News Briefs 2/13/13
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 18:02
Sex Ed, contraception and Plan B distribution aids NYC students
The rate of teen pregnancy among New York City’s public high school students dropped 27 percent over the decade, according to MSNBC.
Seventy-three out of 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 to 19 in NYC were pregnant in 2010. Ninety-nine out of 1,000 were pregnant in 2001, MSNBCreported.
Officials believe the statistics improved because of the city’s efforts to make sex education and birth control more accessible in public schools.
“We’re seeing that there are two things happening: teens are both delaying sex and those that are having sex are more likely to use contraceptives,” Deborah Kalpan, assistant commissioner of the NYC Department of Health’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health, told MSNBC.
NYC’s teen pregnancy rate is still higher than the national average, but the birth rate is lower. The lower birth rate may be due to the accessibility of abortion clinics, according to the health department.
There is also a city-sponsored program, Connecting Adolescents to Comprehensive Health (CATCH), which dispensed 12,721 doses of Plan B to students as young as 14 during the 2011-12 school year, according to the New York Post.
“When you make condoms and contraceptives available to teens, they don’t increase their likelihood of being sexually active,” said Tom Farley, health commissioner of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, to the New York Daily News. “But they get the message that sex is risky.”
Secretary of Defense extends benefits to same-sex partners
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Monday the U.S. military will extend benefits to same-sex partners of military personnel.
Partners are now able to receive child-care services, visit military hospitals, have military ID cards and gain access to commissaries, movie theaters and gyms on base.
Medical and dental care, housing allowances and death benefits have not been extended for these couples.
Panetta also announced the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which bars gay and lesbian couples from receiving more than 85 other benefits, is “now being reviewed by the United States Supreme Court.”
Advocates for gay rights support Panetta in his policy. They believe while the DOMA remains active, everything will be prevented from changing right away.
“Secretary Panetta’s decision today answers the call President Obama issued in his inaugural address to complete our nation’s journey toward equality, acknowledging the equal service and equal sacrifice of our gay and lesbian service members and their families,” Ally Robinson, army veteran and executive director of OutServe-SLDN (an association of actively-serving LGBT military personnel), told NBC.
The military has 60 days to decide how to extend the benefits, according to a memo issued by Panetta. Pentagon officials hope the changes will go into effect by the end of August, according to Reuters.
Boyfriend rental rate skyrockets in February
For single women in China this year, getting the perfect boyfriend just takes a few clicks. He will go shopping without complaint and attend the dreaded office parties.
He comes at a price, though, and has to go back at the end of the session. He’s only a rental.
Chinese women under pressure to get married are opting to rent boyfriends to introduce to their families this year. This February, searches of the term “rental boyfriend” have increased 884 percent.
Women in China rent boyfriends to make their boyfriends jealous, impress their bosses and ease their family’s fear the women will grow old and stay unmarried, said an entrepreneur – identified as Mr. Gao, according to ABC News – who created one of the rental services.
Gao evaluates and handpicks the rental men. They must be good looking, at least 5 foot 6, well mannered and willing to wear glasses. So far, nine men between the ages of 26 and 32 have been selected.
Different rates apply, depending on the activity or task the rental has to perform. Going to a movie can cost $8 an hour but going to a horror movie costs a little extra, according to ABC News.
Renting a drinking partner depends on the drink, but an “all-inclusive package” costs approximately $128 per day.
“Handshakes, hugs and goodbye kisses on the cheek or forehead are free of charge,” said ABC News.