Amazon Holiday Deals

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

STD afflicts 1 in 4 US teenage girls

The Red ribbon is a symbol for solidarity with...Image via Wikipedia
This is now a sad fact, where promiscuity is taking its toll, and not on the adults, but on the teens. When science says, "nothing can happen without a cause," it has a basis for that premise.

The recent study on US teenage girls yielded just that: where there is 'free sex', there is free transmission of diseases; while it is said that 'the exercise of freedom makes us freer', it is the precedent act that makes us bolder to try again, and again, and again.

When the conscience is seared, and continuously seared, there comes a time when it already keeps mum and dies within us - until we realize the wrong that we have done.

A study reveals the seared conscience of the youth in the US, and other countries have the same social problem: where promiscuity rules, AIDS and other similar sexual diseases follow suit.

Here's is the report from AFP, lifted from

1 in 4 teenaged US girls has sexually-transmitted disease: study

A healthcare worker prepares to draw blood to test for sexually transmitted diseases
CHICAGO - One in four teenaged girls in the United States has been infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease, according to a study released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first study to examine the combined national prevalence of common STDs among adolescent women in the United States estimates that at least 3.2 million teens aged 14 to 19 are currently infected.

Since the study only tested for the four most common sexually transmitted diseases, it is possible that the total prevalence among US teens is greater than the study's rate of 26 percent, the authors warned.

"Today's data demonstrate the significant health risk STDs pose to millions of young women in this country every year," said Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.

"Given that the health effects of STDs for women -- from infertility to cervical cancer -- are particularly severe, STD screening, vaccination and other prevention strategies for sexually active women are among our highest public health priorities."

Half of the 838 girls who participated in the study reported ever having sex and of those, 40 percent were infected with an STD.

African American girls were particularly at risk: 48 percent of all African American girls were infected with an STD compared to 20 percent of white teens tested.

The most common STD overall was human papillomavirus, or HPV, with an infection rate of 18.3 percent.

Chlamydia was discovered in 3.9 percent of the teens, trichomoniasis in 2.5 percent and herpes in 1.9 percent.

Infections rate rose to 50 percent among girls with three or more partners while 20 percent of those who had only had sex with one person had been infected.

"High STD infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk," said John Douglas, director of the CDC's Division of STD Prevention.

"STD screening and early treatment can prevent some of the most devastating effects of untreated STDs."

The CDC recommends HPV vaccination for all girls and women between the age of 11 and 26 and annual Chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 25.

While most HPV infections will clear on their own, some will persist and can cause cervical cancer.

Two other studies released Tuesday found inadequate screening of high-risk teens.

The first study found that just 27 percent of young women seeking emergency contraception were screened for chlamydia or gonorrhea.

The second study revealed that only 38 percent of young women receiving contraceptive services associated with unprotected sex such as pregnancy tests were offered STD testing, counseling or treatment. - AFP/fa

Lifted from; source article is below:
1 in 4 teenaged US girls has sexually-transmitted disease: study

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Parents asked to leave kids alone in Facebook

The Facebook on February 12, 2004Image via Wikipedia
There were responses to the letter that was sent in by one teenager, who wanted to be left alone with his peers, insisting on his 'privacy online' while hanging around social networks.

I know, there comes a time when kids grow up, and an age group dictates in their growing up years that they wanted to be left alone and on their own - if not with their peers. This is the dangerous years, and while it is beneficial to let them off at times, letting and leaving them alone also spells disaster.

It is a balance, therefore.

For the responses to that kid's letter, read on below...

Give teenagers space
Letter from Dennis Toh

I REFER to "Parents as Facebook friends? No thanks" (April 19). I am a lecturer with Temasek Polytechnic Business School and I share Tan Ren Yi's views.

Parents should not be overly concerned when their children are actively engaged on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

While technology has its flaws, we should leverage on the advantages that it brings to us.

For example, Facebook allows people to share positive thoughts and encouragement on a viral nature. Such positive doses of energy, when injected at the right time, can help us live better as individuals.

Parents should also question their motives of making friends with their kids on Facebook. Is it really a form of surveillance tool or genuinely a platform to communicate and understand them better?

Ren Yi has the right to choose his own friends, as we all do. Give teenagers and young adults some space to live their "social media lifestyle". Empowerment breeds contentment. And being contented as an individual will help this world a better place.


It's about communication
Letter from Shobha Vadrevu

I REFER to "Parents as Facebook friends? No thanks".

This issue throws up an important point that is often missed whenever the Internet or any aspect of it is the subject of discussion: At the heart of the issue is usually a non-Web related factor.

In this case, it is that of communication between parents and children. If basic communication channels have been established, then parent-child interactions on Facebook will likely be framed by mutual respect and acceptance that each age group has a different way of conversing with friends.

This is true even for off-Facebook interactions. On the other hand, if basic communication is lacking, then Facebook becomes just another front for the tussle for the trust and respect between the two factions that is taking place in real life.

The feeling of being "stalked" by parents on Facebook does not pop up suddenly from Facebook alone.

Neither does the feeling that children are conducting their interactions inappropriately.

Activity on the Internet is similar to activity anywhere else - it is just that it is more intense, compacted as it is into particular sites in a shorter time frame, giving us the impression that (a) it is a whole new problem, and (b) we can take site-specific shortcuts to control it.

Neither is true.

It is only an old problem in a new sphere, and because of that, any steps to control it lie mostly outside of that sphere- - at the dinner table, in the car and on all those other occasions when parents and children can reach out to each other.

The Internet does bring with it some particular problems and issues that need to be specifically dealt with, but being your child's Facebook friend should be an extension of your friendship in real life.

If you are there to check up on your child, then perhaps you should look elsewhere for the problem.

Taken from TODAY, Voices - Tuesday, 20-April-2010

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, April 19, 2010

Parents in Facebook: Would Your Kids Like It?

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...Image via CrunchBase
Social networks, such as Facebook, is one way of expression for a person, and one that is deemed to be social, and though it is known to be a public domain, it is still considered a private and personal one.

Which brings to question whether kids, especially teenagers, would want their parents to be in the same social network as them.

What would your kids say? Would they agree to you being 'online' with them, in the same network?

Read this article, and 'hear' what one youngster is saying. You may have your turn one of these days...

Parents as Facebook friends? No thanks!
Family ties are important, but I need my personal space
by Tan Ren Yi

I am writing to share my views on whether families should be connected via social networking sites.

While some teenagers may think it is annoying to have their parents listed as friends on Facebook, others feel that it is a good way to create stronger family bonds and a path for parents to get to know their children's circle of friends.

Young children are often on Facebook, mainly to play games.

But teenagers use it to share aspects of their lives with friends of the same age group, and thus it would be awkward for parents and kids to be in the same social network.

Facebook: The Missing ManualWhat may seem fun to teenagers may be interpreted differently by an adult. And differences of opinion between a parent and a teenager can lead to conflict and arguments.

As for myself, I had deleted my parents as friends on Facebook. I felt that they had been stalking me and invading my privacy.

Personally, I do not mind if my parents want to know what kind of people I am mixing with, but not to the extent of belittling my friends, based on their own instincts.

Whenever my parents see pictures of my friends and me doing crazy and wild stuff, they would reprimand me and nag for the whole day over one picture. Their scoldings can really affect my mood the whole day.

Facebook: The Missing ManualEven though I know that family relationships are important, I truly wish that my parents understand that I need my personal space.

If my parents want to know what kind of friends I am mixing with, they can ask me, rather than use Facebook as a "surveillance" tool to watch over me.

I feel strongly that parents should not "spy" on their kids, but rather, educate their children on the dangers of the Internet and accept that they need to be allowed to connect with their friends on their own.

Taken from TODAY, Voices - Monday, 19-April-2010:
Parents as Facebook friends? No thanks!
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, April 5, 2010

My daughter did not 'qualify'

Students of Nan Hua High School gathering in t...Image via Wikipedia
Today, I have come to realize that being a foreigner still has its disadvantages...

My eldest daughter, who is presently in her secondary 1 level, is a participant in what the school calls as 'Math Olympiad' event - a handful of students who qualify in the school level are selected and trained - to compete with other students from other schools.

We've paid the fee for their training sessions, and she is religiously attending her sessions, and religiously studying her lessons - only for her to be not taken as a contestant.

But I am glad that she knows why.

She isn't a citizen.

Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a NailAnd why would she be selected to represent the school?

In case, just in case, she wins, and it is found that she isn't a citizen, but a class lower, being a permanent resident, then it is a shame to all the citizens!

I mean, that is the gross and grave impact of taking in an 'import' to be your representative.

Anyway, life has its good and bad turns. We'll have our way someday. We'll keep on trying, and keep on believing, and the break will come.

Till then...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

On Sex and Being Teen

(CNN) -- The health care reform legislation that President Obama signed recently isn't only about insurance coverage -- there's also a renewal of $50 million per year for five years for abstinence-focused education.

Programs that receive this funding must "teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems," according to the Department of Health and Human Services. To qualify, they must also teach that sex before marriage is "likely to have harmful psychological and physical effects." These are part of the "A-H definition," requirements for programs to receive abstinence funding under Title V of the Social Security Act.

"Title V is trying to make sure that kids are being given a message that saving sex and childbearing for marriage is the safest, healthiest, best choice," said Scott Phelps, executive director of Abstinence & Marriage Education Partnership. Public schools hire educators from this organization to teach abstinence, and may use Title V funding for it, he said.

In Phelps' experience -- he started his abstinence education work in Chicago, Illinois, 10 years ago -- the abstinence message is embraced by kids, even some who have already become sexually active. "They didn't realize they could stop," he said.

Organizations promoting evidence-based sex education say it's troubling that this $250 million will go to state programs that have not been shown to work.

"Just the fact that we continue to pour money into programs that have no evidence of effectiveness at all just doesn't seem to us to be good evidence-based health policy," said Heather Boonstra, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, a nonprofit reproductive and sexual health research firm.

There have been numerous studies suggesting that it's not so easy for people to practice abstinence consistently. A congressionally mandated study in 2007 found that none of four abstinence programs showed a significant positive effect on sexual behavior among youth. A January 2009 study in Pediatrics found that religious teens who take virginity pledges are less likely to use condoms or birth control when they become sexually active, and just as likely to have sex before marriage as their peers who didn't take pledges.

Medical professional organizations also criticize abstinence education on ethical grounds, for leaving out potentially lifesaving information. Abstinence-only programs "are inherently coercive by withholding information needed to make informed choices," the American Public Health Association said in a statement.

Phelps' program doesn't teach that sex before marriage is wrong, but that waiting will enable teens to eliminate the risks of sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. Students are taught that contraception, a "limited part of our conversation," reduces risk, but does not avoid it altogether, he said.

The law sets up a separate funding stream of $75 million for "personal responsibility education," which includes teaching about both abstinence and contraception. It sets aside an additional $25 million for untested but innovative programs.

Having separate funding for abstinence-focused and comprehensive programs "is a method that provides real choice for states and for communities, and we would like to see that model used across the board," said Valerie Huber, executive director of the National Abstinence Education Association.

But Huber's group is not happy that abstinence-focused programs get less funding per year than the other approaches. "We would like to see equitable funding," she said.

Abstinence programs have received federal funding through a program that grew out of welfare reform during the Clinton administration. The $50 million per year began in 1998 and expired in 2009, with restoration in the recent health care legislation from this year until 2014.

States have the option of tapping into the $50 million or not, but those who want it have to contribute also, Boonstra noted. For every $4 of federal money, states have to put up $3 of their own money, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

As of June 2009, 22 states, plus Washington D.C., had declined to apply for funds under the program, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

A study published in February in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine found that an abstinence-based program was more effective than other initiatives at keeping sixth- and seventh-graders from having sex within a two-year period.

Rather than asking students to delay intercourse until marriage, however, the program told students to wait until they were ready. It also did not portray sex in a negative light.

For these reasons, it is unclear whether that program would qualify for funding from the $50 million allocated in the health care bill, because it does not fit the A-H definition, said Bill Albert of the nonpartisan National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. Boonstra agreed that it would likely not fit this category, as it differs from the programs that have received funding in the past. Huber said she thought it would qualify, although she has not seen the curriculum.

It's better to invest taxpayer dollars into what works, Albert said. Public opinion surveys reveal that Americans view abstinence and contraceptive education as complementary, not contradictory.

"There is great and very wide support among parents and among teens themselves that young people should be encouraged to delay sexual activity," Albert said. "But it is also clear that the American public wants young people to receive information about contraception."

From; see the source article here.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]