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Ryan Ross
Ryan Ross

Teen Sex Screaming

Vanzant positions herself as a counselor and an experienced girlfriend. While some of her topics could be tweaked into scream TV--like one she taped a few weeks ago about talking to your troubled teen--she eases her guests through moments when other hosts would prod a sore spot: "You ask [your daughter] a question," she tells a mom whose 13-year-old has been sneaking out. "She gives you an honest answer. You can't freak out at that moment." (One segment of the episode, in fact, is titled "How to Talk Without Screaming.")

teen sex screaming


She wants to bring her MTV audience over, though, and their moms with them. Lewis, says her producer Mary Duffy, intends to be an intergenerational "conduit of information" about hot-button topics like school violence, depression and teen sex--a topic Lewis raised at MTV, in true confessional-host mode, by talking about a temporary vow of celibacy she took. "So many young girls stopped me in the street then and told me they made different choices [about having sex]," she recalls.

Dear Abby: With the holiday season coming, I want to offer a word of advice to parents who are considering having Santa photos taken of their kids at the mall. I managed one of those concessions and saw the best and the worst of parenting. Forcing kids to get your memory photo of them screaming in terror is ridiculous, and I will add, NOT FUNNY. Parents should take the time to ask the children if they WANT to see Santa.

Although hammering men for exploiting women and treating them as sex objects, feminists tacitly adopted the “ Playboy Philosophy” of sex without commitment as the new standard for female sexuality. But gradually women began to realize it was a bad bargain. If girls give sex in order to get love, while boys give love in order to get sex, dumping free sex on the market inevitably drove the cost of love through the roof. Female bargaining power was demolished. Girls had to fling enormous quantities of sex at boys in desperate attempts to buy the smallest units of love. One teen told a friend of mine: “I slept with Rick last night. Do you think he likes me?”

While rising numbers of teens are saying no to sex, the most telling evidence against “liberation” comes from the kids who said yes. A survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 1991 asked sexually experienced inner-city junior and senior high students what they thought was the ideal age to begin having sex: 83 percent suggested ages older than they had been. Twenty-five percent of these sexually experienced kids also said that they believe sex before marriage is wrong. (This point of view has continued to grow in popularity. The UCLA Higher Education Research Institute surveys 250,000 new college freshmen every year. In 1987, 52 percent of the students said that casual sex was acceptable; only 42 percent of the 1996 class agrees.)

While reading this study one can almost hear the authors wringing their hands. Though they certainly intended to listen, not lead, in the focus groups, glimpses of ideology struggling against professional restraint slip through. One young woman reminds the group of something the author/facilitator had said earlier: “Religion is legal; we have our choice. Abortion is legal; they have their choice.” Perhaps under the influence of such encouragement, most of the adolescents do affirm legal access to abortion (while presuming erroneously that it is presently illegal nearly everywhere, and under nearly all circumstances). In this they reflect the prevalent American compromise: abortion is wrong, but it should be legal. What distresses the authors is the fervency and obstinacy with which the teens think it is wrong; this may “guide their votes later.” (Indeed, the UCLA study of college freshmen found that in 1990 65 percent believed abortion should remain legal, but by 1996 only 56 percent agreed.)

In states with licensing restrictions, teen driving deaths have been reduced from 5% to 15%, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Since teens do most of their driving at night, states with nighttime driving restrictions or curfews for young novice drivers also have lower crash rates.

* Sign a contract with your teen in which both parties agree to avoid using alcohol or other drugs before driving and avoid driving with those who have. The contract could state that if a teen has been drinking, he or she will call home for a ride. 041b061a72


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