Just the facts

In the old TV show Dragnet, Sgt. Joe Friday was famous for his line “Just the facts, ma’am.”  But sometimes I think we really don’t want the facts.  We prefer the spin.  Fortunately there are groups who will still give us just the facts.

The Center for Disease Control conducts the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) every 2 years with High School students to discover what risky behaviors they are involved in.  Some of them might not seem that important–riding a bike without a helmet, not eating vegetables in the past 2 days, not getting enough exercise.  But others make us stop and shudder.  At least I hope they do!

The latest results were just released.  Here are a sampling, comparing the US and SC.

Question

US

SC

Has ridden with a driver who has been drinking alcohol (in the past 30 days)

24.1%

26.3%

Drove when drinking alcohol (in the past 30 days)

8.2%

*11.1%

Carried a gun at least 1 day (in the past 30 days)

5.1%

*10.2%

Drank alcohol for the first time before age 13

20.5%

24..1%

Had at least one drink of alcohol on at least 1 day (in past 30 days)

38.7%

39.7%

Ever used marijuana one or more times(during their life)

39.9%

*44.1%

Ever had sexual intercourse

47.4%

*56.6%

Had sexual intercourse for the first time before age 13

6.2%

*10.5%

Had sexual intercourse with four or more persons (during their life)

15.3%

*21.3%

Did not use birth control pills before last sexual intercourse

82%

*82.6%

The asterisks indicate where there is a significant difference between SC and the United States.  You can see the whole report and compare your home area here.

If you go through and look at past years you will see that we are making progress!  That is the good news!  But…

As we head toward Father’s Day, I do wonder what these facts have to say about us as a nation, as parents, as fathers.

There will be more about this!  But today, just let the numbers sink in.

  • 15.8% of students had seriously considered attempting suicide during the 12 months before the survey.
  • 20.1% of students had been bullied on school property during the 12 months before the survey
  • 25.6% of students had been offered, sold, or given an illegal drug by someone on school property during the 12 months before the survey.
  • Among the 33.7% of currently sexually active students 60.2% reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sexual intercourse and 23.3% reported that either they or their partner had used birth control pills.

Just the facts, ma’am!

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