Some people just never give up trying to turn back time. The latest wrinkle comes to us from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is fighting back against "the collapse of the American family" by offering bachelor's degrees "with a concentration in homemaking" to women students only. The idea is to reinforce outdated stereotypical gender roles by training women to become full-time homemakers. The degree equips female students with such skills as cooking, sewing, and child psychology.
Luckily, the Associated Press reports that some Southern Baptists find the program offensive. The AP quotes from the blog of the Rev. Benjamin Cole, of Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, who wrote, "It's yet another example of the ridiculous and silly degree to which some Southern Baptists ... are trying to return to what they perceive to be biblical gender roles."
Church groups trying to reinforce the idea of two-parent families might have better luck encouraging fathers to stay home full time with their kids. While the number of stay-at-home moms is much larger, the rate of increase among stay-at-home fathers is higher than it is among stay-at-home moms.
About.com reports that Census Bureau figures released last year show that "there were 143,000 stay-at-home dads versus 5.6 million stay-at-home moms in 2005 ... up from 98,000 stay-at-home dads out of a total of 5.5 million stay-at-home parents" in 2003.
Cole's website even jokes about the prospect of a degree program for stay-at-home dads. It issues a humorous press release extolling the virtues of a degree in lawn mowing, hedge trimming, and weed eating.