Blog: “Teenage” Sex, Pregnancy Myths

“TEENAGE” SEX, PREGNANCY MYTHS
The opinions expressed in blog posts are those of the author and not necessarily those of YouthFacts.org

“It Gets Better” campaign chooses popularity over inclusiveness. It sounds like a hopeful message to gay teens that getting older will fix everything. But the underlying image of “It Gets Better” also contains false and ugly subcontexts: that gay teens are fragile and self-destructive (in fact, they appear less inclined to suicide than adults); young straight people are homophobic bullies while adults are serene and tolerant (in reality, the young are society’s most pro-gay demographic); and the movement is interested only in gay youth who suffer bullying by peers; those who suffer homophobic treatment by adults, not so much. And its message, however hopeful-sounding, may be wrong. (read more)

Did Colorado’s contraception program really reduce “teen” births by 40%? When conservatives breathlessly claimed San Marcos, California’s, abstinence-only education program cut teen pregnancies by an incredible 85 percent, we were among those debunking the absurd claim. Likewise, liberal claims that Colorado’s post-2007 program that provides free contraception to teenagers and adults caused teen births to fall by “40%” deserve scrutiny. Did it?

The US should join the rest of the world: Teenagers are adults. The administration’s obstinant stance against providing Plan B emergency contraception to teenage girls on the same basis as adult women–one only recently reversed–does not reflect scientific acumen or sincere concern. Rather, President Obama’s cruel and reckless attitude, in which he even publicly demeaned his own daughters, puts poorer young women (especially rape and sexual abuse victims) who have little access to physicians or prescriptions at severe risk–a reality his own past community work surely revealed. Obama’s unreasoning meanness toward young women reflects the youth-bashing politics of his former top advisor Rahm Emanuel.

Wildly overhyped “tween dating abuse” survey recited by journalistic sycophants to promote fashion designer. All domestic violence is unacceptable, but scapegoating 11-14 year-olds as violent and promiscuous with alarmist trash is unconscionable. What did fashionista Liz Claiborne’s survey actually find? That 99% of 11-12 year-olds and 93% of 13-14-year-olds had never gone “further than kissing or making out,” 98% had never felt their safety was threatened by a partner, and just 2% had experienced physical violence or sexual violence from a partner. Did Liz Claiborne, CBS, and other compliant outlets’ terrifying stories report what the survey actually found? Hell, no.

Lying about “teenage sex” is so rampant across the spectrum that we can’t even admit basic realities. Interest groups left to right alternate between dispensing warped myths and falling over themselves to grab credit for imagined achievements. We’re lucky teens themselves are paying no attention to all the clamor and are showing major improvements in key areas.

The Urban Institute, which once defended adult men impregnating teenagers as socially acceptable, holds sexist conference on the “social costs” of “teenage motherhood.” The supposedly liberal Urban Institute has been at the forefront of racist and sexist distortions of what we call “teenage childbearing.”

“90 pregnant teens at one Memphis high school!” turns out to be just planted media gossip. On the heels of the phony Gloucester “teen pregnancy pact” baloney (there was no “pact” and no “pregnancy spike”), the media rushed again to credit a thoroughly wrong rumor that a high school had “90 pregnant teens.” Do reporters and interests even care if they lie about youth?

“Teen pregnancy pact” media frenzy spreads a complete hoax. There was no “pregnancy pact” among Gloucester, Massachusetts, high school girls. There was no “spike in pregnancies” there. Just a series of lies cooked up by self-interested school officials (who are now acting like they’re the victims!) and spread all over the globe by venal journalists.

Bristol Palin’s pregnancy arouses America’s bipartisan meanness against youth. Rosalynn Carter was a teenage bride and a pregnant teenager—like five other First Ladies. The rage to brand Bristol an irresponsible, uneducated “baby” and her child certain to be damaged tells us more about the commentaridiots’ own damaged bigotries.