March 21st, 2011
Wall Street Journal
By: Kay S. Hymowitz
Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This “pre-adulthood” has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it’s time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn’t bring out the best in men.
“We are sick of hooking up with guys,” writes the comedian Julie Klausner, author of a touchingly funny 2010 book, “I Don’t Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters and Other Guys I’ve Dated.” What Ms. Klausner means by “guys” is males who are not boys or men but something in between. “Guys talk about ‘Star Wars’ like it’s not a movie made for people half their age; a guy’s idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends…. They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.” One female reviewer of Ms. Kausner’s book wrote, “I had to stop several times while reading and think: Wait, did I date this same guy?”
For most of us, the cultural habitat of pre-adulthood no longer seems noteworthy. After all, popular culture has been crowded with pre-adults for almost two decades. Hollywood started the affair in the early 1990s with movies like “Singles,” “Reality Bites,” “Single White Female” and “Swingers.” Television soon deepened the relationship, giving us the agreeable company of Monica, Joey, Rachel and Ross; Jerry, Elaine, George and Kramer; Carrie, Miranda, et al.
But for all its familiarity, pre-adulthood represents a momentous sociological development. It’s no exaggeration to say that having large numbers of single young men and women living independently, while also having enough disposable income to avoid ever messing up their kitchens, is something entirely new in human experience. Yes, at other points in Western history young people have waited well into their 20s to marry, and yes, office girls and bachelor lawyers have been working and finding amusement in cities for more than a century. But their numbers and their money supply were always relatively small. Today’s pre-adults are a different matter. They are a major demographic event.
What also makes pre-adulthood something new is its radical reversal of the sexual hierarchy. Among pre-adults, women are the first sex. They graduate from college in greater numbers (among Americans ages 25 to 34, 34% of women now have a bachelor’s degree but just 27% of men), and they have higher GPAs. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive. These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace. In a number of cities, they are even out-earning their brothers and boyfriends.
Still, for these women, one key question won’t go away: Where have the good men gone? Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers—a gender gap neatly crystallized by the director Judd Apatow in his hit 2007 movie “Knocked Up.” The story’s hero is 23-year-old Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), who has a drunken fling with Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant. Ben lives in a Los Angeles crash pad with a group of grubby friends who spend their days playing videogames, smoking pot and unsuccessfully planning to launch a porn website. Allison, by contrast, is on her way up as a television reporter and lives in a neatly kept apartment with what appear to be clean sheets and towels. Once she decides to have the baby, she figures out what needs to be done and does it. Ben can only stumble his way toward being a responsible grownup.
August 24, 2009
By David Gutierrez
Adults who underwent chemotherapy as children are at a significantly higher risk of developing cancer as adults, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, Denmark, and published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Researchers examined the medical histories of 47,679 people from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden who had been diagnosed with cancer before the age of 20 between the years of 1943 and 2005. They found that those diagnosed with a childhood cancer ran three times the risk of developing cancer in adulthood as an adult of the same generation who had not had cancer as a child. This elevated risk held strong even into old age.
The generation most likely to develop second cancers was that diagnosed between 1975 and 2005, followed by those diagnosed between 1960 and 1975 or those diagnosed before 1970. Because the doses used in radiation treatment have steadily decreased over the years, while chemotherapy treatment has become steadily more aggressive, the researchers concluded that childhood chemotherapy is the most likely culprit for the increased risk of adult cancers.
“What we need now is two-fold: new treatment ideas to decrease the risk of later effects, and much better surveillance of childhood cancer survivors during adulthood,” lead researcher Jorgen Olsen said. “Cancer treatments don’t just increase the risk of other cancers, but can lead to all sorts of other problems — from cardiovascular to reproductive.”
Pediatric oncologist James Nicholson of Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge agreed that survivors of childhood cancers need to be carefully monitored for new cancers throughout their lifetimes.
“A study like this does raise awareness of the problem,” he said. “If it means alarm bells ring earlier when there are symptoms in people who were treated for cancer as a child that would be a very good thing.”