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.

When is Beggars Night in your city?

Published: Friday, October 14, 2016 @ 11:20 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 12, 2017 @ 8:44 AM

No Tricks, Just Treats: How to Have a Safe Halloween

It's almost time to gets the kids out for this year’s Beggars Nights (aka trick-or-treating).

It's time to plan your perfect costume, grab a bucket for all of those treats and be adorable. 

>> RELATED: Halloween Guide 2017

We've compiled Beggars Night dates and times in communities across the region.

When is Beggars Night in your community?

>>> FOR KIDS: Halloween fun for the kids all month long

>>> FOR ADULTS: More than 10 of the best Halloween events (for adults)

Local woman reaches milestone birthday

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:38 PM


Mildred Kehrle Cummings Peace celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, Oct. 8, with family and friends at Trinity Church in Miamisburg. Mildred was born in Miami Twp. on Oct 11, 1917. She graduated from Miamisburg High School in 1935. She has spent most of her life in Miamisburg. She has three children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She currently resides at Wellington Place, Independent Living Facility, on West Alex Bell Road, with her husband, Clayton. In her spare time she enjoys Wii Bowling. CONTRIBUTED

Multiple mushrooms put the ‘fun’ in fungus

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 2:57 PM

            Sue Kentner of Butler Twp. took this photo of what calls a “mushroom bouquet” in Butler Twp. on Oct. 6 after heavy rains the day before.
Sue Kentner of Butler Twp. took this photo of what calls a “mushroom bouquet” in Butler Twp. on Oct. 6 after heavy rains the day before.

Share your photos of life in the Miami Valley by season.

Dayton Daily News reader Sue Kentner of Butler Twp. took this accompanying photo.

We invite Dayton Daily News readers to submit favorite photos capturing everyday life and special moments related to the season, to be considered for publication in Neighbors; timely nature scenes, family fun, hikes in the park and more. Photos should be from within the past few months.

Please send a high-resolution image to the following address:

Important: Use the email subject line “Seasons photo” (without the quote marks). Submissions should include the date the photo was taken, the location the photo was taken and a brief description of the photo. The photographer should include his/her first and last name and specific town of residence for a photo credit.

Why are more black women dying of breast cancer compared to white women?

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 12:58 PM

What You Need to Know: Breast Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, black women under 60 years old are more likely to die from breast cancer than white women in the same age group. In fact, data from 2015 showed black women had a 39 percent higher breast cancer death rate.

>> Read more trending news

New research from Emory University, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute points to differences in health insurance as the culprit.

The findings, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, included data from the National Cancer Data Base on 563,497 black and white women between the ages of 18 and 64 who had been diagnosed with stage I to stage III breast cancer between 2004 and 2013.

The researchers examined five factors for the study:

  • Demographics (age, stage, state, year of diagnosis, etc.)
  • Comorbidities (other health conditions)
  • Insurance (lack of insurance, private insurance, Medicare/Medicaid, etc.)
  • Tumor characteristics (size, type, stage, etc.)
  • Treatment (chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, surgery, etc.)

The findings

They found that insurance explained one-third of the additional risk of death among the black women compared to white women diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

Additionally, almost three times as many black women (22.7 percent) were either uninsured or had Medicaid insurance compared to white women (8.4 percent).

“Lack of insurance is a barrier to receipt of timely and high-quality treatment and screening services,” study authors wrote.

Other major factors that explained the differences: tumor characteristics (23.2 percent), comorbidities (11.3 percent) and treatment (4.8 percent).

Nearly 80 percent of the women in the study had the most common type of breast cancer (hormone receptor-positive breast cancer) and according to the researchers, when matched for factors such as insurance, comorbidity and others, those factors accounted for a combined 76.3 percent of the total excess risk of death in black patients.

The authors noted that when it came to treatment differences, black and white women contrasted most for hormone therapy, which, according to ACS, is typically used after surgery to help reduce the chance of recurrence.

“Several studies reported that black women are less likely to complete chemotherapy and hormone therapy,” study author Ahmedin Jemal told the ACS. “This could be for many reasons, including problems with transportation or the inability to pay for medicine.”

Additionally, previous research has shown that black women get lower quality mammograms and are less likely to have a follow-up appointment after receiving abnormal mammograms.

(Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

And insurance is vital for both high-quality cancer care and for early detection.

“We know so much about cancer prevention and control,” Jemal, who is also vice president of the ACS surveillance and health services research program, said. “But we’re not applying it to the whole population equally. We have to make the standard of care available to everyone, including people with low income. And blacks are disproportionately represented in that group.”

Read the full study at