In November of 2003, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that the exclusion of same-sex couples from the institution of marriage was discordant with existing constitutional principles. In 2004, after the ruling went into effect, the Same-sex Marriage Study Group formed at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Faced with the unique opportunity to study how the recent legalization of samesex marriage affected gay and lesbian couples in Massachusetts, the group designed the Exploratory Study of Same-sex Marriage. Through the study, the team sought to explore the diversity of experiences along the lines of gender, race/ethnicity, and parenting status. The study also examined how children in same-sex-parented families perceived and experienced this social change.
Explained by Allison Tracy, Ph.D., WCW Methodologist and Research Scientist
The Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) has been a leader in the study of issues of importance to women for more than 30 years. What makes our work somewhat different from many other “think tanks” around the country is that the Centers’ staff pursue research about which we are unabashedly passionate, with the goal of making a positive difference in the world. This vigor which we bring to our work may appear to some, particularly if the findings challenge their views, to be at the expense of scholarly rigor. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
In 1987 Pamela Seigle, a teacher and school psychologist, was invited to work with six teachers from two of the most diverse schools in Framingham, MA. The teachers took a leap of faith and signed up to participate in an action-research project focused on what was then described as a “coping skills” program. Together, they explored ways to help young school children develop critical communication, self-control, and problem solving skills. They also wanted to discover ways that schools could create safe learning environments that would support both the social and academic success of children. with those who did not. The benefits are evident as well in the day-to-day lives of scores of children and educators in schools that use the program.
Research & Action Report Spring/Summer 2006
More than 200 advocates, researchers, and grassroots organizers convened at the New York County Lawyer’s Association (NYCLA) on March 4, 2006 for “Violence against Women: From Critical Concerns to Collective Action,” a one-day conference that coincided with the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Fiftieth Session. The conference, co-sponsored by the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) and the NYCLA, was part of a two-year advocacy effort of the NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) Committee on the Status of Women, NY.