Mom is usually the one who tells the kids where they came from

Despite decades of feminism and co-parenting and men grappling with diaper changes and night feedings, moms are often by default or tradition the ones who end up having the sex talk, wrote the Toronto Star Feb. 19. Often it’s because they are the parent who spends the most time with the children.

“Often if there is a woman in the household, she takes over that part of the parenting,” says Andrea O’Reilly, a professor in York’s School of Women’s Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and founder & director of the Association for Research on Mothering.

Women are typically the family CEO, in charge of remembering who got which shots and setting up play dates. Having “the talk” falls into that realm. “The talk is part of a larger paradigm of gender. Until we dislodge that, women will probably be the ones to have ‘the talk’. I try to de-gender caregiving, but it’s a hard sell,” O’Reilly says.

She believes "the talk" is declining in importance in any case. “We live in such a sex-saturated culture. Kids know about sex long before children 10, 20, 30 years ago did,” she says.

Children want information about sex, according to a study of 1,200 Toronto teens released last summer. The Toronto Teen Survey found 28 per cent of teens weren getting information about sex from their parents and 53 per cent were getting it from their friends.

Parents might feel they lack the skills or even the stomach for a discussion about sex with their children, says Sarah Flicker, a professor in York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies and principal researcher on the Toronto Teen Survey. “Not all parents feel comfortable telling children where a clitoris is, but you could talk about what makes a healthy relationship.”

York prof sounds cautionary note on new drug for premature ejaculation

A new pill treating premature ejaculation (PE) is already available in Europe and may soon be brought before the Food & Drug Administration for approval in the US, wrote the New York Daily News Feb. 18 in a story about a report in Men’s Health magazine.

While the drug could be a big confidence booster for guys suffering from erectile dysfunction, some researchers worry that a broad advertising campaign for the drug could incite fear in men who don’t have a medical problem.

“There are tons of men out there who think they should be doing better and who will buy into a PE campaign,” Dr. Joel Lexchin, a professor in York’s School of Health Policy & Management in the Faculty of Health, told Men’s Health. “It could implicitly or explicitly define what PE means so that any man could identify with the condition.”

Micro-financing gives businesses in troubled community a chance

On Tuesday, history was created in the Jane and Finch area, as enthusiastic fashion designer Cleoni Crawford, the first $5,000 recipient of the new Black Creek MicroCredit Program, praised the visionaries for making it possible for her to build the neighbourhood, one business at a time, wrote The Caribbean Camera Feb. 18.

“It’s a community coming together to build up their community,” said Brenda Spotton Visano, a professor in York’s School of Public Policy & Administration and the Department of Economics in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies.

The Black Creek MicroCredit program is a collaboration between York University, residents and agencies including the Youth Enterprise Network, in the Black Creek community, the ACCESS Community Capital Fund and Alterna Savings.

Spotton Visano leads a team of York students who have spent three years doing research to support development of the program. The team researched what has prevented individuals from establishing their own businesses, the type of support they need, and how to design a loan program to yield maximum benefit to the community.

Study looks at business-ethics culture in Israel

A recent research paper by an internationally known expert on business ethics, Mark Schwartz, a professor in York’s School of Administrative Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, attempts to compare the business-ethics culture in Israel to that found in other countries, wrote Asher Meir in The Jerusalem Post Feb. 19.

The unpublished study, titled “The State of Business Ethics in Israel: A ‘Light Unto the Nations’?” combines a review of past research and new interviews with Israeli business leaders.

To someone who has been following the local ethics scene for some time, it is evident reading the paper that Israel has made great strides in ethical standards. Just a generation ago Israel was a backward nation in many of the areas mentioned in the paper. For example, nepotism, concern for customers, corruption and curbing sexual harassment. Today Israel is on a respectable international level in these areas, although there is certainly room for improvement.

Glendon instructor to speak at anti-proroguing group meeting

Marco Fonseca (BA Hons. ’93, MA ’95, PhD ’00), a professor in York’s International Studies Department at Glendon, will address the erosion of Canadian democratic institutions at a meeting of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament, wrote the Aurora Era-Banner Feb. 18.

The group will hold its first public meeting Feb. 25 at 7pm at Trinity Anglican Church, 79 Victoria St. in Aurora to educate and inspire local voters.

“This is a very dangerous development and people who have a shred of care about the democratic well-being of their country should do something about this critical situation,” Fonseca said.

Growing up in Guatemala City in a dictatorship shaped Fonseca’s political outlook. Before immigrating to Canada in 1985, he studied in the school of history at the University of San Carlos of Guatemala.

He earned his PhD in social & political thought from York University and has focused his study on the theory and practice of civil societies in the Western Hemisphere, including Canada, as part of his teaching at Glendon College.

Comedian appears weekly at Blueberry Hill

Mark DeBonis, a relative newcomer to standup comedy, has blazed his own trail in his two years on stage, wrote Feb. 18 in a story about an upcoming appearance at the Cannington Dog Sled Races and Winter Festival. A veteran of shows in the Toronto area – including a weekly stint at York University [Blueberry Hill café] – the Scarborough native has headlined sold-out shows at the Rivioli and Second City Toronto.

Orillia is a musical inspiration to Cranney

Recently releasing his first album, independent musician Darrin Cranney (BA Spec. Hons. ‘97) made sure to use his talent to honour his roots, wrote the Orillia Packet & Times Feb. 19 in a story about the York grad.

Cranney honoured his hometown with the song Reckoning, which was released in 2009 as part of his album Echoes of Voices.

Cranney followed his dad’s lead, playing drums in various school bands during high school. He received his bachelor of arts in music from York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts and worked as a sideman with several bands in the Toronto area.

First Nations math prof taught at York

Mathematics Professor Edward Doolittle took part in a pipe ceremony Thursday at Saskatchewan’s First Nations University of Canada, wrote Canwest News Feb. 19 in a story about high-level negotiations underway to salvage the institution.

Doolittle, a Mohawk from the Six Nations reserve in southern Ontario, said he’s the only First Nations mathematician in Canada. He has taught at York University, the University of Toronto, Queen’s University and the University of Regina.