Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Column Archive |  On Twitter: J Huget and MisFits  |  Fitness & Nutrition News  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Boys, guard your 'family jewels'

It's hard enough being a teenage boy (not to mention the mom of one!) without having to worry about this: A recent survey of urologists conducted at MSNBC's behest calls attention to the painful phenomenon in which boys hit each other in the groin.

Of 100 urologists polled, 30 percent said they'd treated teen or pre-teen boys for testicular injuries in the past year, some of them severe, including injuries resulting from intentional hits (as opposed to sports injuries and other accidents).

The matter made headlines last month when a 14-year-old Minnesota boy had to have a testicle amputated after he was punched in the groin while changing classes at school.

The practice known as "sack-tapping" -- and a lot of other names that I'm not allowed to repeat here -- has apparently been fueled by YouTube, where tons of kids have documented their exploits.

At the very least, getting hit (or kicked) down there is painful. But it can also do real damage, such as rupturing the testicle, as the Minnesota boy's case illustrates.

I know, boys have been hitting each other between the legs forever. The frustrating thing for parents is trying to figure out what to do about it. You can counsel your own child never to hit another person, especially not in the groin. But short of equipping him with a cup to wear every day, preventive and protective measures are hard to come by.

Here, at least, is information about what to do if your son does get injured. (This site handles the matter as it applies to sports.)

Other than that, as with so much about raising an adolescent, you just have to cross your fingers and hope everybody grows out of it soon.

By Jennifer LaRue Huget  |  June 7, 2010; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  General Health , Teens  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Is that right? Kraft mac & cheese for grownups
Next: Me Minus 10 and the Mediterranean diet


The solution is very simple: a trip to Juvenile Hall for the offender, complete with "perp walk" in front of classmates - or if the perp is old enough, to jail - this behavior certainly fits the description of assault and battery, after all. I'd wager that only one perp per school (or perhaps even just one per school district) would need to actually be punished in this manner before this phenomenon stops entirely. Most schools probably already have surveillance cameras in the hallways, so identifying the perps should be fairly easy.

Posted by: dfl1 | June 7, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

dfl1- agree, this is absolutely an assault. So why isn't it treated as such, just because it happens in a school?

Posted by: floof | June 7, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

The Washington Post's sister site, Slate, called out "sack-tapping" as a bogus trend just last week: see

Posted by: dfbdfb | June 7, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Some people just don't have the stones for this.

Posted by: bs2004 | June 7, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Slate called it out as a bogus trend but not that it wasn't real. They were just saying it had been around for a long time. Frankly, though, I disagree. As a male, I have never encountered this -- not as a doer or receiver or witness of it. I even attended an all-boys high school and never saw anything of the sort.

So, if this has been around for a while, it has apparently been occurring in only a few little-known places.

Posted by: rlalumiere | June 7, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: angelos_peter | June 7, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If it were your precious girls getting assaulted, however, a simple 'awareness' would be wholly insufficient, and heads would roll, names- as many as you could possibly implicate, be it true or not - will be collected, and hell would be made to pay for this aggregious assault.

there would be OUTRAGE - of the flavor RAPE and ASSAULT!

Only if this was happening to girls.

so I ask the Author, what's your point?
Is is that boys know how to take it and keep walking, or that you just don't CARE about your BOYS as much as you do your girls?

This turns out to be an article of non-chalant and approved violence against boys. ( look out (lol?) chuckle, she says).

Your own children, Author. Punched in his reproductive organs - does THAT make you want to sit up and take notice now?

Get a grip - if it were a girl getting punched in the groin, this would be an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT STORY, NOW WOULDN'T IT?

Men have reproductive rights, and they are no less important than those of a woman.

That is, unless you ask a woman; they are only concerned for their own gender.

Posted by: pgibson1 | June 7, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

If some kid did this to me I'd stab him with whatever was sharp and handy. Watch him laugh with a pencil sticking in his gut. When someone knows their violent bullying will be met with weapons they tend to be a lot less bullying.

pgibson1 is right about this too. No one gives a crap about boys, it's all about how special girls are. It's such a load of crap.

Posted by: Nymous | June 7, 2010 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Read the Slate bogus trend story from a few days ago that explains why the survey is kind of useless for establishing a trend.

Posted by: Booyah5000 | June 7, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

"...boys have been hitting each other between the legs forever."

Growing up in Chicago some 60 years ago, I can confirm this. Also bad was the habit of punching other boys very hard in the liver-stomach area.

Posted by: Bartolo1 | June 8, 2010 9:04 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company