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Philanthropy 101 with Katherina Rosqueta
Katherina M. Rosqueta is the founding Executive Director of the Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania. Before to this, Rosqueta spent five years as a consultant at McKinsey & Company, serving clients in strategy development, capability-building, and post-merger management. While at McKinsey, she led several employee volunteer initiatives to support consultant involvement on nonprofit boards.
Prior to McKinsey, Rosqueta worked for ten years in community development, nonprofit management, and venture philanthropy. She served as a founding team member of New Schools Venture Fund; founding executive director of Board Match Plus, a San Francisco program dedicated to strengthening nonprofit boards; and program manager of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Community Development Group. She has held numerous volunteer and civic leadership positions including board president of La Casa de las Madres (San Francisco’s oldest and largest shelter for battered women and their children); chair of the United Way’s Bay Area Week of Caring; and co-founder and executive committee member of the Women’s MBA Network.
Katherina Rosqueta: Katherina Rosqueta, Executive Director for the Center of High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania.
Question: What is high impact philanthropy?
Katherina Rosqueta: It’s less about a particular organization or a particular activity, it’s about whether or not you’ve given the money in a such a way that you can actually have some confidence that’s it’s going to make the change in the world you want. And that change can be, you know, having another student at risk of dropping out actually being able to graduate on time. That change could be getting an existing cost effective drug for malaria to a child in time that you save that person’s life.
I distinguish between high impact philanthropy and other types of philanthropy because some philanthropy isn’t practiced in such a way that it can assure those kinds of results. And, in fact, many philanthropists don’t necessarily give with the idea of trying to maximize the social good of the philanthropy.
So for those folks who are giving out of a sense of obligation or reciprocal giving. “My buddies on the board, he gave money to my fundraiser so I gave money to his fundraiser.” Or… “I don’t care so much about,” I’m speaking from the point of philanthropist, “I don’t care so much about whether or not I am really maximizing the impact of my gift but I’m really happy that my name’s on that big building.” High impact philanthropy is different from that kind of social or reciprocal philanthropy in that. It’s squarely focused on improving the lives of others.
All philanthropy, especially high impact philanthropy where people are really focusing on results, it starts with a personal commitment. It’s a personal commitment to making a change in the world. And how people got to that commitment is a very unique and personal journey. I don’t think you want to disrupt that journey.
Because one of the things with high impact philanthropy is you have to have a commitment to ongoing learning. There are no silver bullets so you have to be able to care enough about the issue, to learn when you goofed up, and to redirect or add more resources than you thought you needed in order to achieve your good.
And what’s exciting is when a philanthropist says I’m committed to making a change in this area, whatever that area is, once you get to that point, then you say, great, how can you translate that commitment and those good intentions and whatever resources you’re bringing to the table to actually making the difference you want to make? You know, that’s where, hopefully, our work plays, is to translate those good intentions and that commitment to actual impact.
Question: Why do people donate to charity?
Katherina Rosqueta: We do know there are several motivations for why people give. I mean, one of the biggest ones is, simply, they are asked. And so, it’s a reaction or request by somebody who either they have a personal connection to or who’s describing a need that somehow resonates with them.
Other folks give because they see themselves as a member of a particular community. And they feel like they have a responsibility or role in that community as a leader. And philanthropy is one way that they demonstrate that leadership.
There are others who have been motivated because of a particular trigger event. They lost their mom to cancer and because of that personal experience, have become committed to addressing that issue and hopefully alleviating some of the pain and suffering that they experience in their family as a result of mom having cancer.
One thing that was interesting from a study that we conducted, where we interviewed 33 high net worth individual philanthropist, was how much of the information they get around their philanthropy comes from a pretty narrow set of information sources right now. It’s the popular press, the sort of major periodicals. And it’s their friends, their social network, their peer network.
And one of the reasons our center [The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania] was started is because, if you’re really trying to figure out where your dollars can do the most good, you need some pretty good information to make a smart decision.
We talk about the million dollar question of the kinds of philanthropists we’re trying to help are asking. And that is, “I’m not the kind of guy who wants the name on the building. This isn’t about social philanthropy. This is about my trying to figure out where I can do the most good with the dollars I have.”
Question: What information do philanthropists need?
Katherina Rosqueta: The top issue is, right now, a sense of frustration that they’re not sure whether or not they’re making a difference. And so, what was top on the minds of the folks that we were talking to when we started discussing philanthropy was, how can I have more confidence that I’m actually making a change. And if I’m going to continue doing this, I need to know better that my dollars are actually improving someone’s life. And that’s not only findings from our study but other studies where people have asked the question, what will make you give more? And it was better information on cost and better information on impact. I don’t even think in the top five or ten it was more of a tax benefit.
Question: How involved should philanthropists be?
Katherina Rosqueta: What we do know is that there’s a lot of talk surrounding a kind of generational shift in philanthropy, a set of philanthropists who want and expect more involvement in whatever philanthropic activity they are engaged in. The idea is that if that’s where they’re starting, if there is this desire to be more than just writing the checks, then, I think, what the sector needs to do is figure out how can you leverage those good intentions and, frankly, a lot of talent that could be servicing the mission of the organization. And make sure that that talent, that energy doesn’t go to distracting folks from the mission of the organization or that organizations don’t, somehow, get beholden to the whims of a philanthropist that thinks that this is their pet project.
Question: Will nonprofits be ranked in the future?
Katherina Rosqueta: The problem right now is there isn’t enough good information around the nonprofit’s results in order for you to give a meaningful ranking. So ideally, with a nonprofit, what you want to rank on is their ability to transform their resources into good.
Given the state of the field, what we have are information on certain inputs, like the amount of money that goes into programs. But input is not really what high impact philanthropists or most of these nonprofits care about. This is not about counting the number of dollars you spend, it’s about the other side of the equation, which is given the number of dollars you spent, what results did you see?
I think what you look for in a nonprofit organization is not are they solving the root cause or putting on a band-aid but given what they’re trying to solve, are they doing that well?
Question: What problems do philanthropists and nonprofits face?
Katherina Rosqueta: People seem to forget that with philanthropy, just like with any other decision, there are three things that could happen. One, you could do good. You could have the results you intended. Two, you could throw a lot of resources and not make a wit of difference. Or three, you can actually do harm to the communities that you intended to serve. So the notion of high impact philanthropy is can you approach philanthropy in such a way that you weight the outcome to the first, which is doing as much good as you can.
There’s a study that Bank of America had sponsored a center on philanthropy in Indiana, produce the study, and they looked at what prevented people from giving more. The question may have been phrased, what would cause you to give more than you’re giving? And the top 2 answers were related to cost and impact.
When we did our own study, which was called “I’m Not Rockefeller” because that was actually a remark we got from multiple people, some sentiment like, oh, you’re calling me a philanthropist, that’s not really who I am. Despite the fact, by the way, that they gave, on average, a million dollars a year.
What we found was there’s a great deal of latent philanthropy. So what we heard in the answers to our questions was, frankly, a lot of angst about the fact that they weren’t giving as much as they knew they financially could or as much as they wanted to. So it wasn’t for a lack of good intention. In many cases, they had actually put the money aside, specifically, for philanthropy. And it wasn’t for lack of financial capacity, they had plenty of money there to give, it was for lack of confidence that that money will make a difference. And at least the way they saw the field now, they couldn’t figure out how to get that confidence that they were making good decisions without essentially turning it into a full-time job.
For folks like them, who want to make a difference and who have the financial capacity, is there a way we can get them to smarter decisions faster so that we begin unlocking that capital. And… You know, that is one of the chief challenges that our center [The Center for High Impact Philanthropy at the University of Pennsylvania] is trying to address. By doing some of the legwork for them, doing the due diligence, going blurry eyed reading these academic studies, that we can actually do a lot of homework that will get them to making the smart decision faster.
Question: What can nonprofits learn from private enterprise?
Katherina Rosqueta: One structural difference between the nonprofit and the for-profit sector, is in the for-profit sector, the payer, the person who gives the money to the organization is also the recipient of the good. So you got a nice little virtuous cycle, right?
If you had two lemonade stands and you had, for profit, one stand has great lemonade, one stand has terrible lemonade, the consumer of the lemonade decides and starts giving the money to the good lemonade stand. The bad lemonade stand dies.
In the nonprofit sector, the whole point of their work is they are trying to help individuals and households and communities who don’t have the dollars to spend to help themselves. And so, you don’t have that nice reinforcing loop and that’s one of the reasons why it’s so difficult to have the kind of performance management that you would want to see.
The interesting thing with microfinance, microlending is that it’s got a lot of attention because it is using a market-based activity, lending, where a return is expected in terms of interest, to a social ill, which is poverty. So I think it’s part of a broader trend around looking at kind of hybrid solutions to social issues.
It’s double bottom. These are some of the terms that get floated around, this kind of hybrid approach to doing good, philanthrocapitalism. Double or triple bottom line investing, impact investing.
Those are all ways to think about: Can you apply business/market models or principles to doing good? And I think microfinance is one example of a way that you can.
A conversation with the Executive Director for the Center of High Impact Philanthropy.
Higher education faces challenges that are unlike any other industry. What path will ASU, and universities like ASU, take in a post-COVID world?
- Everywhere you turn, the idea that coronavirus has brought on a "new normal" is present and true. But for higher education, COVID-19 exposes a long list of pernicious old problems more than it presents new problems.
- It was widely known, yet ignored, that digital instruction must be embraced. When combined with traditional, in-person teaching, it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale.
- COVID-19 has forced institutions to understand that far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted.
What conditions of the new normal were already appreciated widely?<p>First, we understand that higher education is unique among industries. Some industries are governed by markets. Others are run by governments. Most operate under the influence of both markets and governments. And then there's higher education. Higher education as an "industry" involves public, private, and for-profit universities operating at small, medium, large, and now massive scales. Some higher education industry actors are intense specialists; others are adept generalists. Some are fantastically wealthy; others are tragically poor. Some are embedded in large cities; others are carefully situated near farms and frontiers.</p> <p>These differences demonstrate just some of the complexities that shape higher education. Still, we understand that change in the industry is underway, and we must be active in directing it. Yet because of higher education's unique (and sometimes vexing) operational and structural conditions, many of the lessons from change management and the science of industrial transformation are only applicable in limited or highly modified ways. For evidence of this, one can look at various perspectives, including those that we have offered, on such topics as <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/digital-learning/blogs/rethinking-higher-education/lessons-disruption" target="_blank">disruption</a>, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/education/learning/education-technology.html" target="_blank">technology management</a>, and so-called "<a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/sites/default/server_files/media/Excerpt_IHESpecialReport_Growing-Role-of-Mergers-in-Higher-Ed.pdf" target="_blank">mergers and acquisitions</a>" in higher education. In each of these spaces, the "market forces" and "market rules" for higher education are different than they are in business, or even in government. This has always been the case and it is made more obvious by COVID-19.</p> <p>Second, with so much excitement about innovation in higher education, we sometimes lose sight of the fact that students are—and should remain—the core cause for innovation. Higher education's capacity to absorb new ideas is strong. But the ideas that endure are those designed to benefit students, and therefore society. This is important to remember because not all innovations are designed with students in mind. The recent history of innovation in higher education includes several cautionary tales of what can happen when institutional interests—or worse, <a href="https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/02/09/apollos-new-owners-seek-fresh-start-beleaguered-company" target="_blank">shareholder</a> interests—are placed above student well-being.</p>
Photo: Getty Images<p>Third, it is abundantly apparent that universities must leverage technology to increase educational quality and access. The rapid shift to delivering an education that complies with social distancing guidelines speaks volumes about the adaptability of higher education institutions, but this transition has also posed unique difficulties for colleges and universities that had been slow to adopt digital education. The last decade has shown that online education, implemented effectively, can meet or even surpass the quality of in-person <a href="https://link-springer-com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/article/10.1007/s10639-019-10027-z" target="_blank">instruction</a>.</p><p>Digital instruction, broadly defined, leverages online capabilities and integrates adaptive learning methodologies, predictive analytics, and innovations in instructional design to enable increased student engagement, personalized learning experiences, and improved learning outcomes. The ability of these technologies to transcend geographic barriers and to shrink the marginal cost of educating additional students makes them essential for delivering education at scale.</p><p>As a bonus, and it is no small thing given that they are the core cause for innovation, students embrace and enjoy digital instruction. It is their preference to learn in a format that leverages technology. This should not be a surprise; it is now how we live in all facets of life.</p><p>Still, we have only barely begun to conceive of the impact digital education will have. For example, emerging virtual and augmented reality technologies that facilitate interactive, hands-on learning will transform the way that learners acquire and apply new knowledge. Technology-enabled learning cannot replace the traditional college experience or ensure the survival of any specific college, but it can enhance student learning outcomes at scale. This has always been the case, and it is made more obvious by COVID-19.</p>
What conditions of the new normal were emerging suspicions?<p>Our collective thinking about the role of institutional or university-to-university collaboration and networking has benefitted from a new clarity in light of COVID-19. We now recognize more than ever that colleges and universities must work together to ensure that the American higher education system is resilient and sufficiently robust to meet the needs of students and their families.</p> <p>In recent weeks, various commentators have suggested that higher education will face a wave of institutional <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/scott-galloway-predicts-colleges-will-close-due-to-pandemic-2020-5" target="_blank">closures</a> and consolidations and that large institutions with significant online instruction capacity will become dominant.</p> <p>While ASU is the largest public university in the United States by enrollment and among the most well-equipped in online education, we strongly oppose "let them fail" mindsets. The strength of American higher education relies on its institutional diversity, and on the ability of colleges and universities to meet the needs of their local communities and educate local students. The needs of learners are highly individualized, demanding a wide range of options to accommodate the aspirations and learning styles of every kind of student. Education will become less relevant and meaningful to students, and less responsive to local needs, if institutions of higher learning are allowed to fail. </p> <p>Preventing this outcome demands that colleges and universities work together to establish greater capacity for remote, distributed education. This will help institutions with fewer resources adapt to our new normal and continue to fulfill their mission of serving students, their families, and their communities. Many had suspected that collaboration and networking were preferable over letting vulnerable colleges fail. COVID-19's new normal seems to be confirming this.</p>
President Barack Obama delivers the commencement address during the Arizona State University graduation ceremony at Sun Devil Stadium May 13, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. Over 65,000 people attended the graduation.
Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images<p>A second condition of the new normal that many had suspected to be true in recent years is the limited role that any one university or type of university can play as an exemplar to universities more broadly. For decades, the evolution of higher education has been shaped by the widespread imitation of a small number of elite universities. Most public research universities could benefit from replicating Berkeley or Michigan. Most small private colleges did well by replicating Williams or Swarthmore. And all universities paid close attention to Harvard, Princeton, MIT, Stanford, and Yale. It is not an exaggeration to say that the logic of replication has guided the evolution of higher education for centuries, both in the US and abroad.</p><p>Only recently have we been able to move beyond replication to new strategies of change, and COVID-19 has confirmed the legitimacy of doing so. For example, cases such as <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2020/03/10/harvard-moves-classes-online-advises-students-stay-home-after-spring-break-response-covid-19/" target="_blank">Harvard's</a> eviction of students over the course of less than one week or <a href="https://www.nhregister.com/news/coronavirus/article/Mayor-New-Haven-asks-for-coronavirus-help-Yale-15162606.php" target="_blank">Yale's apparent reluctance</a> to work with the city of New Haven, highlight that even higher education's legacy gold standards have limits and weaknesses. We are hopeful that the new normal will include a more active and earnest recognition that we need many types of universities. We think the new normal invites us to rethink the very nature of "gold standards" for higher education.</p>
A graduate student protests MIT's rejection of some evacuation exemption requests.
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images<p>Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we had started to suspect and now understand that America's colleges and universities are among the many institutions of democracy and civil society that are, by their very design, incapable of being sufficiently responsive to the full spectrum of modern challenges and opportunities they face. Far too many higher education outcomes are determined by a student's family income, and in the context of COVID-19 this means that lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color will be disproportionately afflicted. And without new designs, we can expect postsecondary success for these same students to be as elusive in the new normal, as it was in the <a href="http://pellinstitute.org/indicators/reports_2019.shtml" target="_blank">old normal</a>. This is not just because some universities fail to sufficiently recognize and engage the promise of diversity, this is because few universities have been designed from the outset to effectively serve the unique needs of lower-income students, first-generation students and students of color.</p>
Where can the new normal take us?<p>As colleges and universities face the difficult realities of adapting to COVID-19, they also face an opportunity to rethink their operations and designs in order to respond to social needs with greater agility, adopt technology that enables education to be delivered at scale, and collaborate with each other in order to maintain the dynamism and resilience of the American higher education system.</p> <p>COVID-19 raises questions about the relevance, the quality, and the accessibility of higher education—and these are the same challenges higher education has been grappling with for years. </p> <p>ASU has been able to rapidly adapt to the present circumstances because we have spent nearly two decades not just anticipating but <em>driving</em> innovation in higher education. We have adopted a <a href="https://www.asu.edu/about/charter-mission-and-values" target="_blank">charter</a> that formalizes our definition of success in terms of "who we include and how they succeed" rather than "<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/17/forget-varsity-blues-madness-lets-talk-about-students-who-cant-afford-college/" target="_blank">who we exclude</a>." We adopted an entrepreneurial <a href="https://president.asu.edu/read/higher-logic" target="_blank">operating model</a> that moves at the speed of technological and social change. We have launched initiatives such as <a href="https://www.instride.com/how-it-works/" target="_blank">InStride</a>, a platform for delivering continuing education to learners already in the workforce. We developed our own robust technological capabilities in ASU <a href="https://edplus.asu.edu/" target="_blank">EdPlus</a>, a hub for research and development in digital learning that, even before the current crisis, allowed us to serve more than 45,000 fully online students. We have also created partnerships with other forward-thinking institutions in order to mutually strengthen our capabilities for educational accessibility and quality; this includes our role in co-founding the <a href="https://theuia.org/" target="_blank">University Innovation Alliance</a>, a consortium of 11 public research universities that share data and resources to serve students at scale. </p> <p>For ASU, and universities like ASU, the "new normal" of a post-COVID world looks surprisingly like the world we already knew was necessary. Our record breaking summer 2020 <a href="https://asunow.asu.edu/20200519-sun-devil-life-summer-enrollment-sets-asu-record" target="_blank">enrollment</a> speaks to this. What COVID demonstrates is that we were already headed in the right direction and necessitates that we continue forward with new intensity and, we hope, with more partners. In fact, rather than "new normal" we might just say, it's "go time." </p>
Hollywood has created an idea of aliens that doesn't match the science.
- Ask someone what they think aliens look like and you'll probably get a description heavily informed by films and pop culture. The existence of life beyond our planet has yet to be confirmed, but there are clues as to the biology of extraterrestrials in science.
- "Don't give them claws," says biologist E.O. Wilson. "Claws are for carnivores and you've got to be an omnivore to be an E.T. There just isn't enough energy available in the next trophic level down to maintain big populations and stable populations that can evolve civilization."
- In this compilation, Wilson, theoretical physicist Michio Kaku, Bill Nye, and evolutionary biologist Jonathan B. Losos explain why aliens don't look like us and why Hollywood depictions are mostly inaccurate.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Can an orgasm a day really keep the doctor away?
- Achieving orgasm through masturbation provides a rush of feel-good hormones (such as dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin) and can re-balance our levels of cortisol (a stress-inducing hormone). This helps our immune system function at a higher level.
- The surge in "feel-good" hormones also promotes a more relaxed and calm state of being, making it easier to achieve restful sleep, which is a critical part in maintaining a high-functioning immune system.
- Just as bad habits can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system which can prevent you from becoming sick.
How masturbation affects your brain...<p>Orgasms are a very common human phenomenon. The physical and mental health benefits have been researched frequently as a result, and yet, there is still so much to be learned about how our bodies and brains react to the chemicals and hormones released during and after experiencing this type of sexual release.</p><p>"The amount of speculation versus actual data on both the function and value of orgasm is remarkable" explains Julia Heiman, director of the <a href="https://kinseyinstitute.org/" target="_blank">Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction</a>.</p><p>Masturbation causes a rush of <a href="https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/what-is-dopamine" target="_blank">dopamine</a>, which is a chemical that is associated with our ability to feel pleasure. Along with the rush of dopamine that is released during an orgasm, there is also a release of a hormone called <a href="https://www.livescience.com/42198-what-is-oxytocin.html" target="_blank">oxytocin</a>, which is commonly referred to as the "love hormone."<br></p><p>This concoction of chemicals does more than just boost our mood, it also can play a key role in decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Oxytocin decreases <a href="https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/what-is-cortisol" target="_blank">cortisol</a>, which is a stress hormone that is usually present (in high volumes) during times of anxiety, fear, panic, or distress. </p><p>According to BDSM and fetish researcher <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dr-gloria-brame-colbert-ga/278388" target="_blank">Dr. Gloria Brame</a>, an orgasm is the biggest non-drug induced blast of dopamine that we can experience. </p><p>By boosting the oxytocin and dopamine levels and subsequently decreasing our cortisol levels, the brain is placed in a more relaxed, euphoric, and calm state. </p>
Masturbation boosts your immune system and raises your white blood cell count.<p>How do those effects on the brain from reaching orgasm translate to boosting our immune system and making our body healthier?</p><p>The increase of oxytocin and dopamine that causes a decrease in cortisol levels can help boost our immune system because cortisol (well-known for being a stress-inducing hormone) actually helps maintain your immune system if released in small doses. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.health24.com/Sex/Great-sex/incredible-health-benefits-to-masturbating-20181030-2" target="_blank">Dr. Jennifer Landa</a>, a hormone-therapy specialist, masturbation can produce the right kind of environment for a strengthened immune system to thrive. </p><p><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15316239" target="_blank">A study</a> conducted by the Department of Medical Psychology at the University Clinic of Essen (in Germany) showed similar results. A group of 11 volunteers were asked to participate in a study that would look at the effects of orgasm through masturbation on the white blood cell count and immune system.</p><p>During this experiment, the white blood cell count of each participant was analyzed through measures that were taken 5 minutes before and 45 minutes after reaching a self-induced orgasm. </p><p>The results confirmed that sexual arousal and orgasm increased the number of white blood cells, particularly the natural killer cells that help fight off infections. </p><p>The findings confirm that our immune system is positively affected by sexual arousal and self-induced orgasm and promote even more research into the positive impacts of sexual arousal and orgasm. </p>
Masturbation can ease and prevent pain, which allows you to achieve the restful sleep that helps your immune system stay strong and healthy.<p>The benefits of masturbation have long been debated, but the more research that is done on the topic the more we understand that there are many positive reactions that happen in our bodies and brains when we orgasm.</p><p>Orgasms can help prevent or mitigate pain, which boosts the immune system, preventing cold and flu symptoms. </p><p>According to neurologist and headache specialist Stefan Evers, about one in three patients experience relief from migraine attacks by experiencing sexual activity or orgasm. Evers and his team <a href="https://www.livescience.com/27642-sex-relieves-migraine-pain.html" target="_blank">conducted an experiment</a> with 800 migraine patients and 200 patients who suffered from cluster-headaches to see how their experiences with sexual activity impacted their pain levels. </p><p>The study showed that 60% of migraine sufferers experienced pain relief after participating in sexual activity that resulted in orgasm. Of the cluster-headache sufferers, about 50% said their headaches actually worsened after sexual arousal and orgasm. </p><p>Evers suggested in his findings that the people who did not experience pain relief from migraines of headaches during their sexual activity did not release as large amounts of endorphins as those who did experience pain relief. </p><p>According to <a href="https://www.sharecare.com/health/chronic-pain/chronic-pain-affect-immune-system" target="_blank">rheumatologist Dr. Harris McIlwain</a>, people who suffer from chronic pain have immune systems that are simply not functioning at full capacity - therefore, alleviating pain (through orgasm, as an example) can help boost the immune system. </p><p>Orgasms can also promote relaxation and make it easier to fall asleep. Serotonin, oxytocin, and norepinephrine are all hormones that are released during sexual arousal and orgasm, and all three are known for counteracting stress hormones and promoting relaxation, which makes it much easier for you to fall asleep.</p><p>There are <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1233384" target="_blank">several studies</a> showing that serotonin and norepinephrine help our body cycle through REM and deep non-REM sleeping cycles. During these sleep cycles, the immune system releases proteins called <a href="https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity" target="_blank"><span id="selection-marker-1" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span>cytokines<span id="selection-marker-2" class="redactor-selection-marker"></span></a>, which target infection and inflammation. This is a critical part of our immune response. Cytokines are both produced and released throughout our bodies while we sleep, which proves the importance of a good sleep schedule to a healthy immune system.</p>
Masturbation promotes a high-functioning immune system; a healthy immune system prevents cold and flu.<p>The immune system is a balanced network of cells and organs that work together to defend you against infections and diseases by stopped threats like bacteria and viruses from entering your system. While there are many things we need to do to keep our immune systems functioning at optimal levels, masturbation (or other means of achieving orgasm) has proven to have positive effects on the immune system as a whole.</p><p>Just as bad habits (such as an inconsistent sleep schedule or harmful chemicals in your body) can slow your immune system, positive habits (such as a healthy sleep schedule and active sex life) can help boost your immune system. </p>
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.