Wake in the News

What is making American parents so unhappy?

June 27, 2016   |  The Boston Globe

Children might bring joy, pride, and a considerable tax break – but they don’t necessarily bring happiness.

So says a soon-to-be-published study, which found that parents in a majority of the 22 industrialized countries claimed to be less happy than their non-parent counterparts. The largest discrepancy, however, was in the US, where parents reported being 12 percent less happy than those without children.

The report – which was co-authored by Robin Simon, a sociology professor at Wake Forest University – is slated to appear in the September issue of the American Journal of Sociology.

Madame Noire, Salon, News for the Blind, Laboratory Equipment, Times-Mail, Daily American, The Source, YubaNet.com, WRAL, The Oklahoman and Deseret News also covered this story.

News Center Media Report for June 11-24

June 27, 2016   |  WFU News & Communications

The WFU News Center Media Report for June 11-24 is now available online.

Peru’s gold rush prompts public-health emergency

June 13, 2016   |  Nature

Long-running concerns about the environmental effects of gold-mining in the Peruvian Amazon came to a head recently. Peru’s government declared a 60-day public-health emergency on 23 May in an attempt to address the problem of mercury pollution caused by unregulated gold-mining along the Madre de Dios River.

Since 2009, studies by tropical ecologist Luis Fernandez at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, have found high mercury levels in some species of fish, particularly large catfish and in fish that eat other fish.

Because of the growing concerns about mercury exposure, Fernandez is leading a project at Wake Forest University to study the metal’s effects on human and environmental health in the Amazon. As director of the Center for Amazonian Scientific Innovation at Wake Forest, Fernandez will lead a team of U.S. researchers – including Wake’s Center for Energy, Environment, and Sustainability Director Miles Silman, who will serve as the associate director for science and Michelle Klosterman, director of academic development and assessment in the Office of Global Affairs – who are collaborating with colleagues at the Peruvian Amazon Research Institute and the National Amazonian University of Madre de Dios.

Woodpecker pairs close ranks against loud interlopers

June 13, 2016   |  Scientific American

A science video highlights research from assistant professor of biology Matthew Fuxjager on downy woodpecker behavior that shows loudness and stamina are ways a woodpecker trumpets his dominant place in the pecking order.

Why are there so many art thefts, and what can be done about them?

June 13, 2016   |  Economiststalkart.org

This article is based on research co-authored by Fred Chen, associate professor of economics.

More than 50,000 pieces of artwork are stolen each year globally, and many cases of art crimes are facilitated by lax security at museums. How can economic theory account for these observations, and what kind of policies would help reduce the incidence of art thefts?

News articles about art thefts seem to appear just about every week. This should not be surprising: it has been estimated that more than 50,000 pieces of artwork are stolen each year around the world, and the black market for stolen art is valued at between $6 billion and $8 billion annually.

Why you are attracted to men like your dad

June 13, 2016   |  Yahoo!

Most of us are familiar with the Freudian Oedipus complex, but we might not be as familiar with the Electra complex, which is when women fall for men who are like their dads. You might not think you choose guys like your dad, but your mind has a way of falling back on the familiar.

Finally, a relationship expert has let us in on the reason women choose partners who are similar to their fathers both physically and personality-wise.

“A girl who has a secure, supportive, communicative relationship with her father is less likely to get pregnant as a teenager,” Linda Nielsen writes. Women with good father-daughter relationships are also less likely to suffer from a range of illnesses, including depression, anorexia, and body dysmorphia, she says.

News Center Media Report for May 28 - June 10

June 13, 2016   |  WFU News and Communications

The WFU News Center Media Report for May 28 – June 10 is now available online.

A transgender divinity student finds peace as a man

May 31, 2016   |  The Washington Post

Like other graduates of Wake Forest’s School of Divinity, Adam Plant walked onstage earlier this month to accept a diploma and a hug from Dean Gail O’Day.

Unlike them, his journey to the Master of Divinity degree took a significant detour. Three years ago when he began his studies, Adam was a North Carolina woman with a desire to plumb the intersection of faith and sexuality. By the time of the graduation ceremony, Plant had found acceptance and peace as a man.

An administrator at Wake Forest said the divinity school celebrates diverse gender and sexual identities and does not actively inquire about applicants’ gender identity. Duke has a similar statement.

John Senior, assistant teaching professor of ethics and society, said the need to think theologically about the pressing issues of the day pushed Wake Forest to require courses addressing religious pluralism, race and class, but also gender and sexuality.

Religion News Service and The Gazette also covered this story.

Why you're attracted to men like your dad

May 31, 2016   |  Yahoo! News

Most of us are familiar with the Freudian Oedipus complex, but we might not be as familiar with the Electra complex, which is when women fall for men who are like their dads. You might not think you choose guys like your dad, but your mind has a way of falling back on the familiar.

Women with supportive fathers are more likely to succeed romantically. Linda Nielsen, a professor of educational and adolescent psychology at Wake Forest University, affirms this on Family Studies.

“A girl who has a secure, supportive, communicative relationship with her father is less likely to get pregnant as a teenager,” Nielsen writes. Women with good father-daughter relationships are also less likely to suffer from a range of illnesses, including depression, anorexia, and body dysmorphia, she says.

Faith leaders question how to address gun violence in churches

May 31, 2016   |  The Oklahoman

Only 38 percent of white evangelical Protestants favor passing stricter gun control laws, compared to 67 percent of Catholics, 57 percent of white mainline Protestants and 60 percent of the religiously unaffiliated, according to a Public Religion Research Institute survey taken after the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The poll also found that 57 percent of white evangelical Protestants live in a household where at least one person owns a gun. One-in-three Catholics (31 percent) could say the same. Findings like the PRRI poll inform conversations about the link between religion and views on guns, but they can be misleading, said David Yamane, a sociologist of religion.

Many evangelicals are politically conservative and live in the south, factors that likely influence their views on gun control more than their faith. “Anytime we talk about religion generally, we misunderstand the situation. There’s a lot of nuance created by differences in religious beliefs, traditions and practices,” he said.

Daily American also covered this story.

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