Monday WTF bullet points

Both, interestingly, drawn from articles in Time magazine:

  • Seventeen girls (none older than 16!) at a Gloucester, Massachusetts high school are pregnant.  The girls apparently committed to a “pregnancy pact” to bear and raise their children together.  School officials twigged to the scheme when some girls returned to the school clinic multiple times for pergnancy tests, and seemed disappointed in their lack of fertility.  Oh, and one of the dads is a 24-year-old homeless fella.  (Originally linked on Neptunus Lex).

Well, there’s no question that looking after an infant is going to add immeasurably to the strains and stresses of high school education.  Not to mention the social life.  On the other hand, pushing out puppies (and the puppy-rearing thereafter) does require a lot of energy, and may be best handled when one is younger and has excess energy to burn.

My parents decided to have me when they were twenty and I know what a huge pain in the ass I was.  I’m in my 30s now, and the idea of having to expend ever-increasing amounts of time, energy and dollars on children is a faintly horrifying prospect.  The dollars I don’t mind too much, you can always make more money.  But time and energy are much more precious commodities.  These high schoolers will have booted their offspring from the nest by the time they are thirty-four; I’ll still be dealing with sullen teenagers into my fifties.

  • Alcohol use amongst high school students has fallen dramatically, but the percentage of those who have suffered accidents or injury while intoxicated have doubled.  In other words, less alcohol consumption overall, but a higher incidence of binge-drinking.  Is our zero-tolerance framework creating the very thing it is trying to suppress?  Is the answer more, not less, alcohol in the family environment?

Personally, I think making a giant taboo out of it tends to make it far more exciting and desirable than it would otherwise appear.  Kids need to learn how to deal with these things responsibly.  To my mind, if you don’t set the tone (and a good example), they will end up proceeding into this area in total ignorance.  The last two sentences of the article really say it all:

“What if a kid has never had alcohol and drinks for the first time at 21?” asks [psychologist Stanton] Peele, the author of Addiction-Proof Your Child. “If they haven’t developed a capacity to regulate themselves with alcohol at all, you can be headed for trouble.”

Laying aside the fact that people are no longer kids at 21… um, no shit, Sherlock?

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