Welcome to YouthFacts
We Are Debunkers
YouthFacts is dedicated to providing factual information on youth issues–crime, violence, sex, drugs, drinking, social behaviors, education, civic engagement, attitudes, media, whatever teen terror du jour arises.
Coinciding with increasing racial diversity of American youth, interests of every stripe discovered they could buttress their politics, agendas, fame, and fortunes by manufacturing ever-wilder fears of young people. As “youth” have become handier scapegoats and profit-generating commodities in America’s privatized social policy arena, fear, lying, and raw self-interest prevail.
The information provided here is ORIGINAL. It is not derived secondhand from special interests, media reports, or anointed “experts.” Rather, the reader will be able to link to the primary sources cited and see firsthand how youth issues are routinely distorted in public forums.
Sure, we have opinions, but we don’t tie information here to political or social agendas. As so many interests and media across the political spectrum manufacture grossly inaccurate nonsense about youth, we promise a site that is both non-ideological and offensive to ideologues. And, unlike entrenched interests, we’ll respond seriously to challenges and corrections.
New Youth Developments
Dramatic, promising youth trends demand attention
Mike Males, July 9, 2015
Modern American youth are acting very differently from what experts predicted – and certainly different from what agenda-driven politics frozen in decades-old dogmas can explain or accomodate. The chart on gun deaths above is only one example. Against every theory of youth behavior and political need, however, young people show enormous reductions in gun fatalities over the last two decades in states with stronger gun controls and fewer guns (New York and California) — and also in states with weaker, “open carry” laws and more guns (Texas)…(read more)
The Emerging Youth Suffrage Movement!
Anthony Bernier, August 2015
One of the oldest justifications for libraries serving young adults has a new lease on life.
In staff meetings, budget hearings, and in public forums, the pleading you can bet on hearing from YA advocates, regardless of its effectiveness, is “We need to serve them because if we don’t, they won’t support libraries when they’re old enough to vote.”
Well, I’ve got news: The goal-post is moving.
A new civil rights movement is forming and the profession should take it seriously. The clause “when they’re old enough to vote” is about to evaporate. At least, sixteen-year-olds will be voting soon if San Francisco joins several other smaller municipalities and an increasing number of other countries. (read more)
Reimagining the YA Volunteer
Anthony Bernier, May 28, 2015
During his inaugural address in January of 1961, the just-elected John F. Kennedy called a new generation of Americans to public service, issuing some of the most quoted words in American history: “Ask not,” the young president said, “what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
Two things. First, this line, so well-documented as Kennedy’s, wasn’t his. Second, we can modify the quote to infuse a new way to consider YA volunteering beyond what we have in the past. (read more)
California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom peddles anti-youth demagoguery to win legal highs for his grownup peers. California’s teens don’t deserve Newsom’s patronizing “protect the children!” jingoism and lies. Teens are handling decriminalized marijuana far better than adults.
Teenage terrorists, right here in River City! Running off in droves to join ISIS! (Wait, maybe it’s fewer than a couple of dozen. Who mostly aren’t teenagers.)
Please. Not the “pot talk.” “Talk to your teen about (sex, drinking, drugs, etc.)” is just another hypocritical crusade that evades the need for adults to act responsibly themselves.
It’s okay for liberals to expose the official myth that youth are murdered, raped, beaten, and bullied only by their peers Even among progressives, discussion of adults’ domestic violence victimizing children and teenagers has retreated to 1955-era silence.
Some problems with popular new study on bullying. How does a new theory, that bullying is a biologically driven natural behavior, explain a near absence of bullying found in some environments?
Did Colorado’s contraception program really reduce teen births by 40% in six years? Access to contraception and accurate information on sexuality are important human rights for young and old alike, but it’s time for a new ethic to stop treating teens as a mere commodity to advance interests’ agendas.
Obama blames Charleston shooting on “young people.” It is the president himself who is displaying crude bigotry in his continual efforts to demean youth.
Obama’s latest, bizarre youth-bashing: Drugs, crime and imprisonment are just “teenagers doing stupid things.” The president is proposing valuable reforms to an overly punitive and racially biased justice system, but his bizarre teen-bashing ignores 20 years of real crime and imprisonment trends and reinforces the very anti-youth climate he claims to deplore.
Why is bigotry and distortion against young people the one crude prejudice that remains acceptable in political and media forums? The growing power of once-stigmatized minority groups has created a dilemma for mainstream and liberal leaders and commentators who seek both the support of minority constituencies and the privileges of ugly “demographic distancing” blaming powerless groups for social ills. Solution: Trash young people, the one remaining safe scapegoat… facts and fairness be damned.
Are liberal MSNBC commentators trying to get more black teenagers shot? By the best evidence, the large majority of rioters, arsonists, and looters in Ferguson and Baltimore were out-of-town opportunists who typically descend on disaster-afflicted communities, not local kids.
“My Brother’s Keeper’s” message to poorer youth: You’re not important Given this White House’s emotional rhetoric deploring gun violence and young people, you’d think confronting youth poverty would be the highest priority. You’d be wrong.
Juvenoia! Teens and young adults remain one group of people that can be publicly disparaged with almost no condemnation.
“Knuckleheads” Heading a government that spends well over $1 trillion per year to subsidize the well-being of the elderly, President Obama has won only sporadic, small-scale initiatives for the young.
Education cutbacks, student debt: The center of the real generation war Aging America incessantly declares how much it cares about “the children” but, somehow, keeps tossing the young under the bus again and again to fortify its own ego, bad habits, and spending on itself.