Monday, January 26, 2009

The Myth of Rampant Teenage Promiscuity

Published: January 26, 2009

Have American teenagers gone wild?

Parents have worried for generations about changing moral values and risky behavior among young people, and the latest news seems particularly worrisome.

It came from the National Center for Health Statistics, which reported this month that births to 15- to 19-year-olds had risen for the first time in more than a decade.

And that is not the only alarm being sounded. The talk show host Tyra Banks declared a teen sex crisis last fall after her show surveyed girls about sexual behavior. A few years ago, Oprah Winfrey warned parents of a teenage oral-sex epidemic.

The news is troubling, but it’s also misleading. While some young people are clearly engaging in risky sexual behavior, a vast majority are not. The reality is that in many ways, today’s teenagers are more conservative about sex than previous generations.

Today, fewer than half of all high school students have had sex: 47.8 percent as of 2007, according to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, down from 54.1 percent in 1991.....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Technology to Stop Phone Use in Cars Isn't Perfect

Inventors Still Trying Ways to Prevent Drivers From Using Cell Phones

By PAUL FOY AP Business Writer

Many parents would love to be able to give their teenagers a cell phone that couldn't be used while driving. Now some inventors say they have come up with ways to make that possible, but they appear to be relying on wishful thinking.

One product to hit the market, $10-a-month software by Dallas-based WQN Inc., can disable a cell phone while its owner is driving. It uses GPS technology, which can tell how fast a person is traveling. But it can't know whether the person is driving — and therefore it can needlessly lock a phone. WQN, which sells cell phone and Internet security software under the name WebSafety, says it signed up about 50 customers for its first month of service.

Aegis Mobility, a Canadian software company, plans to release a similar Global Positioning System-based product this fall, known as DriveAssistT. Aegis is in talks with big U.S. wireless phone carriers, which would have to support the software and charge families a fee of probably $10 to $20 a month, said David Teater, the company's vice president.