Teen health and sex issues

Health issues impacting teens:

  • Teenagers are spending more time in front of the computer and television and less time participating in physical activities
  • Sedentary behavior increased 50 percent between 1999-2004
  • The increase in sedentary activities combined with the decrease in physical activity is thought to be associated with increased risk for obesity
  • Participation in physical activity among girls dropped from 5.9 to 4.9 hours a week from early adolescence (ages 11-15) to mid-adolescence (ages 15-18).
  • Researchers found that many kids and teens may lack parental supervision when it comes to media exposure
  • The average high school boy spent 15.2 hours a week using a computer in 2004, up from 10.4 hours weekly in 1999, while computer use among teen girls climbed from 8.8 to 11.1 hours a week

    (From Pediatrics, 2007)

  • Teens who participate in a wide variety of physical activities, particularly with their parents, are at decreased risk for drinking, drugs, violence, smoking, sex and delinquency, compared to teens who watch a lot of TV
  • Adolescents who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing computer video games tend to be at higher risk for engaging in all of these risky behaviors
  • Risk of low self-esteem was lowest for adolescents engaging in sports with their parents
  • It could be that active teens are being exposed to more opportunities for team-building, engaging in more social interactions with others

    (From Pediatrics, 2006)

Eating Disorders
  • 10% of people with the eating disorders <> anorexia and bulimia are male
  • In the United States, as many as 10 in 100 young women suffer from an eating disorder
  • Warning signs: won't maintain a normal body weight for height and age, terrified of becoming fat, and says he or she feels fat even when he or she is not
  • Eating disorders rose significantly among American boys between 1995 and 2005
  • Increase in dieting and diet product use among female adolescents.
  • The increased weight control behavior noted in males suggests growing social pressure for males to achieve unrealistic body expectations
  • Males have negative attitudes toward treatment-seeking and are less likely than females to seek treatment

    (From International Journal of Eating Disorders)

Teen Pregnancy
  • Three out of 10 U.S. girls get pregnant at least once before their 20th birthday.
  • After a 15-year decline in teen pregnancies, there was a 3 percent increase in the most recent year tallied.
  • Most states leave the scope of sex education up to the local school boards
  • Information on California's Sexual Health Education and HIV/AIDS Prevention Education Law:
    Website: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/he/se/
  • 46% of all 15-19-year-olds in the United States have had sex at least once
Sexually Transmitted Infections:
  • Although 15-24-year-olds represent only one-quarter of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half of all new STIs each year
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infections account for about half of STIs diagnosed among 15-24-year-olds each year.
  • 1 in 4 U.S. teen girls has an STI, with HPV being the most common.
Teens and Stress
  • Most teens experience more stress when they perceive a situation as dangerous, difficult, or painful and they do not have the resources to cope
  • Inadequately managed stress can lead to anxiety, withdrawal, aggression, physical illness, or drug and/or alcohol use.
Teens and Sleep
  • Most teens need about 8½ to more than 9 hours of sleep each night
  • Lack of sleep causes decline in grades at school, poor athletic performance, decreased reaction time while driving
  • 20% of teens fall asleep in class
  • Caffeine and teens: teens who consume higher amounts of caffeine during the day sleep fewer hours at night and take more daytime naps
About Dr. Leah Millheiser
Dr. Millheiser oversees the Female Sexual Medicine Program, which is available to women of all ages in the discreet surroundings of our Stanford Hospital office. This clinic provides treatment for the following disorders: decreased libido; decreased arousal; anorgasmia; dyspareunia and vaginismus. We take a multidisciplinary approach to female sexual medicine, working in conjunction with a licensed sex therapist, pelvic floor physical therapist, as well as alternative health practitioners.

About Girls For A Change
Girls For A Change is a national organization that empowers girls to create social change. We invite young women to design, lead, fund and implement social change projects that tackle issues girls face in their own neighborhoods. GFC provides the tools, resources, partnerships and support girls need to gain the voice, ability, and problem-solving capacity to realize their full potential. We welcome and serve all girls and focus our efforts on girls who live in low income communities.

GFC was founded in San Jose, California in 2002 and has since doubled the number of girls served. We expanded to the Phoenix Metro Area in 2005 (see Communities). In 2008, GFC took its annual Girl Summit on the road for our National Tour. The tour included teaching more than 2,500 girls about social change and giving them the tools to create change through our Change Your World Trainings. Today, in cities across the country, Girl Action Teams of approximately 10 girls and two women volunteers called GFC Coaches meet during the school year to identify an issue they want to change and then design and implement a social change project.

Imagine the possibilities if every year thousands of middle school and high school girls learn how to tackle community problems! Picture the huge number of powerful women leaders driving local communities and the world toward success and well-being. Website: www.girlsforachange.org

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