May 2007

Study: Female sharks fertilize own eggs – Yahoo News

Lesbian hammerhead shark moms! Well, all right, maybe not lesbian. But there is a baby hammerhead with three moms and no dad in a Nebraska zoo, apparently conceived parthenogenetically.

In an interesting bout of synchronicity, this comes just as I’ve lately been rediscovering Shriekback, a band one of my housemates back in the 80s used to love and play incessantly. And my two favourite songs of theirs are “Hammerheads” — relevance rather obvious! — and “Nemesis”, which rhymes the title word with, yes, “parthenogenesis”.

Here’s an interesting article that recently appeared in the Toronto Star: Two parents are better than one

Apparently Canada’s Conservative government has been suppressing a report that shows that kids of same-sex parents turn out just as well – and in some ways slightly better – than kids of straight parents! It was commissioned by the previous government, and when the Conservatives came to power, they basically sat on it until the study’s author forced its release via the Access to Information Act.

It does say kids of single parents, gay or straight, have a few more problems, though. But I’d be interested I knowing whether the study distinguished between planned children of single parents, and children of couples who’d broken up. If not, it could be that what they took for the negative effect of single parents is more the negative effect of fighting parents.