Italy by numbers: Does La Mamma Know About Gays?

Gay 43% Lesbian 43% Knows
Gay 13% Lesbian 12%
Knows, but pretends not to
Gay 18% Lesbian 17% Probably knows, but it has never been discussed
Gay 18% Lesbian 17% Has no idea

A "don’t ask, don’t tell" picture emerges from this survey taken by 3,500 Italian gays.
Perhaps the recent skirmish over the gay pride parade, slated to take place among heated protests from the Vatican and seesawing politicians, will bring things out in the open.

Related resources:
For more on the World Gay Pride festival (July 1-9) 2000

Italian Mamma: No Time for Cuddles

Apparently, cold climes mean more hugs from moms: Italian mothers spend 15 minutes a day cuddling kids, compared to 42 minutes in Sweden and 47 in Denmark. These are the results of a survey of 3,000 European moms conducted by the International Society for Psychoanalytic Studies. La mamma, noted the study, in Italy watches a record 3.5 hours of TV daily.

Italy by Numbers: Real Purpose of Mobile Phones

42,6% 25-44 year olds use cell phones daily
Use cell phone mainly for work
Use cell phone to keep in touch with family and friends
Use only in case of emergencies
Stats finally prove what most Italians already know: the overwhelming number of mobile phone calls are to “la mamma.” Not long ago the principle of an elementary school in Genoa banned them after students were calling home to fill parents in on class quizzes. Hard to know whether technology will help keep together Italian families but a very non-scientific research indicates the most frequently overheard phrase is “butta la pasta, arrivo!” or rather “throw on the pasta, I’m coming home.”

Italy by Numbers: More single parents, fewer kids

71.3% of families have 3 members
21.1% have four members
7.7% have five or more members
If large Italian families are a thing of the past, the future would appear to have more single-parent families than ever..In 1998, single-parent families comprised 10,8% of total families, up from 9,6% of total families ten years before. Over-two thirds of single-parent families have one child, whereas 45% of two-parent families have one child.

Italy by Numbers: Keeping an eye on teens

39% detectives hired to trail teenagers
32% detectives hired to trail spouses
52% investigations involve 16-17 year olds
92 "risk factor" for Versilia/Viareggio

Italians would rather know what the kids are up to than whether a spouse is cheating. According to detective agency Tomponzi which commissioned the survey, Italian parents spend an estimated $30 billion USD yearly to keep an eye on teens. The boom, which detective Miriam Ponzi says increased 200% from 2000, is due to the increasing trend of teens vacationing unchaperoned.
Investigators have made a hit list of the most ‘risky places’ for teens on holiday: top of the list are beach/club havens like Romagna, Porto Cervo and Porto Rotondo while farm vacations are viewed as relatively safe.

Italy by Numbers: Teen Tastes

61% eat outside the home
32% eat outside the home more than three times a week
87% don’t drink
92% don’t use drugs
56% prefer casual clothes
83% know what the Internet is
54% know how to use Internet

Italian teenagers are more than ever like their US counterparts, except when for it comes to recreational drinking and technology. This study, conducted on 480 Italians from 18-25, demonstrates a series of tastes common to teens everywhere.

Italy by Numbers: 18 with a bullet–opinions of Italian Youth

Trust in governmental institutions
Trusts the European Union
Trusts the Italian Government

Which illegal activities do you consider more serious? On a scale of 1-5 (five being highest)
4.37 Corruption
3.61 Buying stolen goods
3.42 Lie to protect yourself
2.78 Ride bus without ticket

What makes you proud to be Italian? On a scale of 1-5 (five being highest)

4.59 Artistic/cultural achievements
3.36 Scientific advancements/research
3.21 Ability to get by despite chaos*
2.52 Treatment of foreigners
2.33 Ability to organize for the collective good

Results from poll of 6,000 Italian 18-year olds presents a fascinating look at a sliding scale of values. For the group, who voted for the first time in May 2001 elections, corruption is bad, but cheating on an exam or jumping turnstiles isn’t such a big deal. While Italians are usually not considered a patriotic bunch, roughly 75% of teens said they were touched hearing the national anthem. Unfortunately, most would have a difficult time singing along, since 54% couldn’t get past the first verse.
The minuscule level of trust they place in national government means politicians will probably have to work harder to get this age group to the polls.
The "back of the classroom" site gives prospective voters a chance to duke it out with politicians.

*This was the best we could do for the very Italian concept of "l’arte di arrangiarsi"

Judge to Parents: No TV in Kid’s Room

A tutelary judge in Rome ordered a mother to remove the television set from her five-year-old daughter’s room. The matter was brought to court by the father, concerned the child would watch “inappropriate programming” if left unsupervised. “TV sets should never be allowed in the rooms of children and adolescents,” sentenced Judge Frangapane.

Italy by Numbers: Wife Power

84.5% wives decide with husband whom to frequent
83 % how to spend free time
80% how to educate children
58.8% how to manage savings

No more little wifey–this just-released study by the National Statistics Institute (ISTAT) shows Italian wives are making more decisions with husbands than ever before. Women who live with partners instead of marrying them have even more weight –the study also notes, however, that in general these women have a higher degree of education.

Related resources:
Some Italian men aren’t ready to hang up the pants— the group Maschi Selvatici (“Wild males”) is an odd mix of Latin male pride & new-age mumbo jumbo-check out the “Phallus Gallery.”

Silver Streaker Scam

Roman judges became suspicious after realizing over half the 650 driving licenses suspended for excessive speeding last year belonged to folks over 60 years old. Jaded traffic cops soon cleared up the mystery: these “silver streakers” are, in reality,taking the heat for young relatives.Italy’s strict privacy law permits electronic cameras to snag speeders from the back only, so while it’s improbable Granny was doing 90 in town on a Ducati, it’s impossible to prove otherwise. Sleuthing zoomata staff made three whole phone calls before finding a successful “bait & switch.” Our deep throat of traffic tickets told us: “I was going over 50 mph in a 40 mph zone while driving my dad’s car during the holidays,” he said.. “So I asked my mom, who has a perfect driving record, to say she did it. In the photo, you can just make out that someone’s driving the car and nothing else.” Another case of “mamma’s boy” makes good? “No way. I take responsibility for important things, but this was a case of common sense.”

Related resources:
Italy’s most popular motoring mag on recent driving reforms: the “point” system for driving infractions, a mini-license for young scooter drivers -and the arrival of vanity license plates.