The myths and truths of teen's sexual behavior.
"Although research shows that white, middle-class teens are not actually out of control, that’s not the point here. Instead, Best and Bogle illustrate how infotainment reporting, online hubbub, and misleading statistics combine with our psychological tendency to create stories that stick, even when there’s no supporting evidence. . . . Even more importantly, the authors examine how cultural memes spread; their call to take a more critical look at the sensational stories we share, and how they do or don’t serve us, is worth hearing."
"The book takes a refreshing look at worries about teens ex by focusing not on adolescents' alleged behavior but rather on the process by which adults buy into the hype and perpetuate the concerns."
"Best and Bogle dissect both these trends and convincingly determine that they are legends—stories that spread even though few kids have actually gone to a sex party or had sex based on the color of a bracelet. . . . Why do we so readily believe the tall tales? That part is easy. As Best and Bogle observe, rainbow parties and sex bracelets feed our paternal obsession with ‘threats to children’s innocence.’ For conservatives, they’re grist for the mill of abstinence-based sex education and chastity pledges. For liberals, they’re cause for worrying about the degradation of girls in a sexist culture.”
". . . These varied measures of teen sexual behavior separate myth from truth."
“Bogle and Best analyzed the trajectory of isolated rumors about teenage debauchery to major network coverage on the evening news and found that few reporters took the time or effort to investigate the facts. Each time the public hears ‘Coming up at six: shocking news about the bracelet your kid is wearing,’ in the same breath as substantive reports about the Middle East and the economy, [Bogle] said, they are very difficult to shake.”
“The book is easy to follow and Best and Bogle describe the collection of data and the ways in which data is presented in an easy to understand manner. The intended audience is certainly those interested in or studying Sociology, Gender studies, Human Sexuality, and Criminal Justice. But the book also extends to parents and those working with youth. It is an excellent guide to use when learning about the connection between contemporary legends, the media, and current behavior among youth.”
"An impressive exposé of the outlandish stories the media tirelessly promotes about the sex lives of our children. Both shocking and informative, this myth-busting book is a must-read for any parent worried about what their kids are up to when they aren’t around."
—Pepper Schwartz, co-author of Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Kids about Sex and Character
"Kids Gone Wild recasts our fears of childhood sexual abandon where they rightly belong—to a world of fiction, not fact. Best and Bogle place our worries in broader field of understanding, revealing media drift toward tabloidization, the machinations of urban legends, and the critical role class and racial inequalities play in the distribution of risk. In doing so, they help to explain why stories of kids gone wild gain traction in the first place. A timely and engaging read."
—Amy Best, author of Fast Cars, Cool Rides: The Accelerating World of Youth and Their Cars
"Adult moral panic, fear of a sexually active teen planet and sensationalized media coverage are met with a critical eye and solid data analysis. Best & Bogle warn us, don’t believe the hype, the kids are alright! A lively and welcomed addition to the literature in youth studies and media studies."
—Donna Gaines, author of Teenage Wasteland: Suburbia's Dead End Kids
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