Posted by: Anne E. Stuart | October 19, 2012

Friday Five – October 19, 2012

Six weeks into the semester, and I think the recurring theme is BUSY.

I’m happy to report that last week’s conference presentations went very well. Both talks seemed to be well received by the audiences, and I enjoyed learning additional strategies for teaching methods and statistics.

I thought I was off to a great start this week with the post. On Monday, I had the first link picked out and my summary written. Then other stuff got higher priority on the to-do list.

Here are this week’s links:

Medical News Today – October 13, 2012

The Marshmallow Study is a classic study in psychology that tested the delay of self-gratification in children. Would children give in for one marshmallow immediately, or would they wait it out and get two marshmallows after some time? From this study and others, Walter Mischel and his colleagues determined that willpower and delay of gratification were personality characteristics. The current research shows that situational factors may also influence the outcome. (Amanda Gardner) – October 15, 2012

As a sexuality educator, I am glad this research is finally coming out. When the vaccine for HPV (Human Papillomavius – the virus that causes genital warts and cancers) was first released, many critics cried that vaccinating girls against HPV would simply encourage them to have more sex. As most health educators knew, the research shows that this is not the case.

Psychology Today: The Real Story of Risk (Glenn Croston) – October 15, 2012

It’s not only the most recent research that bloggers find interesting. Sometimes, they dive back into the research from years ago. In this case, Glenn Croston uses a Health Psychology study by Blanton and Gerrard (1997) to explain why we take risks.

 There were two reasons I quickly selected this link on Monday. (Yup, I actually started the Blog file and wrote this blurb on Monday!) First, it was interesting. Second, Hart Blanton was my Ph.D. advisor and I had just been talking about him with one of my Seniors.

National Geographic (D.T. Max) – May 2010

Despite the date of publication, this link was just retweeted by Psychology Today this week. I chose this link because my PSY101 students just started the chapter on Consciousness, and sleep is a big topic of this chapter.

PsyPost (Scripps Research Institute) – October 16, 2012

Although they are using rat models in their study, researchers found links between early patterns of drinking behavior and later problem drinking behavior. I think my students should take note of this link for a couple of reasons. First, now that we’ve covered neurotransmitters, they should understand the discussion of GABA at the end of the report. Second, students should be aware that much of their “normal” drinking behaviors actually fit the definition of binge drinking. (The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Addiction defines binge drinking as a pattern of drinking that brings a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) to 0.08 grams percent or above. This typically happens when men consume 5 or more drinks, and when women consume 4 or more drinks, in about 2 hours.)

And for additional resources for my Human Sexuality students (well, all my students, really), I recommend checking out this role call of other sex educators you should follow on Twitter. The list was compiled by My Sex Professor author and blogger Dr. Debby Herbenick. I’ve already added those individuals I wasn’t already following.


  1. The two articles that I decided to read were “The Secrets of Sleep”and “HPV shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls-Study”.

    It is really unfortunate for families that have to deal with FFI. I could not imagine how hard stressful it is. Sleep is so natural, it is hard to think about some people who have this type of insomnia and cant sleep at all. Not having enough sleep effects us in big ways. 20% of car accidens are due to driver sleepiness. It effects work productivity, relationships, and happiness. Sleep is important.

    I can understand some parents concern with gaving their daughters get the HPV vaccine. Alot of girls are engaging in sexual activity and get pregnant at younger and younger ages.Getting this vaccine shouldn’t encourage anything, as long as they know that it is to prevent them from getting cervical cancer.

  2. •HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls – Study
    I think it is irresponsible for a parent not to let a child get a much needed vaccination. Now that it is proven that it does not encourage sexual activity, I think all girls should get the shot. It is extremly important because it can help prevent cervical cancer.

    •Sex and the Single Primate
    I completley agree how most men will take huge risks for a pretty face. Those risks will expecially be taken if alcohol is involved. It is very hard for us as humans to think crtically and not think with our feelings. Thinking with our feelings can come back to haunt us. A perfect example are STDs.

  3. The “HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls – Study” was interesting read. I’ve heard that when girls get the HPV vaccine, there are numerous amounts of side effects. Increase in sexual activity was one of them. However, after reading this article, I am now more aware of what the HPV vaccine really does.

    The second article I read “The Secrets of Sleep” was also an interesting read. The facts about the FFI diease caught my eye. Such as people that have FFI do not live for long afterwards.

  4. The first article I read was “HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls.” I would never think that getting this vaccine would lead up to people wanting to have sex. It’s not like its Depo which is a birth control shot. Some girls who don’t have sex have to take it for their menstrual cycle and I would believe that they would be more prone to considering sex than girls that get the HPV shot. I think the shot is just prevention and girls should want to get it and not think about having sex.

    The next article I read was “Sex and the Single Primate.” I do feel like people think pretty or handsome people don’t have an STD. Some people think that in order to have a disease, you need to have bumps on your face or something that shows you have a disease. This is far from true. People can be really pretty or really handsome and have something. I also think that people take a lot of risks when it comes to having sex. When they are in the moment they would do anything to get it and they wouldn’t even think about an STD.

  5. I read “HPV: Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls: Study” and “Sex and the Single Primate”.

    I actually agree with the first article. I say that because when I received the vaccine I was sexually active and it didn’t change anything about me. Also, I feel like girls that receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12 aren’t having sex so the vaccine shouldn’t have affected sexual activity.

    With the second article I don’t really agree with it too much. To me, sex isn’t everything about a person. I find it pretty sad that some put the thought of STDs and other things to the side when they see an attractive person. It’s almost as if they don’t value their health and well-being.

  6. The articles I read were : “Secrets of Sleep” and “Revisiting The Marshmallow Study”

    In “Secrets of Sleep” it started off by talking about a Female Army Sergeant and her sleeping patters. This woman carried an insomnia gene which made her fight the urge to sleep. Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) is the specific name of this disorder. I learned that even after years of research they still know so little about this dease. They do know that the thalamus is attacked by prions and that this damage causes the sleeping trouble. Then they went on to say how another reason why we can not sleep is because we don’ comprehend why we have to sleep. Some have trouble sleeping because of “Rapid Eye Movement” . This is when you fall asleep with your eyes even slightly open.

    • “Revisiting the Marshmallow Study” was a study on childrens self control. The whole test was to put a marshmallow infront of a preschool aged child and test to see if they woud eat the marshmallow or wait so they could eat two later. Children who rely on getting the second marshmallow can wait up to four times longer then children who are new and don’t know what to expect. Out of 14 children only one waited the ful 15 minutes. I feel this has a lot to do with the attention span of these children.

  7. The two articles I choose to do were “The Secrets of Sleep” and “Sex and the Single Primate.”

    I never knew how important sleep was until after reading this article. Sleep is very important to me and my everyday life. I couldn’t image my life without sleep I probably would be one grumpy and unaware person. Sleep plays as a huge component in our everyday life’s. Just image the amount of car accident we would have if we didn’t sleep. Or how many plan crashes if the pilot didn’t get his or her eight hours of sleep. Just thinking about that scares me.

    The second article made was very true and I very much agree with. The fact that many men and women have the perception that if your pretty or handsome that you don’t have a STD or any type of disease because of your physical appearance. The fact that you have to bumps all over your face or a missing are or leg you have to have a disease is totally wrong in so many ways. I take it as if your gonna have sex with anyone just be sure to practice safe sex, because you will never know what someone has unless they get tested.

  8. The two articles that I have selected were “Sex and the Single Primate” and “HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls: Study.”

    The first article about sex was very interesting because I understand what the article is trying to prove. Its trying to show that men classify women mainly by their looks. For example, how men seen attractive women with a lesser chance of having an STD. I think that is a problem because if most men think that way then a lot of harm can be caused. At the end of the day safe sex is the best sex.

    For the second article I gained some knowledge about females. The HPV shot should not encourage women to engage in sexual activity. What it does at the end of the situation is actually protect the girls from getting cervical cancer. So I would say that every girl should receive this shot for the benefit of a safer life.

  9. The first article I read “The Secrets of Sleep” was an interesting article. FFI diease was interesting to know about. Now that people with FFI doesnt live as long as others.

    The second article “Sex and the single primate” seems to be very true. Men and women are to worried about how cute they are now in days and think there to cute to get check ups to see if they have an STD. Just because it looks good doesnt mean it is good.

  10. The first article I read was “Sex and the Single Primate”. This article was interesting because it showed how we follow our feelings more than our intellect. This resulting in how we determine to take a risk. It proved that sex made changed how we took a risk because we get rewarded.

    The second article I read was “Revisiting The Marshmallow Study”. This article revisited the marshmallow study on impulsivity in children. The child had to decide whether they wanted the one marshmallow now, or wait for the woman to get another marshmallow (she didn’t specify for how long she would be gone). So they made the child wait and see how long it took them to wait to be rewarded with the second marshmallow. They believe impulsivity is a characteristic that children are born with. They put them in a reliable and unreliable condition to see if they could rely on getting the second marshmallow.

  11. The first article I read involved an Army sergeant suffering from FFI, fatal familial insomnia. It was questioned whether or not those who suffer from FFi will literally die from lack of sleep? I find that a possibility because our bodies need to rest in order to function properly. I did not know that 50-75 million Americans suffer from sleeping problems, I thought it would have been less than that. I do believe, however, the government is spending too much money on sleeplessness investigations.

    The second article I read studied that HPV does not encourge sexual activity in girls. The study followed 11-12 year old girls in 2006 and 2007 up to the end of 2010. “There was no significant difference in infection with the sexually transmitted disease chlamydia, pregnancy or counseling for birth control between the two groups, suggesting that receiving the HPV vaccine did not change sexual behavior.” I believe young girls are exposed to way too much that would initiate this sexual behavior. The media that has been introduced, especially at young ages, pressure them into being someone they are not. It is important for young girls to recognize that they should not engage in sexual activity because it is not what the “cool” thing is to do

  12. I read “Sex and the Single Primate”. This article was very interesting and very true. It said that we react and act based on what our feelings say. They also say there are certain alarms that help us to prevent doing certain things. It states that sex changes all of that. We tend to do things that we wouldnt normally do. This seems true because people tend to say they did certain sexual things because they were “in the moment”. This shows that sexual feelings override other feelings and shows how strong our sexual feelings really are.

    The second article I read was “The Secrets of Sleep”. It dealt with people that have FFI. It must be awful to have FFI. Sleep is so good. I cant imagine having FFI. Everyone needs sleep in order to function. It would be extremely hard to function with FFI. Sleep is needed for our body to recuperate and heal. Without it we could get sick easier while also having more aches and pains in our body.

  13. The two articles I chose to read were “Sex and the Single Primate”, and “Secrets of Sleep”.

    The article about the secrets of sleep was particularly interesting. The fact that some of the most important bodily functions and processes occur when we our unaware is amazing. It almost seems as if our mind process more than it does asleep than it does when we are awake. I was surprised that the disease of Fatal Familial Insomnia is incurable. The fact that one can be so deprived of sleep that it can kill is terrifying. However, the funny thing is, kids see it as a competition of who can go the longest without sleep. This dangerous activity is simply mocking serious diseases of sleep. It is simply that children and others are unaware of the secrets of the human brain and sleep.

    The article titled “Sex and the Single Primate”, was very interesting. It was surprising to learn that the urges of the human body cause one to disband the idea of STD’s. The fact that diseases as serious as AIDS and HIV can easily be ignored by the brain is scary. I found it interesting that no matter how many times one can be warned of diseases of sex, their brain will dismiss the warning due to the urge. The urge proves to serve as a higher power than common sense and safety. The fact that we are more vulnerable than we once believed is eye-opening. Hopefully, we will develop the process of overriding our own brain in order to protect ourselves when participating in sex.

  14. HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls: Study:
    This was a very educational read for me because I was not even aware that this shot existed, let alone the fears that surround it. I can understand the logic of parents who might be concerned that their daughter/s might engage in sexual activity more frequently after the shot but these findings are very important. In dispelling this theory young women who were once unable to get this vaccine because of their parents can now receive the shot that is important in keeping them healthy!

    Sex and the Single Primate:
    I really enjoyed reading this article! I found myself agreeing with everything that was said. Looking at the fact that humans seem to be governed by their feelings more often than not is a very interesting topic. The study that was conducted which revealed that men judge less attractive women more harshly in regards to contracting STDs off of them when compared to “pretty faces” was not surprising. Men tend to give into their sexualneeds and wants when a pretty woman is concered more often, than when someone he judges as unattractive is involed. This is evident in everyday life. I also found the examples used of the power of sex to drive risk taking in nature very interesting! It goes to show that some aspects of humans are not to different than those found in animals.

  15. The first article I read was, “Sex and the Single Primate.” The article was a good read as it got into the minds of what men are able to disregard when they see a pretty face. Ignoring STD’s because of the brain’s urges makes you question how much control you actually have over your body. Just goes to show no matter how intelligent we are, our feeling always have the power to override our thoughts.

    The second article I read was, “Secrets of Sleep.” It was interesting to figure out that many valuable processes in the body occur without us even knowing. Learning about FFI is especially disturbing as college students, since sleep doesn’t always find it’s way in the schedule. It just emphasizes the point of getting a reasonable amount of sleep every night. You take sleep for granted when you are younger. but hopefully as awareness of FFI grows, kids and teenagers will become more conscious of their sleeping habits.

  16. The two articles I read were “HPV shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual Activity in Girls-Study” and “Sex and the Single Primate.”

    The article about the HPV shot caught my eye because I had gotten that shot before. When it talked about how parents thought if their daughter got then they would engage in more sexual activity I didn’t really believe it. I don’t think thats how most girls brains work and mine definitely doesn’t work that way. It is a very important shot for girls to get because it prevents a lot of dangerous cancers and other things. For moms to not let their child get it because of them over thinking about sexual activity is crazy. I personally think that all girls should get this shot and its only beneficial.

    The second article I read was about sex and the single primate. I think that men are crazy just because they see a pretty face they completely forget about all of the STD’s that women can carry. Its true that our feelings do get the best of us because a guy is willing to get an STD just to have sex with a good looking girl. I agree that we tend to act more on feelings than any thing else. I do think that when there is a risk like a life long STD then people should think twice.

  17. I’m definitely a single marshmallow guy.

    • Why am I not surprised by this?

      • Although I suppose an argument could be made for several multi-marshmallow traits.

  18. The first article I read was “HPV Shot Doesn’t Encourage Sexual activity in girls:study.” I thought this article is correct. I believe all girls should take the HPV shot around the ages 11 and 12. More and more girls are becoming sexually active at a young age and they should take the HPV shot to prevent cervical cancer. Even if girls are not sexually active just yet, it is still a good idea for parents to get the shot for their children’s health and safety overall.
    The second article I read was “Secrets of Sleep” and I thought it was interesting. Even though Professor Stuart had taught the class about REM sleep and how people’s brains are still functioning while sleeping, the article gave more facts as well. It is impressive on how our bran works while sleeping and how children and even some scientists don’t understand the brain fully.

  19. The first article I read was “HPV shot doesn’t Encourage sexual activity in girls” I think that every teenage girl should get this shot.. Anything that can prevent any kind of cancer should be considered… Plus there are evidence that show that taking the shot is more positive than negative.

    The second article I read was “revisiting the marshmallow study” ok my remarks on this is I think everyone would opt to take one marshmallow than to wait to get two marshmallows later. There is something about marshmallow that makes them irresistible and you just have to eat one/them when you see it/them.

  20. The two articles I read were “sex and the single primate” and “Secrets of sleep”.

    The first article Sex and the single primate was very interesting.It mentioned that the prettier face, the less we think of risks, which is probably true. I also found that “if our feelings tell us we want something bad enough, we will go for it” which is ironically true, which causes people to look past clear risks.

    The second article I read was “secrets of sleep”. I found that during sleep is when our body is asleep the brain tends to weed out the redundant or unnecessary synapses. I also found that the experiments with the rats was very clever and interesting, how after two weeks all the rats were dead but they had no organ damage or anything. This was very interesting to me.

  21. The first article I read was “Sex and the single primate”. i thoght it was a very interesting due to the fact that if you think that the face will make the risks go down then you honestly have something wrong with you. I say that because people may have a pretty face but, if you do anything with them then that will not have anything to do with that. Ialso think that people need to think twice before they have sex with another person just because they are pretty they just need to think twice both men and women.

    The second article that i read was “Secrets of Sleep” i thought it was a very good article because i agreed with all of the facts that the author put in it. When we are asleep our body is asleep but the mind is wondering all over the place with what you did that day the past week and what your going to be doing the next day.

  22. Revisiting The Marshmallow Study was a very interesting article for me to read. I work with children between the ages of 5 and 13 and it makes me wonder how the younger children will do in this study compared to the older children. the older children might do better but studies are surprising.I found it weird how the childs enviroment has an affect on their reaction time. i would ike to see the study done on children of the same enviroment and see how they compare to eachother.

    The second artile that i read was Secerts of sleep. I never thought about sleep how the article explained it. i just knew that if i dont get sleep its almost impossible for me to function correctly. its scary knowing that there are so many disorders that are linked to sleep and there is no way around them. Sleep has always been a mystery to alot of people and will continue to be one to me.

  23. […] in future weeks). If you are looking for examples of what are less formulaic responses, go back to last week’s comments and look at the comments by Andrew Sheehan and Angie Rassais. Don’t be afraid to break from the […]


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