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October 25, 2007


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The brain doesn’t actually finish the last phase of development until age 25!

True fact.

My kids didn't recognize my genius and wit until they got about that age.


James, you are so awesome.
Your take on many issues is not predictable. You aren't BLACK, nor am I (yet we are both such) WHITE. I love listening to you, because you are so very REAL. James, your laugh is infectious. It's so clear that you are an AWESOME MAN and DADDY. I sincerely love listening to you. Your family is blessed. I think you're great. One thing about you, is that you reveal things about your self/family/children that could be vulnerable. I really respect your character.
James, the cool thing about you, is that you are NOT like me, but you don't harbor GRUDGES, that you, nor I had any part of.
James, (my father and father in law's name), You are a class man. I mean that sir.
Should the Lord bless me with another son... He will be "JAMES".
God bless you James T. Harris, you are a very good man.

Tim Roth

You raise an interesting point about oral contraceptives and brain development. The book "Primal Teen" sounds really interesting and the topic would be a great article for my blog. Thanks for the idea.

Having said that, if brain development is a concern for you I would be a million times more concerned with television and video games which have clear effects on brain development. An interesting explanation is that television is cool medium (brain works less because television provides stimulation) and reading is hot medium (the brain has to work harder to process information and portions of the brain that control reason are more heavily involved).

To be sure educational television and video games are definitely a good thing, but I'm comfortable in assuming that many of adolescents you are concerned about don't avid viewers of educational television and video games.

Unplanned pregnancies are also an huge obstacle in the intellectual development of adolescents, so I hesitantly support the Portland, Maine program. Clearly middle school children are not mature enough for sex, but government and public schools definitely can't create nor enforce "no sex before maturity" rules.


If preventing unplanned pregnancies among pre-teens is the actual concern (I have my doubts), giving them birth control pills without informing their parents and family doctor may not help much. To start, most 11-year-olds aren't going to remember to take a pill every day at the same time without some reinforcement...

More interestingly, antibiotic medications reduce the efficacy of The Pill (don't know about the shots; they're fairly new). I know women who became mothers in their 20s and 30s while taking The Pill because they didn't use a backup method while taking common antibiotics. If the family doc who prescribes the Z-pack for the strep throat doesn't know the kid is taking birth control, he won't know he needs to warn her about the interaction, or any other serious drug interactions or problems with seizures or blood clots that can occur with use of hormonal birth control (and I'm sure the school won't mention the drawbacks at all). It's not hard to imagine serious injury occuring to a girl while her parents and family doctor are missing key information about what's in her bloodstream.

Speaking of "backup methods", I thought the point of introducing The Pill to these kids was because they don't use condoms consistently or correctly, if at all. Can we say chlamydia? Nothing like an undiagnosed infection during your growing years to destroy your fertility and future family life. "Unwanted pregnancies" may be reduced in the near future, and wanted pregnancies eliminated in the adult future.

Finally, I'm pretty sure it's illegal in all states to have sex with children under 14. School officials are supposed to be mandatory reporters. Why are they giving pills to the girls instead of reporting the men having sex with them?

If a parent wants to get together with a pediatrician to start her young daughter on birth control (and there are non-sexual medical uses for the hormones), that's their right as a parent. And they'll be able to make sure she takes the medicine regularly as prescribed. But the government doesn't have a right to interfere, ESPECIALLY without informing the parents, who have to live with any consequences of the government's actions. And the consequences seem pretty dire.


"Unplanned pregnancies are also an huge obstacle in the intellectual development of adolescents, so I hesitantly support the Portland, Maine program."

Wow Tim, the whole idea that it could/should be, or is, the Government's job to step in tells me your 'lib lev'. How can people not realize by now that anything the Government or Schools offer as sanctioned, immediately gives it some level of legitimacy? In the minds of children, and (gasp) many adults, if a state institution starts giving out birth control, they just made it okay for anyone participating, including 12 1/2 year olds, to have sex! The most attractive part to the kid probably won't even be the sex, it will be that they can do it behind their parent's backs. If they get caught, they could easily win a court battle that it was a school sanctioned activity. At the very least, you have just given permission to all the kids you know or have heard about whose parents "can't control" them. It will be just another 'in your face' the kid can use.

You think the problem of unplanned pregnancies is huge on development? I think that that problem will get a whole lot more widespread when schools start giving young adolescents the responsibility of taking a pill every day that will make it okay to have sex.

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