Do smartphones lead to adolescent sexual behavior?

Published: Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, November 17, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

Teens with smartphones are twice as likely to be propositioned online for sex and 1.5 times more likely to engage in sexual relations than peers without smartphones, says recent research conducted on almost 2,000 California teens. With 58 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds now owning smartphones, should parents be worried?

This important research needs to be understood in the broader context of our teens’ sexual behaviors. Since the late 1980s, the abortion rate, birth rate and pregnancy rate of young women 15 to 19 years of age have all dramatically decreased. Since teenage pregnancy and parenthood are related to all kinds of serious economic and psychological problems, this is great news for our kids and for society.

These dramatic changes are due to two reasons. First, teens of all races, but particularly blacks and hispanics, are delaying sexual relations, says data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control. The percent of females 15 to 19 years old who have never had sex increased from 49 percent to 57 percent in the past 15 years.

The other significant factor is girls are using more effective birth control methods, typically pills or intrauterine devices.

Will increased Internet access change these positive trends? I suspect it won’t have any impact if the parents do the following.

1. Be cautious about giving a smartphone to your young teen. I’m frequently asked questions about the age that kids should access various technologies. The answer depends upon the maturity of your child. While we need to prepare our kids to live in a technologically sophisticated world, some young teens just can’t handle the freedom of unsupervised Internet access. Inform your child that you will monitor their amount of time they spend online and the sites that they visit.

2. Talk about sex with your teen. These should be ongoing conversations about a wide range of sexual issues — peer pressure, gay/lesbian issues, effective birth control, date rape, sexually transmitted diseases, oral sex and sexual abuse. In my office, kids are most interested in discussing a question that doesn’t have a simple answer: How do you know when you are ready for sexual relations?

Our kids are bombarded with these topics in the electronic world. If they are old enough for a smartphone, then they are old enough for these types of discussions.

Kids don’t like to be interrogated on such sensitive topics, so discuss these issues in the context of contemporary events. Talk about the gay students on “Glee,” the very public infidelity of the “Twilight” stars or the arrest of teachers having sex with their students.

Parents are doing a much better job in navigating these topics with their kids, and I’m confident that won’t change with kids having smartphones.

Next week: How to solve arguments with your spouse about the kids.

Memorial Day sales: What to buy and what to skip

Published: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 2:08 PM

If you’re out and about shopping this Memorial Day weekend, you might be wondering what’s really a good deal and what’s not. A bargain shopper’s greatest fear is spending their hard-earned money on something, then finding it at a better price later on!

To avoid this quandary, here are some tips on what to look out for this Memorial Day weekend.

Read more: 50+ great Memorial Day freebies, deals and sales this weekend

What to buy

Appliances

Memorial Day weekend is one of the best times to buy appliances from retailers like The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears — but it’s not the only time. Though you’ll find savings from these stores up to 42% off, you’ll also find great deals around Labor Day and Black Friday. However, if you’re willing to take a scratch and dent appliance, you can save a ton! Here’s how.

Some notable deals right now:

Read more: 11 ways to pay less for appliances

Outdoor furniture

Patio furniture and outdoor dining sets are being heavily promoted right now, due to the weather getting warmer and demand increasing. You can find a few good deals on outdoor furniture, such as this Garden Oasis 7-piece outdoor dining set for $300 or this 6-piece Mosaic outdoor dining set for $88 at Academy Sports. However, you’ll also find closeout deals on outdoor furniture at the beginning of fall as the weather gets cooler and people spend less time outdoors.

Grills

If you broke out the grill only to discover it was in serious need of repair or irretrievably broken, it might be time to take a look at a new grill! There are some decent sales on grills right now, but October is also a great time to shop for grills as the summer grilling season winds down.

Here are a few good buys:

Mattresses

Mattress retailers are cranking up the savings on mattresses right now. Mattresses are typically the best deal around Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Labor Day, among other holidays. February is also a great month to buy a mattress, according to Consumer Reports.

For more on how to pick the best mattress for you, check out Clark’s guide on the best mattresses for your money.

Cars

As it turns out, May is one of the best months to buy a new car, according to True Car — as are October, November and December. This is due to new models of the following year beginning to arrive in June. If you’re thinking of buying new, Consumer Reports ranked the top 10 new cars of 2017, considering factors such as road tests, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety.

If you want to save the most money on the car, check out why Clark says it’s best to buy used.

What to skip

Generally speaking, TVs, electronics, laptops and tools are not the best deal right now, so it may be best to wait for these types of items.

Tools

When it comes to tools, we’ve seen prices increase over the last several months, but heading into Father’s Day, prices on tools are expected to drop. Be on the lookout for tool deals at stores such as The Home Depot, Lowe’s and Sears!

TVs

TVs are generally the best deal around Black Friday or in January before the Super Bowl — especially if you’re looking for a brand name. But if you’re like Clark and you don’t care so much about the brand, there are a few deals around on TVs, like this 55″ 4k TV for $300 at Walmart.

Laptops

Laptops are typically the best deal around the back-to-school season and heading into the Black Friday shopping season, so it may be best to wait for a deal on a laptop, unless you find a good one-off deal like this 11.6″ 4GB HP Chromebook for $99.

Furniture

Since new furniture styles come out in the spring, January and February is the best time to take a look at furniture to get the best price. Definitely skip this category unless you find a great one-off deal! However, if you plan on buying used (usually a fraction of the cost of buying new), yard sales are in full swing and you might have some luck finding gently-used furniture at a huge discount.

When it comes to getting the best deal, the best rule of thumb is to always price check and do tons of research on the item you plan to buy before taking the plunge.

Read more: 10 best deals of The Home Depot’s Memorial Day sale

Other stories you might like from Clark Deals:

This is definitely the craziest playground slide in Dayton

Published: Tuesday, July 12, 2016 @ 11:42 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 28, 2017 @ 12:44 PM

Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to fly through a forest?

You may not be able to sprout wings, but you'll definitely be zipping through the trees on one of the craziest series of playground slides in Dayton at the Archeological Adventure Zone at Carillon Historial Park.

>> MORE: 6 hidden playgrounds to explore this summer

There is admission to enter the greater park, but once you've gotten your thrills, there's plenty of interactive exhibits both inside and out to help you come back down to earth at a less-than-extreme speed.

>> SUMMER FUN: Dayton Summer Bucket List: 50 things to do this summer

>> FREE EVENTS: 20 things to do with the kids this summer

>> MORE: Cool off at these spray parks and splash pads

WATCH: Cat nurses orphaned puppies at shelter

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 8:44 AM



ActionNewsJax.com via Okefenokee Humane Society

A cat named Miracle is nursing newborn puppies at the Okefenokee Humane Society.

On Monday, a man brought seven puppies to the humane society, saying he couldn’t care for them.

He said his dog, the puppies’ mother, had been shot and killed by a neighbor.

That person told police the dog tried to attack him and his children and he had to shoot it.

>> Read more trending news

The dog’s owner said she just gave birth to puppies the day before and must have been protecting them.

“I really felt like we could help (the puppies) in some way, and then Miracle happened,” said Danielle Barcomb, a humane society employee. “So I put these two puppies that I've been fostering up to her, and she took right to them like they were her own.”

Barcomb said it’s not recommended to put such young puppies with another litter that isn’t the same age, but they really didn’t have any other options.

“Love knows no bounds,” Barcomb said. “Doesn't matter if you're a different species or not, you're just a mom trying to give love to some babies.”

To learn more about how you can help the Okefenokee Humane Society, visit their YouCaring page or their Facebook page.

Deer the goat makes stop in Dayton

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 5:08 PM

A Florida man has been traveling around the country with his therapy goat Deer.

Eric Brown of Destin, Fla., made a pit stop today in Dayton. 

He has been on the road with Deer since April 2015. 

STORY: Large iguana on the loose in Beavercreek reunited with owner

Brown is the founder of the Rock Club foundation, which he hopes one day he can turn into a national nonprofit. The mission statement of the Rock Club Foundation, according to its Facebook page, is to empower the people by encouraging creativity, igniting passion and spreading love. 

"We are here to help people smile," said Brown, "and help people come to terms with their own destiny and own realities." 

STORY: Cop rescues baby deer from drain

Brown also has other people who travel with him, and he said all are welcome to join the road trip. Brown plans to help out at soup kitchens and other service areas around the city. 

Brown said he's not sure where he will head next. 

Anyone who wants to support Brown and Deer can go to their go fund me page at 

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