ABC News ran a piece on the phenomenon recently, talking with Sexologist Logan Levkoff about what it means. She surmises, "Biting is sort of an extension of the hickey. It's that same thing about marking someone else and showing passion." And while it doesn't seem a whole lot different than the "blood brother/sister" ritual kids have been partaking in for ages, there are some risks involved.
About 10 - 15% of human bites become infected, and biting can spread diseases like Hepatitis and HIV. While this may be the "new hickey", it's one that comes with many more potential dangers.
Teens, including the sixteen year old interviewed in the piece, seem non-plussed about the health risks. The young male in the clip posits that it's simply a way of showing deeper affection to his girlfriend and states that it will never replace kissing. In the most hilarious moment, he compares biting to getting a cool case for your iPhone to make it look prettier. Ah kids, is there anything they can't tie back to the iPhone?
The segment -- which you can see after the jump -- does mention one more thing of concern to parents. Some of these young lovers are not only biting, but they're cutting as well, and that's one of the fastest growing self-abuse issues facing young adults today.
So, what's the bigger danger facing our youth today -- Twilight biting or the rampant outbreak of teen werewolves?