Typical BBC reporting. No substantiating evidence at all.
Mind you, the media in general are like that. Shame people take them seriously.[/quote]
If you have any sort of math background (or even not) I recommend some of the books by John Allen Paulos on “Innumeracy” (think illiteracy but with mathematical common sense). One of the peaves he discusses repeatedly is the utter incompetence of news reporters in discussing anything with the slightest hint quantitative content, and the tendency of people to believe them regardless. Related to this, the underlying problem he points out is that journalists have well below average levels of education in sciences and math in general and really aren’t fit to discuss most of the things they do.
Related to the loss of innocence thing- When in human history have kids that age not had to work towards something and why is it a bad thing for them to do so? One thing I remember from going to Cambodia was seeing kids-- tiny kids-- working their assess off, not only in selling garbage to tourists, but in behind the scenes stuff as well. I think where we are in history, with this idea of prolonging “innocence” even just to adolescence is a complete departure from the natural state in which our species and civilizations have developed.