Cell Phones & Traffic Fatalities

Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, recently encouraged his readers to struggle with the topic of cell phones and their role in making the roads a safer or more dangerous place for those traveling in motor vehicles. After mentioning "a powerful new documentary by Werner Herzog is making the rounds (presented by the phone companies), showing the consequences of accidents caused by phone-distracted driving," Cohen goes on to explore what the data really shows.  While I Read More …

The End of Marriage?

Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, recently wrote a thought provoking piece in the Atlantic about the decline in marriage.  The chart at right illustrates the marriage trend from 1940 to present with projections for the possible paths for the future.  If nothing changes, presuming the current rate of decline simply continues, marriage will reach 0 in 2042. So What? Cohen rightly notes that the continued rapid decline toward zero is unlikely.  He suggests the future Read More …

Religious Diversity in America

Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, recently blogged about religious diversity in the United States (US).  He rebuts the claim made by a Harvard professor that the US is “the world’s most religiously diverse nation.”  While religious diversity in the US has increased significantly in recent decades (from .53 in 1972 to .68 in 2010), the current level of diversity is less than that present in several other countries.  The World Values Survey finds the following nations as Read More …

The End of Mary

Philip N. Cohen, professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, recently wrote two posts (A and B) on his blog about the declining popularity of the name Mary.  To put the trend in perspective he offers these remarks: For the first time in the history of the United States of America, the name Mary is not in the top 100 given to newborn girls. Mary was the #1 name every year in the Social Security name database from 1880 — it’s first year — to 1961 (except for Read More …