Kids Gone Wild

Kids Gone Wild

From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, Understanding the Hype Over Teen Sex

Book - 2014
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"To hear mainstream media sources tell it, the sex lives of modern teenagers outpace even the smuttiest of cable television shows. Teen girls "sext" explicit photos to boys they like; they wear "sex bracelets" that signify what sexual activities they have done, or will do; they team up with other girls at "rainbow parties" to perform sex acts on groups of willing teen boys; they form "pregnancy pacts" with their best girlfriends to all become teen mothers at the same time. From The Today Show, to CNN, to the New York Times, stories of these events have been featured widely in the media. But are most teenage--or younger--children really going to sex parties and having multiple sexual encounters in an orgy-like fashion? Researchers say no--teen sex is actually not rampant and teen pregnancy is at low levels. But why do stories like these find such media traffic, exploiting parents' worst fears? How do these rumors get started, and how do they travel around the country and even across the globe? In Kids Gone Wild, best-selling authors Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle use these stories about the fears of the growing sexualization of childhood to explore what we know about contemporary legends and how both traditional media and the internet perpetuate these rumors while, at times, debating their authenticity. Best and Bogle describe the process by which such stories spread, trace how and to where they have moved, and track how they can morph as they travel from one medium to another. Ultimately, they find that our society's view of kids raging out of control has drastic and unforeseen consequences, fueling the debate on sex education and affecting policy decisions on everything from the availability of the morning after pill to who is included on sex offender registries. A surprising look at the truth behind the sensationalism in our culture, Kids Gone Wild is a much-needed wake-up call for a society determined to believe the worst about its young people"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, New York University Press,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780814760734
0814760732
Branch Call Number: 306.70835 Best 2014
Characteristics: xiii, 177 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Bogle, Kathleen A.

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rpavlacic
Aug 04, 2015

In this book, the authors go through the multiple online stories about teenagers (and even younger kids) engaging in a number of disturbing activities, stories which found its way into the mass media without fact-checking.

In particular, the writers take a look at two of the phenomena ... sex bracelets and rainbow parties (the latter of which is too disturbing to discuss here). While not saying the bracelets do not have the meanings associated with different colours, nor suggesting rainbow parties have never happened, they do say that the fears have been overblown, and many online accounts about them are based solely on hearsay. So too are the accounts of so-called "pregnancy pacts".

However, the epidemic of "sexting" is very real and well documented; and too often many teenagers who have sent such messages even consensually have found themselves labelled as sex offenders. However, while more teens are losing their virginity at rates higher than one or two generations ago, the are nowhere near as high as some parents' "advocates" claim they are.

Finally, the book notes that many of the stories about sex bracelets and rainbow parties actually got started with conservative groups who are pushing "abstinence only" education agendas. The overall point of the book are these: One, teens are not as reckless as many would believe; two, it's important to check one's sources and if the author has a hidden agenda.

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rpavlacic
Aug 04, 2015

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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