EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSFLIPSIDE CONTROVERSY
from Eyewitness News Online
Article Recommends Masturbation To Help Teens Sleep
Reported by: Deborah Linz
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 29, 2012 3:02 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 29, 2012 7:30 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
A local mother says she is upset by an article in a publication targeted for teens that lists masturbation as one of the ways to get a good night’s sleep.
"I was mad,” she said. “I called the newspaper. I called the schools and then I called you."
Earlier this month, Stacey, who doesn't want her face shown or real name used for fear her boys may be teased or bullied, was shocked and upset when her older son brought home the paper and read what she felt was a disturbing article. The article appeared in FlipSide, a monthly newspaper written and read by middle and high school students in Kanawha, Putnam and Boone counties and published by the Charleston Gazette.
The article was on five tips to help teens get a good night’s sleep, including sticking to a schedule, watching your food intake, taking a warm bath before bedtime and making your sleeping environment comfortable. But it was the fifth tip, telling boys to masturbate, that upset Stacey and some other parents. Stacey believes it’s too much information too soon, especially for middle school students.
"I just don't want that stuff in there, especially with little kids," she said.
According to one medical website, The Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the benefits of teen masturbation include helping to relieve stress and induce sleep.
When asked about the article, the Charleston Gazette released the following statement, "Teen insomnia is a very real issue. The student writer looked up medical research on the issue and reported what he found. The Gazette regrets that anyone was offended by the student's reporting and will make an effort to alert middle schools to any such content in the future."
And that's what Stacey and some other parents hope, that the paper will be more cautious when editing and printing sensitive subjects for young readers.
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