REASON #37 TO BE MORE THAN A LITTLE BIT CONCERNED ABOUT EVENTUALLY BEING THE PARENT OF A TEENAGER

About one in five ninth-graders report having had oral sex and almost one-third say they intend to try it during the next six months, a small study of teens at two California schools reports. The teenagers, whose average age was 14, also say oral sex is less risky, more common and more acceptable for their age group than intercourse.

While one would like to dismiss this study as having been conducted at some latter-day Ridgemont High, the results seem to ring true:

“Adults are sitting there yelling at each other about abstinence, condoms, oral contraception and abortion, and kids have found their own path,” [said Dr. Robert Blum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health]. “That’s the most important issue that underlies these data: Adults are more clueless than we would like to admit.”

In the end, the presumably childless academics say, the discovery that half of all 14-year-olds will have been, or plan to be, on their knees by September is actually good news:

David Landry, a researcher at the Alan Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit group that studies reproductive issues .... said the California survey is encouraging because it shows teenagers know that oral sex carries some health risk. “Most adolescents also correctly recognized that oral sex is less risky than sexual intercourse,” Landry said.

We're going to hate ourselves for it, but we know we're going to be one of those dads who tells the kids, "the only form of safe sex is abstinence" -- and hopes they buy it.

THE CRIME IS INEXPLICABLE - UNLESS THE ARSONISTS SOMEHOW MISTOOK THE JUNGLE GYM FOR THE MOBBED-UP PIZZA PARLOR THEY WERE HIRED TO TORCH

Some really, really mean arsonists in Washington State torched an elementary-school playground, depriving 400 kids of their slides and swings for the rest of the school year. And KOMO-TV was on the scene with a full arsenal of umbrage:

Now, there are no screams of laughter; no signs of children, just signs that order kids to stay out...

Investigators suspect teens who didn't know or didn't care that parents raised the money to build this playground -- and that parents don't know how to explain arson to a Kindergartener... 

The district says insurance will likely replace it. But replacing a child's trust may not be as easy...

OK, OK, we confess! We did it! Now, for the love of God, please stop tugging at our heartstrings!

WELL, IT SURE BEATS EATING LESS AND PLAYING OUTSIDE

The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency, which apparently has given up on weight-loss options that aren't tied to TV viewing, is conducting a 6-month, $60,000 test to see if it can't get portly preteens to drop some pounds by sweating to the popular Japanese video game Dance Dance Revolution.

A representative of game maker Konami, suppressing a giggle, told USA TODAY that the company "knows of no other state or insurance agency using the game for its health benefits."

April 4, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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