Celebrate Independence Day 2016 with NPT

Capitol Fourth Capitol Night 2016

A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert, anchors NPT’s holiday programming again this year with a live broadcast on July 4. But getting an early start to the Fourth of July holiday is practically a summer tradition, so NPT’s Independence Day programming kicks off June 30.

Here’s a complete rundown of festive or patriotic-themed programming airing on NPT over the next couple of weeks as we celebrate our country’s 240th birthday.

Thursday, June 30, at 8 p.m. NPT’s original production Nashville WWII Stories chronicles the experiences of Middle Tennessee’s World War II veterans and the wartime contributions of those on those home front.

Thursday, June 30, at 9:30 p.m. This spring NPT hosted a town hall event for veterans and civilians as part of the Veterans Coming Home public media initiative. Bridging the Civilian/Military Divide, the broadcast version of that discussion, explores ways to recognize veterans and military families for their service while moving beyond stereotypes.

Monday, July 4, at 7 p.m. A Capitol Fourth will be broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol with an encore presentation immediately afterward at 8:30 p.m. This year’s concert features Middle Tennessee resident and Olympic figure skating legend Scott Hamilton leading a special salute to the 2016 U.S. Summer Olympic and Paralympic teams, along with host Tom Bergeron and guests Smokey Robinson; Kenny Loggins; retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell; Gavin DeGraw; Amber Riley; Cassadee Pope; Alisan Porter; Jackie Evancho; Yolanda Adams; Sutton Foster; the cast of Broadway musical On Your Feet!; and Christopher Jackson (George Washington) of Broadway smash Hamilton.

Monday, July 4, at 11 p.m. The holiday would not be complete without a showing of 3,2,1 Fireworks, a behind-the-scenes look at pyrotechnics and the Washington, D.C., fireworks show.

Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. The White House: The Inside Story is coda to the Independence Day holiday and precursor to PBS’ prime-time coverage of this year’s political conventions. With unprecedented access, this two-hour tour of the fabled residence includes interviews with President Obama and former President Jimmy Carter; comments by Michelle Obama and three former first ladies; and insight from White House staff.

Find our full programming lineup at http://www.wnpt.org/schedule/.

NPT’s ‘Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s & Dementia’ Premieres June 27

Am Alzheimers Mantle TW

An estimated 5 million people in the U.S. are living with some form of dementia. Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, the seventh documentary in Nashville Public Television’s NPT Reports: Aging Matters series, examines the impact these diseases are having on individuals, families and communities.

Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia premieres Monday, June 27, 2016 at 9 p.m. on NPT. The documentary highlights personal stories of people who are living with dementia and includes comments from their care partners and insight from leading experts in dementia. The documentary also examines the heavy burden of the costs associated with the disease ‒ whether financial, physical or psychological ‒ and looks at innovative ways of meeting the challenges of dementia care.

Aging Matters Alz eventA packed and rapt audience watched an advance screening of the documentary recently at FiftyForward Knowles and then participated in a discussion featuring panelists Quiteka “Teka” Moten, manager of programs and education, Alzheimer’s Association; Sally Wood, who has a family history of Alzheimer’s disease and is currently living with mild cognitive impairment (MCI); Dr. William Petrie, director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s outpatient geriatric psychiatry clinic; and John Mansfield, whose late mother attended FiftyForward’s Adult Day Services. Though many poignant and sobering points came up, there were also moments of humor and examples of resilience.

Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia was produced by Mary Makley and is her third documentary in the series. Makley previously produced Aging Matters: The New Old Age, and Aging Matters: End of Life. Makley was also executive producer and producer of NPT’s award-winning Children’s Health Crisis documentary series.

The NPT Reports: Aging Matters series is hosted by Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Kathy Mattea. Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia is made possible by the generous support of Cigna-HealthSpring, The West End Home Foundation, The HCA Foundation and the Jeanette Travis Foundation. Additional support provided by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Jackson National Life Insurance Company.

Additional broadcast times for Aging Matters: Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia are below; the documentary will also be available for online viewing on our website, wnpt.org.

  • Wednesday, June 29, at 9 a.m. on NPT2
  • Friday, July 8, at 9 p.m. on NPT
  • Thursday, June 30, at 2 p.m. on NPT2
  • Thursday, July 14, at 11 p.m. on NPT
  • Saturday, July 23, at 9 p.m. on NPT2
  • Sunday, July 24, at 5 p.m. on NPT2

About Aging Matters:
NPT Reports: Aging Matters is a major initiative designed to open a community-based conversation about what older citizens in Middle Tennessee need to optimize their quality of life and what the community needs to do to prepare for a coming explosion in our aging population. Over the course of several years, NPT has focused on issues such as caregiving, finances, end-of-life issues, dementia and Alzheimer’s through documentaries, televised town halls or panel discussions, Aging Matters updates, community engagement conversations, a project website, interactive online screenings and DVD distribution.

‘Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi’ Dances into Music City Sunday, June 26

Mickela Mallozzi Nashville photo by Christin Sites

Mickela Mallozzi dances with Champion Buck Dancer Thomas Maupin, and his Champion Banjo Player grandson, Daniel Rothwell. Photo by Christin Sites

By Jessica Turk
Assistant Program Manager, NPT

Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi is a 30-minute travel TV series highlighting traditional dance and music culture from around the globe. Emmy® Award-winning host and producer, Mickela Mallozzi, began the series as a way to combine her two passions in life: travel & dance. From rediscovering her family’s roots in Southern Italy to dancing the tango on the main stage in Buenos Aires, the series covers Mickela’s adventures as she takes her camera around the world to follow dance in the lives of everyday people around the world.

Tune in Sunday, June 26, at 1:30 p.m., when Mickela turns her travel lens on her adopted home of Nashville. You’ll see familiar sights and discover hidden gems here in Music City as Mickela tries everything from line dancing, to modern ballet, to old-time buck dancing.

NPT is the presenting station for Bare Feet, so over this past year I’ve worked with Mickela on distributing her show to public television stations across the country through American Public Television. The series has come a long way since 2008 when Mickela began her journey to bring it to television. In the early days, she filmed the shows with a selfie stick or asked bystanders to film her as she danced in the street.

I sat down with Mickela recently to discuss the roots, success, and future of the series over lunch at Sunflower Café on a day marvelously devoid of summer heat.

A professional dancer and trained musician, Mickela said she loves to dance and the exuberance that comes through onscreen is her natural self. “I love to dance. It’s all genuine; it’s not fake. I think from the feedback I get from viewers, they feel like they’re with me,” she said. “Whether the camera was there or not I would still be doing it.”

Mickela said bringing the show to NPT and other public television stations was also a natural fit. “I ended up exactly where I wanted the show to be and where I believe it was always meant to be. For an audience that values not just interesting cultural content but things that are fun, too,” she said.

Though she would be the first to tell you she’s made many mistakes along the way, Mickela also said she’s learning all the time. “I’ve been blessed in the sense [that] I’ve also surrounded myself with people that know what they are doing,” she said.

Mickela’s following her passions and experiencing the world one dance at a time, but does she have any regrets or is there anything she would have done differently to make things go smoother? “If I had had the money to just throw at people to do these things for me, I wouldn’t have learned to make it,” Mickela said. “I think I have a knack for really connecting with people on a level that makes them feel comfortable enough to talk to me on camera. And that’s just something I learned to do over the years doing it by myself with a selfie stick and a camera.”

Bare Feet with Mickela Mallozzi airs Sundays at 1:30 p.m. on Nashville Public Television. Click here to find our complete programming schedule.

NPT’s ‘Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American’ Documentary Premieres June 23



Across the United States, mid-sized cities like Nashville are experiencing unprecedented growth in their international populations. Together these communities are redefining the traditional international city on a smaller local scale. Nashville Public Television’s Next Door Neighbors series of documentaries looks at the challenges faced and the contributions made by people who have come from other countries to make their home in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.

Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American, the tenth documentary in NPT’s award-winning series, premieres Thursday, June 23, at 8 p.m. The film will then be available for viewing online at wnpt.org

The 30-minute program shares the stories of four individuals who faced resettlement in the U.S. to escape the atrocities of war and the burden of poverty.

They are: Sisavanh Pouthavong Houghton, an artist and MTSU professor who barely escaped war-ravaged Laos as a young girl and now makes arts that reflects her journey; Brendali Menjivar, who survived violence and poverty in El Salvador; and Eh and Zahraa, classmates at John Overton High School from Burma and Iraq, respectively, who are now balancing American cultural norms with those of their families and homelands.

“That first generation of immigrant students have to enter into the new American culture, yet keep those ties,” says Gini Pupo-Walker, Conexión Américas senior director of education policy and strategic growth, in the documentary.

Through these stories of pursuing the American dream, Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American examines how age, education, family and culture affect one’s ability to succeed in the United States.

NDN BecomingAmerican titleNext Door Neighbors: Becoming American was produced by Shawn Anfinson and Ed Jones, both of whom have previously produced long-form and short projects in NPT’s Next Door Neighbors and Next Door Neighbors: Storytellers series.

NPT’s Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American is made possible by the generous support of The Nissan Foundation.

Additional broadcast times for Next Door Neighbors: Becoming American are below; the documentary will also be available for online viewing on our website, wnpt.org.

  • Monday, June 27, at 8 a.m. on NPT2
  • Tuesday, June 28, at 1 p.m. on NPT2
  • Monday, July 4, at 11:30 p.m. on NPT
  • Saturday, July 16, at 9 p.m. on NPT2
  • Sunday, July 17, at 5 p.m. on NPT2

Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board Meets in Nashville

CPB_bug_logoThe Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Board of Directors will meet here in Nashville on Monday, June 27, 2016, from 1:30 to 4:35 p.m. CDT.

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967.

CPB’s mission is to ensure universal access to non-commercial, high-quality content and telecommunications services. It does so by distributing more than 70 percent of its funding to more than 1,400 locally owned public radio and television stations, including Nashville Public Television and Nashville Public Radio here in Middle Tennessee.

“NPT is honored that the CPB board has chosen to have their quarterly meeting here in Nashville,” said Beth Curley, NPT’s president and CEO. “We are excited for CPB president and CEO Pat Harrison, the board members and CPB staff to see our thriving city and to share with them an overview of NPT’s original productions and community engagement projects, among them our Next Door Neighbors and Aging Matters series.”

CPB is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services.

On the draft agenda for the Nashville meeting:

  • Approval of Minutes
  • Chair’s and Directors’ Remarks
  • President’s Report to the Board
  • Legislative Update
  • Approval of Minutes (executive session)
  • Update on Radio Interconnection (executive session)
  • Report on CPB’s Budget Request to Office of Management and Budget for FY 2020 General Appropriation (executive session)
  • Resolution: Authorization to Submit CPB’s Budget Request to OMB for FY 2020 General Appropriation
  • Resolution: Authorization to Submit CPB’s Budget Request to OMB for Public Radio Interconnection
  • Future Agenda Items


With the exception of the executive sessions, the public may attend and listen to these meetings in the Performing Arts Suite of the Hermitage Hotel, 231 6th Ave. N., Nashville, Tenn.

If you have questions about the upcoming CPB meeting in Nashville, please contact CPB at (202) 879-9600 or contact NPT at (615) 259-9325.


Summer Dramas on NPT Bring Mystery and Intrigue


Summer dramas2


Summer is a great time for getting away from it all, whether through travel, a good book or a good television drama. This summer NPT has four series to keep you engrossed and entertained ‒ and you can watch on air or online.*

Saturday, June 18, at 8:30 p.m., it’s time to get back to Downton Abbey. Enjoy the splendor, the scandals and the wittiest lines of the beloved series starting with the first episode of the first season.

Sunday, June 19, at 8 p.m., marks the return of Endeavour on Masterpiece, the prequel to the Inspector Morse mysteries of the 1980s and 1990s. In Season 3, young constable Endeavour Morse (Shaun Evans) works through four investigations in Oxfordshire and makes a decision about his future on the police force. Endeavour, by the way, is the third television show inspired by the Colin Dexter books; Inspector Lewis, featuring Morse’s former sergeant (Kevin Whately), will also be back for a new season later this summer. (NPT will re-air Season 7 of Inspector Lewis Sundays beginning July 17.)

Sunday, June 19, at 9:30 p.m., is the premiere of The Tunnel, a dark crime drama about a psychopath carrying out a series of crimes along the UK/French border. In this British remake of cult-favorite Swedish series The Bridge, British and French police maintain an uneasy partnership as they attempt to solve an escalating string of crimes, the first of which is the murder of a French politician in the Chunnel under the English Channel. The Tunnel stars Stephen Dillane (Game of Thrones) as Karl Roebuck and Clémence Poésy (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Parts I and II) as Elise Wassermann. The 10-part series continues through Aug. 21.

Sunday, June 26, at 7 p.m., is the PBS premiere of Dancing on the Edge, an eight-part series set in 1930s London. In the story, Louis Lester (portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor of 12 Years a Slave) leads a jazz band poised for success after being discovered by critic Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode of Downton Abbey) and breaking the color barrier at a luxury hotel. Despite the glamorous gowns and tuxedos, posh settings and the patronage of royalty and an American millionaire, the band faces a number of obstacles to stardom, including racism, precarious immigration status for the American members and a violent crime. John Goodman and Jaqueline Bisset also star. Dancing on the Edge continues through Aug. 14.

*For a limited time in the days following the broadcast.

NPT’s Appraisal Day 2016 is June 25 at the Factory at Franklin

AppraisalDay 300x300_2016NPT’s Appraisal Day 2016 is coming up Saturday, June 25, at the Factory at Franklin. At the event, attendees have the opportunity to have up to three or up to six items appraised by regional experts. Get a taste of what the Appraisal Day experience is like on Monday, June 6, when Berenice Denton and Sam Holden, two of our Appraisal Day experts, will be live in studio throughout the evening during our 7 p.m. broadcast of Antiques Roadshow.

At the Appraisal Day event this year we’ll have 21 appraisers ‒ the most ever ‒ on hand to offer verbal appraisals of your treasures. Acceptable items for assessment include antiques, books, documents, jewelry, militaria, pop culture items, textiles and toys.

Tickets are $75 for up to three items; $150 for up to six items and are available for either the morning (9-11 a.m.) or afternoon (1-4 p.m.) session. Attendees may bring items on their own or team up with friends to reach the three- or six-item total. All proceeds from Appraisal Day directly support NPT’s educational, cultural and civic programming.

NPT’s Appraisal Day is not just for learning the value of objects, it’s also a time for strengthening bonds. Last year a pair of friends road-tripped to the event and a caravan of neighbors arrived for the morning session. There were many multi-generational groups in attendance, including a World War II veteran who came with his daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter. Another family group included a woman, her daughter and son-in-law, and two grandsons ‒ all of whom brought items to be appraised.



Appraisers scheduled to attend include:

  • John Case | Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals |Knoxville
  • Charlie Clements | Clements Antiques | Chattanooga
  • Chas Clements | Clements Antiques | Chattanooga
  • Mike Cotter | Back in Time Rare Books| Jacksonville, FL
  • Mel Covington |Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals | Nashville
  • Rick Crane | Estate Antiques | Knoxville
  • Len De Rohan | Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals | Knoxville
  • Berenice Denton |Berenice Denton Estate Sales & Appraisals | Nashville
  • Sarah Campbell Drury | Case Antiques Inc., Auctions & Appraisals |Nashville
  • Julie Walton Garland | Walton’s Antique Jewelry | Franklin
  • Sam Holden |Pickle Road Appraisers | Nashville
  • Mike Mouret |Nashville Coin & Currency, Inc. |Nashville
  • Selma Paul |Selma Paul Appraisal & Liquidations Services |Atlanta
  • Felix Perry | Corduroy Horse Antiques | Nashville
  • Joe Rossen | Joe Rossen Appraisals | Knoxville
  • Kirsten Rabe Smolensky | Minerva Appraisal, LLC | Nashville
  • D. (Robin) Sinclair, Ph.D. | Sinclair Appraisals |Nashville
  • Joe Spann |Gruhn Guitars |Nashville
  • Sara Stessel |Chartreuse Fine Art Consultants | Nashville
  • T. Thompson |Lotz House |Franklin
  • Mike Walton |Walton’s Antique Jewelry |Franklin

For more information about Appraisal Day, including acceptable items and ticketing options, please click here.

Please note: Firearms must be unloaded and disarmed. Please no arrowheads, burial material, Pre-Columbian items, ammunition or items that cannot be easily transported by one person. For furniture, clear and in-focus photographs of large items are acceptable and should include one showing the size or scale of the item and one offering an overall view. Additional photographs should show close-ups of details such as signatures or maker’s marks, the inside of a drawer, and/or any damaged areas, etc.

‘Call the Midwife’ Recap: Season 5 Episode 8

Call the Midwife’s fifth season concluded Sunday, May 22, so this the final recap written by the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing faculty midwives. SPOILER ALERT: This posts contains a spoiler.

L-R: Nurse Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie), Sister Evangelina (Pam Ferris), Nurse Phyllis (Linda Bassett). Credit: Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian

Nurse Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie), Sister Evangelina (Pam Ferris), Nurse Phyllis (Linda Bassett). Credit: Courtesy of Sophie Mutevelian

By Bethany Domzal Sanders
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

A tribute to Sister Evangelina

Bethany SandersThis week’s episode of Call the Midwife left me stunned and tear-streaked. I’ve always liked that Nonnatus House portrays midwives of different generations who have varying degrees of experience and I felt like Sister Evangelina (portrayed by Pam Ferris) ruled the roost. Despite her sometimes acidic personality, she was also willing to teach the younger midwives and had high expectations of them. In honor of Sister Evangelina, I want to reflect on the lessons she taught me about being a midwife.

Sometimes in teaching it’s best to step back. At the very last birth she attends, Sister Evangelina makes herself scarce just moments before the baby is born. Her experience tells her the birth is imminent and she excuses herself under the pretense of getting some water. In doing so, Sister stays close, but allows Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie) to grow in her role and develop confidence in her skills. Teaching midwifery is incredible hard, after all, we all like catching babies, but sometimes stepping back just a little gives the next wave of midwives the opportunity to come into their own.

Silence is golden. Oh how we will miss her wit and sharp tongue! Sister Evangelina had the uncanny knack of being able to put someone in their place with a well-worded quip. Her verbal skills got her into trouble at times and so she sometimes opted for silence. It was during then that others were able to shine a bit brighter. The lesson for me was that sometimes in labor and birth it’s best to be quiet and let others take the main role for labor support. While I enjoy and love being the helpful coach and cheerleader, sometimes it’s better that the father, mother, doula or friend have that role, so I fade into the background. After all, it’s not about me.

“Always been a doer.” Sister Evangelina described herself as such in an early season of Call the Midwife. She was a hard worker, the kind of person who values getting things done and who may not excel at everything, but who can do anything. I’ve learned there is value in being productive. Some days I don’t feel like I connect with every single patient but that doesn’t mean there aren’t appointments to get through, charts to be completed, labs to review and messages to respond to. Sometimes getting it done as effectively and efficiently as possible is good enough.

There will be an empty place in Nonnatus House and a hole in our hearts with the passing of Sister Evangelina. She was the kind of person whom it took some time to warm up to, but for all her faults, she really did love her work and her community. That’s the sort of legacy we can all aspire to. We mourn the death of her character and are grateful for the times each week we spent with her. She will be missed.

Bethany Domzal Sanders, MSN, CNM, is a member of the Vanderbilt Nurse-Midwives, the clinical practice of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing located at West End Women’s Health Center.

Hurrah! New Episodes of PBS Kids Favorites ‘Arthur’ and ‘Odd Squad’!

School’s almost out and to celebrate, NPT is showing new episodes of PBS Kids shows Arthur and Odd Squad!

Arthur and his fellow Lakewood Elementary students are ready for summer with new end-of-the-year episodes debuting Monday, May 23. In the episodes, the kids vie for a place in the fourth-grade class of their choice, try to figure out whether Mr. Rayburn is a super hero and have other adventures. Arthur airs weekdays at 2 p.m. on NPT.

Arthur The Last Day 2

Find Arthur games, videos, printables and more here.

Odd Squad
fans (and fellow agents) have two special episodes to look forward to this spring. The season finale premieres on Memorial Day (May 30) and ends in a cliffhanger that will be resolved in Agents of Change, an all-new special premiering Monday, June 20. Odd Squad airs weekdays at 3:30 p.m. on NPT.



Unclassified Odd Squad materials are located here.

Remember NPT’s children’s programming also includes Peg + Cat, Bob the Builder, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Curious George and many other shows. Click here to find put when your children’s favorite shows air on NPT and be sure to check PBS Kids for fun, educational activities and your child can enjoy online or unplugged.

‘Call the Midwife’ Recap: Season 5 Episode 7

Call the Midwife is back for a fifth season and so are the faculty of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing with a weekly guest blog. Watch the show 7 p.m. Sundays through May 22, then read the blog each Monday morning for historical and contemporary context about the previous night’s episode. SPOILER ALERT: Some posts may contain spoilers.

Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton) and Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie)

Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton) and Barbara (Charlotte Ritchie)


By Michelle Collins
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Collins smThis season’s Call the Midwife episodes have included no shortage of controversial topics, at least what was considered controversial in the late 1950s. This most recent episode was no exception with its focus on various aspects of sexuality, namely the sexual tension between the Rev. Tom Hereward (Jack Ashton) and midwife Barbara Gilbert (Charlotte Ritchie); the hidden romance between midwife Patsy Mount (Emerald Fennell) and female partner Nurse Delia (Kate Lamb); and the advent of hormonal contraception – the introduction of “the pill” into British society.

Let’s just walk down memory lane a bit on the topic of contraception…

Ancient Egyptian women used a variety of substances to prevent pregnancy, among them honey and crocodile dung inserted vaginally (perhaps it was merely the odor of crocodile dung that kept suitors away!). Casanova has the historical reputation as a great lover, but having many lovers comes with the caveat of siring many children unless one is savvy in preventing conception. Casanova was noted to have hollowed out lemon halves and placed them inside his lovers’ vaginas, over the cervix, to act as a rudimentary diaphragm. The contraceptive pill was approved by the FDA in 1960 for use as a contraceptive agent, although many women were already using it for “non-contraceptive reasons”.¹

Sister Julienne (Jenny Agutter) though deeply devout, is also practically minded and empathizes with the women she serves who inarguably have no control over their own fertility. To Dr. Turner’s (Max Macmillan) reference to the pill as a miracle, however, she replies that is “it’s a miracle with moral implications.” For her, the idea that sex for any purpose other than procreation could not only be discussed, but sanctioned, was heresy. The arrival of the pill helped usher in the sexual revolution of the 1960s and afforded women a never before realized “freedom” to explore sexual relationships beyond the boundaries of the marital “contract.”

The march of progress is always a wonderful thing, right? One has to consider, though, whether the paradigm of “sexual freedom” has served women well in every aspect of our lives. The value of women being able to have charge of their own fertility is indisputable. The value of the current societal “norm” of “hooking up,” though, wherein casual sex comes without any commitment, is perhaps not so beneficial if we look at the research. From a purely biologic perspective, a woman’s body releases a hormone called oxytocin when she has a sexual experience (the same hormone a woman releases when in labor, actually). The release of this hormone, in the most basic of descriptions, causes some degree of bonding of the woman to her partner.

Current research has noted that women who have multiple random sexual experiences with “no strings attached” have an increased incidence of depression and anxiety (purportedly due in part to lack of physiologic bonding). College-aged women, in particular, who engage in casual sexual encounters report lower levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with their lives as well as lowered levels of happiness when compared to women who do not engage in these behaviors. 2,3 Recent research even notes higher rates of marital infidelity for millennials who marry after spending time in the hook-up scene. Though many things could purport to explain higher infidelity rates among this group, one cannot help but wonder whether having numerous casual sexual experiences devoid of any emotional connection has a causal relationship. That old adage “freedom isn’t free” comes to mind.

  1. A Brief History of Birth Control May 3, 2010. Time http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1983970,00.html
  2. Garcia JR, Reiber C, Massey SG, Merriwether AM. Sexual Hookup Culture: A Review. Review of general psychology : journal of Division 1, of the American Psychological Association. 2012;16(2):161-176. doi:10.1037/a0027911.
  3. Garcia, J., The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Reiber, C., Massey, S., and. Merriwether, A. Sexual hook-up culture, American Psychological Association. February 2013, Vol 44, No. 2.

Michelle Collins Ph.D., CNM, FACNM is a professor of nursing and director of the Nurse-Midwifery Program, at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.