Young women are in danger

I have begun the first rotation of my last year of residency: Pediatric and adolescent gynecology with reproductive endocrinology and infertility. Today when I was reading I came across some sobering statistics regarding young women (see below). As it is Father’s Day, I would like to encourage all parents to take the time to talk with your children as they honor you. Talk to your kids about dangerous activities their peers are definitely participating in. Give them encouragement to swim against the powerful current of peer pressure. Educate them on what to do when various situations arise. Give them information that they can use personally as well as to share with their peers who choose to engage in risky behaviors. Though both of my kids are steadfast in their personal decisions to “wait till marriage” before having sex, they have both been educated all about condoms and birth control and know where to go for more information should they or their peers require it. There are a lot of excellent resources online, links to several of them follow below. Don’t ignore the elephant in the room! Be the “Best Dad in the World” and protect your daughters (and sons) by arming them with education!


Young women, grades 9-12 (2009 CDC data)

Physical danger
–  83% rarely wear bicycle helmets
–  23% have been in a physical fight in the past year
–  8% attempted suicide in the past year
–  8% rarely wear seat-belts

Substance use
–  43% drank alcohol in the post 30 days
–  34% have used marijuana
–  19% currently smoke cigarettes

Weight
–  59% are actively trying to lose weight
–  33% think they are overweight
–  24% are actually overweight
–  15% have gone 24+ hours without eating to try to lose weight
–  6% have taken diet substances without doctor supervision
–  5% have intentionally vomited or taken laxatives to lose weight

Activity
–  32% watch at least 3 hours of TV every school day
–  30% do not ever participate in physical activity lasting longer than an hour

Sexual activity among young women aged 15-17 years (2006-2008 CDC data)

–  27% have had vaginal intercourse with a male partner
–  21.5% did not use contraception the first time they had intercourse
–  13.1% still do not use contraception though they continue to be sexually active

–  In 2006 there were

–  349,145 new infections with chlamydia
–  246,250 reported pregnancies
–  59,648 new infections with gonorrhea
–  28,388 emergency room visits for sexual assault
–  344 new infections with syphilis
–  185 new infections with HIV/AIDS

Death per 100,000 women aged 15-19 years (2006 CDC data)

–  36.8 all causes
–  18.9 accidents
–  2.9 murder
–  2.8 suicide
–  2.5 cancer


Youth resources

The Birds & Bees Project provides comprehensive reproductive health information to youth and adults. The message in all materials is positive, respectful, developmentally appropriate, and aims to compliment the education and values that people receive from their families and communities.

Born This Way Foundation is building a braver, kinder world that celebrates individuality and empowers young people.

Center for Young Women’s Health provides education, clinical care, research, and health care advocacy for teen girls and young women.

girlshealth.gov was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Office on Women’s Health (OWH) to help girls (ages 10 to 16) learn about health, growing up, and issues they may face.

Girls Incorporated inspires all girls to be strong, smart and bold through a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada.

Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.

I wanna know! offers information on sexual health for for teens and young adults. This is where you will find the facts, the support, and the resources to answer your questions, find referrals, and get access to in-depth information about sexual health, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), healthy relationships, and more.

It Gets Better Project is an inspiring collection of over 10,000 user-created videos from around the world that was created to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years. The It Gets Better Project wants to remind teenagers in the LGBT community that they are not alone — and it WILL get better.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) is a 24-hour, toll-free, confidential suicide prevention hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Planned Parenthood: Info for teens provides information about STD testing, pregnancy tests, sexual orientation and more. You can even chat live with a trained counselor.

The Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386) is a 24 hour help line that is available to anyone who needs a listening ear.

2 thoughts on “Young women are in danger”

  1. You should have posted the stats on males as well especially since females are a protected class while men are the disposable sex. After all men are required by federal law to sign up to be used as cannon fodder and can be denied their freedom and federal grants and loans to pursue a college degree if they refuse to sign up for the draft. While there is no such legal requirement for females.

    Over all males have a higher suicide rate, die younger and are more often the victims of violent crime then females. While females have a full range of reproductive rights and options men have absolutely NONE and are forced to finance by force of law {judicial rape} those rights given to women because of their gender while those same reproductive rights are denied to men by force of law and social custom.

    My advice to the young men of today – based on my own nearly 31 years of marriage – is don’t even think of getting married and avoid all intimate contact with the feminine gender until the laws are changed and made gender neutral.

    For more info on these issues you can visit A Voice for Men http://www.avoiceformen.com/ which is a gay friendly website with one of its primary writers being gay – John the Other.

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    1. Late reply, sorry. You are correct in that young men are also in danger. However, as an OB/GYN reaident my field of medicine pertains largely to the female gender. The point of my post was to encourage discussion between teens and their elders. I highly encourage the same for all teens regardless of gender. I just do not have the same data available for young men. Good luck!

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