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Disturbing Trend: Teens Consenting To Sex Parties

CBS 3, Topix.net, April 02, 2008

CBS station KTVT-TV in Dallas has an exclusive look at the troubling trend of local teenagers taking part in sex parties. One Dallas family wants you to know what happened to them.

"She just made it seem fun."

That's how a 14-year-old Dallas eighth grader described the proposal offered by her schoolmate to skip classes for the day.

By the time the ordeal was over, the teenager would be roaming the streets of South Dallas at 3 a.m., afraid to call her mother. That night she had sex, some of it consensual, some of it not, with a number of boys.

Her mother would have to turn into a detective, desperately searching for her daughter. School authorities had no answers and police initially labeled the teen as a runaway.

Some call it a "teen sex party," an event involving multiple partners, often connected to drug use and alcohol. It's become a growing "rite of passage," seen more and more by public health specialists, school counselors and families.

In a quiet neighborhood in southeast Dallas, a mother called KTVT-TV Tuesday morning because she wanted to alert other parents to the horror of her child, who she said made decisions under extreme peer pressure.

"They see things they think are fun, sex, drugs, on the Internet, pornography," said the mother, who did not wish to be identified.

What happened to her daughter was a collective collision of confusion, social health analysts say.

"We see a lot of this," said Monica Tunstle-Garrett, Dallas County Health Specialist.

The eighth-grader, who also did not want to be identified, described how she left her school at midday with her friend. A 23-year-old man, allegedly the friend's boyfriend, picked them up in his car.

"We skipped school on Tuesday. It was easy. We decided to do it again," the girl said.

By the time the youngster returned home, the escape from school had turned to a nightmare. She and her friend roamed the streets of South Dallas alone. They met boys in a vacant apartment unit, and she didn't call her mother because she was afraid.

Tunstle-Garrett said the circumstances young people find themselves in are often troubling for parents.

"It goes back to being in the in-crowd," she said. "[Kids think] if you want to be popular, this is what I need to do."

The teenager now must endure counseling, health exams for sexually transmitted diseases and a criminal investigation. Although police detectives believe some of the sexual activity was consensual, they are looking for two adult males, seeking to file charges against them.

The emotional turmoil for this family has been overwhelming. They want schools to improve oversight of students and contact parents if youngsters skip classes.

They also want people to know the impact of peer pressure.

The 14-year old said, "It's not what you think. I'd give anything for things to be same, and they're not. Ever."

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