Youth Trends

Totally Badass
Parents should play video games with their teenage daughters

In the past, research has always showed that playing video games is actually a detriment to a teenager’s health, but one recent study actually proves that girls who played with their parents reported more family closeness, better behavior and less aggression than those who played by themselves or with a friend. Boys, on the other hand, did not show the same moral and behavioral benefits. Researchers think that this has more to do with the kinds of games boys like to play (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.), which tend to be solitary and violent, and the kinds of games that girls like to play (Rock Band, Mario Kart, etc), which tend to be more inclusive and collaborative.

Teen sexting

According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, with the availability of mobile technology among teens, there has been an increase in the number of teens “sexting.”

22% of teen girls and 20% of teen boys have sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves over the Internet or through their phones. Although they do not actually provide a set explanation of what sexting is, defines it as “the slang term for the use of a cell phone or other similar electronic device to distribute pictures or video of sexually explicit images.” This is creating a problem among teens, especially when their photos begin to get spread around. In some extreme cases, cyber-bullying has resulted in suicide. Police have considered prosecuting the distributors with child pornography charges, although reports on that are limited.

Just Plain Weird
Partying in college without drinking

Binge drinking has often made headlines in student papers in efforts to raise awareness of the negative effects, but it has typically been considered a norm of college and university students to go out and party while drinking. Surveys at Purdue University have seen a sharp drop in the percentage of student who binge drink from 48% in 2006 to 37.3% in 2009, and they say it’s because of late-night, alcohol free parties organized around campus. To make these events work, they are held late at night when students would normally be drinking, providing them with a non-alcoholic alternative. These groups are often first met with resistance but organizers have reported that after attending the events, students realize just how much fun they can have without alcohol.

Lady Gaga and God

Lady Gaga’s recent performance of her latest “Born This Way” at the Grammys has devout Christians up in arms. Helen Lee from Busted Halo, a hip Catholic website, says that, “Gaga is spreading the good news of Jesus Christ, whether intentionally or not,” by insisting that “God makes no mistakes” – a lyric from “Born This Way.”

However, Christian bloggers at Zwinglius Redivivus bash Gaga as worshiping her own, self-serving god.

“Her god is a god that makes you feel good and requires nothing of you,” one writes.

“In short, hers is a god of her own making. The very notion that you can package Christian truth in a vulgar and profane package proves the ignorance of those suggesting such.”

Whether you are a fan of Lady Gaga, a hardcore believer in God or somewhere in between, this is one debate that is too funny to miss.

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