Bernice Pescosolido, a highly regarded medical sociologist at Indiana University Bloomington, talks in this TEDxBloomington presentation about some surprising discoveries regarding the lives of some teens who committed murder during school rampages.
Far from being loners — at least by choice — they might have wanted to belong too much, but lived in communities that lacked multiple paths (schools, clubs) through which residents could feel like they belonged.
“The boys [according to a National Academy of Sciences report] were boys who had perceptions of themselves as extremely marginal,” Pescosolido said during her presentation. “That’s important. There are two words there that are important: ‘perception’ and ‘marginal.’ Because these weren’t boys who were loners. These were boys who tried over and over and over again to belong — to belong to groups in their high school, to below to groups in college, to belong to their family in a closer way — but they experienced they were constantly rebuffed.”
It’s no secret that Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, wants people to enjoy sex. She’s written many books about the topic, including “Sex Made Easy: Your Awkward Questions Answered — for Better, Smarter, Amazing Sex.”
A sexual health researcher at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington, she’s also a proponent of safe sex. Her work in this area led to her being a winner of the Grand Challenges Explorations, a global health initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
With an initial grant of $100,000 for her research project, “Development and Testing of the Female Pleasure Condom,” she and her collaborator, if successful, will be in the running for a follow-up grant of up to $1 million.
Herbenick told Fast Company:
“Female condoms, generally speaking, are still in early stages of innovation. There’s a lot of room for people to be creative and to work on designs, methods of insertion, and sensations. . … The condom has textural ‘cues’ at the front end, making application easier in the dark.”
Faculty and students with the Center for Sexual Health and Promotion in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington are involved with a wide range of community-based sexual health research and practice activities in domestic and international settings.
In Puerto Rico, for example, the center maintains an active academic and research partnership with colleagues at the Latin American Center for Sexual Health Promotion at the University of Puerto Rico Health Sciences Center in San Juan. The research team has also worked on projects in other areas of Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia.
Recently the School of Public Health announced The U.S.-India Partnership for Sexual Health Promotion, a new initiative that involves formalizing public health collaborations between the school and The Humsafar Trust, India’s oldest and largest health service organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations. Brian Dodge, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion and an associate professor in the school’s Department of Applied Health Science, and Jessamyn Bowling, a project coordinator at the center and a doctoral student, take five questions about the new initiative and their work in general.
Health & Vitality: What is the project in India and what led to it?
Dodge and Bowling: In India, a country of 1.24 billion people, of whom nearly 2.5 million are currently living with HIV, there is an urgent need for public health interventions that are evidence-based, culturally congruent and high-impact in terms of their ability to promote sexual health. The members of the U.S.-India Partnership for Sexual Health Promotion will collaborate with academic and community-based experts on both continents in order to identify sexual health priorities, explore innovative research and intervention opportunities, and use the principles of community-based participatory public health research for the benefit of all members of the partnership. Read more…
Parker Mantell’s list of fans includes his fellow Indiana University Bloomington graduates who gave him a standing ovation after his impressive commencement speech earlier this month. Ignore the doubters, he told them, after challenging them to “Imagine what you are depriving our world of, if you never dare to achieve your purpose.”
Mantell referred to such giants as Einstein, Beethoven, Ray Charles and FDR, who created remarkable legacies despite obvious hurdles. And he offered himself as an example. Stuttering during the first two sentences of his brief address, he went on to discuss internships and volunteer work that involves thousands of telephone conversations on behalf of some of the most powerful men in politics.
“Far too often society has instilled and reinforced the idea that those of us with disabilities are to remain disabled and perhaps even incapable,” said Mantell, who interned in the Washington, D.C., offices of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Sen. Marco Rubio and in the office of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. The political science grad also interned for “Fox News Sunday” and the House Committee on Homeland Security. “If one is bound to a wheelchair or suffers from ADHD or repeats the first syllable of a word as I sometimes do, we have been tacitly yet resoundingly told to doubt both ourselves and our abilities. Doubt, as has been observed, kills more dreams than failure ever will.”
Video by IU Communications multimedia intern Lena Morris.
Hoosier Georgia Shaich says fellow dancers in the Dance for PD class in Bloomington, Ind. are both different and alike.
“We really enjoy music and dance,” she told multimedia intern Lena Morris. “It’s fun and it’s a relief from the regimen that you have when you have Parkinson’s.”
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder involving the nervous system. It develops gradually and affects facial expressions and movement, often causing a noticeable tremor, but stiffness also is common. There is no cure.
Roberta Wong, who brought the Dance for PD program to Bloomington, teaches ballet, modern dance and Dance for Parkinson’s in the Department of Theatre, Drama and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University Bloomington. Dance for PD provides more information, including a “Find a class” link. In Indiana, classes also are available in Fort Wayne, Indianapolis and Merrillville.
Climate change is in the spotlight this week because of the release of the third National Climate Assessment, which discusses observable and troublesome changes in the U.S, and a new study from Harvard that predicts that many food crops around the world will lose nutritional value as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise.
My colleague Steve Hinnefeld blogged about the key involvement of two Indiana University professors in the national assessment and their insights about climate change in the Midwest. Last week I helped IU anthropologist Virginia Vitzthum raise the issue by announcing her National Science Foundation-funded research project to study the biological, cultural and environmental challenges facing an Arctic community. Vitzthum said in a news release that like many coastal and modernizing communities worldwide, northern Greenlanders are confronted by a changing climate, demographic shifts and global economic forces that threaten their very existence.
“Cultural reproduction of communities and biological reproduction of individuals are necessarily linked, but rarely is this intimate connection so clearly revealed as when facing unprecedented challenges to indigenous lifeways,” said Vitzthum, senior scientist at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction.
“Ice is literally melting beneath their feet. There are more accidents, and the shifts in hunting and fishing seasons make it more difficult to earn a living. There’s a changing sense of connection to the land; it’s critical to learn what’s happening there and how it affects residents and the survival of their community.”
Greenland, while roughly a quarter of the size of the United States’ contiguous states, has seen its population shrink below 60,000.
What she and her team (researchers from The Kinsey Institute, University of Montana and the University of Greenland) learn in Greenland could benefit the health of men and women in the U.S.
Trampoline accidents sent an estimated 288,876 people, most of them children, to hospital emergency departments with broken bones from 2002 to 2011, at a cost of more than $400 million, according to an analysis by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine.
Including all injuries, not just fractures, hospital emergency rooms received more than 1 million visits from people injured in trampoline accidents during those 10 years, boosting the emergency room bills to just over $1 billion, according to the study.
I have two teenage sons, one of whom chose to ride his bike with friends over icy roads last winter, so I totally believe what lead author Randall T. Loder, M.D., said in the news release. Loder is chair of the IU School of Medicine’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and a surgeon at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health.
“They’re probably jumping higher, with more force. And believe me, teenagers are risk takers,” Loder said. “Younger kids may not understand potential outcomes of their actions, but they’re not so much risk takers. Teenagers, they’ll just push the limit.”
The body, it turns out, doesn’t treat all dietary iron equally. A new study from the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington linked consumption of iron from meat with an increased risk of heart disease – a 57 percent increase.
Researcher Jacob Hunnicutt said the link between iron intake, body iron stores and coronary heart disease has been debated for decades by researchers, with epidemiological studies providing inconsistent findings. The new IU research, a meta-analysis, examined 21 previously published studies and data involving 292,454 participants during an average 10.2 years of follow-up.
Hunnicutt said the body can better control absorption of iron from vegetable sources, including iron supplements, but not so with heme iron, which comes from meat sources.
Discovery detects early-warning signs of diabetic retinopathy, a major cause of vision loss in the U.S.
Researchers at the IU School of Optometry designed a technique that allows them to see microscopic changes to the eye — what they described as ‘early-warning signs of the potential loss of sight associated with diabetes.”
This discovery could have far-reaching implications for the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy, potentially impacting the care of over 25 million Americans.
“We had not expected to see such striking changes to the retinas at such early stages,” said Ann Elsner, professor and associate dean in the School of Optometry and lead author of the study. “We set out to study the early signs, in volunteer research subjects whose eyes were not thought to have very advanced disease. There was damage spread widely across the retina, including changes to blood vessels that were not thought to occur until the more advanced disease states.”
Diabetes has long been known to damage the retina, the irreplaceable network of nerve cells that capture light and give the first signal in the process of seeing. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of vision loss in the U.S. for people under the age of 75.
Because their findings are new, it isn’t known whether improved control of blood sugar or a change in medications might stop or even reverse the damage. In our news release, they (Elsner and co-author Stephen Burns, also a professor and associate dean at the school) say further research can help determine who has the most severe damage and whether the changes can be reversed.
Read the full release
Read the journal article, published in Biomedical Optics Express.
Water, he says, helps the immune system, weight management and digestion. It “flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat tissues.”
“You often hear reports that people should eat healthier and exercise more. Unfortunately, you less often hear reports that people should drink more water. The truth is drinking water is one the simplest and most effective ways to improve your health,” said Ira Means, a physician at Eskenazi Health Center Blackburn, in this news release.
Means also is an assistant professor of clinical medicine and of clinical pediatrics at the IU School of Medicine.
The clincher: “Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired,” he said.
I, personally, could stop right there, but if you’d like to read the full news release, you’ll learn of other benefits in addition to how much should be consumed.
Eskenazi Health offers a drinking water quiz
Readers also may find the video below of interest. Aaron Carroll, a pediatrician and health policy expert at the IU School of Medicine, continues his research-based rant about “the milk industrial complex,” which has convinced Americans that milk does a body good.
“Seriously, people, has it occurred to none of you that we’re the only mammals on the planet who consume milk after the early childhood period? We’re so obsessed with it that we steal it from other species in order to keep drinking it.”
(I liked this quote so much that I posted it to my Health & Vitality Tumblr blog)