In adolescence, the brain is wired to experience pleasure more intensely than before or after. They gathered eighty-six mice and placed them in Plexiglas cages, either singly or in groups of three. Then they spiked the water with ethanol and videotaped the results. Half of the test mice were four weeks old, which, in murine terms, qualifies them as adolescents.
But the link between poverty and single parenthood is more complex than is often alleged. The conventional wisdom has it that an epidemic of teen pregnancy is today ruining the lives of young women and their children and perpetuating poverty in America. In polite circles, people speak regretfully of "babies having babies. Defining the problem this way, many Americans, including those in a position to influence public policy, have come to believe that one attractive avenue to reducing poverty and other social ills is to reduce teen birth rates. Their remedy is to persuade teenagers to postpone childbearing, either by convincing them of the virtues of chastity a strategy conservatives prefer or by making abortion, sex education, and contraception more freely available the strategy liberals prefer. After all, the rate of teen childbearing in the United States is more similar to the rates prevailing in the poor countries of the world than in the modern, industrial nations we think of as our peers.
Periods and bras and all those initially embarrassing topics become a norm, and every grrl just learns to adjust to the new, albeit slightly awkward, lifestyle of being a teenager. We learn and grow from our mistakes and our successes, as well. I remember when I turned thirteen and was ready to literally conquer the world. When sixteen came, I was elated because this was the year everyone looked forward to:
Aaron Churchill 7. My intention is not to jump into the rancorous discourse around wage floors for grown-ups. But it is worth examining how escalating minimum wages might affect work opportunities for teenagers. In my view, if we want to promote more teenage employment, Ohio policymakers should consider setting a youth minimum wage that differs from that of adults. Figure 1 shows some national data on teenage employment trends.