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Teens
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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