For evolutionary biologist Justin Garcia '07, MS '09, PhD '12, it is essential that the young people and college students of America hear talks about healthy sexuality.
Speaking to the Binghamton University Forum on Feb. 20 at Traditions at the Glen, Garcia used the recent book Hookups and Hangovers: A Journal as an example of what a lack of communication can lead to. The book, which Garcia called "disturbing," allows readers to rate and fill out information about what happened after the previous night's party.
"The message we're allowing to be sent out is: If you get drunk and have uncommitted sex, you can laugh about it. It's a big joke," Garcia said. "This is allowed to happen when we don't have a serious conversation promoting positive, healthy sexuality in relationships. This is what is happening on college campuses because of our failure to talk about healthy sexuality. We have to talk about it – it is at the core of the human condition. People are here because of sex. I hate to think about it, but we all are here because our parents had sex!"
Garcia, who holds an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Indiana University, will be an assistant professor of gender studies and research scientist at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction at Indiana University. Four days after returning to the Binghamton area for his Forum talk, Garcia was featured at TEDxBinghamtonUniversity and discussed "The Fall and Rise of Dating in America."
Dating is dead on college campuses, Garcia told the Forum audience. Instead, a "hook-up culture" of "uncommitted sexual activity" has emerged among people ages 18-25. Data shows that college students have two "hook-ups" for every first date, Garcia said.
"From colleges on the East Coast to the West Coast and from community colleges to Ivy Leagues, students are engaging in a hook-up culture," he said. "We have to face the facts."
But Garcia said that he and his fellow researchers determined that 50 percent of men and women said they "hook up" because they are looking for love.
"This boggled our minds," he said. "We looked at each other and thought: 'Really? Why not go out on a date?' But there is not a vibrant dating culture among this age group. The idea of how to start a date isn't among the scripts of young people today."
Garcia's data also shows that one-third of "hook-ups" turn into relationships for people in the 18-25 age group: "I wouldn't suggest this as a dating strategy, but it is happening," he said.
Most students say they want to be in a romantic relationship and find it more rewarding than the "hook-up."
"That makes sense because species that engage in monogamy throughout the animal kingdom prefer forms of affiliation and bonding," Garcia said. "This is part of our legacy as a social species and thinking about the ways that love and sex and relationships are part of a dynamic process. It's all happening at once."
Since 2010, Garcia has served as a scientific advisor for the online dating site Match.com and has conducted research on its Singles in America study. Among the findings that Garcia shared at the Forum were:
* Sixty percent of people 21-65 said the struggling economy has not affected their dating habits or the pursuit of love over the past three years.
"That's such a high number," he said. "Six of 10 Americans are saying: 'Despite what's happening in our economy, the pursuit of love is not something I am allowing to change. I'm still going to find ways to find love."
* Thirty-three percent of single Americans said they want to get married, but 84 percent said they thought they could be committed to one person for their rest of their lives.
"People from all over the world still have these desires for love," Garcia said. "But they are not as concerned with the political construct of marriage. It is interesting that there is one group that still wants to get married in America. If Americans want to preserve the sanctity and tradition of marriage, I think we have to get behind the only group that wants to marry: gays and lesbians."
Evolution researcher to speak at 26th annual Briloff Lecture
By Steve Seepersaud
Professor David Sloan Wilson will be the speaker for the 26th Abraham J. Briloff Lecture on Accountability and Society at 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 17, in the Anderson Center's Chamber Hall. The title of his lecture is "Evolution and Modern Accountability." This event is free and open to the public.
Wilson is SUNY distinguished professor of biology and anthropology at Binghamton University, where he directs EvoS, Binghamton's campus-wide evolutionary studies program. He was recently appointed a visiting faculty member at New York University's Stern School of Business, where he is helping to develop a Center for Business Systems Ethics. His books include Darwin's Cathedral: Evolution, Religion, and the Nature of Society (2002), Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives (2007), and The Neighborhood Project: Using Evolution to Improve My City, One Block at a Time (2011). His next book Does Altruism Exist? will be published by Yale University Press in 2014.
The annual lecture series is named in honor of Abraham J. Briloff, the presidential professor of accounting and ethics at Binghamton University and Emanuel Saxe Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Bernard Baruch College. Over his long and distinguished career, Briloff has been recognized as the ethical conscience of the accounting profession and was recently awarded the University Medal for his contributions to the field.
The School of Management sponsors the Briloff lecture series, which brings the accounting, business and campus communities together to contemplate topics of business ethics. For more information, contact Debbie Standard at firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-777-2314.
University seeks small business project proposals
From staff reports
In 19 years, SPIR has helped partners to create and retain more than 2,500 jobs with estimated annual wages totaling $90 million. On average, SPIR students and faculty mentors annually work on 30 projects across 20 small- to mid-sized companies, providing technical assistance resulting in the retention and creation of jobs.
Organizations currently receiving SPIR project funding include Bridgeware Systems, Inc. of Vestal, Crysta-Lyn Chemical Co. of Binghamton, Custom Electronics, Inc. of Oneonta, Innovation Associates of Johnson City, Seraph Robotics of Ithaca, and Vergason Technology, Inc. of Van Etten.
By leveraging the resources and talents of Binghamton University's Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science, SPIR can assist companies in streamlining operations by applying high-technology content to products, devising methods to adapt to new industrial regulations and exploring opportunities to break into new markets.
SPIR provides local industries with:
* The expertise of engineers and applied scientists in fields including mechanical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, bioengineering, systems science and industrial engineering, and computer science.
* Experience with industry partners across a multitude of domains including communications, clean or renewable energy technology, computer hardware, defense technology, life sciences, electronics, sensors, displays, semiconductors and software.
* Access to top engineering and applied science students.
The SPIR program was established in 1994 by the engineering schools of the State University of New York in an effort to strengthen the state's small- and mid-sized businesses by applying technology solutions to make them more competitive.
Proposals should include specific deliverables, expertise sought or needed, a description of the positive impact the project will have on the company, number of company jobs retained, number of company jobs added and anticipated Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer or other grant funding.
Project applications should be submitted online and will be accepted through 5 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2013.
For more information about the program, visit the SPIR website or contact Cheryl Monachino, Watson School director of industrial outreach, at 607-777-4532, or Lisa Altman at 607-777-2154.
Health and Wellness Studies co-sponsoring Sprint Triathlon
From staff reports
Get ready to swim, bike and run at the fourth annual Sprint Triathlon to be held at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 27, on the Binghamton University campus. Participant packet pick-up begins at 7:45 a.m. in lot G, located behind the West Gym. Pre-registration is required.
The race will cover a 400-yard swim in the West Gym pool, a 10.2-mile bike ride through adjacent neighborhoods and a 5K run through campus. Timing will be done with a CHIP system. The event will conclude with an awards presentation. Prizes will be given to the top three male and female finishers, the best in each age category, the top male and female Binghamton University student, the first-place relays (males, females, mixed) and, new this year, the first-place teams (males, females, mixed). Team scoring will be done cross-country style, by averaging the top three finishers' overall race place standing.
Individuals, 13 years and older, relays of up to three people and teams of up to five people can sign up at the Recreation Center front desk in the East Gym. The "early-bird" registration fees end on March 29 and are $20 for Binghamton University students, $45 for non-students and $65 for teams. Beginning March 30, the registration fees will be $25, $50 and $75 respectively. Registration ends on April 19. No day-of-event registrations will be taken. Registration fees include post-race refreshments. Race shirts can be ordered in advance at registration and a limited number of race shirts will be available for purchase at the event.
The Sprint Triathlon is sponsored by Sodexo, Campus Recreation, health and wellness studies, and the Eating Awareness Committee. All proceeds will be donated to the Binghamton University Eating Awareness Committee for educational programming and resources.
Pathways Project: Building connections in families living with dementia
From staff reports
Called the Pathways Project, the idea is to provide a therapeutic environment in which families can create artwork, reminisce and tell stories -- activities that stimulate both hemispheres of the brain.
Caregivers typically report deteriorating communication and quality time with their family member with dementia, an inability to manage problem behaviors and feelings of frustration, resentment and grief. This leads to increased isolation for the caregiver and family member, and increases the risk of neglect and elder abuse.
Services for caregivers and persons with dementia are generally provided separately and address only a limited number of the family's needs. This compartmentalized approach fails to address the interdependent nature of the family system and complexity of caring for those with dementia.
The project, supported by the Academic Program and Faculty Development Fund, includes MSW students in the Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education in the development of the therapeutic groups, delivery of therapeutic services and in the evaluation of research. This provides students an opportunity to develop skills related to working with persons with cognitive impairments, families and groups.
Results from the project will be shared at the Gerontological Society of America's Annual Scientific Meeting and the Society for Social Work Research.
Doctoral brown bag presentation
On March 1, Graduate School of Education Dean S.G. Grant gave a presentation to doctoral students which discussed trends in the field of education. You can see a video of this presentation titled "The Changing Landscape of Education?" by visiting the GSE YouTube site.