and all the BS fit to read!

Teen Sex: On the Decline?

Teen Sex: On the Decline?

Mar 25, 2011

A recent government survey conducted by the CDC reports that teens are having less sex than they have had in the past. In fact, the numbers being reported are that teens are having sex up to 6% less than in previous years, shifting from 78% of teens reporting engaging in sexual activity to 72%. This is good news in many ways, but also begs the question as to why? Based on the research in general, there is no specifically clear answer to this question. We can do a lot of hypothesizing, though, about what may be impacting our young people’s choices to abstain from sex or sexual behaviors. Firstly, we can look to sexual education. Although there have been reports that the education being provided in schools is not fully comprehensive, it is starting earlier, providing a basis of information for our young people. Research demonstrates that the earlier we provide this information to kids, the less likely they are to have indiscriminate, unprotected sex. Maybe that is having a positive, long lasting impact. Additionally, parents are increasingly involved in what kids are doing and what their knowledge base is. This will also be a protective factor for teens in avoiding sex early on. Lastly, teens and young adults may be placing more focus on the other things in their lives: friends, sports, school, jobs, and thus, are making sex less important overall. They just don’t have time to focus on having sex or being involved in relationships. I also believe that teens are numb to the excitement of sex in many ways. They are inundated by images of sex, which really does reduce the stigma or mystique of it. At the end of the day, it seems less important and less exciting. It does seem counterintuitive, though, that with all of the sex surrounding teens, in shows like Skins, that they are engaging in these behaviors slightly less than in previous years. However, exposure to it may actually cause it to decrease. If you see it in movies and on television, and it looks like it is just not that big a deal, some of the mystery decreases, and the appeal does decrease....

Love everlasting? It may be true!-Dr Jen

Love everlasting? It may be true!-Dr Jen

Feb 5, 2011

Love everlasting? It may be true! A recent study was released in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journalthat showed that even after 20-plus years of marriage, couples can be as in love with their significant others as they were when they first met and fell in love.  The researchers examined the brains of 17 people who claim to still be head over heels for their partners when they were shown a photo of their significant other and found that the pleasure and reward centers activated when compared with the brains of 17 people who had recently fallen in love. What this demonstrates is that people can stay madly in love with their spouses after 20 years, which seems contrary to some people’s opinions.  What great news! This research demonstrates that love really can last forever! It’s not an unattainable dream. While the sample size is obviously small, it still is a hopeful outcome. The scans also depict less anxiety and fear in longer-in-love couples as compared to those newly in love.  We all can remember how it feels to be freshly in love, right? When relationships are new, there is a lot of anxiety (positive and negative) and excitement. All of the quintessential new love behaviors exist: worry that it may not be “right”, pining for the next time you will be together.  One of the key differences between these two groups is the lack of this anxiety and worry in the longterm relationships.  I think that a significant part of this is that you enter into a pattern and ease with your partner that allows you to feel more grounded and stable.  The relationship does stabilize.  While the excitement and passion for your partner still exists, the worry that it will fall apart decreases.  You develop into partners and confidants, much of which is lacking in new relationships. One very striking thing noted in this study is the different kinds of love that can occur within couples, especially longer-in-love couples.  According to the researchers, there are two types of love: romantic love and companionate love.   Companionate love is a more regulated, affection between two people that is influenced by shared history and interests....

Forecasting the New Year-Dr. Jen

Forecasting the New Year-Dr. Jen

Jan 13, 2011

Surprisingly, or perhaps not so, certain days and months are going to be better for you this year than others.  Some researchers have been able to predict which days are going to be good, and which not so much, for you this year; when you should be aware of a potential break up and when you might catch your mate cheating.  I got to talk about this all this morning in a really fun segment with Erica Hill. FIRST WEEK OF JANUARY- MOST STRESSFUL WEEK Well, this is a good place to start because we are currently in it. We have just wrapped up all of the holiday fun (which may be stressful in and of itself) and are getting back to our regular routine. Kids have a hard time re-adjusting to the school routine. A British study found that the cold weather and the end of the holidays can put people on their last nerve, especially at work. We look forward to time off with friends and family, and when it’s over, we can feel deflated. One way to handle this may be to release the tension in a positive way.  According to some research, having that mini temper tantrum may actually be a good thing! JAN. 17 – SADDEST DAY According to researcher Cliff Arnall, who has studied all sorts of interpersonal trends, January 17 has the potential to be the most depressing day of the year.  He looked at weather, debt, time elapsed since the holidays and motivation.  This day was chosen because it is about the time we fall off the wagon with our resolutions, have lost the excitement of the holidays, especially as we begin to pay off the debt accrued, and are working to manage the short days and long nights.  (INTERESTINGLY, THE 17th is MLK day, WHICH IS THE FIRST FEDERAL HOLIDAY SINCE THE HOLIDAYS…maybe that’s good news for handling the doldrums of the day?) TIME TO CHEAT Not surprisingly, Summer is the time most people’s wandering eyes come to the forefront. Remember when you were a kid and summer meant no school, freedom, and fun? Well, that attitude carries over into adulthood, leaving us with the...

Reassessing Relationships

Reassessing Relationships

Dec 30, 2010

Our lives are filled with relationships, and every so often, it is important to reevaluate which relationships in your life are positive and bringing you what you want, and which may not be and need to be changed and/or ended. Relationships, often, help to define who we are and have a great deal of influence and impact on our lives. We are free to choose the kinds of relationships we want, however, which is not easy to do, as it may mean ending toxic relationships with family, friends or significant others. Relationships do ebb and flow, and go through many changes. Sometimes it is difficult to know the difference between a “normal” shift and a bigger problem. If the belief is that the relationship at it’s most basic level is a good one, talk to the other person involved and try to work on the problem. This isn’t always the case, as we know. The media portrays this time of year as one in which we are supposed to be full of love toward one another. Unfortunately, sometimes, this is not really how it is, and we compare our lives with those in the media and around us and may find that we are not satisfied with how things are. This, of course is exacerbated by the fact that we may have just spent a lot of concentrated time with our families during the holiday and come to realize that our values are very different and that we don’t really enjoy their company. We may choose to start to distance ourselves from them as a result of the differences that we observed. With family, this is incredibly difficult, of course because we feel obligated to be connected to them (and are obligated on some level). The truth is, you can choose how much time you spend with your family, the same way you would choose to spend time with your friends. When obligation becomes the deciding factor, it’s definitely time to re-evaluate the relationship, what your needs are and how you want to handle it. With family, others may offer their opinions more than you’d like, and you have to put yourself first, take...