Damn kids today. Do we have to do everything for them? I, for one, do not have the time to egg cars and throw basement parties. But if Joel Best and Kathleen Bogle are right, teens are less deviant than ever, no matter how prurient the headlines.
Bogle explains to Salon,
in previous generations they were worried about going steady, they were worried about lipstick, they were worried about miniskirts, they were worried about rock music. It’s not new for parents to worry about kids or that their pop culture interests or their access to the opposite sex is going to lead to trouble. We’ve been worried about that for a long time…
But rainbow parties! But red bracelets! But twerking!
The authors of the new book Kids Gone Wild: From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, Understanding the Hype Over Teen Sex tell Salon about their conscious choices to feature sensational media stories that fuel parents’ fears, schools’ regulations, and kids’ secret gossipy delight, to the near-disappointment of the article’s author:
When it comes to concerns about kids these days… the authors found scant evidence… The main takeaway of the book, which is more academic report than popular nonfiction read, is that these tales [of rainbow parties and out of control sexting] were not driven by fact but rather by a media willing to exploit parents’ worst fears for ratings and readership.
As the article continues, tracing the origins of salacious teen myths, it’s pointed out that Bogle and Best could have “easily chosen the pregnancy pact story or some of the other stories that have gone around.” Bogle says, almost ruefully, when she tells friends she’s studying adolescent behavior and finding “kids actually have not gone wild,” they nod and pause before saying, “‘But kids today are really a problem…,’ It’s always the idea that kids today are worse than ever before.”
Criminy. Guess I’ve gotta get to Costco to stock up on toilet paper and wine coolers. Apparently the kids just refuse to corrupt themselves.