Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2010 Sep 29
Bizarre teen trends have been horrifying parents for generations, but health officials are warning that a vampire-inspired biting fad could be dangerous, not to mention disgusting.
Teenagers obsessed with the "Twilight" vampire saga, or those simply fascinated with fangs, reportedly have been biting each other -- hard - and then licking or sucking the blood.
"These are kids who think they are real vampires," said Dr. Orly Avitzur, the medical advisor to Consumers Union, the agency that publishes Consumer Reports magazine.
"Having that thick, warm copper-tasting blood in my mouth is the best thing I can think of!" wrote a teenager identified as "GothicGirl10" this year. "Sometimes my boyfriend lets me feed off him. I let him feed off me as well."
Such talk alarms medical experts, who warn about the dangers of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis and HIV, as well as the risk of nasty infections. Typically, 10 to 15 percent of human bites wounds become infected.
Equally worrisome is the motive behind the acts, the idea of branding or owning another person, the experts said.