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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Experts Discuss Vampire Influence on Teen Decisions

April 7, 2010

PHOENIX - Vampires have long been a hit in teen pop culture, with the "Twilight" series the latest example of that interest. Local teen educators believe the expected release of the movie version of the book "Eclipse" in the series next month is an opportunity to talk with teens about gender roles, abstinence until marriage and equality in relationships.

Jennifer Morton, a bilingual outreach coordinator for the regional Planned Parenthood office, helps lead discussions on the topic. She points to stalking behavior in the first book as an example of what can be discussed.

"While that might seem very sweet, is that really what we want an ideal partner to do? What are the healthy things about that, and what are the unhealthy things about that?"

The series is an opportunity to explore gender roles, adds Morton, because the males in the series are so much stronger than the females.

"We really want to make sure that we're discussing with them how to analyze those messages. When you look at a partner, what is power, what is control? And how do we make healthy decisions in light of those things?"

While no one passes judgment on the story plots in the discussion - Morton says the events and behaviors are just starting points to talk about perceptions and expectations for teens.

Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ