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GSN Lecture 7 Announcements Nature Timeline Lecture: Birth Announcements: Reading Gonzalez, A.Q. and Koestner , R. (2005). Parental preference for sex of newborn as reflected in positive affect in birth announcements. Sex Roles , 52 (5-6), 407-411.

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GSN Lecture 7

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gsn lecture 7

GSN Lecture 7


Nature Timeline


Birth Announcements: Reading Gonzalez, A.Q. and Koestner, R. (2005). Parental preference for sex of newborn as reflected in positive affect in birth announcements. Sex Roles, 52 (5-6), 407-411.

Baby Showers: Material culture

nature timeline
Nature Timeline


“Nature” Timeline

Roughly rate the frequency you spent in whatever you perceive(d) of as nature.

















1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25+


sample from last term s class
Sample from last term’s class:
















Almost Nil

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25+


n = 48 METHODOLOGY: coded scatter plot; averages per annum plotted on graph

main events and lifestyle factors reported
Main Events and Lifestyle Factors Reported
  • Age Birth to 12
    • LOW
      • Family was not nature-oriented; indoors playing with Barbies
      • School was not outdoor play-oriented
      • Best friend moved away; changes in family structure and dynamics
    • MEDIUM
      • Moved into city or town from rural area; went to the family cottage
      • Had first sleepover
      • Started piano lessons; baseball league; swimming lessons
    • HIGH
      • Family was nature-oriented (began camping “in the womb”); trips and camping; played in sandbox; visited Anne of G. Gables; family had an outdoor skating rink in back yard; family did not have a TV
      • Played outdoors with friends at recess and after school; rode bicycle
      • Sports at school and with family; ski trips; swimming lessons; ringette; crab fishing; soccer, baseball, paddling, skiing; T-ball; fishing with parent
      • School activities; pre-school outdoor activities
      • Church activities
      • Had to walk to most events and school
      • Summer camp
      • Travelling; spent time away with grandparents
      • Lived in country or had easy access to rural areas, such as beaches
      • Had an ATV/4-wheeler
      • Scouting movement

Age 13 +

    • LOW
      • Became of “legal age;” started going to bars a lot ; smoked pot and stayed inside a lot
      • Got first job; worked indoors; employed as a bartender
      • Came to university; studying inside; feels distanced from nature; afraid to be alone in city
      • In Junior High and High School; no outdoor break
      • Became a computer freak; watched more TV
      • Quit organized sports
      • Little or no time for camping, jogging, paddling
      • Disease: mononucleosis
    • MEDIUM
      • Transporting to school via bus or walking
      • In relationship with someone who likes to be outside; relationship brings you outside
      • Dog had puppies
      • Got first boyfriend; started dating
      • Moved away from home
      • Became a cheerleader; joined SMU Dance Team
      • Employment and Service: volunteer firefighter
      • Learned to cook Austrian food from Grandmother
    • HIGH
      • Mobility: Driver’s license; got a car, snowmobile
      • Partying outside; partying “hard”
      • Summer job ; worked on a farm; coaches paddling on Lake Banook (coached NS team in Lake Placid); first job was picking strawberries
      • Recreation and Sports: horses, travelling, soccer, swimming with dog; hanging out in blueberry patch; hiking; camping; paddling; skiing; jogging; joined track and field; rock climbing
      • Travelling: to see friends; with family; to Marine Land; attended summer school in Italy in Gr. 12; travelled across Canada
      • Church Activities: Alter boy; outdoor church activities
      • Making new friends at school; attended a private High School
      • Injury: broken ankle, but managed to GT Race all winter
birth announcements
Birth Announcements

A socially acceptable part of our dialogue on gender/sex. Radio is one “stage” where we are accountable to others to disclose this information.

Where else do we encounter birth announcements? Script:

CKEC Radio New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada (source:

CKEC Home  |  Local News  |  Local Weather  |   Swap'n'Shop |  Submit A Lost & Found Item

Program Guide

6:00am - 9:00am  CKEC News every half hour9:00am - 6:00am  CKEC News every hour

7:35am    Starwatch - Astrology - a daily look at the stars9:30am    County Crier - Community Events9:45am    Lost & Found10:45am   Swap & Shop11:10am   Chip Talk with Dave Ross (technology)11:15am   Who's New - Birth Announcements11:30am   Show Biz Report with Bill Deal11:45am   Swap & Shop12:30pm   Midday News Report12:55pm   Business Report1:15pm    The Parent Report with Joanne Wilson1:45pm    Lost & Found2:15pm    The Hollywood Report - Rosalee Fox2:30pm    County Crier - Community Events3:15pm    Swap & Shop3:30pm    Local Sports Scoreboard4:30pm    Home Entertainment Report - Chuck Rice5:45pm    Lost & Found


Consider some Ideals and Materials relating to the Practice of creating and sending birth announcements in this LINK– consider the link between birth announcements, crafting industry and environments In the following birth announcement samples found online, what are the most common pieces of information imparted? Why?



LINK - GLBT...Birth and adoption announcement –How do these disrupt the previous birth announcement scripts?


Cigar band announcements

Historically, western males not present at time of birth

- smoked cigars in barn or yard during wife’s birthing process and would pass out cigars to others once the baby was born

Originally, aristocrats/royals sent out hand-written stationery to make announcements

Printing press was not implicated until the early 1900s when mass printing industry drove up competition, driving down the price


Close to 2,000 greeting card publishers exist in the U.S. today, including small, family-run as well as large, corporate organisations. In 1941 there were only 100 greeting card companies rendering around $43 million in sales at the wholesale level35 individual cards per year are purchased by the average U.S. household. How does your card-sending practice compare? Which gender would likely send more cards? Why? The Brits send 55 per year

CANADA:  According to the Mintel report on the greeting card industry:

  •    In 2004, the total industry sales were estimated to be $7,658,000,000.00
  • The industry is divided into three categories:

Hallmark Inc. 58.4%

Carlton Cards 26.9%

Others 14.7%

birth announcement samples http www familybirthannouncements com wording cfm
Birth Announcement Samples

Special Delivery! Jordan Lawrence

Thank Heaven For Little Girls! Taylor Alexis

She shines like a pearl our new baby girl! Ashley Sarah

With joy in our hearts, we announce the arrival of Mary Rose

A ray of sunshine has beamed into our world Emma Victoria

Someone special, someone dear, Someone new to love is here! Brooke Ashley

A wonderful gift, so precious and sweet. Our hearts and lives are finally complete. Joshua Tyler

Miracles, Magic and Dreams Come True Can't Describe How We Feel About You Patrick James

Kaylee has a new hand to hold! Rachel Grace

Our New Addition Joseph William

Someone new to play with! Charles Henry

The joy of our heart is here! Zackary Ryan

From God's hands to ours Michael Jay

Of all life's miracles the biggest ones come in the smallest packages Sam Solomon

Cynthia and Mark along with Big Brother Scott and Big Sister Kayla joyfully announce their newest addition! Elizabeth Lauren

We Welcome With Love Samantha Grace

Announcing our beautiful baby! Samantha Leigh

Our Precious Daughter Has Arrived! Brianna Beth

We are delighted to announce the birth of Jared Andrew

We are proud to announce the birth of our son! Daniel Alexander

Heaven has smiled down on us with the arrival of Daniel Mark

Michelle and Patrick Ward joyfully announce the arrival of Abigail Rose

Someone new to cuddle and kiss, Our adorable son is who we can't resist Dylan George

A.B.C. and 1.2.3....Someone new to play with me! Introducing my new baby brother Jake Martin

William and Karen Are proud to Announce the birth of their son Benjamin Marc

We are thrilled to announce the birth of Yvonne Lauren

God's Perfect Gift of Love! Madison Lynn

We Have A New Baby Brother! Nicholas Andrew

, ten little toes, we love the way our family grows Madison Leigh

what s in a name general etymology
What’s in a name? General etymology:
  • Gendergenus: Latin = type or sort gendre: French/Roman
  • Girlgurle: Middle English = child or young person
  • BoyBōia: Old English = a man’s name
  • WomanwifmanOld English = wife of man
  • Man: man Old English = a human
  • Femalefemelle Old French = of an association with male
  • Malemasle Middle French = masculus/masculine
  • Daughterdoughter Middle English = female child
  • Sonsone Middle English = male child

Modern English: c1480s onward

Middle English: c1150–c14-700

Old English: c450–c1150

LINK to top names in Canada 2010

create a birth announcement without disclosing
Create a birth announcement without disclosing:

Gender of baby, siblings, parent(s)

Sexuality parent(s)

Onto BabyShowerculture ...

no results found when type in it s a baby microsoft s gender construction
“no results found” when type in “it’s a baby” = Microsoft’s™ gender construction?
Baby Shower Ideals, Materials, PracticesGuys – what is your commonsense view of what happens at baby showers? LINK

Who has been to a baby shower? Organized one? Who attends them? PRACTICES

What are the dominant themes of baby showers? IDEALS

What are some artifacts of baby shower culture? MATERIALS


  • Open the diaper (without using your hands)
  • What (baby item) am I?
  • Feed the baby (blindfolded)
  • Name that “baby” song
  • What’s the title nursery rhyme
  • Pin the clothes on the clothesline with one hand
  • Guess how many safety pins...
  • Substitute-the-word game
  • Guess the celebrity baby photos
  • Unscramble the baby-related words
  • Pin the pacifier on the baby
  • Charades
  • Memory (Kim’s) game
  • Pacifier in a spoon relay race
  • Mommy Multi-tasking game
  • Name the cartoon characters
  • Name the TV couple/their show


  • Finger sandwiches
  • Chips and dip
  • Pizza
  • Melon ball
  • Belly bump cake
  • Punch


  • WalMart™ Baby Registry and “top baby items” Link

Ecological dialogue: ideals, materials, and practices are interconnected

fyithe colour of babies a popular interest in material culture studies
FYIThe “colour” of babies; a popular interest in material culture studies

Blue Boy and Pink Boy – who is the artist? 1700s – boys wore pink, which was acceptable as it was considered a toned down version of red

  • 1800s – baby girls and boys were dressed alike, usually in long white dresses
  • Mid 1800s story Little Women – one character tied on a pink bow
  • Late 1920s, baby girl nurseries were blue and boys’ nurseries were pink
  • By WWI – uniforms were mainly for men and were mainly blue
  • 1930s – Germans considered pink a feminine colour
  • 1939: Parenting Magazine polled the public and discovered more people associated pink with girls
  • 1940s – pink had become a media message, targeting women
  • 1957 – Sears Roebuck catalogue discontinue white dresses in their previously popular unisex layette

(Gainsborough – artist , 1770s)Lecture: reading is online – Gonzalez, A.Q. and Koestner, R. (2005). Parental preference for sex of newborn as reflected in positive affect in birth announcements. Sex Roles, 52 (5-6), 407-411.

Introductory Comments:

  • This is a Canadian study of birth announcements.
  • Content Analysis is a method through which the substance of data is scrutinized at very small levels, coded, and categorized to seek patterns, themes, and variations.
  • We know that Canadian and American couples are more likely to remain married if there are boys in the family; also, women are more likely to marry into families which contain boy siblings.
  • Previous research on birth announcements in “developing” countries suggests that the birth of a son is more celebrated than the birth of a girl. Although several studies the ability to generalize these findings, there is a similar trend in “industrialized” countries, including Canada and the USA wherein families either prefer a first-born to be a son, or to have at least one boy and one girl – this is termed “family balancing.”

Who is excluded from the “family balancing” mode of reproduction?


Literature review continues:

  • Western research on birth announcements is usually conducted through surveys based on measuring attitudes presumed to be embedded in the announcement and attitudes toward the birth. This is in contrast to studies in “developing” countries which evaluate fertility records.
  • Fertility records reveal that families with boys have fewer children than families with more girls (they keep trying for a boy).

If fertility clinics become accessible to more nations, how might they impact reproduction and family dynamics?



  • 9-month study of birth announcements from Calgary and Montreal newspapers
  • Chief researcher coded 193 out of a possible 2461 birth announcements (it is very rare that researchers are able to use all of their data). Then, as a reliability test, a second researcher coded 100of the 193.
  • Coding included: - male or female - measures of happiness or pride - expressions (e.g., overjoyed, excited )

- number of words used

- city

- placement of child in family (if it was firstborn, second...)

What could help academic research become more gender-inclusive?


Results, Discussion, and Concluding Remarks:

  • More parents included expressions of happiness than they did pride, regardless of sex of baby.
  • Montreal parents expressed more happiness in their announcements than their Calgary counterparts.
  • More pride was expressed if a second boy was born, versus more happiness expressed if a second girl was born.
  • Based on these findings, the authors further hypothesize that the expression of pride in having boys might have something to do with social status; traditionally and often, families with males are ascribed a higher social ranking.
  • The researchers returned to the literature and based their hypothesis on several other findings:
    • Fathers of boys work longer hours than those new fathers of girls, to earn more money after the son’s birth; they also spend more money on their homes following birth of daughter
    • Daughters are more often considered as requiring more nurturing than sons. This is part of an evolutionary hypothesis that suggests that this kind of nurturing is at the root of the necessity to strongly attach with newborns – in order to keep the human species replicating.

Is there a social stigma attached to male parents of daughters (without sons)?

Is there a similar stigma for female parents of sons?


Next weekNo assigned readings, yet you must be familiar with what is covered in those lectures from the readings used during classes; that information will be on the mid-term.

  • TuesdayNo Assigned Reading (these optional readings are posted on my Personal Webpage).
  • Lecture on: 1. Archer, R.L. (1964). Jean Jacques Rousseau: His educational theories selected from Emile, Julie, and other writings (pp. 217-235). New York, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc. 2. Louv, R. (2005). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder (pp. 27-35). Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.
  • ThursdayNo Assigned Reading.

Video and DiscussionThe Smell of Burning Ants