News in Digest: Eyes on the screen, but don’t share

The whole world is talking about Danish teenagers, but they wouldn’t know as they’re glued to their game

Half the country’s teenage boys grab their joystick every day. A fair proportion of them could soon have a criminal record. Even more are called Nielsen. And to cap it all, they’re the weaker sex.

This past fortnight has enabled us to build a fairly vivid picture of the modern male Danish teenager – apt as there’s nothing they like better than keeping their eyes on the screen.

This is what we do!
Some 96 percent of male Danes aged 13 to 19 say they play computer games, according to Medieudviklingen 2017, the latest consumer habits report published by DR Medieforskning.

And 49 percent play daily – chiefly at the expense of conventional TV, with 43 percent of the age group never watching it, compared to 16 percent five years ago.

Gaming is the activity the boys are most likely to disconnect from their smartphones to fully concentrate on. Nevertheless, they still find room for leisure activities, homework and YouTube.

Girls also play games in reasonably heavy numbers. While 5 percent play every day, some 50 percent say they play computer games, and the report also found that 10 percent of women aged over 50 play every day.

READ MORE: A nation of gamers: half of all Danish teenage boys indulge ever day

Viral video, viral story
As surprising as the figures might be, they can’t compare with over 1,000 Danish youngsters being charged by the police with sharing a sex video involving a 15-year-old girl and several boys. The news quickly whistled around the whole world.

The majority of those charged with distributing child pornography have shared the video a couple of times, but there are some who have shared it hundreds of times.

Those found guilty face conditional sentences of around 20 days in prison, while the conviction will go on their criminal record for at least two years. They will also spend at least ten years on the child offence registry – which would bar them from working in jobs in which they interact with children.

READ MORE: Over a thousand Danish youths charged for sharing sex video

Niels would be proud
Close to 50 of those accused are probably called Nielsen. There are now 249,088 nationwide – 1,300 more than the number of Jensens, which it overtook at the beginning of 2017.

About 9 percent of the Danish population is named either Nielsen or Jensen, which has been dropping in popularity as many opt for double-barrel versions, or their mother’s maiden name.

Partly for this reason, and also due to immigration, the share of Danes with surnames that end in the ‘-sen’ suffix has fallen from 62 to 47 percent over the past 25 years.

With 64 percent, the island of Læsø has the highest share of people with surnames that end in ‘-sen’, while immigrant-heavy Ishøj, with 29 percent, has the lowest.

READ MORE: Nielsen remains Denmark’s most common last name

Women more resilient
Here’s something Brigitte Nielsen could have told you in the 1980s when she was thumping Sylvester Stallone down to size: women are the stronger sex! Or at least throughout history, they have proven to be more resilient during catastrophes.

Researchers from the Max Planck Odense Center and the University of Southern Denmark studied historical life expectancy data relating to disasters like the Great Famine of Ireland (1845-49) and discovered that when the mortality rate is high, women live longer than men, and the same is true of babies and children.

Before the Great Famine, each gender had a life expectancy of 38 years, but this tumbled to 18.17 for men, but only down to 22.4 for women.

And this trend was found everywhere. In fact the researchers only found one case in which men survived more than women: the slave trade in Trinidad in which male slaves had a higher value and therefore more effort was put into keeping them alive.

READ MORE: Danish research: Women are the strongest gender