We, as a society, have got to change. This unhealthy focus on appearance has to stop. It's all pervasive -- every magazine, TV show, movie, video game seems to be just a disguise for a how-to guide on how we're supposed to look, feel, and act.
High School students under the age of 19 account for approximately one-third of all newly diagnosed sexually transmitted infections in New York State. And not surprisingly, teen mothers are much less likely to graduate from high school than their peers who didn't give birth.
To shed anxiety-driven notions about talking to children about sex, we adults need simply to identify and revisit the maladaptive associations we absorbed early in life and use our "we're all grown up now" good sense and perspective to whack them apart.
The wellbeing of children is everybody's business, and everybody should mind that children are staring down the barrel of a glow-in-the-dark cheese doodle or sugar-laden cereal loop at foreshadowed health and foreshortened lives.
At the Bar Mitzvah, I couldn't help but think that the tribe had done this young man a great service, literally surrounding him with family and friends expressing loving affirmation and setting high expectations for his future.