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Rise in teen boys demanding rough sex, choking girls as young as 12

There is a disturbing rise in the numbers of teenage boys demanding rough sex and choking partners as young as 12, new research revealed.

A recent survey by Dr. Debby Herbenick, known to be one of the foremost researchers on American sexual behavior, questioned 5,000 women anonymously at a ‚major Midwestern university,‘ the New York Times reported. 

Almost two-thirds of women who responded said they had been choked by a partner during sex – but an even more worryingly statistic emerged: 40 percent were between the ages 12 and 17 the first time choking happened.

During a previous survey, the figure was far fewer at 25 percent (or one in four). 

Experts warned that the normalization of rough sex during popular culture, the widespread accessibility of pornography and social media are driving this trend. 

A concerning trend shows an increase in teenage boys demanding rough sex, including choking, from partners as young as 12. Porn and popular culture appears to be to blame. Pictured, Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan in the 2015 film Fifty Shades Of Grey

In last year’s single, by Jack Harlow, ‚Lovin On Me‘ begins with the lyrics: ‚I’m vanilla baby, I’ll choke you, but I ain’t no killer, baby.‘ 

The survey’s findings corroborate those of another writer and researcher specializing in sexual behavior, Peggy Orenstein, a sexuality researcher and college professor, who notes the rise in the choking phenomenon during sex.

Orenstein states how she was startled in early 2020 when during a Q&A at a high school, a 16-year-old girl came to her asking: ‚How come boys all want to choke you?‘ 

Then in a separate class a 15-year-old boy asked: ‚Why do girls all want to be choked?‘ 

One of the most common forms of rough sex is referred to as ‚choking‘, although specifically it is a form of strangulation as it sees pressure being placed on the neck.

Bother Herbenick and Orenstein say strangulation is becoming more widespread. 

Autoerotic asphyxia – when someone restricts oxygen to their own brain for the purposes of arousal – isn’t new, with cases documented since the early 17th century. 

But, historically, it has been ’niche‘ and an overwhelmingly male pastime.  

 Peggy Orenstein, a sexuality researcher and college professor has noted the rise in the choking phenomenon during sex

Dr. Debby Herbenick, known to be one of the foremost researchers on American sexual behavior, questioned 5,000 women anonymously. 1 in 4 said they were choked between the ages of 12 and 17

‚Sexual strangulation, nearly always of women in heterosexual pornography, has long been a staple on free sites, those default sources of sex ed for teens. As with anything else, repeat exposure can render the once appalling appealing. It’s not uncommon for behaviors to be normalized in porn, move within a few years to mainstream media, then, in what may become a feedback loop, be adopted in the bedroom or the dorm room,‘ Orenstein writes in a piece for the New York Times. 

‚Twenty years ago, sexual asphyxiation appears to have been unusual among any demographic. That’s changed radically in a short time, with health consequences that parents, educators, medical professionals, sexual consent advocates and teens themselves urgently need to understand.‘

Popular culture appears to have much to answer together with how widely accessible pornography has become, coupled with the influence of social media.

Herbenick recalls how during a 2008 episode of HBO’s ‚Californication,‘ the practice of choking was depicted where it was still both unusual and startling.

The trend only accelerated following the release and success of ‚Fifty Shades of Gray‘, the booking coming out in 2012 and film three years later.

By 2019, it appeared to have been normalized with a high school girl being choked in the pilot episode of HBO’s ‚Euphoria‘ and 2023’s ‚The Idol‘.

In last year’s single, by Jack Harlow, ‚Lovin On Me‘ begins with the lyrics: ‚I’m vanilla baby, I’ll choke you, but I ain’t no killer, baby.‘

Herbenick told the New York Times she is concerned at how widespread rough sex has become among young people and is keen for all parents, teachers and caregivers to be aware of the trend and possible harm it can cause. 

In her book, Herbenick describes ‚rough sex‘ as a varied group of sex acts including choking, smothering, spanking and slapping. 

She noted how during sexual activities between women and men, the woman is nearly always the person on the receiving end of rough sex, and the man is nearly always the person doing the choking or slapping or smothering. 

Her research appears to suggested that many young people believe  sex is supposed to be rough. 

Young men learn about rough sex from pornography, whilst young women pick up on it from social media memes and TikTok. Both sexes also pick up on ideas about rough sex from friends and popular culture including music and TV shows. Pictured Dakota Johnson in 50 Shades of Grey

In another survey from last year the average age at which young people first see pornography, whether on purpose or by accident, is 12 years old. 

It means many teenagers are now watching pornography several years before they are ever sexually active with a partner. 

The continual bombardment and exposure to rough sex through porn in turn sets up expectations as to how sex is ’supposed‘ to be. The ideas are also not being countered by proper sex education in schools or at home.

Herbenick says that when college students are asked why they participate in rough sex, they generally say because it feels exciting or adventurous.

If they don’t take part, they worry they will be branded as boring or be ‚vanilla shamed‘.

She notes how some young men worry they won’t be viewed as masculine if they don’t choke or slap their partner.

Herbenick states that young men learn about rough sex from pornography, while young women pick up on it from social media memes and TikTok. 

Both sexes also pick up on ideas about rough sex from friends and popular culture including music and TV shows.

She reassures that they’re not bad people if they’re interested or have tried this – just merely responding to the world around them from popular culture, social media or perhaps after being asked by a partner.

But she wants parents to inform their children of the dangers rough sex can bring – namely that choking and strangulation can cause brain damage and death with no ’safe‘ way to choke anyone. 

Those who are being choked find it hard to breathe or speak meaning a person’s ability to give consent or being asked to stop are often not possible.

HBOEuphoriaNew York Times

Read more:

Opinion | The Troubling Trend in Teenage Sex – The New York Times

Coronavirus Affecting Education Globally

The rapid spread of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, in many countries caused widespread school closure around the world to mitigate the development of a full-blown pandemic. This abrupt decision saved lives as it protected people from getting infected and continues to prevent more possible damages of the pandemic. However, global school closure greatly affects the education sector causing delays in classes and changes in the education system.

Education is an important aspect of a life and of a society. It helps a person have a better chance to compete in the workforce and a society to have better economic growth. Poor access to education leads to poverty which is why governments are working hard to deliver quality education to their constituents. This is also the reason why governments are eager to pursue schools reopening in the midst of a pandemic despite the limited preparations.

One of the options to continue education while we are still experiencing the threat of the COVID-19 is to bring education to online platforms. With the use of computers and internet connection, teachers and students can conduct classes while staying at home. This is a great alternative to traditional frontal classes as it ensures absolute social distancing which is necessary to prevent the spread of the disease.

However, many students may not be able to participate in online classes because of the lack of the necessary resources. Only 60% of the global student population have access to a computer and internet connectivity. A situation that causes disadvantages to children in poverty.

Another alternative to traditional classes is modular learning systems in which teachers provide printed instructional materials with activity pages to test the students‘ understanding. This also applies social distancing as teachers will spend limited time with their students. Teachers will only need to deliver the modules and assess the students at the end of every term or course. No need to gather all of the students in a crowd which can spread the disease.

The disadvantage of modular learning system is that parents need to take more of the responsibility in helping their children to understand the lessons. This worries some parents especially those who have limited education as they may not be able to provide proper education to their children. On a news interview in Asia, a father said „It’s okay if my child is still in kinder or elementary but she is now in High School. How can I help her if I only finished grade 4?“

School closure and changes in the education system caused significant impacts on families. Many families especially in low-income countries rely on schools not only for education but for food and childcare. Some schools provide free meals for their students which are taken advantage by parents who are in poverty. Hence, school closure causes hunger to millions of children across the world. In addition, many parents are forced to leave their work as they have to take care of their young children which affects the family’s income.

Many children may not be able to enroll this year because of the difficulty of the new education methods. This can cause early marriage which can greatly contribute to poverty.

The changes in the education system caused by the Coronavirus are challenging for children, parents, and society. Delivering education using new methods is risk-taking but is necessary to prevent further damage from the pandemic. There could be failures in these abrupt changes but there are also advantages such as innovating the traditional education system that we have been using for hundreds of years. Perhaps we need these challenges to have the courage to try new things like adopting technologies in education.

Isabella Whitmore is a mother of two, a teacher, and an advocate of better education for every student. She writes articles about health, education, family, and households. You can find some of her work at website , an appliance website that offers a wide selection of electric kettles which are handy and reliable.

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Solomons election a test of China’s Pacific inroads

China’s most significant inroads into the Pacific will face their biggest test when Solomon Islanders go to the ballot box.

Manasseh Sogavare, whose cosying up to China has characterised his fourth non-consecutive term as prime minister, faces the polls next week for the first time since severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan and signing a security pact with Beijing.

The growing relationship with the global power has brought many fruits to the island nation including a $A100 million national stadium complex and a $100m loan for a Huawei-led broadband rollout.

But, as well as being the impetus for two riots in recent years, the realignment has rung alarm bells in Canberra and Washington over concerns for China’s motives and the implications for defence routes and regional stability.

Sitting northeast of Australia, the nation of 720,000 has long been considered a strategic territory for larger powers, a point made clear by sunken World War II warships scattered along its coast..

Mr Sogavare, recently dubbed the „Master of Mayhem“ by one expert, has pledged to continue courting both China and US allies if he wins on Wednesday, adopting a Look North policy and a „friends to all, enemies to none“ stance.

His plans for dearly needed socio-economic growth involves tapping into foreign infrastructure initiatives including China’s Belt and Road projects and Australian-sponsored programs.

Opposition parties meanwhile have promised to either tear up the Chinese security pact, hold a national vote on it or even abandon diplomatic ties with Beijing all together.

Former diplomat to the Solomon Islands Mihai Sora said the national vote on Wednesday would be one of the most consequential since independence 46 years ago.

„Solomon Islands has been the site of the most rapid strategic gains that China has made in the Pacific in recent years,“ Mr Sora, now a research fellow at the Lowy Institute, told AAP.

„That has a direct impact on regional security and therefore on Australia’s national security.“

Mr Sogavare has repeatedly said he would not allow any military base to be built in the Solomon Islands – a red Australian line for and US forces.

But the mainstay in Solomons politics for the past quarter century recently raised eyebrows for praising the „Chinese style“ socialism of Beijing system.

He also attacked the „do whatever you want“ feature of democracy that, he said, had led to same-sex marriage and asked what values were comfortable for the deeply Christian nation.

Clive Moore, Emeritus Professor at the University of Queensland, has closely watched Mr Sogavare since he was first elected prime minister in 2000 during years-long domestic conflict known as the Tensions.

„He’s a very skillful politician whether you like him or not,“ Prof Moore, a recipient of the Solomons equivalent of a knighthood, told AAP.

„He has has learned how to manipulate the sections of government that he needs and he’s made the position of prime minister increasingly authoritarian.“

But voters would only accept that if livelihoods were improving, Prof Moore said.

The economy remains narrow and capacity gaps in health, education and infrastructure leave the average Solomons Islander earning about $A3300 a year.

The 2023 Pacific Games, centred around the $100 million national stadium gifted by China, are credited by the prime minister for driving the economy out of three years of negative growth.

Further energy and transport projects are expected to drive growth to three per cent next year, according to the World Bank.

But the annual cost of maintaining the stadium outstrips annual spending on medicines, Opposition leader Matthew Wale has said as he runs on improving healthcare.

„After the election, if the people think they’ve been cheated, (capital) Honiara does burst into flames every now and then,“ Prof Moore said.

About 430 Australian police and military personnel will be on hand to assist local police with the elections, alongside New Zealand and Pacific forces.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong and other Australian officials have emphasised Australia saw the Solomons as „family“ and the nation’s „natural partner“.

More than 6000 Solomon Islanders work in Australia, with remittances contributing about three per cent to the Solomons‘ economy.

The Solomons also receives more Australian foreign aid than any other nation, bar Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

About $170 million a year goes to projects ranging from renovating provincial marketplaces to extensive policing support.

The past three polls have sparked rioting, leading officials to impose a 10-day alcohol ban nationwide starting on Tuesday.

Closer scrutiny will also be over „Devil’s Night“ – the evening before polls open when political operatives resort to last-ditch tactics, transport arrangements and vote-buying to turn out electors for their side.

For the first time, provincial elections will be held alongside the national poll, likely delaying counting.

The various dynamics – including the large contingent of independents expected to be re-elected – make predicting a result difficult for experts, even if Mr Sogavare is in the box seat.

„Votes are impacted by so many matters including self-interest, sometimes bribes or thinking the local MP will do good things for voters personally,“ Dr Anouk Ride, research fellow at Australian National University’s Pacific Affairs department, told AAP.

„(Other factors included) loyalty to MPs through tribal or church connections, and ideological positions, like whether the MP will support democracy, or their position on the economy.“

Once results are declared, MPs will converge on Honiara hotels to negotiate the next coalition government and appoint the prime minister.

Mr Sogavare will attempt an unprecedented re-election as prime minister.

„We’re looking at several weeks of uncertainty around who will form government unless one side wins a large majority,“ Dr Ride said.

It remains to be seen whether Solomon Islanders stand alongside Mr Sogavare and adopt his vision to „look north“.

This article was made possible through the Melbourne Press Club’s Michael Gordon Journalism Fellowship Program.