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Is dating officially dead for millennials? Let's take a look at the numbers.

New York magazine's "The Science of Us" gets to the bottom of that whole "hook-up culture" thing.

Is dating officially dead for millennials? Let's take a look at the numbers.
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A&E Dogs of War

Did you hear? Dating is dead.

No, really. It's been officially declared dead millions of times (according to Google).

And after reading some of these declarations, published in outlets like Vanity Fair and the New York Post, you might be tempted to agree.


Mom always told me you can't swipe your way to a husband! But what does she know? GIF via Henning Wiechers/YouTube.

People like to blame the demise of "real romance" on this thing called "hook-up culture" — you know, lots of sexy time with no strings attached.

There are just so many possibilities out there for instant hook-up gratification: Tinder, OKCupid, Grindr, Hinge ... and probably hundreds of other sites and phone apps.

Seems like everybody's doin' it. So New York magazine decided to investigate. They made a video that takes a closer look at the phenomenon.

At first, it seems like it might be true: We're getting married later, which means many of us are having more lifetime sexual partners than before.

Look at that graph go! GIF via New York magazine/YouTube.

But the folks at NYMag drilled below that trend to get down and dirty with the facts. And guess what they found? Hook-up culture — kind of a myth.

The General Social Survey (GSS) has been used since 1972 to track the experiences and attitudes of Americans every year. And based on their stats, it turns out that...

...millennials are actually less promiscuous than folks used to be.

No, really. I'm not kidding. GIF via "Community."

So if the data shows that technology didn't make us into a society full of bunny rabbits, why do people keep saying it?

Drumroll, please:

1. We tend to look at the past with rose-colored glasses.

Sort of like how every generation loves to talk about "the good old days." (You know, when everyone only had deeply emotionally connected sexual encounters. Erm, no.) The official term for this phenomenon is "rosy retrospection."

2. Young folks assume (incorrectly) that everyone is doing it, probably a lot more than them.

Listen, I've been there. Between overhearing all the late-night gossip about who's hooking up with whom to watching "Undressed" marathons on MTV, I thought college was all sex all the time for everyone who was not me. Buying into this idea creates a vicious cycle where even more people think that everyone is hooking up, and the myth continues.

3. The people who aren't the norm — like those outliers who have a whole lot of sex — get a lot more attention in the media.

Think about it: How boring would it be to read about Average Annie's sex life (or lack thereof?). That wouldn't exactly rake in the clicks. That's why articles like the one in Vanity Fair spread so quickly: It's more interesting to read about the Wall Street bro bragging about having four hookups in a night than the single Jersey girl swiping alone on the couch with her bunny.

Just a wild guess.

Yep. Turns out that the phrase "hook-up culture" is probably getting a lot more play than millennials actually are.

Still not convinced? Watch the video below.

Canva

Prior to European colonization of North America, millions of bison roamed the Great Plains. By the turn of the 20th century, those numbers had dropped to less than 1,000. The deliberate decimation of buffalo herds was a direct attack on the Native American people, who colonizers saw as an obstacle to their "Manifest Destiny," and who the U.S. government engaged in a systematic attempt to eliminate or force into docile submission.

For thousands of years, bison were a sacred, inseparable part of life for Indigenous tribes of the Great Plains, used for food, shelter, utensils, and clothing, in addition to spiritual and emotional well-being. Wiping out the bison population nearly wiped out the Native tribes they were connected to.

Though bison numbers have increased significantly thanks to conservation efforts, governments are still grappling with the ugly legacy, and some municipalities are taking steps to try to repair some of the damage done. As one example, the city of Denver, Colorado has taken the step of giving some of the city's bison population managed by Denver Parks and Recreation to Native American tribes engaged in bison conservation efforts.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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