Jan 5, 2009 | 5
More than half of teens on MySpace discuss or post images on their profiles of sex, drugs and violence, new research shows. But another study finds that reminding kids the info is public may tame the content they publish on the social-networking site.
Some 270 (54 percent) of 500 MySpace profiles referenced risky behavior, according to the first study in today's Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Of those, 24 percent mentioned sex, 41 percent drugs and 14 percent violence. The findings are based on reviews by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Notre Dame of profiles whose users said they were 18.
The researchers acknowledge that there's no way of verifying the ages or information of the users. But they note that social-networking sites have been used by cyber-bullies and online predators to target unwitting users. And whether or not the profiles reflect the truth, other teens will take the online information literally, magnifying the peer pressure that already exists in real life, says co-author Megan Moreno, now an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Dec 29, 2008 | 10
Parents' intolerance of their gay and lesbian teens increases the chance that they will suffer health problems in young adulthood, including increased risk of suicide, depression, drug abuse and unsafe sex, new research shows.
Those whose parents reacted negatively to their sexual orientation were more than eight times more likely to have attempted suicide than those whose families accepted them, according to a study in the January issue of Pediatrics. They were also nearly six times as likely to report depression, three times as likely to use drugs and three times as likely to have unprotected sex.
Nov 18, 2008 | 2
If you study prostitutes, would you tell the NIH?
Half of scientists whose federally funded research — most of it about sex and AIDS — was subjected to extra scrutiny by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 2003 after conservative members of Congress questioned its merits say they now censor wording in their grant applications that might raise "red flags" at the agency, according to a new survey.
Five years ago, Rep. Patrick Toomey (R-PA) proposed a bill amendment that would have pulled funding for five grants. The legislation failed by a 210 to 212 vote, but after that, members of a House and Senate committee asked NIH Director Elias Zerhouni to explain the “medical benefit” of those and five additional grants. Because of a clerical error, those ten grants turned into about 250 grants by 157 investigators that Zerhouni ordered reviewed.
Oct 28, 2008 | 2
Listen up, ladies: If you're looking to score, break out that red dress.
Men were more eager to bed women wearing red than those decked out in other colors, according to five studies involving 149 men and 32 women published today in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. The men also judged those women as more attractive than those sans red duds.
"I'm not going to let my 16-year-old daughter wear red, let's put it that way," says study author Andrew Elliot, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. "I do think a female who's interested in a male and going on a date ought to pull that red shirt out of the closet, because most likely it will make her more attractive to him."
Jul 17, 2008 | 1
Tasmanian devils aren't just hyperactive on Looney Toons. Seems a fatal facial cancer coursing through the population has driven the much-maligned marsupials to procreate earlier than normal. The devils—named for Tasmania, the Australian island off the continent's southeastern coast, where they reside—live an average of five years and typically begin mating when they've reached adulthood at around two years of age. But researchers at the University of Tasmania report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA that the animals are mating by or before the age of one—some 16 times more frequently than they did before the disease was detected a decade ago. Unfortunately, the researchers say this race against the clock isn't doing the trick: Tasmanian devil populations continue to decline, dropping by up to 89 percent from what they were 10 years ago in some groups. The scientists hope, however, breeding early and often will buy the animals time and beat the cancer.
(Picture: © Istockphoto/Leo Stanners)
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