Re: Talky Times Two

1

I'm puzzled as to the specific facts of the case that motivated the article. How did the police even know? Am i missing something?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
2

I've been watching too much Law and Order to be objective about this.

Waitaminute...


Posted by: donaquixote | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 11:45 AM
horizontal rule
3

Are there so few cases of people maliciously abusing and exploiting children that the authorities have to seek out petty failures of judgment to prosecute? Cough that Nietzsche quote about sin being the m├ętier of the clergy cough.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:10 PM
horizontal rule
4

The identical post-titling must cease immediately.

I demand that this thread be titled "As long as the Rainbow Party isn't scheduled for the same night, fine by me."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
5

I don't even see any petty failure of judgment here.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
6

5 to 4.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
7

I was 15 or 16 when I babysat my 1-2 month old niece for about an hour. It was traumatic for both of us, but we made it through, and I believe that to this day we are both stronger for having survived this experience.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:20 PM
horizontal rule
8
But children's charity, the NSPCC, advises that children under 13 should not be left at home alone for long periods and children under 16 should not be put in charge of younger children.
Whoa. I was babysitting fairly regularly by the time I was 11 or 12---maybe younger, as I did a couple of years of it but mostly stopped when I went to high school at nearly 13.
Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:29 PM
horizontal rule
9

I don't even see any petty failure of judgment here.

Well, maybe the teenager was an utter dipshit. Not unheard of, in that cohort.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
10

Just to clarify, the old title had an extra l. Tallky. Then the next one would have been Talllky. And so on. But if you all want to stomp out my creativity, I can re-name the thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:32 PM
horizontal rule
11

I started babysitting as an 11-year-old. In retrospect, I don't know what the hell those parents were thinking, but I was a bizarrely precocious kid, and no one ever got hurt on my watch.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
12

9: Well, there is the possibility that there was a failure of judgment, but I don't see any evidence of it.

Does anybody know the answer to the question in 1?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
13

I think a lot of this is very fact-dependent. Beyond the maturity of the sitter, there is the overall social context. I had sitters who were very young (and my sisters* started sitting at a similarly young age), but the context was a close-knit neighborhood where both the parents and sitters were aware of the availability of nearby responsible adults.

*Yes, sexually-stereotyped roles in youth employment in action.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:46 PM
horizontal rule
14

There are a lot of nosy busybody arseholes around, some of whom will phone the police or social services, and sometimes those institutions behave in stupid ways.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:55 PM
horizontal rule
15

14: Yes, that seems the most likely answer to 1.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 12:56 PM
horizontal rule
16

9/12 - In absence of evidence to the contrary, the fact that the teenager was the sibling of the toddler indicates that giving him the babysitting responsibility wasn't a failure in judgment. I don't think it's categorically wrong to leave a teenager in charge of a toddler, but the fact that the mom knew the teenager very well (he was her son!) and the teenager had daily contact with and familiarity with the toddler and presumably had plenty of opportunity to observe caretaking and caretake himself in the past tells me that this wasn't irresponsible on the part of the mom.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
17

One of the families I babysat for as an 11 year-old had three kids, at the time a six year-old and two four year-old twins, one of whom was pretty seriously developmentally disabled. Okay, looking back, maybe the parents should have brought in someone much older, but they did know that if something went wrong, the first thing I'd do would be to call my parents, who would rush right over.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:04 PM
horizontal rule
18

16. Exactly. I was looking after my sister (12 years younger) before she could walk, because I could dress her and undress her and change her nappies (diapers) and make up a bottle of formula and feed it to her and run a bath the right temperature and keep her from drowning while she played in it etc., because my mother had taken the trouble to show me how. These things aren't rocket science (the hard bit is keeping on doing them day and night, month on month, whether you want to or not - nobody asked me to do that).

So the powers that be assume that the family is dysfunctional and the boy is stupid and react on that basis without taking any trouble to find out whether it's the case. No wonder we're fucked.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:08 PM
horizontal rule
19

10: I missed that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:13 PM
horizontal rule
20

Yeah, this is so bizarre to me. It is just hand-in-hand with the helicopter parents thing. I mean, I know people who never let anyone other than their parents babysit their kids until they (the kids) were 3 or 4 years old. WTF? I was babysitting my sisters from the time I was 10 or so, and other people were paying me to watch their kids from when I was 12. And nobody ever got scalded or dropped on their head or microwaved or any of that stuff! The worst injury that's ever happened to any kid I've known was that poor little fellow who fell under his school bus on the ice, while his mother was right there. Apart from that and one or two broken bones due to roughousing or climbing and then falling off of trees, every kid I knew growing up made it to adulthood without serious incident, despite a degree of freedom to roam that would constitute a case for criminal negligence today.

Also, to the point about walking to school? I was regularly walking home from school (11 blocks!) when I was 7. At the K-8 school I attended for junior high, the vast majority of first graders and up who lived nearby walked to school by themselves or with a peer. In the city!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:21 PM
horizontal rule
21

How did the police even know?

My money is on "shitty ex BF/husband". Second guess would be a nosy parker of a neighbor. The proper role of the police of course is to tell such people to mind their own business. The cop who "warned" the mom should be given a kick in the ass by his co-workers for encouraging assholes to call us with this nonsense.

Shitty non custodial parents try to use the police to harass their ex all the time. My most recent one of this type was a request of a "welfare check" from a guy who was concerned that his daughter was living in the same house as her biological grandfather (the mom's dad). Mind you, he didn't have an actual allegation of a crime, or a complaint from the daughter, etc. His whole complaint was that mom and daughter were now living with someone who he "hadn't even met". Too bad asshole. Mom can live with whoever she damn well pleases and you don't get veto power over that.

I did stop by Mom's house, but just a "sperm donor is trying to make trouble for you and was told to knock it off, here's my card and let me know if it happens again".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
22

"sperm donor is trying to make trouble for you and was told to knock it off, here's my card and let me know if it happens again".

There should be more cops like you. That's a classic.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:36 PM
horizontal rule
23

20.2: The town we live in is one square mile, served by one elementary school and one high school plus a Catholic elementary school and I see kids of all ages walking to school every day. The little ones just travel in herds rather than solo and sullenly like the teens.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:42 PM
horizontal rule
24

I read a couple of stories like this about nurses last year.

I think the police offer a caution as a "let's just get this formality over and done with, no more bother" option, without properly communicating that a caution is an admission of guilt and can fuck up your life if you need a CRB for your job. I'd let them prosecute me.

Are there so few cases of people maliciously abusing and exploiting children that the authorities have to seek out petty failures of judgment to prosecute?

Well, I don't in any way think this was a failure of judgment on the mother's part (given the facts in the article), but yeah, the NSPCC think everyone's at it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
25

The crazy part is that these kids all have cell phone and know how to use them to reach people.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
26

The crazy part is that anyone - let alone the biggest children's charity in the country - would even bat an eyelid at a 14 year old looking after his own brother for half an hour. I really hate the NSPCC, and Thames Valley Police (my local force!) clearly employ idiots.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
27

can fuck up your life if you need a CRB for your job.

Which is another fucked up thing in itself [I'm trying to get CRB checked myself at the moment, and they make it nearly impossibly difficult to do if you aren't doing it under the aegis of a huge organisation].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
28

can fuck up your life if you need a CRB for your job.

Which is another fucked up thing in itself [I'm trying to get CRB checked myself at the moment, and they make it nearly impossibly difficult to do if you aren't doing it under the aegis of a huge organisation].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:06 PM
horizontal rule
29

without properly communicating that a caution is an admission of guilt and can fuck up your life if you need a CRB for your job.

I don't exactly understand this, but this seems bizarre. I thought the cops were just giving some kind of a warning. Is a "caution" some kind of formal admission of guilt that allows you to defer prosecution? And this is done on the spot between an officer and the person who receives the caution?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
30

that a caution is an admission of guilt

Whoa, I thought "caution" meant something like a verbal warning. Is it like a citation? Here we have the option on low level misdemeanors to issue a citation in lieu of arrest and booking into jail. But the cite is basically just a court date, not a guilty plea.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
31

No idea what a CRB is, either.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:07 PM
horizontal rule
32

God, it's like they don't even speak English over there!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
33

Cathode Ray Boob.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:10 PM
horizontal rule
34

I assume the US Google can't get to UK sites ...

A caution. NB "the offender admits they committed the crime"

CRB - a check everyone needs to work with children or vulnerable adults.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:13 PM
horizontal rule
35

Wow, a little quick googling suggests that a "caution" is indeed a formal admission of guilt to defer prosecution, kind of like a plea deal done on the spot. Pretty shocking. Also, unbelievable that something like that would be issued in this case.

Seriously, WTF, puroprtedly reasonable UK. George Washington is looking pretty good right now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
36

A caution isn't an on the spot thing, but it's quicker than a court case, and involves no punishment. (But does have consequences.) The first link I saw about this woman in the post was in the Express and said that she was suspended from her job.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
37

Anyone who has any kind of responsible role with under 18s, even if it's just doing a bit of sports coaching, is required to have a criminal record's check, to certify you aren't a 'paedo', basically. So in order to get any number of jobs in the social or voluntary sectory, in education, etc you need to have a blemish flee criminal record, and a caution for leaving a child alone, or similar would certainly bet tantamount to being blacklisted from those professions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Records_Bureau#Standard_disclosure

I teach a sport, I have a couple of students who are 16, so I'm required to get checked, or I'm breaking the law. I haven't been checked -- because I can't get it to happen because the system is insane -- so I need to make sure my students [who are old enough to get married, leave home, leave school, etc.] bring a parent with them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:16 PM
horizontal rule
38

Not fucking reasonable regarding child abuse. Bunch of fucking mentalists.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
39

CRB stands for Criminal Records Bureau, which is the bureaucracy that issues them. My next door neighbour's eldest graduated in July and got a job in social work. He was unemployed for 9 weeks waiting for his CRB.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
40

who are 16 ... [who are old enough to get married, leave home, leave school, etc.]

That mismatch is pretty bad. What's the legal significance of turning 18, then?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:20 PM
horizontal rule
41

What's the legal significance of turning 18, then?

You can legal sex-up ttaM.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
42

Yeah, that all honestly is fairly shocking to me (the "caution" procedure itself as administered by the police, its use in this particular, ridiculous case, and the consequences). And I believe I'm well on the police-friendly end of the spectrum of commenters here.

Thank the good lord for our Due Process clause, I guess.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
43

re: 40

Voting, drinking alcohol in a pub, and a number of other things.

Just been re-reading the rules again, and I wasn't even aware of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vetting_and_Barring_Scheme

I expect I've probably been in breach of that, but fuck knows. I'll need to phone the CRB again and pressure them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:23 PM
horizontal rule
44

41. No, they can legally sex-up ttaM now. At 18, they get to vote and be responsible for contracts they sign. Also, they can go to Afghanistan and get shot, if they like.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
45

re: 44

Ah, but no. I think if they were to sex me up, and I was in some sort of position of responsibility -- including teaching a weekly class that they attend with a whole bunch of other people -- I could be jailed.

The problem I have is I can't apply for a CRB check as an individual, and the sports federation which licenses me to teach the sport I do, isn't registered to vet people's CRB checks. So I'm sort of stumped.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
46

I can't find a convincingly sourced version of this story (eg one with any kind of statement from Thames Valley Police). They're all incredibly vague and rely on sources quoted by the Sunday Times (which I'm not going to pay for access to).

Given our wonderful national press I'm suspicious that we do not know the whole story here, and that it might contain information that makes more sense.


Posted by: Abelard | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
47

18 - get married without your parents' permission! My 14 year old has to stay at school until she's 17, and the education-leaving age will be 18 for anyone under 11 or 12.

I've got a CRB check because I help out at a Boys Brigade group. I put it in my tutoring ads but no one has ever asked me about it.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
48

re: 47

Yeah, people have suggested I sign up for some sort of voluntary organisation that does CRB checks, and then not do any volunteering. Which seems a bit shitty. All of the umbrella bodies that cover martial arts seem to have gone defunct since the CRB website was last updated, or they are now restricting CRB checks to people who are members of their own federation [despite several of them advertising that they do vetting for individual instructors]. I'll ring them again, as maybe I can do the Vetting and Barring registration as an individual and that'll be enough.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:34 PM
horizontal rule
49

The alternative, I suppose, is to sign up with an employment agency, and then not take any work.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
50

Oh, posted by accident. So the official line now from the Boys Brigade and the Girls Brigade (which are separate organisations) is that officers/leaders/other helpers who are over 18, cannot be friends on Facebook with anyone who attends GB or BB and is under 18. Which I argued about because it's so fucking stupid and ignorant, but of course if I don't comply then I might invalidate their insurance. (Fear of screwing up 'the insurance' governs many decisions in this country.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
51

I had to get vetted back when I had an ID that let me into mental hospitals as staff. They needed my name, every address I'd ever lived at, plus my finger prints.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:36 PM
horizontal rule
52

OT: Halford, you've gone paleo and xfit, yes? Do you have before and afters?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
53

I can't decide whether to be sad or relieved at this sudden revelation that the UK is as stupid a place as the US.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:46 PM
horizontal rule
54

53: I can't decide whether to be sad or relieved at this sudden revelation that the UK is as stupid a place as the US.

Quite.

Yesterday I went into a yuppie paper-goods boutique (lots of greeting cards, but they make their real money doing custom wedding stuff apparently), and they had half a table full of "Keep Calm And Carry On" tschochtkes, probably 30 or 40 different items in pillar box red or royal blue with the little crown and all. Come on Britishers! You survived the Blitz, surely you can leave the kids home alone for half an hour.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
55

Fortunately public opinion does seem to be that a 14 year old can look after a sibling.

Talking of teenagers, I just heard on the tv that by the age of 16 the average teenager has had sex with 3 people. I don't want to think things like that about my 14 year old.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
56

At the same time? Because that would be kind of young.

Actually, that sounds a little surprising to me. I'd think there'd be either a sizable minority or a small majority who hadn't had sex by that age, and that a majority of the ones who had would be on their first partner.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
57

56.2 is not inconsistent with 55.2, you statistics virgin, you.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:11 PM
horizontal rule
58

If they're using 'average' to mean 'the mean number of partners a sixteen year old has had' rather than 'the number of partners the median sixteen-year old has had', that seems like weird usage to me. Also, are there really going to be enough sixteen-year-olds with lots and lots of partners to drag the mean number of partners way above the number of partners of the median?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:15 PM
horizontal rule
59

52 -- I'm a total evangelist. After about 7 months I've lost a shit-ton of weight and have gained a lot of muscle, and went from being fat and schlumpy to not fat and not very schlumpy at all, though I still have a long way to go and am still close to the weakest dude in the gym. I'm now in by far the best shape of my life in my mid-30s, though that's not saying much in my particular case. E.g., I couldn't do a single pull up when I was 12 years old but I can now rip 10 off in a go without too much worry, and can run a mile in 6:45 (not fast! but fast for me!) where my previous fastest time was something like 8 minutes. The folks who start out in better shape than I was seem to have equally dramatic improvement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:16 PM
horizontal rule
60

Oh, and I never would have started CrossFit at all if it hadn't been for Megan. Thanks, Megan, if you're reading this!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:17 PM
horizontal rule
61

Re: 58

I don't know. I was a teenager in the 80s and quite a few people i knew had prob had two or three partbers by 16. Lots who'd nevet had sex at all of course, but while the numbers seem quite high they don't seem crazily out of whack.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:19 PM
horizontal rule
62

Average, not median. So if 1/8 have sex with 24 different people, and the rest have none, that would get you an average of 3 as well.

BTW, are these numbers self-reported, or some other way?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
63

Graph representing high school hookups:
http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/chainspix.htm


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
64

Well, me too, and me too. But 'quite a few' means that I can think of some, rather than that it seemed like a norm. Sixteen just seems young enough to me that the difference between one and three is still pretty big.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:21 PM
horizontal rule
65

59: I've been curious what you feed your daughter when she's with you. Mara would certainly notice the lack of cheese first and maybe eventually carbs if we started feeding her in a paleo way, which despite Lee's love of meat is not anything we're considering.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
66

You're welcome, Halford. I'm glad it is going well for you. I do worry a little bit that you've got the swirly eyes now. Although, as cults go, it is probably a good one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:29 PM
horizontal rule
67

62 - I have no idea. The tv was on in an annoying background fashion whilst C and I both did something else and then a programme came on called "The Joy of Teen Sex" which we both shuddered at and before it got turned off, that statistic was given in the voiceover introduction bit.

I can see that as a mean it oculd be accurate. I don't know if mean is most useful. I wonder what the mode is? Might even be zero. As a fingers-in-ears-la-la-la parent I'd rather they used that.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:35 PM
horizontal rule
68

the average teenager has had sex with 3 people

Simultaneously.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:36 PM
horizontal rule
69

65 -- I don't keep the kid on the paleo diet. We eat together, so she usually has a bunch of meat and kale and bacon in the morning, but she eats a fair amount of cheese and I'll sometimes make little sides of pasta, etc., for her lunch. She does seem to really like green vegetables and meats, so we eat largely the same stuff without any problems.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:38 PM
horizontal rule
70

Halford that's extremely good for a mid thirties dude with no history of athletics. Well done. And now you can take the mantle from heebie. Possibly after removing any mom jeans that might be obscuring things.


Posted by: annelid gustator | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:40 PM
horizontal rule
71

64: that the difference between one and three is still pretty big

Not as big as the difference between 6 and 9.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:44 PM
horizontal rule
72

55: That figure has got to be bullshit. Further investigation will probably show that it was the lead article in Journal of Freefloating Anxiety, from the same issue that first revealed that women over the age of 35 are more likely to be killed in a plane crash than get married.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:51 PM
horizontal rule
73

re: 64

I don't know. I'm from central Scotland, I think the numbers might be different. A shitload of people I knew were pregnant before they were 18.

And with the numbers I'm not talking about people who were promiscuous or anything. I'd guess a third or a quarter or so of people were 'dating' by 14, or so. My close close friends were fairly unprepossessing dorky stoner types, and I could only think of one out of maybe half a dozen or so who was sexually active at 14, but I'd guess the majority of them had had one partner by 16, and most would have had several by 17. So if someone were to tell me the current crop of teenagers were a year or so more precious than we were it wouldn't seem crazily out of line. I remember being a bit surprised having a conversation at university about when we'd first had sex and how many of the girls in the room had had sex under 16 [I think pretty much all of them].

Of course, I'm only going by what people _said_ which is hardly the most reliable measure.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 3:52 PM
horizontal rule
74

59: 10 pullups is damned impressive. I was feeling pretty pleased with myself for knocking off six the other day, but wow.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 4:05 PM
horizontal rule
75

74 -- These are "kipping" pullups, not straight pullups. I'll bet if you can do 7 straight pullups you could bust out 10 kipping ones no problem.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
76

54: In Loring Park? If so, that's owned by a friend of mine. She's wonderful, and a talented designer. She did a great job on our wedding invites and also some "We're Moving" postcards for us a few months back.


Posted by: koti | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 4:17 PM
horizontal rule
77

75: I don't think I do the kipping kind, except by accident. It's actually pretty difficult to keep one's body and legs straight in the last couple of pullups.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 4:18 PM
horizontal rule
78

According to Wikipedia, the members of the Baby-sitters Club were all thirteen (for the entire fourteen year run of the series), with the exception of the junior members, who were eleven.


Posted by: Andy | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 5:11 PM
horizontal rule
79

Halford: pics or it didn't happen.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 5:17 PM
horizontal rule
80

78: Good point! And they baby-sat some real handfuls, like Jackie Rodowsky.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 5:41 PM
horizontal rule
81

Holy mother of shit is this Wikipedia list of one-sentence plot summaries of all of the Babysitters Club novels awesome. My favorites:

3.The Truth About Stacey (December 1986) - The truth about Stacey is that she has diabetes.

2. Logan Bruno, Boy Baby-sitter (July 1993) - Logan gets in trouble when he starts hanging out with T-Jam, a member of SMS's resident gang.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 5:56 PM
horizontal rule
82

On the average teenager has had sex with 3 people by the age of 16 thing: are child sex-workers counted? I'm not suggesting that the average-of-3 figure is unbelievable otherwise, but the average (as opposed to median) would be thrown quite a bit out whack if *all* 16-year-olds are included.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 6:06 PM
horizontal rule
83

55: Talking of teenagers, I just heard on the tv that by the age of 16 the average teenager has had sex with 3 people.

I suspect that is taken from what appears to be a survey done by Superdrug as reported here last September.

A recent survey by Superdrug reveals that by their 16th birthday the average person has had sex with three people, two of whom are likely to have been encounters lasting for just a single night.
They quote some other stats, but other than apparently having polled 1,200 people can't find any methodology. I would not be at all surprised if it were biased on the high side as a scare tactic as it seems to have been part of a campaign to sell condoms to teens (not that there is anything wrong with that...).
Mel Wilson, a spokesperson for Superdrug, said levels of sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy in the UK continued to be worryingly high. The retailer has teamed up with pop group JLS to release a range of condoms it hopes will appeal to the young.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 7:47 PM
horizontal rule
84

Here's a write-up of what is probably a more considered survey from 2000:

Population Trends, published by National Statistics, shows the number of teenage girls having underage sex increased from fewer than one in ten in the Seventies, to one in four in the Nineties
It contains an interesting perspective on what constitutes a "conservative" view of sex in the UK versus the US.
However, Cordelia Oddie of Family and Youth Concern, a conservative family charity, said that clinics were behaving irresponsibly by putting young girls on the Pill and handing out condoms.
"There is a big teenage sex industry," she said. "But these clinics should be finding out why such young girls are having sex. Good doctors know sex at too young an age is physically and emotionally harmful. The youngsters should wait until they are 17."
Just say No! Until you're 17.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 7:54 PM
horizontal rule
85

are child sex-workers counted?

You seriously think this is skewing the results? Are these surveys being done on foot in a red light Bangkok slum or something?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
86

"Get Thai'd! You're talking to a tourist
Whose every move's among the purest.
I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine"


Posted by: Opinionated Murray Head | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
87

Maybe the study suffers from poor design and a misinterpretation of one of those pesky British accents.

Researcher: "If you tell us how many people you've had sex with, we'll give you this free iPod."
16yo Chav: "Free?"
Researcher: "Ah, okay. Duly noted. Here ya go!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
88

Also worth noting that "had sex" has expanded in definition from what it meant when many of us were 16. In my day it was penis in vagina only, uphill both ways. Nowadays kids are cashing in their V-card for a handjob, FFS!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
89

FFS

Well, right?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:04 PM
horizontal rule
90

the average teenager has had sex with 3 people.

simultaneously

Patri, Fili, and Spiritus Sancti, right?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
91

85: I have no idea; I thought there were rough figures about such things. I'm also not a statistician. I'd hazard a guess that if you put together data about under-16 sexual activity from a wide range of countries across the globe, you'd get an average higher than what you'd expect to see if you restrict the data to the UK or US (say).

We don't know what the TV piece asilon heard was referring to. Probably the scarification approach people have mentioned. And as togolosh says, "have sex" may be differently defined these days.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
92

Is 83 typed in invisible ink?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:24 PM
horizontal rule
93


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:30 PM
horizontal rule
94

93:

 


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:32 PM
horizontal rule
95

Racist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
96

Just say No! Until you're 17.

There's a Mark Sanchez joke in there somewhere, but I'm not finding it at the moment.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
97

92: Until you put the magic flame (or whatever) under it, I guess it was.

No, but really, I saw that. Scarification, right.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:40 PM
horizontal rule
98

Scarification, right.

Shouldn't there be an 'e' in there somewhere? Otherwise.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:44 PM
horizontal rule
99

98: Ow. Ow! And yeah, my internal thesaurus is down for repairs tonight.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 8:50 PM
horizontal rule
100

Kobe?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
101

Woot!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 02- 9-11 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
102


I can't decide whether to be sad or relieved at this sudden revelation that the UK is as stupid a place as the US.

Where have you been the last decade? The last government's whole modus operandus was to push through unenforcable, awfully drafted laws in response to the latest tabloid bout of hysteria, as my co-blogger and lawyer by trade has been tearing her hairs out over for years. Something like one new law for every day they were in power, iirc, all attempting to enforce a certain kind of middle class morality which in the end, yes, does result in people being cautioned for completely normal behaviour.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 02-10-11 12:22 AM
horizontal rule
103

I don't think you appreciate exactly how stupid a place the US is.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 02-10-11 1:08 AM
horizontal rule
104

I don't know. I'm from central Scotland, I think the numbers might be different. A shitload of people I knew were pregnant before they were 18.

Well, when life expectancy is 29, you don't have much time to waste.

CRB - a check everyone needs to work with children or vulnerable adults.

In which latter category are included soldiers under training. Seriously. If you're an instructor on P Company, you need to be CRB checked, because these hardened infantrymen you're working with - these guys who will be paratroopers in a few weeks' time - are "vulnerable adults".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 02-10-11 2:56 AM
horizontal rule
105

||

Ha! Our cunning plan to take back the colonies begins to bear fruit.

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02-10-11 5:20 AM
horizontal rule
106

105: Kris Kross foretold this moment when they rapped, "Wickety wickety wickety wickety whack!"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-10-11 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
107

Hello, it's time to start to Watch TV on the Internet


Posted by: bo | Link to this comment | 02-11-11 3:46 AM
horizontal rule