Teen birth rate hits new low

The teen birth rate has declined by 61 percent since its peak in 1991, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Between 2006 and 2014, the teen birth rate for Hispanics fell by 51 percent and for blacks by 44 percent, while the birth rate for white teens declined by 35 percent. Hispanic and black teens remain twice as likely to give birth.

Some think MTV's "16 and Pregnant" has discouraged teen pregnancy by showing its challenges.

Some think MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” has discouraged teen pregnancy by showing its challenges.

More teens “are taking advantage of innovations like long-acting injectable and implantable methods that can last years over a daily birth control pill,” writes Ariana Eunjung Cha in the Washington Post. And teens are “having less sex.”

For younger teens, there’s now peer pressure to be abstinent, says Veronica Gomez-Lobo, director of pediatric gynecology at Children’s National Medical Center.

Abortion rates have declined or stayed in the same in every state but Vermont, according to the Guttmacher Institute’s research, Cha adds.

One of the most interesting possibilities has been the popularity of MTV’s hit reality show “16 and Pregnant.” The struggles of the young moms in the show – who were often shown in tears—may have served as cautionary tales to millions of viewers their age. A study that came out in 2014 estimated that teen births dropped 6 percent in the 18 months following the show’s first broadcasts.

Others theorize that better sex education programs and the ability to research effective contraception online have contributed to the decline.

Teaching Assistants, The Oldest Profession?

This is phenomenal but not hard so hard to believe these days:

Teaching assistants at Amherst College were encouraged to sleep with and socialize with students to boost enrollment in the Spanish department, according to a lawsuit filed by a former faculty member.

Dimaris Barrios-Beltran, a former lecturer in the Spanish department at Amherst, claimed discrimination, retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and wrongful termination in a lawsuit against Amherst and her former supervisor, Victoria Maillo. The suit describes her as becoming concerned soon after she was hired in 2012, which is when Barrios-Beltran claims Maillo told her she liked to find “pretty faces” online to hire as teaching assistants in order to attract more students to Spanish classes and spoke disparagingly about some students and Barrios-Beltran’s Puerto Rican accent.

Judy Blume: Teens ‘jump straight into sex’ 

Author Judy Blume, known for writing frankly about adolescent sexuality, wishes teens wouldn’t jump straight into sex, she tells Celia Walden, a  Telegraph reporter.

Judy Blume Photo: Jay Williams, Daily Telegraph  Pix by Jay Williams, Bristol, pix@jaywilliams.co.uk, 07770 576076 Pic shows Judy Blume at the Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye, Powys today Sunday 1-6-14

Judy Blume Photo: Jay Williams

“Rather than jump right into intercourse . . . I wish they would go through all the stages that we used to go through,” says Blume. “It’s really, really good to go through those stages: the hours and hours of ‘necking,’ ‘making-out,’ ‘kissing,’ ‘touching’ and going to the different ‘bases’.”

Blume had planned to be a teacher, but turned to writing when she was raising her two children.

Her teenager daughter Randy asked her mother to write Forever – or, as she put it: ‘A book where two nice kids do it and nobody has to die’,” reports Walden.

“The thing is not to be afraid, but to be ready,” she says. “If you wait until your kids are feeling those sexual feelings, it’s too late. Sex education should be an ongoing thing that starts with the very first question.”

In Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, the main character craves information about sex, notes Walden. Now “youngsters are swamped with it, thanks to the internet – and most of it pornographic.”

Blume is fine with “porn for grown-ups,” but says “it sends an awful message to young men and women. . . .  I think all you can do is talk to young kids and that isn’t happening enough.”

I’m too old to have learned about sex from Judy Blume. (Chapter two of The Group was very educational.) I enjoyed reading the Fudge books when my daughter was young.

’50 Shades’ boy kicked out of Book Day

A British boy who dressed as a Fifty Shades of Grey character was excluded from his school’s World Book Day celebrations, reports BBC. Liam Scholes’ Christian Grey costume — gray suit, cable ties and eye mask — was deemed “inappropriate,” says his mother, Nichola Scholes.

Liam Scholes wore a suit and carried a mask and cable ties to impersonate the billionaire sadist hero of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Liam Scholes wore a suit and carried a mask and cable ties to impersonate the billionaire sadist hero of Fifty Shades of Grey.

Grey is a billionaire who likes erotic sadism in the best-selling book.

“Liam was advised to dress as James Bond… but [he] was a promiscuous character who kills people,” said the mother. A teacher dressed as a “serial killer.”

Students who’d dressed as movie — not book — characters were allowed to participate, she added.

“It has been massively blown out of proportion,” she said. “It was meant as a laugh and tongue-in-cheek.”

School drops ‘dirty’ dances

A Massachusetts high school principal has canceled school dances because of “twerking” and other forms of “dirty dancing.”

Student-teacher sex: Is it always a crime?

A Montana teacher will serve 30 days in jail for involuntary sex with a 14-year-old student, who later committed suicide. Stacey Dean Rambold, who was 49 when he started a sexual relationship with Cherice Morales. The troubled girl killed herself a few weeks before her 17th birthday.
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Judge G. Todd Baugh said the girl was older than her chronological age and “as much in control of the situation” as her teacher. In response to protests, Baugh apologized.

Rambold had a chance to get the charges dismissed, but failed to complete a sexual offender treatment program.

Thirty days was too long a sentence, argues Betsy Karasik, a writer and former lawyer, in the Washington Post. Sex between students and teachers shouldn’t be a crime, she believes.

“Teachers who engage in sex with students, no matter how consensual, should be removed from their jobs and barred from teaching unless they prove that they have completed rehabilitation,” Karasik concedes. But let’s not get “hysterical.”

When I was growing up in the 1960s and ’70s, the sexual boundaries between teachers and students were much fuzzier. Throughout high school, college and law school, I knew students who had sexual relations with teachers. To the best of my knowledge, these situations were all consensual in every honest meaning of the word, even if society would like to embrace the fantasy that a high school student can’t consent to sex. Although some feelings probably got bruised, no one I knew was horribly damaged and certainly no one died.

No harm, no foul? That’s hard to argue when Cherice Morales killed herself, but Karasik blames the criminal case against Rambold for his victim’s suicide.

If someone wants to argue that it’s OK for teachers to have sex with their underage students, I’d look for a 23-year-old teacher who falls for an 17-year-old student. This was a 49-year-old preying on a 14-year-old girl who was hurt so badly she killed herself. If she was mature, consenting and in control, she wouldn’t have killed herself. 

How low can we go? asksWesley J. Smith, who links to articles “normalizing” what used to be called pedophilia and is now “cross-generational sex.”

College reverses ban on ‘sex’ newspaper

Central New Mexico Community College backed down this week from its decision to suspend the student newspaper for publishing a “sex issue.” Confiscated copies of the newspaper were returned to the news racks.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Early-college high school students are more likely to earn a diploma and enroll in college, starting with an average of 36 college credits, reports Jobs for the Future.

High school coach in trouble for sex book

self-published book of sex advice and opinions has meant trouble for a high school girls basketball coach in suburban Chicago.  Bryan Craig,  also a counselor at Rich Central High School, resigned as the varsity coach and is on administrative leave while the district reviews the issue.

In the forward to the book, titled “It’s Her Fault,” Craig says his intention is to give women a guide to gaining the “upper hand in a relationship” because he is tired of hearing them complain. The book contains graphic details on his observations of the female anatomy, including what he describes as physical differences between ethnicities that lead him to conclude that “Latin women have more children.”

Among the assertions in the book is that all men and women should be promiscuous before getting married.

He also writes, “The easiest kill for a man is through the young lady with low self-esteem. Of course some will feel this is taking advantage, and yes it is.

Can he be fired for expressing his opinions? Should he be?

No, writes Darre.  Firing a teacher for something like this is a “heckler’s veto” on employment. 

Nanny says no: Hot for teacher

Reason‘s “Nanny of the Month” law would make student-teacher sex a felony, even if the student is 18 or older. Adult ed teachers and school volunteers are included in the proposed Michigan law.

To unify the family, teen sex sleepovers?

Family life would be happier if U.S. parents let their teen-agers have sex with their lovers at home, argues Amy Schalet, a U-Mass sociology professor, in the New York Times.  For her book, Not Under My Roof, Schalet interviewed 130 white, middle-class, not-very-religious American and Dutch parents.

While American parents think they should “steer teenage children away from relationships that will do more harm than good,” Dutch parents regard teenagers “as capable of falling in love, and of reasonably assessing their own readiness for sex.”

Dutch parents are more likely to talk to their children “about sex and its unintended consequences and urge them to use contraceptives and practice safe sex,” Schalet asserts.

Normalizing teenage sex under the family roof opens the way for more responsible sex education. In a national survey, 7 of 10 Dutch girls reported that by the time they were 16, their parents had talked to them about pregnancy and contraception. It seems these conversations helped teenagers prepare, responsibly, for active sex lives: 6 of 10 Dutch girls said they were on the pill when they first had intercourse. Widespread use of oral contraceptives contributes to low teenage pregnancy rates — more than 4 times lower in the Netherlands than in the United States.

However, “sleepovers aren’t a direct route to family happiness.” Good to know.

The op-ed doesn’t compare sex education, contraceptive use or pregnancy rates for white middle-class Americans and Dutch teens. It’s possible to discuss the risks of sex without providing a bedroom, writes Stephen Kruiser on PJ Media.

A no-sex-under-my-roof policy is a great way to get adult children to move out of the house, suggests Instapundit.

Raise your hand if it feels weird to have sex in your parent’s house with your spouse.  Yes, I thought so.