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Teens
05/13/2010
IconAndrew Sum of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University in Boston predicts that teen summer employment is going to fall to the lowest rate in the 60 year history of government jobs data. That's down from 45% in 2000, and a high of 48.5% in 1989.The reasons for this tightening of the teen summer job market are varied. Because of weakness in the economy, more adults (including unemployed college graduates, older workers, former welfare recipients, illegal immigrants, and working adults seeking second jobs) are competing for low-skilled, hourly posts. The proportion of jobless teens actively looking and available for paying jobs last summer, at 17.1% was nearly four times that of adults ( Wall St. Journal, 4/23/08 ).Idle children are not in the best interests of family, neighborhoods, or society. That amount of non-focused adolescent energy needs a constructive outlet. Individuals as well as businesses all should take on the responsibility of providing at least some sort of hourly work during the summertime for teens; this would provide them structured time, financial compensation, skill building, exercise of the mind and body or both, increased self-esteem, and experiences of a more positive nature than they'd probably have without the work.Another outlet for teens is to come up with some business concept of their own, wherein they provide a service for a business or homeowner. Once concept, described by the founder of Teens4Hire.org , an employment website, was her suggestion to a panhandling skateboarded to start his own business collecting household hazardous waste for recycling. He made $700 hauling paint cans, oil, and other items to a recycling center at $3 per item. Teens can also do grocery shopping or other chores for the elderly or housebound or just darn busy folks - there are lots of ideas just waiting to be brought to life. More >>

Tags: CharacterCharacter-Courage-ConscienceFamily/Relationships - TeensMilitaryTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconRecently, the news has been filled with reports regarding the military's acceptance of increasing numbers of felons into their ranks.'I still believe that each and every male and female who reaches the age of 18 should spend two years in military training.' Our young people are spending more and more of their precious twenties still being dependent children and/or getting into all sorts of trouble with sex, drugs, and violence.' Two years of military experience would toughen 'em up, teach them self-discipline, give them an outlet for their immense unfocused energies, and provide an opportunity for them to become more mature, thinking individuals. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - Teensfather figureMilitaryMotherhood-FatherhoodTeensValues
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05/13/2010

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensMilitaryQuote of the WeekTeensValues
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05/13/2010
IconThe results of the first national study to measure the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found in young women were released recently by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.According to the report, 3.2 million teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 were found to have the human papillovirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes or trichomoniasis.' The study did not determine the number of girls who had HIV/AIDS, syphilis or gonorrhea.I don't know what qualifies as an epidemic here, but clearly, these numbers represent a crisis of monstrous proportions.' Responsible adults forming public should be figuring out how we can reverse the direction of these horrifying statistics.' The wholesale distribution of condoms and consensual counseling at the high school level has not dampened the levels of risky behavior among the nation's teens.' Sex education has apparently been successful at teaching our children how to do it...often, and clearly, not safely. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensParentingSexTeens
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05/13/2010
IconReuters' Julie Steenhuysen wrote a news essay recently which was a real shocker.' She quoted Janis Wolak of the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in Durham: A lot of the characterizations that you see in Internet safety information suggest that sex offenders are targeting very young children and using violence and deception against their victims.... Especially since social networking sites became popular, people are suggesting that these offenders are using information to stalk and abduct their victims.' We are not seeing those types of cases.' The great majority of cases we have seen involved young teenagers, mostly 13, 14, 15 year old girls who are targeted by adults on the Internet who are straightforward about being interested in sex. From the perspective of the victim, these are romances. Among the study's other findings:* Internet offenders pretended to be teenagers in only 5% of the crimes studied.* Nearly 75% of victims who met offenders did so more than once.* Youths at risk have "buddy lists" including strangers, and they discuss sex online with strangers.* Boys who are gay or questioning their sexuality are more susceptible to Internet-initiated sex crimes than other populations, resulting in 15% of criminal cases.Other than religious institutions, there is virtually nothing in our society that elevates sexuality to a spiritual status.' This is the result of a society which takes kids out of school (without parental notification) for abortions; which has peer sex classes showing how to put condoms on bananas; which has "sex fairs" at major colleges and universities; which has porn as mainstream, primetime television and advertising; which has practically naked models in store windows for Abercrombie & Fitch and Victoria's Secret; which has families repeatedly torn apart by busy, "two parent career" homes, divorce, re-marriage, shack-ups, and other adult misbehaviors that emotionally devastate children who look elsewhere for love and comfort.'What is normalized is yearned for by children who want to be "adults." More >>

Tags: BudgetEconomyFamily/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaSexSocial NetworkingTeens
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05/13/2010
IconLast week, I posted a blog entitled "Accidental Sex?" in which I commented about an article in Seventeen Magazine entitled " Shocking Ways You Could Get Pregnant By Accident ."'I got an email from a listener who had written to Seventeen to complain about the article.' She sent me a copy of their response, or as she said: "let's be sure not to alienate anyone, was their bottom line.' Good grief!"'Good grief, indeed.' I'll let you be the judge.' Here's the letter from Seventeen: Thank you for your letter.' We are very interested in all of your comments, questions and concerns. Seventeen has a readership of millions of girls, and it is our mission, indeed our obligation, to give these girls information, entertainment and advice they can turn to.' As the oldest magazine in existence for teenagers, we also have 60 years of experience in talking to them and finding ways of getting them to listen.' We have found that when teens feel they are being lectured, condescended to, or getting nothing but "don'ts," they stop listening. What we attempt to do in every article is to give teens basic facts and warnings, in an effort to make sure that if they do decide to take a step, like to become sexually active, they are aware of the most likely issues and safety conditions and will at least think twice about what they are doing and try to do it in the most responsible way possible. We at Seventeen work as best we can to get the right kind of message across without alienating readers.' We will continue to try to give our readers advice that works, and to serve them as well as we can. Thanks again for writing us. Sincerely, The Editors More >>

Tags: EducationFamily/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSchoolSexSexualityTeens
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05/13/2010
IconAny woman who has ever been pregnant knows how absurd it is when we hear about some young woman who did not know she was pregnant until the moment at which she is giving birth to a full-term baby.' Preposterous, of course.' Its more like she's not willing to take responsibility.' Well, the February issue of Seventeen magazine focuses on "Shocking Ways You Could Get Pregnant By Accident."' Huh?The cover piece does mention the option of not having sex, and even points out that "studies show that girls who have a big plan for their future are significantly less likely to get pregnant," but the main focus of the magazine article is not about how to avoid sex simply because you feel all tingly and your girlfriends are doing it or the guy tells you that you won't be popular if you don't.' It's mainly about accepting that it'll probably happen, so this is how you talk him into a condom or how you take the pill (which, by the way, does not protect against sexually-transmitted diseases)."...sex is a natural, healthy and fun part of loving relationships."' That is a fact.' What Seventeen does not take an entire issue to explain is that every time you feel butterflies or are hot for someone, it isn't love.' The issue does not spend page after page extolling the virtues of mature awe, respect, admiration, friendship, trust, etc., which take years to develop and can really only take place once you're a mature adult.Surely Seventeen magazine knows that the number one issue for teens is acceptance and fitting in.' To be such a formidable influence in the lives of teens and to be so remiss in cheating them out of the blessings of true intimacy - instead, touting the fulfillment of urges as love justifying sex - is a sad, irresponsible, and disgusting misuse of their power. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensInternet-MediaInternet/MediaParentingSexSexualityTeens
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05/13/2010
IconI'm Against Mandatory Cervical-Cancer Vaccine for Pre-teen Girls: It makes sense to me to require school children to have immunization to measles, chicken pox and polio, because these are highly contagious diseases readily spread in a classroom or schoolyard setting. However, mandating immunization of American school girls for HPV (human papilloma virus), transmitted sexually, as a requirement for attending public or private schools is patently outrageous and should be fought tooth and nail by every parent in America. HPV is responsible for genital warts and most cases of cervical cancer. However, this vaccine protects against only four strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases. That means, all women still need regular PAP smears to detect cancerous cells caused by other HPV strains.The American Cancer Society estimates that 11, 150 women will be diagnosed with cervical cancer, and 3,670 will die in the U.S. this year. That is equivalent to 0.77% of cancer diagnosed in the U.S. and 0.65% of U.S. cancer deaths each year; while almost 180,000 American women will get diagnosed with breast cancer this year and over 40,000 will die.Of the more than 25,000 patients who participated in clinical trials, only 1,184 were pre-teen girls. Certainly, that is not enough of a population to determine dosage and long term effects of the vaccine, Gardasil, on children- who notoriously respond uniquely to drugs of many kinds.Since its release last June, 82 adverse effects have been reported, ranging from nausea and fever or rashes, to fainting spells.Last and not least is the fact that this vaccine is being produced and marketed by one company only, Merck. The company has been aggressively lobbying states to make this vaccine mandatory, which will be a profit windfall for them.Eighty percent of cervical cancer cases occur in developing countries. It seems to me that bringing the vaccine to these poor cultures would be more benevolent...but less profitable.So far, the states that are considering making HPV vaccination mandatory for pre-teen girls, or have already mandated it are: California, Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.Make sure you opt out due to reasons of religion or conscience. If that is not possible - home school.It just appears to me that this legislation is more about Merck profits and liberal sexual politics than the well-being of our children. The government does have the obligation to intercede for the public good. Explain to me why the government protects names and infection status of HIV (a virtual epidemic in this world) infected persons from their spouses, or sex partners but imagines it is in the public interest to basically force and test nine year old children for a disease for which there is minimal risk?The answer is somewhere between politics and corporate politics.*My thanks to John Carreyrou in WSJ (February 7, 2007) for the statistical information. More >>

Tags: Family/Relationships - TeensHealthSocial IssuesTeensValues
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