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独生子女=娇惯的一代?

爱词霸 佚名 已阅次         ★★★

“Oh, you must have been a spoiled brat. You must be really bossy. I wonder what you’re going to be like to deal with?” That’s often the response Angela Hult gets when people find out she’s an only child, she told ABC News. Despite such negative remarks, Hult has decided to have only one child herself. And she’s not alone.“
哇,你肯定是个被宠坏了的淘气鬼,一定非常专横跋扈。我好奇,和你打交道会是什么样子?”安吉拉•霍特在接受美国广播公司ABC访问时表示,当人们发现她是独生子女时,往往会这样回答。尽管独生子女被打上了许多负面烙印,安吉拉还是决定只要一个小孩。而并非只有她一人如此。

According to the US’ Office for National Statistics, women approaching the end of their childbearing years had an average of 1.9 children in 2004, compared with 3.1 for their counterparts in 1976. Numbers from the UK’s Office for National Statistics indicate a similar trend across the Atlantic: the percentage of one-child families in Britain had risen from 18 percent in 1972 to 26 percent in 2007.
美国国家统计局的报告显示,2004年马上超过育龄的妇女的生育率为1.9,而1976年时这一数字为3.1。而在横跨大西洋的另一端,英国国家统计局的数据也显示出相同的趋势:1972年英国独生子女家庭所占比例仅为18%,而到了2007年,这一数字已经上升到26%。

But even though only children are becoming increasingly common, the stereotype that they’re selfish, spoilt and lack social skills holds strong. Even parents of only children, like Hult, are made to feel guilty about having only one child. Worried that they’re being selfish and endangering their child’s future, they flock to online discussion forums seeking advice. Soon, however, they ask themselves: is this social prejudice really justified?
虽然独生子女越来越常见,但是人们对他们的成见仍旧根深蒂固——自私、被宠坏、缺乏社交技能。即使像霍特这样的独生子女父母,也对只有一个孩子这件事心有愧疚。由于担心自己身为独生子女会十分自私,进而对孩子的未来造成负面影响,独生子女父母聚集到在线论坛上,来寻求建议。而很快他们便反问自己:这种社会偏见真的合情合理吗?


“There have been hundreds and hundreds of research studies that show that only children are no different from their peers,” Susan Newman, a social psychologist at Rutgers University in the US, told ABC News.
美国罗格斯大学社会心理学家苏珊•纽曼在接受美国广播公司采访时表示:“成百上千例的研究报告显示,独生子女与同龄其他孩子并没有什么不同。”

A perfect example is Natalie Portman. “I had the sole attention of my parents. And you know what? If I had had brothers or sisters I would have never become an actress,” she told Naanoo, an online magazine. “My mother has accompanied me to every audition and every acting class. With more children that would have never been possible. They would have been jealous of me.”娜塔丽•波特曼就是一个最好不过的例子了,她在接受在线杂志《Naanoo》采访时说:“我获得了父母的专属关注。你知道吗?我要是有兄弟姐妹的话,我可能永远也不会成为一名演员。我的母亲陪我参加了每一次试镜以及每一堂表演课。如果家里还有其他小孩子的话,这一切都不可能发生。兄弟姐妹会嫉妒我。”

This raises another question: why are only children still viewed with such suspicion?这又引发了另一个问题:为何人们总是对独生子女心存怀疑呢?

“There is a lingering belief that’s been around probably since humans first existed that to have just one child is somehow dangerous, both for you and for the continuation of your race,” Toni Falbo, a professor of educational psychology at Texas University’s Population Research Center, told The Guardian. “In the past a lot of children died. You’d have had to be crazy to only have one.”
德克萨斯大学人口研究中心教育心理学教授托妮•法尔博在接受《卫报》采访时表示:“自从人类诞生以来,一直有种挥之不去的信念:无论对个人还是种族的延续,只要一个孩子是有些冒险的。在过去,婴儿死亡率很高,只要一个孩子绝非明智之举。”

Times, of course, have changed and infant mortality has largely been eradicated. So what do only children themselves say?
当然,时代变了,婴儿死亡率已接近于零。而独生子女又是怎样看待这一问题的呢?

Kayley Kravitz, a blogger for The Huffington Post, grew up as an only child and highly recommends the experience. “Being an only child taught me the most valuable skill of all: the ability to be alone,” she said.
凯莉•克拉维茨是《赫芬顿邮报》的博客写手,作为独生子女的她对自己的成长经历有着很高的评价,她说:“作为家里的独苗,我学到最重要的技能便是:如何独处。”

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