In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 21, 2008 / 14 Shevat 5768

Teen pregnancy not an accident

By Kathryn Lopez

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Seventeen magazine is a great gift to the youth of our nation. Before the magazine's February issue, our nation's adolescent girls were in danger of "accidentally" falling into pregnancy, or so their cover implies: "Shocking Ways You Could Get PREGNANT By Accident."

Last time I checked, pregnancy results from an activity that requires some effort, some decision-making. Seventeen's editors, however, don't seem to live in my reality. Instead, It buys into the same dangerous and conventional wisdom that kids will have sex — end of conversation. So all adults can do is help them prevent disease and pregnancy.

A cover piece relates to the magazine's young, impressionable readers: "Sex is so confusing. On the one hand, you're being told not to do it (by parents and teachers) — that it's "wrong," that there's no way you're ready, or that it could lead to diseases. On the other hand, you see (in real life, in movies, and on TV) that sex is a natural, healthy and fun part of loving relationships. You also have information about birth control coming at you from every direction: friends, TV commercials, maybe sex-ed class. You think you know how to protect yourself, but it seems like such a hassle when all you want to do is focus on those totally romantic, wonderfully tingly feelings you have about your guy!"

While the article does mention the option of not having sex, the emphasis throughout is on the safe options, conventionally speaking: Get your guy to use a condom. Know how to take your pills. "It just happened," one girl declares about accidentally getting pregnant. And, the Seventeen message to teens is: It's not that unusual. "48 percent of teen girls think it might be possible they'll become pregnant in the next five years." A young girl who couldn't "accidentally" get pregnant — because she's choosing to spend her young days doing more innocent things — might feel a bit left out. Seventeen also tells their readers that "studies show that girls who have a big plan for their future are significantly less likely to get pregnant." Now that's more like it.

But it's not enough.

Alarmingly, a 2004 study found that teen girls look to these magazines "as a valued source of advice about their personal lives." The Kaiser Family Foundation reported: "According to a focus group of seventh through 11th-grade girls, conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited for YM, teen readers want the content in their magazines to reflect their lives, and they rely on magazines as a sounding board, fashion and beauty consultant and close confidant. Another survey conducted by Taylor Research & Consulting Group indicated that 12- to 15-year-old girls look to magazines (42 percent) almost as much as their friends (45 percent) for the coolest trends."

Kaiser relayed: "In-depth interviews with girls ages 12 and 13 who were regular readers of teen magazines found that girls used the magazines to formulate their concepts of femininity and relied heavily on articles that featured boys, opinions about how to gain male approval and act in relationships with males."


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With big audiences comes big responsibility, but these magazines detrimentally add to a cultural, sexual pile-on. Girls are bombarded with sex. Check out the local newsstands and you'll see that teen magazines are every father's nightmare. They want to make sure your daughter has sexy shoes, that her prom dress be "crazy, sexy, cool." The movies, TV and even teen fiction are not better. "All in all, girls are being exposed to a fairly one-sided image of female sexuality on television. Allusions to sexual patience (waiting to have sex) are rare. Indeed, although virgins occasionally show up on popular teen shows, for the most part their abstinence is treated as the characters' defining trait, which suggests to teens that sexual restraint is both noteworthy and unusual," Carol Platt Liebau writes in her book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Damages Girls (and America, Too!)," She concludes, "Sex is everywhere. Everyone's doing it, and that's just the way it is."

But that's not the way it has to be. At a recent Claremont Institute event on "Marriage, Modesty & Modernity," Pauline Hamlette, a former Washington, D.C., elementary school principal and national program director for the Best Friends Foundation, told those gathered, "I've never met a student not willing to say 'no.'" Best Friends, developed by Elayne Bennett, seeks to create an environment where girls are inundated with healthy choices, and have adults in their lives who care enough to help them with those decisions. As Bennett has put it, "If you just want to make sure that kids don't get pregnant and protect themselves, you're going to have a whole lot more sexual activity. Adolescents need guidelines and standards of behavior. They want them; they give them a sense of security, and ... well-being." With curriculum and dedication, Best Friends shows results.

Culture magazines, TV, movies — already best friends forever with teen girls — could afford to offer the best and not settle for pretending we can't do more for America's young people than help them prevent "accidents."

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