Cover image for Framing youth : ten myths about the next generation
Framing youth : ten myths about the next generation
Males, Mike A.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Monroe, Me : Common Courage Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
391 pages ; 23 cm

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HQ796 .M2577 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Coming to the defense of teenagers, the author shows why the next generation deserves help, rather than discipline.


Teens must be controlled -- that's the prevailing picture of youth presented in the media and by government officials. In this whirlwind tour of 10 common myths, Mike Males shows you the statistics -- about drugs, alcohol, sex, crime and curfews -- to reveal what teens are really like, and what they really need.Among the lies you will learn about in Framing: - Lies 101: What's at issue here: bad behavior -- or bad press? As Males shows, teens are far more civil than what the poverty and abusive conditions endured by millions of them would predict.- The Dawn of the Super-predator: government and law enforcement officials incessantly misrepresent "youth crime" and predict "adolescent super-predators" despite a general decline in juvenile crime. They ignore the even worse adult trends. But serious teenage crime is rarer today than 20 years ago. Instead of challenging the false assumptions of the conservative anti-crime onslaught, liberal interests have embraced them -- at great cost to reasoned policy.- Curfews -- Putting the Truth to Bed: curfews stop crime, right? Wrong. Analysis of curfew and other "get tough" measures show they discriminate against minorities and are associated with higher, not lower, youth crime rates.- Pot Boilers, Coke Hoaxes, and Smack Scares: what can we do about a generation lost to drugs? It's a question often asked -- without realizing that teen drug abuse is falling while adult abuse is high and rising. Worse, Clinton-era policy mindlessly punishes youth while evading the real hard-drug crisis among adults.- Conception Deception: the biggest issues in "teenage pregnancy" and motherhood are finally getting an airing -- intractable poverty,violent and abusive families, the role of older men, the surprising new findings that earl

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

From church and library to the impeachment debate, "protecting kids" is used to justify all kinds of questionable behavior. These authors just say no. University of Minnesota law professor Feld has studied the juvenile justice system for 25-plus years. In Bad Kids, he argues that procedural and substantive changes over the last three decades "have converted the historical ideal of the juvenile court as a welfare agency into a quasi-penal system that provides young offenders with neither therapy nor justice." Even when Progressives established juvenile courts, he notes, they were meant for "other people's children": a century ago, southern and eastern European immigrants' kids; today, the children of the poor, particularly the African American poor. Feld traces changes that have made the Progressives' mixed vision inadequate and calls for "uncoupling social welfare from social control": abolishing juvenile courts, viewing youth as a mitigating factor in setting sentences within the same courts where adults are tried, and forcing public officials to address child welfare directly. Males' The Scapegoat Generation (1996) drew some attention; here, he directs his scorn at 10 myths that are conventional wisdom. Today's teens are not, he insists, America's worst generation ever--violent thugs; druggie wastoids; drunken killers; Camel clones; reckless, suicidal, and "at risk"; or in "moral meltdown." Furthermore, they don't need more policing; teen moms aren't ruining America; the media don't tell the truth about young people; and youth are, in fact, oppressed. Males devotes a chapter to debunking each myth. Every chapter is full of (often startling) data: for example, who really has a drug and crime problem (adults, far more than kids) or the fact that parents have much more influence on whether young people smoke than a certain cartoonish ungulate. Lively, stimulating disputation. --Mary Carroll