How Cesarean Births Became a ‘Global Epidemic’

Reliance on New Obstetric Technology and Lawsuit-Averse Doctors Made Traditional Birth Seem More Risky Than C-Sections

Almost one in three births in the United States today is by cesarean section—a dramatic change from a century ago when physicians avoided the surgery whenever possible. Doctors remained so wary of the surgery’s effects that even in the early 1970s, fewer than one in 20 births was by cesarean section. By 1987, though, cesareans accounted for one in four births in the United States. Since then, the frequency of the surgery has surged worldwide. A recent issue of the medical journal The Lancet condemned this “global epidemic” of unnecessary …

What the Gender Reveal Fad Says About Modern Pregnancy

A New Ritual Speaks to Anxieties Surrounding the Medicalization of Childbearing

My youngest daughter often asks me to tell her about the day when, pregnant with her, I was riding to work on the subway and wondering whether she would be …

When Pac-Man Started a National “Media Panic”

Video Games Revived a Perpetual Debate Over the Virtues and Vices of Technology for Kids

In the early 1980s, spurred by the incredible popularity of Atari, Space Invaders, and Pac-Man, everyone seemed to be talking about video games, if not obsessively playing them. A …

Where’s the Laid-Back Fun in Kids’ Summer Vacations?

Pricey Camps and Erratic School Calendars Are Spoiling Our Seasonal Break

My grade school summer vacations seemed to last forever, pairing well with the Beach Boys’ Endless Summer double album I wore out on the record changer.

During those hot and humid …