For a long time, eyebrow-arching and pearl-clutching over “hookup culture” has focused on young women: they will feel used by young men and come to believe they can only derive value in themselves from their sexuality. Such concerns have been roundly and fairly criticizing as portraying young women as victims lacking in agency, or worse, in need of a paternalistic watchful eye.
There has been less of a focus on how hookup culture affects young men. According to a piece by the usually-spot-on journalist Abigail Pesta, writing for NBCnews.com, there is “an increasing confusion among boys about how to behave” and experts say “boys who engage in this kind of sexualized behavior say they have no intention to be hostile or demeaning — precisely the opposite. While they admit they are pushing limits, they also think they are simply courting.”
Oh dear. Keep reading »
Three Chicago teenagers are facing sexual assault charges after they allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl at gunpoint and posted a video of that attack on Facebook.
In December, two 16-year-old boys and one 15-year-old boy brought the girl to one of their homes and allegedly took turns assaulting her, including sodomizing her. One of the young men had a gun in his pocket during some of the assaults and another held the gun during the rape. All of the rapes were caught on film and all three boys are visible in the videos, flashing gang signs. Keep reading »
Fathers, lock up your daughters: the government is going to be forcing slutty slut pills down their throats!
That will be the Fox News version of events. But here in Reasonable, Common Sense-land, the story is different: a federal judge — a man! — has struck down the age limit on the morning-after pill, meaning sexually active young women age 16 and younger will be able to access it. Ruling on a lawsuit by the Center for Reproductive Rights, Judge Edward Korman decided that the government’s refusal to lift the age restriction is “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable” and said the FDA’s feet-dragging has been an “obstruction.” He ordered the FDA to lift the age restriction within 30 days.
Reproductive rights activists pushed the FDA for years to make Plan B accessible to all and in 2011, they finally did. But it never happened: Health and Human Services Secretary swiftly overruled the FDA recommendation to make Plan B accessible to everyone, citing alleged concern about its safety for young teens — but in reality, kowtowing to a game of keep-conservatives-happy hardball. Keep reading »
New York City’s Human Resources Administration (HRA) has recently launched a new ad campaign aimed at teen pregnancy that has caused quite a stir — and rightfully so. The campaign employs some of the most shameful tactics I have ever seen in the name of preventing teen pregnancy. These offensive ads (pictured after the jump) feature crying babies and blaming language that the HRA hopes will turn teenagers off from becoming parents.
Much of the wording places the onus of teen parenthood directly on the mother. Only one ad talks directly to young men (focusing on how much money he’ll have to pay in support), while the rest weigh heavily on the shoulders of young women, with one specifically focusing on how it’s highly likely a teen mom will end up raising her baby alone.
Is becoming a teen parent ideal or easy? No. Nobody is saying it is. But the way to go about preventing teen pregnancy isn’t by shaming and blaming those who already are young parents. The money that was spent on this horrible (and most likely ineffective) ad campaign could have been put to better use in more widespread comprehensive sex-education programs within the city. Keep reading »
Asia is kind of notorious for its long-standing monopoly on bizarre “trends,” from bagel heads and tentacle porn to ANIMATRONIC CAT EAR HEADBANDS THAT MOVE WITH YOUR EMOTIONS. Sorry, I am a little stoked on that one (see also: cat cafes). So, as mind-bendingly strange as many of them are (so, so, so strange), I can’t say I’m ever shocked to hear that something new and batshit crazy is going on in Asia. And yet! Young people (I’m 80 years old) in Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are getting into fashion braces. Like, for your teeth. Listen, it physically pains me to admit this, but I, too, wanted braces as a child. What the fuck, former self? I thought they were cool! Metal in your mouth! What isn’t cool about that? Keep reading »
Pediatricians should discuss emergency contraception with their teenaged patients and even write advance prescriptions, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended earlier this week. The morning-after pill should be taken 120 hours after unprotected sex, but is more effective the sooner it is taken. If taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, Plan B is almost 90 percent more effective than saying “No babies no babies no babies!” three times fast. Advance prescriptions, the AAP, explained, would help prevent teen pregnancies and put MTV’s “16 & Pregnant” franchise out of business. Keep reading »
Earlier this week, The New York Post dropped the “exclusive” that nurses at 13 New York City public schools can dispense the morning-after pill and provide oral and injectable birth control, like Depo Provera and the Pill — “without parents’ permission.”
Keep reading »
Know a teen who’s hooked on porn? The Oxbow Academy, a boot-camp style facility in Utah, is treating teenagers with pornography addictions by using holistic therapy, banning phones, and insisting on lie detector tests, the Daily Mirror reports. Dubbed the Porn School, Oxbow charges heavily—nearly $9,000 a month—but is trying to tackle a problem that increasingly afflicts those who can’t refuse the easy access, experts say. Read more…
When Brianna Moore, a 6th grader at Shue-Medill Middle School in Delaware, raised her grades enough to make honor roll for the first time, her parents let her dye her hair pink as a reward. The next day she was kicked out of school and faced with a choice: bleach her hair, take classes via in-school suspension until the color faded out, or switch schools. It wasn’t until the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in that the school district finally backed down and reversed the decision. Today Brianna is rocking pink hair, a good report card, and an admirable attitude: “I need to stand up for myself when it’s right,” she said. As a fellow pink-haired lady, I’m beaming with pride. [USA Today] [Photo by Suchat Peterson of The News Journal]
My parents are cool. Very cool. In fact, in some ways, they are cooler than I am. They know they all the hot restaurants in New York City, and they’ve been to every new play. They stay out late at jazz clubs, and put together ensembles with the ease of stylists. Their apartment looks like a page out of Dwell.
However, when I was a teenager, I was absolutely mortified by my parents. I remember one time, I was a few minutes late meeting my dad, who had agreed to pick me up from a school dance. Because he didn’t have all day to wait around for me, he walked on into the gym to find me. As I saw him stroll through the pathetically ballooned gymnasium, I felt a tsunami of shame rush over me. As if having parents was something none of my friends and classmates could possibly relate to. I still can hear the awful tenor of the voice I used when my mom once dared to ask me if I’d done my homework when my cooler, older friends came to pick me up to go to a party one night. “Mooooom, you’re embarrassing me!” It’s a teenage refrain.
So I was felt a little better to hear that Kate Beckinsale, admittedly one of the coolest women in the world, has a teenage daughter who is thoroughly embarrassed by her. Keep reading »