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Thursday, December 30, 2004

WEWS NewsNet5: Teens Tell Stories Of Sex At House Parties

Local - NewsNet5
WEWS NewsNet5.com
Teens Tell Stories Of Sex At House Parties

Thu Dec 2, 1:44 PM ET
Add to My Yahoo! Local - NewsNet5 [Cleveland, Ohio, USA]

Research shows 16 percent of girls and 20 percent of boys have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they reach their 14th birthday. For some fourth- and fifth-graders, sex is the topic of school lunch room conversations almost daily.

In a special report, NewsChannel5's Deb Lee explored the troubling statistics.

Lee talked with a 15-year-old Cleveland-area girl who is enrolled at the Pepper Pike Alcohol Treatment Center for kids about her experiences with alcohol and sex.

The teen said kids are having sex as young as 11 and 12 years old. She added that it happens at house parties in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs, where the liquor flows so freely and girls sometimes black out.

I know at least six or seven girls that are my good friends that got raped the first time they ever had sex, she said. That's how they lost their virginity by getting raped at a party while they were under the influence.

Another teen, who will be called Jay, also knows about the parties. He's also from the Cleveland area and was a resident at the treatment center. Jay, who is 18 now, said he had sex at an early age, too.

"I lost my virginity when I was 9 years old," he said. "Most of the time, it's us boys pressuring the girls to do this, do that. But sometimes it's not all our fault. Sometimes girls be dressing all trashy... you see them out in the street with their little short skirts and tank tops and stuff."

Another teen says TV glorifies sex.

"They're all drinking and getting drunk and everything and the rappers are talking about doing drugs and having sex with people and all that," a teen said.

Dr. Slyvia Rimm, an area expert on child psychology, has interviewed hundreds of children around the country for a book on habits of middle schoolers.

Lee said she discovered that second-, third- and fourth-graders are talking about sex.

"The oral sex, even a generation ago, wasn't common in high school and now is common as early as 8th grade and even common in high school and taken lightly, I'm sorry to say, in our former president's words," Rimm said.

Lee reported that former President Bill Clintons statement: I did not have sex with that woman... Miss Lewinsky," -- has had an impact.

She said teens do not think oral sex counts as sex.

"I think there can be real psychological harm when kids are that young Rimm said.

Many teens are choosing abstinence and sobriety. In fact, the 15-year-old in the story sought help through treatment and is now beginning a new life, in a new community, at a new school.

"I'm not going to have the peer pressure, and I'm gonna be able to do what I need to do to help myself," she said.

For more information, go to www.newdirect.org


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