Entries in cnn (3)


Our Take on "There’s Nothing Brief About a Hookup": The Devil is in the Details

A recently published op-ed by Dannah Gresh on CNN.com makes the controversial argument that “there’s nothing brief about a hookup” (read the full op-ed here). As of posting, Gresh’s op-ed, which supposedly draws on scientific evidence to support her conclusion that casual sex is unhealthy, has inspired over 800 comments and some heated debate, much of it centered around Gresh’s admission near the end of the op-ed that:

"In the interest of full disclosure, my motivation here is my Christian faith. I believe sex to be an incredible gift from God, meant to transcend the physical to discover something emotional and spiritual with another person.

But since my faith may alienate some of you from my message, I ask you not to think too hard about religious differences. Stick to the facts."

Here at ScienceOfRelationships.com we are always encouraged when we see articles on relationships (and sex) that incorporate scientific evidence, but we are admittedly wary when there is reason to believe the interpretation of those scientific data might be distorted by an underlying agenda. Thus, we took it upon ourselves to do just what Gresh requested: Stick to the facts. After careful scrutiny of her arguments, and review of the empirical work she cites as support for her conclusions, we have identified three important ways that Gresh either overstates or misuses specific research findings. Below, we identify and provide an examples of instances where the facts do not support the claim.

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The High Costs of Parenthood

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the costs of raising kids. To be clear, I’m not talking about the monetary costs ($118k to $250k in the U.S. by the time the kid reaches age 18, and that’s not counting college). Rather, a lot of the popular press writing on the topic has focused on the drop in marital and/or life satisfaction individuals experience following the birth of a child. Both New York Magazine (All Joy and No Fun: Why parents hate parenting) and a more recent story on CNN.com (Does having children make you happy?) paint a gloomy picture regarding the impact children have on individual and relationship well-being.

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Cold Feet?

A few days ago I received a call from a CNN reporter. This particular reporter had interviewed me previously, and she thought I might be able to help her out with a story she was producing. What follows is an abbreviated transcript of our conversation:

CNN reporter: I’m doing a story on how women in relationships tend to be colder than men, and how that affects relationships. Do you do any research that speaks to that finding?

Me: (doing my best to stifle a chuckle) No, I don’t do any work that is remotely related to that topic, and to be perfectly honest, I question the generalization.

CNN reporter: Well, it’s mostly anecdotal, but there was a study on it.

Me: (now a bit intrigued) Oh, really, what study was that?

CNN reporter: Thanks anyway. <click>

After getting off the phone, I dug around a bit on the internet and found that there had been some recent stories about differences in cold sensitivity between men and women (see here for one example).

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