Peter Shawn Bearman (born 1956) is an American sociologist. He is Jonathan Cole Professor of the Social Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University and the founding director of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy.
He received his B.A. in sociology from Brown University in 1978 and his M.A. (1982) and Ph.D. (1985) in sociology from Harvard University. He has been visiting professor at the University of Genoa, Italy, the University of Munich and was formerly Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Lecturer, Committee on Degrees in Social Studies, Harvard University.
Bearman, along with J. Richard Udry, designed the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), currently the only nationally-representative study of adolescent sexuality in the United States, which has yielded over a thousand published research articles.
From these data, Bearman has published seminal articles on the sexual network, virginity pledges, same sex attraction, and adolescent suicidality. He is widely credited with bringing social network analysis methods to the demographic and population research community. Bearman currently directs the Robert Wood Johnson Program in population health at Columbia University. He has received major grants and contracts from the National Science Foundation, the American Legacy Foundation, the Office of Population Affairs National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and the Rockefeller Foundation, totaling over $2,000,000 .
Bearman is the author of Doormen (University of Chicago Press, 2005) an ethnographic study of Doormen in New York City, in addition to numerous articles in historical and general sociology. He has directed over 25 successful Ph.D dissertations.
Awards and honors
- Awarded NIH Pioneer Award to study autism (2005)
- Awarded Roger V. Gould Prize for his 2004 article in American Journal of Sociology.
- Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2008)
- Handbook of Analytical Sociology Oxford University Press, 2009 Peter Hedstrom and Peter Bearman (eds).
- Doormen. University of Chicago Press, 2005 ISBN
- Review by Ezra Zuckerman Administrative Science Quarterly.: March 2008. Vol.53; pg. 194, 3 pgs
- Review, "All Visitors Must Be Announced" Judith Martin, New York Times Book Review; Dec 4, 2005;
- Review, Publishers Weekly. New York: Aug 29, 2005. Vol. 252, Iss. 34; p. 51 (1 page)
- Review "Modeling Ethnography" by Harvey Molotch. Contemporary Sociology.: May 2006. Vol.35, Iss. 3; pg. 234, 3 pgs
- Relations into Rhetorics: Local Elite Social Structure in Norfolk, England: 1540-1640 American Sociological Association, Rose Monograph Series. Rutgers University Press, 1993. ISBN
The most recent among his approximately 25 peer-reviewed articles are:
- Bearman, Peter S. “Just So Stories: Vaccines, Autism, and the Single-Bullet Disorder”. Social Psychological Quarterly. 2010.
- Mazumdar, Soumya, Marissa King, Noam Zerubavel and Peter S. Bearman. “The Spatial Structure of Autism”. Health and Place. 16.539-546.
- Liu, Kayuet, Noam Zerubavel, and Peter S. Bearman. “Demographic Change and the Increasing Prevalence of Autism”. Demography. 2010
- Liu, Ka-Yuet, Marissa * King and Peter S. Bearman. “Social Influence and the Autism Epidemic”. American Journal of Sociology. March, 2010
- King, Marissa and Peter S. Bearman. “Diagnostic Change and the Increasing Prevalence of Autism”. International Journal of Epidemiology. 38: 1224-1234
- Bearman, Peter and Marissa King. “Diagnostic Accretion: Reply to Commentary” International Journal of Epidemiology. 38: 1243-1244
- King, Marissa, Christine Fountain, Diana Dakhallah and Peter Bearman. “Estimating Autism Risk in a Time of Increasing Reproductive Age” American Journal of Public Health. 99(9):1673-1679.
- Parigi, Paolo and Peter S. Bearman. “Spaghetti Politics: The Structure of the Italian Political System, 1986-2002. Social Forces 87:2:623-651
- Baldassarri, Delia and Peter S. Bearman. “The Dynamics of Polarization” American Sociological Review. V72, N5: 784-812. (Awarded Mathematical Sociology Prize for Best Article)
- Weiss, Christopher and Peter S. Bearman. “Fresh Starts: School Form and Student Outcomes”. American Journal of Education. (May, 2007).
- Erikson, Emily and Peter S. Bearman. “Routes into Networks: The Structure of English East Indian Trade, 1600-1831”. American Journal of Sociology 112(1):195-230. (2006)
- Brückner, Hannah and Peter S. Bearman. “After the Promise: The STD Consequences of Adolescent Virginity Pledges”. Journal of Adolescent Health 36:271-278
- Bearman, Peter S. and Paolo Parigi. “Cloning Headless Frogs and Other Important Matters: Conversation Topics and Network Structure”. Social Forces. 83 (2): 535-557 (2004)
- Brückner, Hannah, Anne Martin and Peter S. Bearman. “Ambivalence and Pregnancy: Adolescent Attitudes, Contraception, and Pregnancy”. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. 36 (6): 248-257 (2004)
- Bearman, Peter S, James Moody and Katherine Stovel. “Chains of Affection: The Structure of Adolescent Romantic and Sexual Networks”. American Journal of Sociology. Vol. 110.1.44-91 (2004) (Awarded Roger V. Gould Prize; AJS 2004-05
- Bearman, Peter S. and Brückner, Hannah. "Promising the Future: Virginity Pledges and First Intercourse" American Journal of Sociology, 106, 4, p. 859- (2001)
- "Hooking Up" Peter Bearman, James Moody, Katherine Stovel. Harper's Magazine. New York: Jun 2005. Vol. 310, Iss. 1861; p. 22-
Major reports from his longitudinal studies
- 2004 Bearman, Peter, Katherine Stovel, James Moody, and Lisa Thalji. "The Structure of Sexual Networks and the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health", in Network Epidemiology: A Handbook For Survey Design and Data Collection. Martina Morris (ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- 2003 Brückner, H and Peter S Bearman . Dating Behavior and Sexual Activity Among Young Adolescents, in Albert, William, Sarah Brown and Christine Flanagan (ed) Fourteen and Younger: The Sexual Behavior of Young Adolescents. National Campaign To Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Washington, D.C.
- 1999 Bearman, Peter S. and Hannah Brückner. Power in Numbers: Peer Effects on Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Debut and Pregnancy. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy: Research Monographs. Washington, D.C.
- 1999 Bearman, Peter S, and Hannah Brückner. “Peer Effects on Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Debut and Pregnancy: An Analysis of a National Sample of Adolescent Girls”, in Peer Potential: Making the Most of How Teens Influence Each Other. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Washington, D.C.
- 1998 Bearman, Peter S. and Hannah Brückner. “Peer Effects on Adolescent Girls’ Sexual Debut and Pregnancy Risk”. PPFY Network, Vol2. No3.
- 1998 Bearman, Peter S and Laura Burns. “Adolescents, Health and School: Early Findings From the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.” NASSP Bulletin. Vol. 82:601-23.
- 1997 Udry, J. Richard and Peter S. Bearman. “New Methods for New Perspectives on Adolescent Sexual Behavior”. In Richard Jessor (ed). New Perspectives on Adolescent Sexual Behavior. Cambridge University Press.
- 1997 Bearman, PS., J. Jones, and J. R. Udry. “Connections Count: Adolescent Health and the Design of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.” 
- Bio on Columbia University Department of Sociology
- Full CV (2009) on Columbia University