Friday, October 29, 2010

People You Should "UN-Friend" On Facebook

Facebook has become a great forum for people to socialize, share daily events, and express their views.  As such, we forget that the company we keep, even in cyberspace, becomes a direct reflection of who we are.  Friends, family members, current and future employers, and strangers judge us (whether fair or not) based on information posted on our facebook page.  Therefore, many us may need to check our friend lists to edit what messages are being sent to others.  

"Un-friend", block, or change privacy settings for people who:

Post things that could interfere with your work or personal life. 

Continuously "poke" you after being asked not to.

"Facebook stalk" you.

Only make negative comments about your status updates and pictures.

Reveal personal information about you.

Bully you or other people.

Use information about you against you.

Use profanity, racial/ethnic slurs, or homophobic language.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How Fast Do We Fall In Love?

Researchers at Syracuse University report that it only takes a fifth of a second for our brain to "fall in love".  During this process, our brains experience emotions similar to those felt when using cocaine or other stimulants.

These researchers also found that of the 12 areas of the brain that are stimulated, each one responds to different kinds of love.  Studying how these areas are stimulated can give mental health professionals more information on treating depression, anxiety and other negative emotions that occur when love is lost.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Was That A Hook-Up?

Hooking up has become a contemporary term used by adolescents and young adults to describe a number of different intimate activities.  But what does it really mean to "hook-up"?  And how do you know if you just "hooked-up" with someone? 

A "hook-up" can refer to any number of activities ranging from kissing and light touching to oral or genital contact including sexual intercourse.  The bottom line is that most hook-ups are defined by the degree of sexual contact that occurs.

Research on the "hook-up" yields interesting results.  Studies with college students reveal that hook-ups vary in where they begin, whether or not alcohol is a factor, and the what type of sexual contact occurs.
  • 47% of hook-ups begin at a party (23% begin in the dorm)
  • 14% of people know a little about their partner (50+% know them moderately or well)
  • 46% report being slightly impaired (28% are extremely drunk)
  • 34% of hook-ups involve light kissing & touching (23% involve sexual intercourse)

There is not one specific definition for a hook-up and the term is used in many varied situations.  Although, most hook-ups involve some sexual contact between two or more people who know each other moderately well, and have had some amount of alcohol.   
Understanding the definition of a hook-up is important for parents, teens and young adults.  

Parents - should know how their children use this term and what it means within their peer group.  It may be as innocent as a few kisses or much more, which can signal a need to communicate about sexual health and contraception.

Teens/Young Adults - need to have their own definition of hooking up and be able to get clarity from others.  It is a good idea to know the definition and subsequent expectations of your partner so that you can make choices about your own behavior.       

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Waiting for Superdad...

Recently, I gave my class an assignment to discuss some of the gender inequalities that exist in parent responsibility.  We watched media examples and discussed the plight of Supermom - a woman who does it all...working full-time, then coming home to respond to the needs of the entire household.  As I added questions to our class discussion board, I noticed that the word "Superdad" (the assignment was to describe Superdad and explain why we have no media images of him) was flagged by the spell-checker.  No word processing software on my computer recognized this word.  

Understandably so, as there is no definition for Superdad.  We don't discuss him and most of us don't even know him.  Although there are Superdads found all over the globe, most of us don't expect to see him or know of his existence in our own community.  We continually place the extra household and parenting duties in mom's lap and attribute them to her whether dad participates or not.  As a result, when parenting distress signals go out into the sky, they are mostly met by the swift feet of Supermom.  While Supermom is great, many children lack additional critical elements of development as they are left waiting...waiting for Superdad. 

My suggestion is for all Superdads, children of Superdads, or those waiting for Superdad to speak up and call attention to the vital role that fathers play in the development of their children. It is time that dads are given appropriate responsibilities and the opportunity to shoulder the many family duties mom has historically been responsible for.  Let's hold those less than Superdads' feet to the fire and encourage them to live up to the standards set by our Supermoms.  Then one day, hopefully...millions of children can stop waiting for Superdad.

People Lie on their Online Dating Profiles?!?

Check out this story on how many people lie on online profiles and what they are lying about.  Pretty interesting...

Book of Odds - Here's a Shocker: People Lie on their Online Dating Profiles

Friday, October 22, 2010

Does Premarital Sex Increase Risk for Extramarital Sex?

Research suggests that contemporary Americans are growing more and more accepting of premarital sex.  As social mores around sex become more relaxed, people view premarital sex as part of the dating process.  Even the most conservative, while not in full agreement, have become accustomed to the notion that sex occurs before marriage for the majority of the population.

Although chastity belts may have loosened, most will agree that extramarital affairs are a no-no.  With widespread media attention on the extramarital affairs of celebrities, athletes and political figures, society shakes a condescending finger at infidelity.  Also, unknown to many are laws in some states that not only view infidelity as illegal, but can make an unfaithful partner and/or third party liable for damages.    

What may be most shocking is how the two relate.  Some research associates the rise in marital infidelity to the widespread practice of premarital sex.  Researchers purport that numerous relationships and sexual partners before marriage can relate to an individuals' propensity to be unfaithful once married.  Having many partners before marriage makes monogamy difficult as we have become used to being with more than one person.