October 2011 Archives
Oct 31 2011Amber Cole Isn't the One Who Needs to Be Ashamed
Three years ago, the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy together with Cosmo Girl.com surveyed teens and young adults about sending or posting sexually suggestive texts and images. The survey reported that 20% of teens--and 33% of young adults--said they had sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves. Proportions of those sending or posting sexually suggestive messages were even higher.
Now, we have a case of someone posting a sexual video of someone else. Baltimore news organizations report that a 14-year-old girl was videotaped on city school grounds performing oral sex on her ex-boyfriend. The video was put up on the Internet, by whom it's not clear and apparently without the girl's approval, and quickly went viral. It stayed up for four days on YouTube and Facebook and became a trending topic on Twitter.
The video called the girl Amber Cole, not her real name, according to police. Her father--not identified by name--was quoted as saying his daughter was forced to do what she did and did not know she was being taped. "She was bullied, harassed into doing this," he told WJZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore. He later reported that his daughter had transferred to another school.
WJZ was the first to report the incident, as well as a second event involving three young people having sex in a school auditorium in Baltimore County. That incident also was videotaped and shared, police investigators are quoted as saying.
Today you can hear a discussion about the Amber Cole story on NPR's "Tell Me More" with Michel Martin. The show airs twice, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. For more details, check out NPR's website.
Oct 26 2011Not a Teen Anymore...
With my college graduation quickly approaching, I've become more aware of myself as an adult within society rather than just a teenager or college student. Thinking in such terms, however, has brought about an onslaught of questions and topics of consideration. As an intern with The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, I've found myself focusing my attention on the "teen" part of our mission. And while the prevention of teen pregnancy presents a constant battle within this country, I can't help but wonder, what about those young women and students once they turn 20?
Oct 20 2011So I Took My Daughter to the Clinic...
Last month I wrote about my angst as a parent whose lovely and responsible teen daughter had decided to become sexually active with her boyfriend. She was on the verge of getting birth control when my post "went to press." The good news/bad news is that she is still happily involved with her boyfriend and that they are having safe sex.
Oct 17 2011Prevention, Please!
Last week, by a vote of 251-172, the House passed H.R. 358 (PDF). While the vote was largely along partisan lines, I should point out that both Reps. Biggert and Hanna, Republicans, voted against it, and plenty of Democrats voted for it. The bill, formally called "The Protect Life Act" (and by pro-choice groups, "The Let Women Die Act"), has been called "extreme legislation" by Third Way (PDF), a think tank that creates and advances moderate policy and political ideas. "Masquerading as an attempt to ensure that federal funds do not go to pay for abortion services, this legislation is actually an effort to radically change settled law on abortion on multiple fronts. The provisions in the bill extend far beyond what was even discussed during last year's debate over abortion in health care reform."
Oct 13 2011Why We Do What We Do
It's easy to say that television (magazines, websites, etc.) don't cause teen pregnancy--and we agree. But popular media does have an impact on how people think and what people do. That's why we encourage and support those who create popular culture--writers, producers, executives, and more--to incorporate messages and ideas about teen and unplanned pregnancy into their work. And while they can do their jobs just fine without us, we can't do ours without our valued media partners. Here's why: