I went looking for Hallowe'en costumes for a 13-year-old. If she doesn't dress like a whore, she's pretty much limited to being a nun or Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz. Many 13-year-olds are sexually mature, but they aren't emotionally mature, and in this society they sure aren't ready to get their hearts broken, get pregnant, let alone marry. In any case, there's no reason for them to dress like whores.
Yet our society pushes its girls hard in this direction, as Ben Stein points out:
This is a nation that is absolutely drenched in juvenile sex. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but it sure was going on when I was a teenager and that was a long time ago in the days of James Dean. The problem is vastly more prevalent now.Meanwhile, "freaking" as a style of dancing is popular among the high-school set. This is a public display of what used to be called dry-humping. A local principal suspended high school dances because of this fashion, and you'd think he was Savonarola.
Movies in large part are about teenage sex. Whole TV networks -- I am not going to mention any names -- are largely about teenagers and sex. Music, if you can call it music, is very, very largely about teenagers and sex, and teenagers listen to it incessantly. (I am the father of a teenager, and I promise you, it's true.)
Look at fashions for young girls. They are getting dressed like Parisian streetwalkers from the 1950s. Little girls are getting dressed by the fashion industry as if they were little hookers.
Billboards on Sunset Boulevard, very near my home, show young boys in extremely revealing outfits. Much of the whole young people's fashion and magazine industry is about selling kids on the idea that their sexuality is all that matters about them,
Then there's the Internet. Multi-billion dollar companies are bidding for websites that are very largely about teens advertising their sexual availability and allure. This is an immense business, and rapidly getting bigger. Can anyone say MySpace?
Obviously, this is not to excuse Mark Foley, who clearly breached his trust, or to excuse the House GOP leadership, which clearly messed up badly on Capitol Hill.
But this is a nation endlessly selling teenagers -- sometimes younger than teenagers -- as sex objects. This is how teenagers are merchandised -- and watch the cheerleaders at any high school football game for more proof. It should not surprise us if, with all of that selling, there are buyers, both gay and straight for all of this selling.
Maybe Skeeter Davis was right after all.
We sure need somethin'.