The country is up in arms over teenagers shamelessly groping each other, or, as some like to call it, “hugging.” The New York Times reported today that hugging is the new teenage greeting of choice. “The high-five is, like, boring,” says Katie Dea, an eighth grader in San Francisco. Hence, the hug.
“There is the basic friend hug, the bear hug, the bear claw, when a boy embraces a girl awkwardly with his elbows poking out. There is the hug that starts with a high-five, then moves into a fist bump, followed by a slap on the back and an embrace. There’s the shake and lean; the hug from behind; and, the newest addition, the triple — any combination of three girls and boys hugging at once. ‘We’re not afraid, we just get in and hug,’” said Danny Schneider, a junior, in The New York Times
Straight males embracing? Triple hugging? Good lord, SOMEONE HELP THESE POOR CHILDREN!!! Keep reading »
Last week, The Guardian published a heartfelt letter that writer Stephen Fry had penned to his 16-year-old self in which he wrote : “Tears splash on to my keyboard now. I am perhaps happier now than I have ever been and yet I cannot but recognize that I would trade all that I am to be you, the eternally unhappy, nervous, wild, wondering and despairing 16-year-old Stephen: angry, angst-ridden and awkward but alive. Because you know how to feel, and knowing how to feel is more important than how you feel. Deadness of soul is the only unpardonable crime, and if there is one thing happiness can do it is mask deadness of soul.” Hundreds of readers responded to the letter with notes to their own 16-year-old selves, warning of everything from fast-approaching baldness, unfulfilled dreams, and death of friends and family. Some gave advice: “Marry that fab posh girl in about three years, not seven. Life’s too short to wait, but any sooner will freak her out.” Others gave hints of good things to come: “Amazingly, not only will you get a boyfriend but he is lovely and you will live together in London on the other side of the world.” What would you say to your 16-year-old self? After the jump, a letter to myself at half the age I am now — and, yes, that makes me 32. Keep reading »
It seems Judy McGuire’s fantastic piece, “Girl Talk: How To Avoid Dating An Abusive Freak,” was eeirily and unfortunately timely. The New York Times reports that due to a rise in teen domestic violence, many states are instituting programs designed to educate young people about the signs of abuse and the dangers those in abusive relationships face. [NY Times] Keep reading »
Anal sex is on the rise amongst teenagers. Not so coincidentally, so are STDs, specifically HIV/AIDS, among 13-29 year-olds. According to ABC News, teens just don’t find sex and its kinks as taboo as previous generations — which we suppose is sort of good news. It’s important for teenagers to have a healthy relationship with their sexuality and to not feel shame about their urges. But the bad news is, with a lack of sexual education, they’re being stupid about how they do it. Since teens aren’t worried about pregnancy when they’re going through the back door, they often don’t use condoms. There are life-changing risks involved, especially with anal sex, where the walls of the rectum tear easily — just ask our own Dr. V. So, as we tackle sexual taboos as a society, we have to be responsible enough to teach the next generation what we know. Keep reading »
Any physical activity is good activity is the message behind the federal guidelines for physical activity, which the Department of Health and Human Services released this month. The core guideline is that Americans should get at least 150 minutes of moderately intense activity per week, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend that time in the gym. For the first time, a variety of activities, including daily chores and physically-demanding occupations, count toward physical activity, which can lower the risk of early death, heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. But thankfully, the feds have realized that physical activity isn’t one-size-fits-all, so after the jump find recommendations for adults, seniors, children and teens. [New York Times] Keep reading »
Some sex-ed teachers don’t seem to be doing their jobs very well, especially when it comes to teaching young women about emergency contraception. According to a small study of 30 English-speaking black girls between 15 and 19 years old, 94 percent of those who are sexually active said they had at least heard of the morning-after pill, but 40 percent of them were unable to answer follow-up questions about how the pills work. Among the girls who were not sexually active — 14 in total — 50 percent had never heard of the morning-after pill. Only four of the girls who had heard of it know when to use it and how to obtain it, and just seven girls had heard of the non-prescription, brand-name emergency contraceptive Plan B. [Reuters] Keep reading »
The current issue of Rolling Stone features the Hotness Award-nominated band the Jonas Brothers. I was a nanny for an 8-year old not too long ago and while she introduced me to the magical world of Miley Cyrus, I have never been able to like the Jonas Brothers because she sang that song “Year 3000″ at the top of her lungs 24/7 and let me tell you, it was annoying. But I did learn something new from reading RS‘ profile of the hugely, insanely, mega popular band. According to Dr. Louannn Brizendine, author of The Female Brain:
“There’s a thing in biology we call synchrony. Basically, one girl affects another affects another, and it becomes a domino effect building up to that level of hysteria. They are getting all these brain hits of dopamine, and also oxytocin, which is a love-and-bonding hormone. Teenage girls have so much estrogen, which just catapults the level of dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, creating this sort of ecstatic rush in themselves and others. It truly is a state of ecstatic love.”
That explains the masses of crying teens whose fingers graze against Nick Jonas’ arm or the hoards of fans who welcomed the Beatles to America in 1964. It also explains why I contemplated suicide when I didn’t get Pearl Jam tickets in 1992 (my dad eventually forked over money to a scalper and saved my life). So, if the statement above is true, who had that ecstatic power over your teenage heart? Keep reading »
The sad, sad results of a national survey showed that about 3 percent of girls between 12 and 17 said they had been the victim of dating violence, which includes physical abuse, sexual assault, and being threatened with a weapon. In the same age group, 0.6 percent of boys said they’d been a victim.
According to the findings, certain factors, such as a history of stressful or traumatic events, seemed to put teens at great risk for dating violence, and older teenage girls were at greater risk than boys or younger girls. The last bit is interesting because it seems that as we get older, we should understand more about what is okay for people to do to us, and what crosses the line, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Either that, or the guys get more aggressive around that age, too. [Reuters] Keep reading »
Storytime! Over at Feministing’s newly relaunched site, a teenage user on their new community board recounts a story of trying to buy a pregnancy test with her best friend at a drug store and being refused because of her age. When the teen presents the fact that she legally has the right to buy a pregnancy test despite being “underage”, the drugstore teller tells her she shouldn’t be having sex in the first place. After much back and forth the teens were finally able to procure the test, but only after a teller in his late-teens allowed them. This is why a person’s personal beliefs on sexual activity shouldn’t be a factor when they’re on the job. Oh and the teen wasn’t pregnant in the end, thank goodness. [Feministing] Keep reading »
According to a new study published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, the peer groups teenage girls identify with influences how they think about weight. Among the group of 236 girls between 13 and 18 who were surveyed, those who identified with athletic peers, aka jocks, weren’t very concerned about their weight; burnouts believed their peers valued thinness; girls who didn’t belong to any particular group were most likely to use “slimming strategies”; and, perhaps most surprisingly, girls who identified with non-conformist peers were more likely to be actively trying to lose weight. We thought “non-conformist” meant you didn’t care about society’s standards, including those concerning weight. Maybe they’re worried about fitting into their skinny jeans? [EurekAlert!] Keep reading »