Do Gautreaux-like programs enabling inner-city residents to move to suburbs help or hurt? According to a July report by Greg Duncan and Jens Ludwig of the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research, “While even the best available evidence is somewhat limited, it suggests that moving very low-income families out of public housing and into more affluent neighborhoods may improve the well-being of poor children. Unfortunately, little is currently known about the effects of these moves on other residents in the original neighborhood or on children and adults in the receiving neighborhoods” (“Can Housing Vouchers Help Poor Children?” Children’s Roundtable Report #3,


The business schools at Northwestern and Notre Dame are among those “at the cutting edge” in “programs at the intersection of business and society,” according to a survey conducted last year by the World Resources Institute ( “Strategies” that WRI would like newly minted MBAs to use include providing after-hours child care to service workers, expanding in inner cities, and being sensitive to foreign nations’ labor standards.

Not quite full disclosure. According to a study presented at the 13th International AIDS Conference and reported in the San Francisco Examiner (July 15) and the “CDC Daily AIDS Summary” (July 17), of 1,397 HIV-positive people surveyed, 16 percent of gay men reported unprotected sex with a partner who was unaware of his HIV status. The rate of unprotected sex among HIV-positive heterosexuals was reported at about 5 percent.

“People are not made cynical by the electoral system,” writes Garry Wills in the American Prospect (July 17), in a review panning Robert Putnam’s new book, Bowling Alone. “In a study of five national elections (1980-1996), the same people were asked the same questions about social trust before and after the vote, and the responses showed a growth in trust during the campaign. In the 1996 election, for instance: ‘Before the election, only 40 percent of those interviewed reported that most people could be trusted, while over half of the postelection respondents offered a trusting response.’ [Roderick] Hart also quotes polls by Larry Bartels to show that, despite all the talk of negative campaigning, respect for both presidential candidates increases in the course of a campaign. Hart argues that American elections, precisely because they do not have the issue-sharpening dynamic of a parliamentary system (where minority parties articulate strong ideological positions and bring out the votes of those with minority views), have a social-ritual effect of reknitting community ties. The country is never more united than in the ‘honeymoon’ period of a newly elected president.”

Many American parents “still practice Puritan-style parenting without realizing it,” says University of Illinois anthropologist Alma Gottlieb, coauthor of A World of Babies: Imagined Childcare Guides for Seven Societies, according to a recent press release. She’s referring to the practice of making infants six months or younger sleep alone. Gottlieb says that most babies throughout most of human history have slept with their parents for at least a year or two.

Must reading for those who see God in nature. “Both sexes have evolved staggeringly sophisticated ways to get what they want–often at the expense of the other,” according to the Harvard University Press’s catalog blurb for ecologist Tim Birkhead’s forthcoming book, Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition and Sexual Conflict. “He introduces us to fish whose first encounter locks them together for life in a perpetual sexual embrace; hermaphrodites who ‘joust’ with their reproductive organs, each trying to inseminate the other without being inseminated; and tiny flies whose seminal fluid is so toxic that it not only destroys the sperm of rival males but eventually kills the female.”

Ninety-six years ago, from Hilda Scott Polacheck’s book I Came a Stranger: The Story of a Hull-House Girl, quoted in the 1999 annual report of the Jane Addams Resource Corporation: “As the class was being dismissed, Miss Addams came into the room and said that she wanted to talk to me, that I was to wait for her…then she took me into [her office] and said these magic words: ‘How would you like to go to the University of Chicago?’ She was very calm, as if she had asked me to have a cup of tea. She did not realize that she had just asked me whether I wanted to live.”