News Above the Noise—Week of July 16, 2023
Editor's Note: Every week, The Sunday Paper's team of journalists sifts through the news to make sense of what's happening in the world and provide hope for your week to come. We find what Rises Above the Noise and do our best to highlight what we think matters. If you’d like to read more in-depth, please note that while we do our best to feature articles that are not behind a paywall, some of the news pieces we recommend require their own subscriptions beyond our control.
1. Does Menopause Hormone Therapy Increase Dementia Risk?
When it comes to menopause hormone therapy (MHT), it can be challenging to sort through the pros and cons. That’s because research on both the benefits and risks of the treatment is often contradictory. This week, a large new study in Denmark suggested MHT was associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. However, many experts say a causal link remains unlikely and even the study authors themselves warned that their research was unable to distinguish between the effects of the hormones and the menopausal symptoms, which themselves are associated with an increased risk of dementia. For a clear explainer on this new research and expert analysis to help you make sense of it, click here.
2. How to Tell if You’re Reading Something Written By AI
With the viral success of ChatGPT and other chat-based artificial intelligence (AI), any of us can create convincing, well-written AI-generated text. Which also means all of us are reading AI-generated text. The good news: Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have the tips you need to answer the question: Is it a bot—or not? Read them here.
3. These Student Journalists Got a Football Coach Fired
When news that the head coach of the Northwestern football team had been suspended for two weeks due to a complaint about hazing within the football program, it drew minor media attention. Yet when reporters for Northwestern’s student newspaper investigated further, they found new details about the hazing allegations, which led to the coach being fired. It’s the latest example of student journalists’ investigative reporting making a big impact. For more on this story, click here.
4. Don’t Understand “Swiftmania” or the “Taypocalypse”?
Suzanne Garfinkle-Drowell is a psychiatrist in private practice whose patients, many of whom are adolescent girls and young women, have leaned on Taylor Swift when life throws them the tough stuff. When Swift’s Eras tour traveled through cities across the country, Taylor-based therapy issues reached a boiling point. In this thoughtful essay, Dr. Garfinkle-Drowell—a newfound “Swiftie” herself—gives all of us a sense of what is so singular about this artist, in this time. Read more here.
5. A Growing Number of Men Are Lost These Days
Anxieties around masculinity and what it means to be a man may not be unique to this moment, but we are certainly in an era where men—especially young men—are getting weird, argues Christine Emba in a thoughtful opinion piece for The Washington Post. They struggle to relate to women. They don’t have enough friends. They lack long-term goals. They’re getting sucked into the alt-right and misogynistic communities known as the “manosphere.” So, what’s the path forward? Read Emba’s ideas here.