Winner of the 2015 Brian McConnell Book Award presented by the International Society for Contemporary Legend ResearchTo hear mainstream media sources tell it, the sexlives of modern teenagers outpace even the smuttiest of cable television shows. Teen girls "e;sext"e; explicit photos to boys they like; they wear "e;sex bracelets"e;that signify what sexual activities they have done, or will do; they team upwith other girls at "e;rainbow parties"e; to perform sex acts on groups of willingteen boys; they form "e;pregnancy pacts"e; with their best girlfriends to allbecome teen mothers at the same time. From The Today Show, to CNN, to the New York Times, stories of these eventshave been featured widely in the media. But are most teenage-oryounger-children really going to sex parties and having multiple sexualencounters in an orgy-like fashion? Researcherssay 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 thecountry and even across the globe? In Kids Gone Wild,best-selling authors Joel Best and Kathleen A. Bogle use these stories aboutthe fears of the growing sexualization of childhood to explore what we knowabout contemporary legends and how both traditional media and the internet perpetuatethese rumors while, at times, debating their authenticity. Best and Bogledescribe the process by which such stories spread, trace how and to where they have moved, and track howthey can morph as they travel from one medium to another. Ultimately, they findthat our society's view of kids raging out of control has drastic andunforeseen consequences, fueling the debate on sex education and affecting policydecisions on everything from the availability of the morning after pill to whois included on sex offender registries. Asurprising look at the truth behind the sensationalism in our culture, Kids Gone Wild is a much-needed wake-upcall for a society determined to believe the worst about its young people.
Kids Gone Wild
From Rainbow Parties to Sexting, Understanding the Hype Over Teen Sex