‘Is Everybody Really Doing It?’ – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

‘Is Everybody Really Doing It?’

Professor of Sociology Wesley Perkins was invited to York, England, to give a keynote address for a conference on Thursday, Jan. 10.

The conference dealt with sexual risk-taking, teenage pregnancy, and related risk behaviors; it was organized by the Government Offices for the North East and for Yorkshire and The Humber regions.

Perkins' talk was titled: “Is Everybody Really Doing It? Using a Social Norms Approach to Successfully Reduce Risk Behaviours.” He spoke before approximately 250 participants working in schools, health promotion agencies, and those holding government positions that focus on preventing sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy, and alcohol and drug abuse among teens.

This is his second visit to the United Kingdom in less than three months; in October, he spoke in Edinburgh, Scotland, about binge drinking, and his address was discussed by members of the Scottish Parliament.

Perkins, a member of the HWS faculty since 1978, holds a bachelor’s degree from Purdue as well as two master’s and a doctorate from Yale. He popularized the Social Norms theory with work beginning more than two decades ago, and in collaboration with Professor of Chemistry David Craig, has received numerous awards for its applications to preventing alcohol abuse and other risk behaviors.