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petzipellepingo [userpic]
by petzipellepingo (petzipellepingo)
at August 23rd, 2010 (05:06 am)

Beyond hickeys: Vampire-crazed teens bite their dates
Human mouth full of germs, doctors say


There's a trend bleeding to the surface with teens -- biting.

Sometimes it's a superficial wound, other times it draws blood, just like a bite from the creatures many teens have come to love.

The popularity of the "Twilight" series, both the books and movies, and television hits like HBO's "True Blood" might be causing some kids to imitate the behavior of their favorite vampires, according to ABC News and other outlets. Teens are even using Internet sites like YouTube to post videos of their bites --usually involving the arm, face or neck.

"I have occasionally noticed the crescent-shaped marks on their necks," Carly Cundiff, an Ohio 14-year-old, said of her classmates. "The biting just doesn't seem right. If you bite hard enough to draw blood, I think you would be dumped faster than a rabid raccoon."

Akron Children's Hospital isn't reporting an increase in human bites, though it's unlikely kids would squeal on their pals or sweethearts.

Carly and other adolescents agreed that biting is unsafe, though one admitted that she still thinks "hickeys have their place."

Nneka Holder, an adolescent medicine specialist at Akron Children's Hospital, warns that a human bite is not something to trivialize.

"Human mouths are not much cleaner than a dog's mouth," said Holder, who added that bites that cause infection could land a child in the hospital.

Hickeys, which are created by sucking, not biting, have been around for generations, are unsightly and cause bruising, but they aren't likely to cause serious harm.

Some people bite or give hickeys as a sign of possession, warning others to keep away from the victim.

"Anything done like that to show ownership is not a healthy relationship," said Joseph Salwan, a psychologist with the Akron Family Institute.

High school student Maddie Winer doesn't understand why someone would want to mark a person in such a manner.

"It is very animalistic," Carly added. "In nature, animals bite to show possession, but I don't know. Somehow the biting just doesn't seem right."

Teens' attraction to vampire tales is nothing new.

Many of us were exposed to vampires as toddlers. The Count, an adorable vampire on Sesame Street who was modeled after Bela Lugosi's Count Dracula, has been teaching youngsters about numbers for nearly four decades.

The "Twilight" movies were spawned from a series of four vampire-romance novels by Stephenie Meyer. Fans have embraced the books, and other tales of preternatural beings, with great hunger.

"Vampires lure us into our dark side, and for some of us, that is a thrilling literary adventure," said 18-year-old Maddie.

"I think vampire movies . . . are popular because they are so exotic, especially in 'Twilight's' case," Maddie said. "You have unconventional vampires that don't eat humans, but rather are 'vegetarians' that eat animal blood."

And fans so rabid, they like to chew on each other.

Bon appetit.