Talk:Adolescent sexuality in the United States

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Former good article nominee Adolescent sexuality in the United States was a Social sciences and society good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 2, 2007 Good article nominee Not listed
May 10, 2007 Articles for deletion No consensus
July 30, 2008 Articles for deletion Speedily kept
Current status: Former good article nominee
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Reverting 10 revisions (twice)[edit]

I tried to fix a mistake where I said "see talk page", but it instead saved a second copy. Disregard. meteor_sandwich_yum (talk)

Virginity vs. Abstinence: what's the distinguishing factor?[edit]

So I was working on the section "Abstinence", subsection "Definitions of virginity". The question I have is regarding this, seemingly conflicting data from an excerpt of the article a few days ago:

Of adolescents age 12–16, 83% believe a person is still a virgin after engaging in genital touching, and 70% said they believed one retained their virginity after having oral sex. Additionally, 16% considered themselves virgins after anal sex. However, 44% believed that one was abstinent after genital touching and 33% believed one could have oral sex and still remain abstinent. Of anal and vaginal sex, 14% believed you could engage in the former and 12% said you could participate in the latter while still remaining abstinent.

So 70% believe oral sex makes you a virgin, yet 33% believe it does not disqualify you from being abstinent?

So Meg tells someone she's had oral sex

  • If they know she's never had sex before, 70% will believe that she didn't truly have sex
  • Yet if they know she has had sex before, 33% will believe that she didn't truly have sex

I don't get where the discrepancy of 37% comes in, so I can't figure out if the author is saying

  1. Abstinence and virginity are different terms, and teens view them differently, similar to "technical sex" and regular "sex"
  2. Two different age groups of teens view Meg differently, perhaps due to changing views while growing up (e.g., 12-16 yr. olds view it as X; 17+ view it as Y)
  3. Something else entirely?

No idea. I don't watch enough soap operas to figure this. meteor_sandwich_yum (talk) 12:59, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

POV Tag[edit]

The article has a POV tag dating from July 2013 but there's no discussion about it on this talk page. Could the folks who find the article to be POV list their concerns for discussion. StoneProphet11 (talk) 03:28, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

I'm hearing only crickets thus far. Alternatively, if concerns about the POV of the article have abated, the POV tag should be removed. StoneProphet11 (talk) 14:05, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I've looked through some of it, but not all. It's not as bad as I may have feared. Two sections, on Psychological effects and sociocultural stuff (particularly media) seem somewhat POV and overly dramatic. I've tried to reign things in a bit. It's not my area of expertise, but from the hyperbole of those sections, I question whether all of the sources are reliable. Perhaps against my better judgment I may dig into some of the literature and see what there is to potentially balance some of these sections better. StoneProphet11 (talk) 15:11, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
StoneProphet11, people are worn out from this article. And as for you editing the article, see what I stated here. Also, when it comes you attempting to balance out things, like you did here, be careful that you are not creating false balance; this is per the Balancing aspects and Giving "equal validity" sections of the WP:Due weight policy; we give more weight to the majority view, unless it's a small majority. If the source states or indicates "most" or "many," we should not change it to "some" (not without good reason; for example, the opposing scholars may be few and therefore "most" or "many" is accurate). And there is this line you removed: "In addition, these messages contain unrealistic, inaccurate, and misleading information that young people accept as fact." Keep in mind that it's a line that can be supported by various WP:Reliable sources. Flyer22 (talk) 15:17, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Hi Flyer. thanx for the feedback, and I appreciate it. I'll admit to being naive to a lot of the policies of WP so I appreciate the guidance. I'm not sure I agree with you about the one line there though...seems like "essay quality". I'll admit this isn't my main area of expertise, but as a psychologist, that's kind of a dramatic claim I wouldn't expect to see from what I'd consider a reliable source. I actually question the second half of the statement more than the first. At very least it should be reworded to be more nuanced and less "factual" as it were. thanx! StoneProphet11 (talk) 15:27, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Sounds like a difficult article, which, I guess given the topic, shouldn't be surprised. If it's ok, I'll just do a "sweep" through it with an eye on actual empirical literature. I've got no long-term investment in the topic. If people want to revert my edits, I don't really care. Keep what you like, toss the rest. StoneProphet11 (talk) 15:27, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
I'll add to that if you think it's better to "let sleeping dogs lie" that's fine too. Just figure it would be nice to work to get rid of that POV tag. Could I get a 50-cent version on that the controversies were in the past so I don't step back into them? StoneProphet11 (talk) 15:31, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Regarding my first diff-link above in this section, I fixed my placement. As for the line in question, you doubt that the media can heavily shape adolescents' views of sexuality, and often in unrealistic, inaccurate, and misleading ways? Being familiar with the literature on adolescent sexuality (some of which can be found on Google Books and Google Scholar), including the fact that pornography often shapes boys' ideas of sexual activity as much as or more so than men's, I don't see the statement as dramatic or overstepping its bounds...except for the fact that it didn't use the word often. We shouldn't give the impression that these images are always unrealistic, inaccurate, and misleading. And I mentioned pornography in relation to boys because girls don't watch pornography nearly as much as boys do, at least going by various research on the topic of pornography viewing. As for "50-cent version" of the issues, I suggest you skim over the archives and focus more so on the more recent disputes; you can start with Archive 2. As seen here and here, you've looked in the archives before. Flyer22 (talk) 16:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Well if you use the word "heavy"...yeah I think that's probably overstating it. The issue, in part, is that psychological effects, in general, tend to be small and subtle...so I'm always wary when I see people claim "dramatic" and "heavy" effects. I'm certainly not saying that the media have no effect at all, but effect sizes in that realm tend to be pretty small, and scholars do still debate them, so I think the language here would be best served by following that. But as I said, I'm not inclined to step into a hornet's nest if this is a particularly acrimonious page. If the editors that monitor this page have decided that the page is best served by remaining as it is, I've no problem stepping away. If, on the other hand, you'd like me to pick through the parts that have something to do with psychology, I'd be happy to do that and, as I said, just revert anything you don't like. I'll stay away from the medical stuff of course, as I know nothing about any of that. StoneProphet11 (talk) 02:03, 1 July 2014 (UTC)
StoneProphet11, I understand what you mean. But I reiterate that, as seen on Google Books and on Google Scholar, WP:Reliable sources disagree on the extent the media affects adolescent sexuality; that is my point, and you've stated similarly above by noting "scholars do still debate them." At the heart of my commentary on this matter is that we should go by what the WP:Reliable sources state, with WP:Due weight, not our personal opinion. For some adolescents, again going by the WP:Reliable sources, the media does heavily affect their perception of sexuality; for other adolescents, it does not. That's why I stated "can heavily," not "does heavily." As for leaving the article as it is, the article of course needs further improvement, so I don't object to any further improvement of it; I'm instead trying to guide you in the right direction, editing-wise, since you are not as familiar with the Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines as I am. Flyer22 (talk) 00:30, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I do appreciate it Flyer. I imagine some of the ways things are done here are different from in academia (we prefer primary, not secondary sources for instance). What is the best recourse when the sources disagree, however? I'll admit, I'm a little unclear on "due weight" for instance and how that applies to WP. For instance, in science, a single falsification, if well done, can undo decades of theory, even if that theory has hundreds of articles. So the due weight would go to the new information, rather than sheer number of previous publications. Actually a good example in psychology is social priming where I'd say, off the top of my head, 90-95% of the published articles probably support it, but a recent crop of failed replications have cast the entire theory into doubt. Would WPs "due weight" policy give heavier credibility to the previous publications, rather than the failed replications, even if that wouldn't be recognizable to scholars in the field? That's actually a bit applicable here, such as in the Steinberg and Monahan article which failed to replicate some prior articles (Collins and Brown). Just trying to get my head around it, and appreciate your feedback. StoneProphet11 (talk) 01:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
The lead (introduction) of the WP:Verifiability policy states: "When reliable sources disagree, present what the various sources say, give each side its due weight, and maintain a neutral point of view." That's how we handle disagreement among sources. And keep in mind that the WP:Due weight policy is an aspect of the WP:Neutral policy. As for WP:Due weight, I'm not sure how to have you understand that policy better; I simply suggest reading it and its subsections (its subsections are the aforementioned Balancing aspects and Giving "equal validity" sections). If there's something you don't understand about what is stated in the main section or the subsections, let me know and I'll try to clarify. But as for whether WP:Due weight goes to the new information, not necessarily; see the WP:Recentism essay, for example. WP:Due weight is mainly about what is and what is not widely supported among sources in its field. For example, a theory that has very little support in a scientific field, whether it has failed to replicate an original study about the theory or otherwise, is subject to the WP:Fringe theories guideline; the WP:Due weight policy also points out this guideline, basically stating that we give the vast majority of our weight to the mainstream scientific view and not to the fringe view. For psychological sourcing, since it concerns mental health, the guideline to follow (in addition to the WP:Fringe guideline) is Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources (medicine) (WP:MEDRS); it addresses the use of up-to-date evidence. Flyer22 (talk) 02:02, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, that all makes sense and thanks for this. Doesn't sound terribly different from inside academia in the end. I suspect there will be some disagreements about those types of issues (confirmation bias being what it is, people tend to think their own views have all the evidence!) but I appreciate you taking the time to go through this with me. StoneProphet11 (talk) 13:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
StoneProphet11, I went ahead and removed the POV tag, per Template:POV. Even when we discussed the tag last year, edits had been made to the article to address POV concerns. If an editor still feels that this article should be tagged with that template, they can add a fresh POV tag to it (by that, I mean dated to 2015), and, per Template:POV, they should explain on this talk page what the supposed POV problem is. Flyer22 (talk) 02:48, 2 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanx for the update Flyer. I'll take a look if I have the chance. StoneProphet11 (talk) 04:36, 4 April 2015 (UTC)