US teens often forced to trade sex work for food, study finds (Source theguardian.com)
Teenagers in America are resorting to sex work because they cannot afford food, according to a study that suggests widespread hunger in the world’s wealthiest country.
Focus groups in all 10 communities analysed by the Urban Institute, a Washington-based thinktank, described girls “selling their body” or “sex for money” as a strategy to make ends meet. Boys desperate for food were said to go to extremes such as shoplifting and selling drugs. “I’ve been doing research in low-income communities for a long time, and I’ve written extensively about the experiences of women in high poverty communities and the risk of sexual exploitation, but this was new,” said Susan Popkin, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and lead author of the report, Impossible Choices.
The consistency of the findings across gender, race and geography was a surprise.
“I wasn’t sure we would see it,” Popkin said. “Kids knew about all these strategies: hanging around your friend’s house and see if they’ll feed you, going hungry so that their younger brothers and sisters could eat, saving their school lunch so they could eat it at night so they could sleep at night. “Everybody knew where you get the cheapest food and how you keep some emergency stuff in your house. It was just very matter-of-fact and very common.
Teens feel a sense of shame around hunger and hide it. Many refuse to accept food or assistance in public settings or from people outside a trusted circle of friends and family.
Food-insecure teens think about how to mitigate their hunger and make food last longer for the whole family. They go to friends’ or relatives’ houses to eat and save their school lunch for the weekend.
Parents try to protect teens from hunger and from bearing responsibility for providing for themselves or others. However, teens routinely take on this role, going hungry so younger siblings can eat or finding ways to bring in food and money. Teens would overwhelmingly prefer to earn money through a formal job but prospects for youth employment are extremely limited.
In a few communities, teens talked about going to jail or failing school as strategies for ensuring regular meals. “One of the policy changes we advocate for in the report is a real shift in the perspective and getting kids help and support instead of a criminal record.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says bloodshed may be needed to protect conservatism (Source Yahoo.com)
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said conservatives may need to turn to physical violence in order to protect the United States against contemporary liberalism.
The Republican governor put forth the controversial suggestion after speaking of the “degradation of society” during an impassioned, 15-minute speech at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. The provocative comments started to gain national attention at the start of this week.
“America is worth fighting for ideologically. I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically. But that may, in fact, be the case,” he told the crowd.
Bevin suggested that if Democrat Hillary Clinton were elected president, she would set the nation on a dangerous course that might require bloodshed to correct. He told the audience that the “candle” of liberty might go out “on our watch.”
To hammer home his point, he paraphrased a famous quote from Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
“Whose blood will be shed? It may be that of those in this room. It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children,” he said. “It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something that we, through our apathy and our indifference, have given away. Don’t let it happen.”