their families face legal risks that most families do not, at least in part, because state laws are often unclear about whether or under what conditions transgendered individuals are permitted to marry the individuals whom they love. Challenges to the validity of marriages involving the transgendered may arise under a variety of circumstances, ranging from cases in which individuals may have hidden or may not even have known that they were transgendered until after their marriages, to cases in which the individuals had already transitioned and had explained their personal histories to their partners before they were …


Pursuing The Perfect Mother: Why America's Criminalization Of Maternal Substance Abuse Is Not The Answer- A Compartive Legal Analysis, Linda C. Fentiman Jan 2009

Pursuing The Perfect Mother: Why America's Criminalization Of Maternal Substance Abuse Is Not The Answer- A Compartive Legal Analysis, Linda C. Fentiman

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

In this Article the author will examine not only the substantive legal differences between the United States, Canada, and France, but will also explore how these legal rules fit within a broader social, political, and religious setting. This Article will pursue four lines of inquiry. First, it will briefly chronicle the history of criminal prosecution of pregnant women in America and show how these prosecutions have become markedly more aggressive over the last twenty years. Second, it will situate these prosecutions in the full context of American law and culture, demonstrating how the fetus has received increasing legal recognition in …


The Lactating Angel Or Activist? Public Breatsfeeding As Symbolic Speech, Elizabeth Hildebrand Matherne Jan 2008

The Lactating Angel Or Activist? Public Breatsfeeding As Symbolic Speech, Elizabeth Hildebrand Matherne

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

The only way to combat this stigma against public breastfeeding is through the act of breastfeeding in public. The author proposes that breastfeeding is a powerful act of symbolic speech vital for discarding one of the lingering shackles of women's inequality that triggers first amendment protection. Breastfeeding in public addresses this stigma by treating two ills at once: 1) greater public exposure to the practice decreases the severity of society's reactions, and 2) the less stares and confrontation that publicly nursing mothers receive, the more likely they will be to breastfeed, whenever or wherever their baby is hungry. This will …


Feminist Voices In The Debate Over Single-Sex Schooling: Finding Common Ground, Rosemary C. Salomone Jan 2004

Feminist Voices In The Debate Over Single-Sex Schooling: Finding Common Ground, Rosemary C. Salomone

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article examines the deep divide within feminist ranks with an eye toward proposing a constructive and essential role for feminist understandings as single-sex schooling inches its way toward legal acceptability and into the mainstream of educational reform. In doing so, the forces that have shaped competing perspectives on women's equality are examined, especially disagreements over sameness and difference. In the end the article looks to the Court's decision in United States v. Virginia as a road map for feminists to follow in reaching common ground on the approach, despite seemingly profound ideological differences among them.


An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond Jan 2000

An Emerging Ethical And Medical Dilemma: Should Physicians Perform Sex Assignment Surgery On Infants With Ambiguous Genitalia?, Hazel Glenn Beh, Milton Diamond

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This article discusses the development of a surgical approach to treating intersex infants and others with genital anomalies that began in the late 1950s and 1960s and became standard in the 1970s. Although professional literature has recently questioned the surgical approach to the treatment of infants, controversy surrounding treatment persists and the medical community now is divided. How sex reassignment surgery for intersex infants became a routine recommendation of practitioners and how parents were persuaded to consent to such radical surgeries provide a cautionary tale that is relevant to both medicine and law.


Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young Jan 1998

Assesing The Family And Medical Leave Act In Terms Of Gender Equality, Work/Family Balance, And The Needs Of Children, Angie K. Young

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

While recognizing that parental leave is only one aspect of the FMLA, this Article concentrates on the provision allowing leave to parents in order to care for their children. Before analyzing the FMLA in detail, it is helpful to explore what aims a parental-leave policy should have. The purpose of this Article is to propose and defend three goals that parental-leave legislation should strive to meet: equality of career opportunities for men and women, the right to participate in both work and family, and meeting the needs of children. After articulating what parental-leave legislation should aim for in theory, this …


Can Families Be Efficient? A Feminist Appraisal, Ann Laquer Estin Jan 1996

Can Families Be Efficient? A Feminist Appraisal, Ann Laquer Estin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article examines the convergence of feminist and law and economics theory on family law questions, particularly issues of marriage and divorce. Both feminist legal theory and law and economics analysis have come to occupy a significant place in the American legal academy, demonstrated by growing numbers of conferences, journals, casebooks and monographs, and electronic mail lists in each area. Not surprisingly, as the two fields have grown, they have begun to touch, to overlap, and occasionally to come into conflict. This process has been evident in the extensive literature on sex discrimination in employment and is increasingly apparent in …


Granting Political Asylum To Potential Victims Of Female Circumcision, Gregory A. Kelson Jan 1996

Granting Political Asylum To Potential Victims Of Female Circumcision, Gregory A. Kelson

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Part I of this article examines two cases. In one case, a United States immigration court allowed female circumcision as a defense to deportation. In another case, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board granted political asylum after recognizing female circumcision as a form of persecution. Part II assesses the extent of protections currently provided for potential victims of female circumcision under U.S. asylum law and analyzes the factors that a court should consider when making asylum determinations. Part III recommends that gender should be added to the enumerated grounds for persecution under U.S. asylum law. This section provides a hypothetical …


China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin Jan 1996

China's Denial Of Tibetan Women's Right To Reproductive Freedom, Eva Herzer, Sara B. Levin

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Article first provides a historical account of the social and political context of the PRC's family planning policies in Tibet. Part B describes the PRC's official family policies from 1982 to the present. Part C discusses the PRC's actual practices, including its population quota controls, focusing on the forced and coerced abortions and sterilizations performed on Tibetan women. Part D applies international human rights law and concludes that the PRC's family planning policy, as implemented, violates international human rights laws. The Article concludes by recommending points of action for the PRC and international community to address these human rights …


Prostitution Is Cruelty And Abuse To Women And Children, Susan Kay Hunter Jan 1993

Prostitution Is Cruelty And Abuse To Women And Children, Susan Kay Hunter

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

Each day I rise to take up the truly good fight to stop the harm to women in prostitution. I long for complete liberation of all oppressed peoples. I passionately believe that the work I do to end prostitution is revolutionary. No one deserves to be used and abused, and that is the universal experience of prostituted women and children. It is also revolutionary work because my freedom as a woman is meaningless so long as some of us can be bought and sold. The giant sex industry grinds on, exploiting and enslaving women, while sexual liberals are well-paid by …