Study: Loneliness Transmittable Disease

Sorry for the depressing news, but I know that parenthood can sometimes be isolating so I thought this news item was important. As it turns out, loneliness is a transmittable illness like a cold, according to a study covered by the Washington Post.

Check it out:

The federally funded analysis of data collected from more than 4,000 people over 10 years found that lonely people increase the chances that someone they know will start to feel alone, and that the solitary feeling can spread one more degree of separation, causing a friend of a friend or even the sibling of a friend to feel desolate….

Moreover, people who become lonely eventually move to the periphery of their social networks, becoming increasingly isolated, which can exacerbate their loneliness and affect social connectedness, the researchers found….

The seemingly paradoxical finding is far more than a psychological curiosity. Loneliness has been linked to a variety of medical problems, including depression, sleep problems and generally poorer physical health. Identifying some of the causes could help reduce the emotion and improve health, experts said.

Of course, my husband the introvert would disagree. He would be totally content on his own island or ranch in the middle of nowhere. Then again, I am around to bug him and keep him from getting lonely. :)

What do you think of this study? Interesting, huh?


Why Don’t Men Vote?

Despite all the media hoopla surrounding this year’s presidential election, voting is actually down from the ’60s especially among men, according to Newsweek. The magazine laid out the reasons for the disparity in voting patterns between men and women:

Isolation: Men are less likely than women to attend church, consume news, trust authority and believe that people are generally good, according to the University of Michigan’s General Social Survey, a biannual tracking of attitudes and behaviors. “I’m basically an outsider,” says Chris Cox, 32, a systems administrator from Omaha. Voting, he explains, is like choosing “between a douche bag and a turd sandwich.”

Education: Higher education is the top predictor of voting, and increasingly men aren’t as schooled as women. In recent decades, male enrollment has dropped below that of women at the undergraduate level.

Crime: Of the 5.3 million convicted felons barred from voting in this country, more than 80 percent are men. That number has steadily swelled since the 1980s, says UC-San Diego political scientist Samuel Popkin, who explains the male voting problem simply: “Men go to jail.”

Culture: It’s a guy thing–but mostly a single-guy thing. Married men are not only more likely to vote than their bachelor counterparts, but according to gender sociologist Michael Kimmel, they are frequently swayed by their wives about who gets their votes. Wise decision.