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. Since we emphasize demonstrable fact over teen-bashing emotionalism and interest-driven propaganda, the information you find here will be dramatically different than in the major media and political forums.

Sources: CDC (2022), World Population Review (2022).

Example: The truth about school shootings no one talks about

Here are the unvarnished facts about United States school shootings leaders, interest groups, and major media on all sides refuse to engage, because they demolish everyone’s arguments:

1. Even in the worst year for school shootings – even with the Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Parkland, etc. school massacres – a student in an American primary or secondary (K-12) school is safer from being shot than a person in Germany.

2. One 64-year-old shot more people in Las Vegas in 15 minutes than are shot in all 131,000 American schools in four years.

3. A student would have to attend school every school day for 400 years to risk having any kind of shooting (homicide, accident, fatal, non-fatal) anywhere in their school, and for over 200,000 years before risking being fatally shot in or on the grounds of a school.

4. We should be far more frightened when a student leaves school, especially if they are going home, where they are many times more likely to be shot.

5. Why are schools so uniquely safe from gun violence? Because (a) they are heavily occupied by young populations singularly unlikely to shoot themselves or others, and (b) nearly all are gun-free.

6. Why do interest groups on all sides demonize schools as bullet-riddled places students should be terrified to enter? Because all sides choose exploit fears of youth to advance their agendas even at the expense of making schools more dangerous. The rampant hysteria gun-control lobbies create about schools fuels the crazed impetus by gun-rights groups to arm school personnel and officers -a reckless policy that has already caused more school shootings.

The YouthFacts study uses standard Centers for Disease Control, FBI, Education Department, and demographic data to compare the worst recent year for school shootings with gun violence risks elsewhere in American society and other nations, adjusted for the time youths and adults actually spend in those places. Its conclusions are straightforward and factual – and therefore startling and challenging to America’s grossly deceptive gun debate.

Youth Facts Contributors

Professor Anthony Bernier teaches youth services at the nation’s largest library school (San Jose State University’s School of Information) and is Project Director for and blogs at YouthFacts.org. He lives in Eugene, Oregon, and rides a Vespa P200E and a BMW C650GT.

Mike Males is senior researcher for the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco; formerly taught sociology, psychology, and epidemiology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Irvine; and has authored four books and scores of journal articles and op-eds on youth and social topics. He lives in Auburn, California, and writes weird futuristic fiction.

Wendy Schaetzel Lesko‘s experiences as a community organizer and journalist are woven into several of her books including Youth! The 26% Solution. After two decades with the Youth Activism Project, now Wendy leadsYouth Infusion which focuses on adult-run nonprofits and government agencies that engage teens as co-strategists in many organizational operations.

Milo Santamaria is an MLIS student at San Jose State University, and an aspiring children’s librarian. They have been volunteering with children and youth organizations for most of their life and earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology at UC Santa Cruz.  Milo lives in Southern California and has two pet guinea pigs named Phoebe and Cannoli.

New Blog Posts

The Kids Online Safety Act denies young people’s freedoms of expression and privacy  KOSA is built off of assumptions about what will keep kids safe and what material they should have access to. Seeing an entire group of people as a monolith with the same needs and opinions is dehumanizing, as is debating what’s in their best interest without hearing their diverse opinions. By Milo Santamaria, August 2023

We’ve gotten the “teenage mental health crisis” dangerously wrong  Depression drives social media use, not the other way around, while we ignore the real struggles young people face. By Mike Males, July 2023

At least part of the responsibility for the rollback on reproductive choice rests with an unlikely culprit: liberal Hollywood. When viewed against a larger and consistent backdrop these films become a de facto Hollywood anti-abortion campaign. By Anthony Bernier, July 2023

Still Believe in the ‘Undeveloped Teen Brain?’ Well, don’t. Real theories emerge from rigorous examination over long periods of time under varied and different circumstances. Theories are refined over time to include new data, new interpretations, and undergo strenuous peer-review. More authoritative theory undergoes further testing through reproducing the same or similar results in subsequent trials. Ultimately, a theory should reliably explain and predict outcomes. The “teen brain” theory can claim few of these. By Anthony Bernier, June 2023

Mike Males reviews Generations: The Real Differences Between Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X, Boomers, and Silents―and What They Mean for America’s Future By Jean M. Twenge This isn’t as bad as her awful (and flatly wrong) Generation Me, but Twenge simply leaves out far too many crucial facts (such as household abuses by parents and grownups victimizing youth, and detailed surveys of how youth actually use screen culture) in joining the stampede to blame social media for every major youth ill. June 2023

The Press’s Desperately Stupid, Unethical Crusade to Inflame Panic over “Youth Violence” News outlets used to regularly feature shootings. Now it’s occasional fistfights, “rowdy teens,” a knife on a bus — in the same terrifying tones. A real, typical week of violence in a California city looks nothing like what one sees in the press. By Mike Males, June 2023

Someone Has to Say It: Americans Should Not Have Guns The United States lacks the humility, leadership, reasoned regulations, social cohesion, professional integrity, egalitarian policing, individual restraint, and honest media necessary to prevent gun carnage. By Mike Males, April 2023

Not Another “Teen Mental Health Crisis” Year after year, decade after decade, authorities stigmatize each new youth generation and suffering unprecedented mental-health troubles. By Mike Males, April 2023

Listen to us:” Youth Are More Resilient Than We Deserve Kids today have every justification for dwelling in fear and gloom. But they aren’t. Instead, they’re demonstrating a resilience that this society does not deserve. By Anthony Bernier, April 2023

Interview with John Wall about his edited collection, Exploring Children’s Suffrage: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Ageless Voting  John Wall (Rutgers University, US) talks about his edited collection, Exploring Children’s Suffrage: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Ageless Voting  By John Wall, March 2023

Los Angeles’s Astounding Youth Trends Terrifying Everyone. The LA Times and other media run tiresomely repetitive articles hyping “crises” of youths, guns, drugs, crime, and suicide that dodge real facts. By Mike Males, April 2023


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