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RAND Study links viewing sexual content on TV with teen pregnancy—even when factors such as grades, family structure and parent’s level of education was taken into account.

Is this surprising to anyone??????

I consider myself a fairly hip, open and progressive person. But, even I am uncomfortable with the amount of sexuality on TV today, particularly among shows that are marketed to “teens.”

Two and a Half Men—Emmy-award winning “family” sitcom starring a teen—mentions sex EVERY episode THROUGHOUT every episode. Now it’s in syndication.

Reality shows like Tila Tequila, The Real World, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love and so many more have young people with fake breasts, dressing scantily, stripping for men, and having sex with one another. With NO consequences.
Here are some of my concerns:

  • Casual sex is glamorized

  • There is no discussion about contraception, unplanned pregnancies, or STDs

  • It is everywhere, all the time—sometimes in your face, sometimes subtly—but it is always there seeping into their developing brains

  • Some will argue that these shows are just “reflecting” what teens are really doing…….
    Teens drink alcohol and experiment with marijuana and other drugs. If the majority of programming on TV had young people drinking heavily and using drugs, there would be public outrage.
    Continue Reading »

    I was fortunate enough to be in Nebraska last week doing two workshops for health/mental health care professionals and an evening workshop for parents.

    It was a great group! I’ve always found Nebraska—particularly Lincoln–one of the country’s best kept secrets.

    Nebraska is currently struggling in a way they never expected. The legislature recently passed a “Safe Haven” law to allow parents (usually young mothers) to anonymously drop off an infant they are unable to care for without facing penalty or prosecution for abandonment.
    As someone who has appeared on Nancy Grace commenting about tragic stories of day-old infants found in trash cans and fields, I am a huge supporter of this type of law.

    The Nebraska law allows a “child” to be dropped off, purposely broadening the term from infancy to help protect toddlers who may be at risk for harm.

    Eighteen children have been dropped off since the law went into effect in July. Unfortunately, many of them have been older children and TEENS. A grieving widower dropped off nine of his children aged 1-17 years old because he could not take care of them.

    Another woman dropped off her 15-year old nephew when she and his guardian could not take care of him (his mother died and his father left him years before). She said they tried medication and discipline, but could no longer handle his behavior problems. A 14-year old from Iowa was dropped off and one mother drove 12 hours to drop off her 13-years old son.

    See Dr. Lisa on CNN Headline News discussing the Nebraska Safe Haven/Teen story (Part 2 of a 2-part interview)

    Some people see these parents as horrible, terrible parents. I don’t. Not at all. In my work I come into contact with parents across the county who are stressed out, overwhelmed, and desperate.

    Should they be dropping their children off? Of course not.

    But this speaks to two things

    1) how distressed and overwhelmed many of today’s parents are

    2) that resources to help them are either not available or if they are, parents don’t know how to access them. Continue Reading »

    I’m speaking in San Diego and it’s open to the public!!!!

    Usually, agencies and organizations bring me in to talk only to their staff, but these 2 talks are open to EVERYONE.

    Thursday October 23, 2008

    1) Teens with Mental Health Disorders: Who They REALLY Are (Daytime)

    More Information

    2) When to Worry: How to Tell if Your Teen Needs Help–and What to Do Next (Evening)

    More Information

    Would be great to see you if you live in the area!

    AND…

    We’ll have copies of my book When to Worry and new DVD The Secret Cut available at an event discount!

    Last week I appeared on CNN with Dennis Hof, the owner of the most famous legal brothel in Nevada. The topic was a 22-year-old who was auctioning off her virginity to help pay for graduate school-she wants to be a Marriage and Family Therapist. Yikes! Things got pretty heated on the show…..

    As you can imagine, I wasn’t a fan of the idea. It’s her body and her choice as to what she wants to do with it (this is NOT the first auction of this kind). But what effect will this very public auction have on young girls graduating from high school-especially  if their family doesn’t have money to send them to college?

    Will these girls decide to finance their education by auctioning off their virginity to the highest bidder?

    I have a Ph.D in Psychology and paid for my education with a combination of waitressing, student loans, and low-paying counseling jobs. What about those options?

    This public “virginity auction” comes at an interesting time. Virginity is actually fashionable again now that The Jonas Brothers and other pop stars are talking about the virtue of waiting until marriage to have sex. Even if teens can’t wait until marriage, don’t we at least want them to wait until they’re in a committed relationship-rather than the one with the most CASH?

    I find it sad….for the auctionee, but mostly for the young people who will hear about her and think it’s a good idea.

    visit my website When To Worry

    Moms around the country are putting up their dukes about Palin’s decision to run for VP, given her current status as a mother.

    Mommy Wars

    Mommy Wars

    In one corner……..

    Many mothers know the tremendous amount of love, time, energy and sacrifice (willingly given) that goes into raising children when one is devoted to their health and happiness. They question Sarah Palin’s decision to run for Vice President NOW.

    Why not wait until her 4-month-old who was born with Down Syndrome is older?

    Why not be more available to him during these critical developmental years?

    Sarah Palin is 42, so they believe she has plenty of time to run for National office. But, she will not have another chance for these early years with him. Because Palin’s 17-year old, un-wed pregnant daughter will also need a great deal of love and support as she tries to raise a newborn, these moms believe Palin should also be available to her.

    The issue with these moms is not “working mothers”—MOST mothers work—whether they want to or have to. It is the nature of her job: running the most powerful country in the world. These mothers criticize Palin’s “priorities” and say that she is selfish, putting her personal need for power and success above the needs of her children—two of whom are in special situations right now.

    In the other corner……

    And in this corner....

    Many mothers are thrilled to have a candidate who is a working mother they can relate to. They’re attitude is “you go girl!” They believe that Palin’s husband should be–and can be–an equal partner in the care giving of the children.

    In this day and age, they believe he can even be Continue Reading »

    The headline is all over the place: ADHD Is on the Rise. ADHD has increased 1997-2006. A new survey from the CDC/National Center for Health Statistics says it’s so.

    I can’t and won’t believe the conclusions of this survey.

    I’m not saying that ADHD is or is not on the rise (in fact, soon I’ll talk about how common ADHD is!), but I am frustrated by headlines and so-called “national studies” that are inaccurate and weak.

    This study found:

    • 9% of children have ADHD
    • Boys had ADHD more often than girls
    • White and Black children have ADHD more than Hispanic children
    • Children with Medicaid have ADHD more than uninsured or privately insured children

    This study (and the headlines) forget to emphasize that they consider a child as suffering from ADHD if “a doctor or health professional ever told the parent that their child had ADHD….

    I think that is crazy.

    Just because a doctor SAID a youth has ADHD in no way means the youth ACTUALLY HAS the disorder. In fact, they aren’t even saying that a “mental health professional” said the youth had ADHD. Continue Reading »

    Everywhere I look, it seems as though there is another story about “moody” teens, pregnant teens or teen violence– and I am often called to comment on it.

    Olympic Champions

    Olympic Champions

    How refreshing to watch the female gymnasts at the 2008

    Olympics demonstrate the exact opposite of how teens are typically portrayed in the media. Those teenage girls were respectful, focused, driven, and exhibited phenomenal sportsmanship! Despite the “superhuman” twists, turns, and vaults these girls displayed, what made me feel so good, is how human and how adolescent they still are:

    Olympic Teens

    Olympic Teens

    Shawn Johnson, 16, from Iowa watches So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars. She has had three of her short stories published and is an honor roll student. Read More…

    Nastia Liukin, 19, from Texas listens to Kelly Clarkson and has been accepted at Southern Methodist University. Read More…

    Alicia Sacramone, 21, wants to become a fashion designer. She views her parents as her biggest role models due to teaching her that “hard work brings rewards.” Read More

    Rather than the models on the pages of fashion magazines, I wish more of our teens looked to these role models to emulate. In fact, I think they have a lot to teach adults as well! Read More..

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