Nevertheless the clearest usage of these stories as social touchstones—and the clearest illustration of doubt regarding these tales on television

Nevertheless the clearest usage of these stories as social touchstones—and the clearest illustration of doubt regarding these tales on television

—comes from a 2010 Saturday Night Live skit featuring a news anchor launching an account about “another terrifying teenage trend, ” followed closely by a trench-coated reporter explaining trampolining: “A teen kid sits on the top of a one-story household getting dental intercourse from a woman leaping down and up on a big garden trampoline. Sources say if a woman trampolines ten boys, a bracelet—and is received by her that is exactly exactly just what Silly Bandz are. ” The skit proceeded to exhibit an adolescent calmly dismissing the reporter’s questions about trampolining (“I’ve never done this…. We don’t think that’s even actually possible”), while her mom is overcome by hysterical fear. The skit been able to combine the sex that is oral of events with all the bracelet-as-coupon theme of intercourse bracelets and also to illustrate exactly exactly just how television uncritically encourages concern and also the general general public gets caught up in fear. Satire, then, permitted a reflection that is critical of coverage of the tales that has been otherwise missing whenever TV addressed claims about intercourse bracelets and rainbow parties.

Although this chapter examines role that is television’s distributing the modern legends about intercourse bracelets and rainbow parties,

They are just two among numerous claims sex that is about teen have obtained a lot of news attention in modern times. As an example, in 2008, Time mag went an item about a senior high school in|school that is high Massachusetts where there have been an increase in tattooed cam girl pupil pregnancies and quoted the college principal, who reported that girls had produced pact to have expecting together. After this tale, there clearly was an onslaught of news protection citing the pregnancy that is so-called as another little bit of proof that teenagers were out of hand. This tale made headlines when you look at the U.S. In addition to in Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Later on, some reports cast question on whether there ever ended up being this kind of pact (evidently, the key whom reported there clearly was a pact could maybe not remember where he heard that information, and no body else could verify their type of the whole tale). Yet news coverage persisted, as well as in 2010, a made-for-television film, The Pregnancy Pact, was launched from the life cable channel, which advertised it had been “inspired by a true tale. ”

For the pregnancy-pact tale, like reports of intercourse bracelets and rainbow parties, the pattern is obvious.

The news accumulates a salacious tale: intimate subjects are generally newsworthy; in specific, tales about children and intercourse are specially newsworthy since they could be approached from different angles—vulnerable young ones at risk of victimization and needing protection, licentious young ones, particularly girls, gone wild and the need to be brought in check, middle-class children acting away up to children through the “wrong region of the tracks, ” and so forth. While printing news often provide nuanced treatments that enable experts and skeptics become heard, television’s attention tends to become more fleeting and less slight. Whenever television did address rainbow parties or intercourse bracelets, it seldom lasted a lot more than a few minutes—a quick section in a extended program. Presumably, this reflected the material that is limited had to make use of: there clearly was no footage of intimate play, no detail by detail testimony from young ones whom acknowledged playing these tasks, no professionals who’d examined the topics. Rather, television protection came down seriously to saying the legends. There is not much difference between Oprah hosting a author whom said they’d heard about rainbow parties and conversations in which people relay what they’ve heard from someone who knows someone who knows a person who had sex after breaking a bracelet that she talked to girls who said. But television’s larger audiences signify these stories spread further, until they become familiar touchstones that are cultural one of those ideas everyone knows about children today. Because of this, not just do the legends become commonly believed, nevertheless the “teens gone crazy” image becomes ingrained. This, in turn, impacts the way we look at the image that is overall of young individuals.

Excerpted from “Kids Gone crazy: From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, comprehending the media hype Over Teen Sex” by Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle. Copyright © 2014 by Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle. Reprinted by arrangement with NYU Press. All legal rights reserved.

Joel Best


Kathleen A. Bogle

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