- Frontlines - Reich researches issues behind parental choice to not vaccinate children
Few healthcare topics are currently as hotly debated as vaccination choice. Fear and anger on both sides of the argument have fueled highly emotional public discourse and questions about changes in policy and regulation. Lately, the news is full of stories about outbreaks of vaccine-controlled infectious diseases like measles and whooping cough that, until recently, were all but eradicated in this country. Social media is buzzing with celebrity-driven anti-vaccination campaigns, as well as posts from scared and angry parents who don't want their kids exposed to unnecessary risks at school or in childcare. To some it may seem like this controversy cropped up overnight, but Sociology Associate Professor Jennifer Reich has been watching tension build for more than seven years, since she first began researching the parental choice to not follow vaccine recommendations for children. Her recent research published in Gender & Society, a top-ranked journal in the Gender Studies and Sociology fields, and in her forthcoming book, shows that unvaccinated or under-vaccinated children from higher income backgrounds generally have parents who intentionally choose to refuse or delay vaccinations out of a belief that they are protecting their children. These children are in stark contrast to other under-vaccinated children from families with lower incomes who tend to be under-vaccinated because they lack access to resources or consistent care.
- Frontlines - Where There is Harm in Teenage Sexting, Hasinoff's New Book Takes a Deeper Look
Smartphones are now ubiquitous among teens, and everyone has heard stories of the crises that ensue when private images go viral—disrupting and damaging young lives. Sexual shaming used to take place in hallways, locker rooms, and on bathroom walls, but now technology has raised the stakes, sending lawmakers, school administrators, and parents scrambling for ways to deal with the issue of "sexting." In the furor, some very simple (but sometimes uncomfortable) truths get lost.
- Frontlines - Student Leadership Group Seeks to Transform Personal and Cultural Views About Body Image
If there could be any doubt that concerns over standards of exterior beauty remain an issue on the minds of Americans consider this: last year, the Today show and Aol.com conducted an online survey that discovered more than 60% of adult women worry more about their physical appearance than about health, finances, professional success, family, or relationships (with men not far behind). According to the National Eating Disorders Association, more than 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from eating disorders in this country alone. As many as 78% of teenage girls report being unhappy with their bodies and even 40–60% of girls in elementary school are worried about their bodies.