Teen Newsbytes

Menstuff® is actively compiling newsbytes on the issue of adolescence.


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Mark Brandenburg

Ted Braude

Armin Brott

Tim Hartnett

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Bruce Linton

Steven Svoboda

Linda Nielsen

Reena Sommer

Peter Baylies

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New Findings Offer Further Understanding About Growth And Development In Young Male Gymnasts

Intense training has been found to delay the onset of puberty in females by altering normal hormonal development. This has led to delayed pubertal onset, delayed age at first menarche and failure to develop mature skeletal structure. In males, despite evidence that physical activity can also result in hormonal changes, there have been few studies that examined the relationship between training and the onset of puberty.
Source: www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC251/333/22002/369616.html?d=dmtICNNews

In gender wars, advocates for boys battle back

Society's focus on the plight of girls has stirred a backlash from boys' advocates. Drawing little media attention at first, their arguments gained both statistical strength and often uneasy support in a culture where gender inequities have long made Americans defensive and edgy.

Program Reduces Eating Disorders In Girl Athletes

A peer-led, sport team-centered program reduces eating disordered behavior and body-shaping drug use in female high school athletes, according to an article in the November issue of The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Source: American Medical Association, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC251/333/20833/403862.html?d=dmtICNNews

Diet During Puberty Influences Sex Hormone Levels, Possibly Breast Cancer Risk

A modest reduction in fat intake during puberty is associated with changes in the levels of certain sex hormones, according to a study of adolescent girls in the January 15, 2003 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In adults, elevated levels of sex hormones are associated with an increase in breast cancer risk.
Source: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/EMIHC000/333/333/360078.html

Energy Expenditure Differs By Race, Sex, And Weight Among Louisiana School Children

The identification and treatment of overweight before the onset of adolescence has important implications for health later in life, because overweight during adolescence is an independent risk factor for adult obesity and the adverse health effects that accompany it. In a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, DeLany et al. studied 131 preadolescent children and found that the children's energy expenditures varied by their race, sex, and weight and that each of these factors have an influence on whether a child is or will become overweight.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/325/8015/347662.html

High-Intensity Physical Training Improves Cardiovascular Fitness In Obese Adolescents

After school lifestyle education and physical training programs can benefit obese children and adolescents by altering their body compositions and providing primary prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, www.intelihealth.com/IH/ihtIH/WSIHW000/7165/344/349198.html

Single-sex education works

Teenage boys and girls prefer being taught in single-sex classes, work harder and perform better in examinations, according to the outcome of a four-year study at a leading co-educational comprehensive school. Boys said they could concentrate better without the distraction of girls and both their confidence and their work habits improved. Girls agreed, saying they felt less inhibited without boys around. The study was carried out at Comberton Village College in Cambridgeshire, which introduced single-sex lessons in English in order to try and boost boys‚ performance. After four years, the gap between the sexes has narrowed to 4 per cent, compared to a national average of 17 per cent.
Source: London Daily Telegraph

Have A Safe Prom Grant

Amica Insurance Company's "Save the Night" Program "Save the Night" offers $1,000 grants for high schools that want to plan safe, alcohol-free events for after prom or graduation. The grant can be used to pay for the party, and winners also will receive a party planning guide and anti drunk-driving posters. Applications must include a student poem of 200 words or less illustrating why teens should not drink and drive. Deadlines and contact information are available by clicking here:
Source: coldfusion.affiliateshop.com/AIDLink.cfm?AID=013898

It's Not Fair

It's bad enough when dad insists you come home by 9:30... but it's even worse when your kid brother gets to stay out until midnight! Sibling double standards exist for many reasons. Here are some tips to help you understand your parents' reasoning, and some suggestions on how you can fight for your rights! Source: www.teenwire.com/infocus/2002/if_20020208p147.asp

Sexual Harassment at School

Sexual harassment can make you feel embarrassed and powerless. But you're not helpless, and you don't have to take it. Find out more about sexual harassment in schools and how you can fight it. Source: www.teenwire.com/warehous/articles/wh_20020110p127.asp

Asking Someone Out

It's not easy to ask people we're attracted to out on a date. We face rejection and embarrassment. Get specific suggestions for getting to know people you're attracted to and for finding out if they (and you) are interested in a romantic relationship.

Source: www.teenwire.com/warehous/articles/wh_20020124p130.asp

Slut...Just Another Four-Letter Word?

Want to know a quick and easy way to put a girl down and ruin her reputation at the same time? Call her a slut. There’s a lot of power packed into that tiny four-letter word. It’s mean, nasty, and cruel…and we use it all the time.

Source: www.teenwire.com/infocus/articles/if_20020122p144.asp

Images of Teenagers in TV News

"What's the Matter with Kids Today?: Images of Teenagers on Local and National News" is a report from a recent study of teens on television news at the Center for Media and Public Affairs. In addition to an excellent verbal report on the study, the following site has great graphs to make the numbers come alive for teens as well as their teachers.

Source: www.cmpa.com/Mediamon/mm091000.htm

A Sure Recipe for Trouble

(1) A quarter of teenage boys, (2) A video camera. (3) A January, 2001 episode of "Jackass" fresh in their memory. The details are at www.thesmokinggun.com/doc_o_day/doc_o_day.shtml

Pain Relievers are Overused by High School Athletes

High school football players may be putting themselves at risk forserious kidney damage. According to results of a recent study, most playerstake nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are available over the counter, as often as every day without realizing that chronic use may cause serious gastrointestinal and kidney damage. www.healthcentral.com/news/newsfulltext.cfm?ID=45835&src=n49

Juvenile Violence Hurts Young People Most

Images of destructive teens are common on television and in the movies. However, in reality, teens are far more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence, a new study reports. www.healthcentral.com/news/new!sfulltext.cfm?ID=46859&src=n43

Virginity Pledges Work for 2.5 Million Adolescents

More than 2.5 million adolescents have taken part in public pledges of abstinence until marriage, and study findings released Thursday show that such promises are effective. www.healthcentral.com/news/newsfulltext.cfm?ID=46654&src=n43

Students who snooze morning away have lower GPA

Forget using "all-nighter" study sessions to get better grades. A recent survey of university students in Utah suggests that students who habitually go to bed late and sleep in the next day get lower grade point averages (GPAs) than students with early-to-bed and early-to-rise sleeping habits. www.healthcentral.com/news/newsfulltext.cfm?ID=46456&src=n49

Speed boosts self-esteem for some male drivers

Many reckless drivers, particularly young men, cannot be scared straight. In fact, new research shows, scare tactics actually encourage some drivers to speed, swerve, and otherwise show what they can do behind the wheel.

For some young men, the self-image boost they get from freewheeling down the road outweighs the risk of injury and death, according to Israeli researchers. In a series of experiments with 695 young male drivers, the investigators found that showing the men a film that graphically portrayed the consequences of unsafe driving seemed to encourage some of them to drive recklessly.

Orit Taubman, of Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, reports the findings in the December issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science.

Many drivers take risks on the road even though they know accidents loom. According to Taubman, this behavior can be explained by how much of a driver's self-worth rests in his or her driving skills. In their research, he and his colleagues found that men who related driving to their self-esteem tended to ignore the danger of reckless driving.

Taubman's team first questioned the men on the importance of driving to their self-esteem. Next, some of the men were asked a series of questions that forced them to ponder their own mortality. Others watched a "threatening" video that showed them the consequences of a car accident. Half of the men were not confronted with death imagery. Afterward, all of the men had their tendency toward reckless driving measured via a questionnaire or in a car simulator.

The studies revealed that the mortality reminders backfired among men who related driving to their self-worth. The video, Taubman notes, could have implied to the men that there is a social demand for careful driving. Some men may uphold their self-worth by resisting the social norm.

It may be time to reassess media campaigns that use "threats" to make people change their behavior, according to Taubman.

"Eliciting fear of death," he writes, "may not necessarily be the appropriate way to moderate or change risky attitudes and behaviors."

Early Puberty

This is in Time magazine concerning why girls are growing up faster. Is it hormones? Is it fat? Is it something in the water? How parents and kids are coping.

Teenage boys may feel out of place in healthcare setting

If healthcare agencies want to do a better job of reaching adolescent males, they must be creative, according to a New York City physician who spoke during the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals conference here.

Dr. Alwyn Cohall, a Columbia University public health and pediatrics professor, explained young men are caught in a "gender straightjacket" because they absorb the beliefs society gives them. "Men should be stoic and independent and they should never admit weakness," Cohall said. "They should wear a suit of armor."

Often, that prevents them from seeking help from medical professionals when something goes wrong. "When they do come into the healthcare setting, they may be embarrassed," Cohall stated. "They may have a chip on their shoulder."

Other barriers that keep teenage boys out of health clinics include peer pressure, a lack of insurance, and problems within the clinical setting itself, he added.

To reach them, healthcare providers need to offer an environment where young men will feel comfortable. Cohall shared a story about a teen girl who wanted her boyfriend to learn how to help her insert a diaphragm. When Cohall went to call the boyfriend into the exam room, he was gone. "He had been told by the clinic staff men were not welcome in the waiting area," Cohall recalled. "I found him waiting outside on a bench."

Too often, doctors and nurses have their own bias about adolescent males: boys won't wear condoms, teen fathers are irresponsible, and young men try to talk girls out of using condoms. "Many healthcare providers have not had the opportunity to work with adolescents and learn to speak their language," Cohall noted.

In fact, a survey found 9 out of 10 adolescent male respondents agreed it is important to talk about sex and use contraception. "They want to be connected and they do care," Cohall said.

Source: www.healthcentral.com/News/NewsFullText.cfm?ID=41316&storytype=ReutersNews

Surfer Skirts

Again, the new Stance magazine takes a stance with the heading "Scottish Surfers are Cool." talking about LungiMan's Surfkilt. No homophobia here.

Chain of Evidence

According to Black Men magazine, teenagers who drink or use drugs are more likely than others to be sexually active, starting as early as middle school and with a greater likelihood of multiple partners, according to a new study released by the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. Condom use among teens is erratic at best, and there is a fear that the combination of substance abuse and sex could increase the 12 million annual new cases of sexually transmitted diseases.

Boyz II Girlz: The vanishing American male

That's the cover of Chronicles: A magazine of American culture. There are three articles: It's a Girl's, Girl's, Girl's, Girl's World, Unisex Multiplex: When Felix met Oscar and G.I. Jane: I love a gal in a uniform, plus a commentary called Everything is Jake: The unmanned American and a poem called The New Equality, are included in this issue.

CRoxy's Rock

Stance is a very interesting magazine. Directed to the teens/twenties, active youth, it learns heavily on activities like surfing, skate and snow boarding boarding. Got Milk advertises, plus a lot of pricey items are talked about: $1,700 in-dash CD players, $370 watches, $1000 digital cameras, $700 cell phones and the like. The premiere issue has several interesting things in it and this one, "Roxy: Between a Roxy and a hard place" was about surfer women. Yes, they were in skimpy wear - and that's what the young women wear. Yes it said "Girls" and that culture refers to "girls" and "guys" and hasn't gotten hung up on "women" and "men" - sounds to ancient. What we really like was the way they talked about surfer women. To quote: "We never thought we'd be saying it, but we like the word "wholesome". Are we admitting to liking "wholesome" girls?  That's right...They capture everything that's hot about girls without leaning toward being "dirty."...Made the Roxy surfers synonymous with a Southern California definition of pretty that needs no touching up, no makeup. It's anti-glamour...They're unpretentious."  We like that too. This is a far cry from the messages that most teen and women's magazines are giving young women - with loads of "Tricking/seducing your man" type articles and promoting the need to wear a lot of make-up, to be pretentious In fact, there is a whole magazine, 98 pages, called Britney Spears doing just that. Thumbs up - we prefer your Stance.

Tweens:  Are they growing up too fast?

Newsweek carried a story on Tweens (Kids 8-14) and "What Parents Can Do?" There was also a semi-related story titled "An Expert on the 'Age of Obsession'." Worth checking out at your public library!

Special Report:  School Violence.

Time magazine includes the following stories: How to Spot a Troubled Kid. Depression:  Do pills help or hurt?  How bad is the copycat problem.  The tide turns on guns. The case for smaller schools.

The Secret Lives of Teens

In the 3/99 issue of Life, real teenagers around the country tell us their private thoughts on sex, drugs, parents and more. Their answers may surprise and shock you.

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American teenagers spend over $70 billion a year.

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