Youth Culture E-Update by rey15315


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4th Anniversary Edition!
                         The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s
                              Youth Culture E-Update
                             Edition #83: November 15, 2005

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I. Youth Culture Stats and Trends:
       1) Alluring Beer Ads
       2) Movies Influence Teen Smoking
       3) Sleeping Pills & Teens
       4) Cell Phones & Teens
       5) Instant Messaging
       6) TV Sex
       7) Global Sex Survey
       8) STD’s
       9) Unmarried Births
       10) Youth Sports Too Competitive?
       11) Teens & Religion
II. CPYU Resources
III. Pop Culture Quotes: Bono, Madonna, Natalie Portman, Amy Grant, etc.
IV. Lyrical Expressions: Lindsay Lohan and Carrie Underwood
V. Current Culture Image
VI. Culture Links
VII. Walt Mueller’s Commentary
VIII. E-update & CPYU information
                             Youth Culture Stats and Trends:
1) Alluring Beer Ads
Researchers from the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation examined the affective responses of 253
California students (89 in 9th-11th grade and 164 in 5th-8th grade) to viewing 66 alcohol advertisements (92% beer)
from early 1999. The most highly rated ads, based on humor, story, music, and animal/people characters, were
considered most influential in getting the students to want to buy the product. (2 page pdf file) (13 page pdf file)
         See also: Teen drinking influenced by environment and behavior
         See also: Alcohol and Development in Youth
         See also: Fake ID race
         See also: Hispanic youth see more alcohol ads
         See also: “Bud Pong” removed or

2) Movies Influence Teen Smoking
Researchers report in the November 2005 issue of the journal Pediatrics that exposure to smoking in movies among
teens increases the likelihood teens will smoke, from the results of a survey of 6,522 10-14 year old U.S. youth. or
         See also: Teen exposure to anti-smoking message
         See also: Flavored cigarettes appealing to youth
         See also: 20.9% of U.S. adults smoke

3) Sleeping Pills & Teens
Medco Health Solutions, as reported by USA Today, says that sleeping pill use among 10-19 year olds jumped 85%
between 2000 and 2004 (554 of 340,124 and 1,032 of 342,568, respectively). or,1854,578472,00.html
         See also: Puberty and teen sleep

4) Cell Phones and Teens
GfK NOP Technology says, as reported by PRNewswire, that nearly half of 10-18 year old U.S. youth use cell
phones, from the results of its 6th annual mKids Study.
         See also: 31.6 million cell phones sold in third quarter of 2005, according to NPD Group.
         See also: Sprint first to offer cell phone music downloads
5) Instant Messaging
The third annual AOL Instant Messaging (IM) survey reveals that 30% of teens keep in touch with friends via IM, as
compared to 27% who said cell phones and 17% who said “in person”. or
         See also: Teens and blogs (online web journals)
         See also: Teens create online content.

6) TV Sex
The Kaiser Family Foundation reports the number of sex scenes on television has doubled since 1998—jumping to
3,780 sexual scenes (5.0 per hour) from 1,930 (3.2 per hour) in 1998. Researchers analyzed 1,154 programs during
the 2004-2005 TV season in the Sex on TV 4 study. Overall, 15% of scenes involving sexual intercourse were
between characters that just met—up from 7% in 2002. Also, 70% of the top 20 shows watched by teens included
sexual content, and 45% included sexual behavior.
         See also: TV website traffic rising
         See also: Parents Television Council’s “Best & Worst TV”

7) Global Sex Survey
Condom maker Durex® released the results of its 9th annual online survey of 317,000 respondents in 41 countries.
Overall, the average reported age of first sex is 17.3 years (16.3 years for current 16-20 year olds; 17.5 years for
current 21-24 year olds; and 17.9 years for current 25-24 year olds). The average number of sexual partners is 9
(10.2 for men and 6.9 for women). Also, 13% report having had a sexually transmitted disease.
         See also: November 2005 edition of Jane magazine (pp. 96-101) features the results of a sex survey of
         3,740 respondents. The November 2005 issue of Teen Vogue (pp. 136-139) has an article about teen birth
         control. Also, the October 10, 2005 edition of Time features a cover story article about gay teens.
         See also: “Teens define sex in new ways”
         See also: “Technical Virginity” among teens

8) STD’s
The CDC’s 2004 Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance shows that there were 929,462 cases of Chlamydia in
2004 (323,246 for 15-19 year-olds), up from 701,339 in 2000 (266,583 for 15-19 year-olds).. (see pp. 13, 26, and 39 of 54 page pdf file)
        See also: FDA says condoms less effective at stopping STD’s

9) Unmarried Births
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, out of the 4.12
million births in the U.S. in 2004, 1.47 million births (35.7%) were to unmarried mothers. Also, there were 6,789
births to 10-14 year-old mothers; 133,987 to 15-17 year-old mothers; and 281,421 to 18-19 year-old mothers.

          See also: No ‘good’ divorce according to kids

10) Youth Sports Too Competitive?
The Citizenship Through Sports Alliance says youth sports receive poor grades for an overemphasis on winning and
parental misbehavior from the results of its first National Youth Sports Report Card. (2 page pdf file) (5 page pdf file)
11) Teens & Religion
The December 2005 edition of Seventeen magazine (pp. 148-151) features the results of a survey of 1,000 13-17
year old teens regarding their religious and spiritual beliefs, and its subsequent impact on lifestyle choices and
behaviors. Some of the results: 80% pray (49% at least once a day); 51% attend a place of worship once a week or
more; 33% attend a religious youth group at least once a week; 44% have taken (or plan to take) an abstinence
pledge; 88% have never tried alcohol; 95% do not smoke; 59% say they obey their parents almost all of the time;
71% wear modest clothing; 48% said it is not okay to have sex before marriage.
         See also: Harris Interactive’s October 2005 “Trends & Tudes” features Young People and Religion
         See also: Religion & Ethics survey results or
         See also: College spirituality

                                           CPYU Resources:
                    To order resources from CPYU visit our “Resource Center” at
    or call 800-807-CPYU (2798).
                       All suggested donations include shipping and handling.

Newsletter: “YouthCulture @ Today” is the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding’s 24-page, ad-free,
quarterly newsletter that is full of up-to-date information and in-depth analysis on today’s youth culture. The soon-
to-be-released Winter 2005 edition features analysis of the band Franz Ferdinand and much more. “YouthCulture
@ Today” is available for a suggested donation of $20 for one year (4 issues).

Seminars: Walt Mueller is available to speak at your church, school or organization. Walt’s "Understanding
Today's Youth Culture" seminars are designed for parents, youth workers, teachers and others dealing with the
specific challenges associated with understanding the world of pre-teens and adolescents. To book a seminar, go to and/or contact CPYU at 800-807-CPYU (2798).

                                          Pop Culture Quotes
“Sadly, I think today's [Fast Times at Ridgemont High movie] experience would be up to date in a sometimes jarring
way. I think drug usage has gone up. Gun and weapon abuse has gone way up. It's a much more dangerous time to
be alive.”
         - Film director Cameron Crowe interview with Jonathan McKee, October 10, 2005

“I only meant for that to be one episode, but the ratings shot up so much we could tell there was also an appetite for
violence with our shows. I think as a culture, we’re fascinated with darkness.”
         - Nip/Tuck TV show creator Ryan Murphy speaking about his show’s serial-sadist character, “the Carver”,
         Rolling Stone, October 20, 2005, p. 37.

“If I could put it simply, I would say that I believe there’s a force of love and logic in the world, a force of love and
logic behind the universe. And I believe in the poetic genius of a creator who would choose to express such
unfathomable power as a child born in ‘straw poverty’; i.e., the story of Christ makes sense to me.”
          - U2’s Bono, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 56.

“In the months leading up to this, I was probably at the lowest ebb in my life. I was feeling just teenage angst. I
didn’t know if I wanted to continue living—that kind of despair. I was praying to a God I didn’t know was
          - U2’s Bono speaking about events surrounding the start of U2 and his relationship with Ali, his wife of 23
          years, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 54.
“What I really felt was this overwhelming feeling of whatever it was I was doing to myself was clearly wrong. And
all I really saw was blackness. I was kind of a goner. That was the start of me trying to do something different with
my life.”
           - Depeche Mode singer David Gahan speaking about his near-death drug overdose in 1996, Rolling Stone,
           November 3, 2005, p. 30.

“Drugs definitely destroyed the dance scene, without question. I just watched people go so overboard . . . Any scene
that’s so steeped in excessive drug use is just going to explode.”
          - Musician Moby, Spin, November 2005, p. 72.

“I also said I’d never smoke coke, and I did that. That was awful. It makes you psychotic.”
          - Veteran actor Robert Downey, Jr., Entertainment Weekly, October 28, 2005, p. 33.

“No. I’m very paranoid, and I don’t need the drugs to magnify that. But I did my share of that when I was younger. I
smoked weed. I did some acid. Mom and Dad, I’m sorry.”
        - Coheed and Cambria frontman Claudio Sanchez answering if drugs inspire his music, Rolling Stone,
        November 20, 2005, p. 30.

“I actually think that drink is the biggest killer—of minds, of people I know. All I’ve ever tried to get across is that if
you’re artistic or creative, using drugs to a degree can allow you to step outside of yourself, and it’s an interesting
experiment as long as you don’t depend on it. But it’s absolutely essential to understand that creativity does not
come from drugs.”
          - Cure frontman Robert Smith, Spin, November 2005, p. 68.

“Yeah, I've gotten myself into (gambling) situations where I would not walk away and I've pushed the envelope. It's
very embarrassing … one of the things you totally regret. So you look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I was
stupid.' ”
           - Former NBA player Michael Jordan, USA Today, October 20, 2005, 11C.

“As into sex as I am, I like it with one person that I know well and am planning to be with for a while.”
         - Veteran pop artist Liz Phair, Blender, November 2005, p. 160.

“It’s a kitty cat. I got it with my two older sisters—it was a bonding thing. You can’t even see it and my parents
know. I’m not promoting tattoos in any way.”
          - American Idol TV show winner Carrie Underwood describing her tattoo, CosmoGirl, Nov. 2005, p. 135.

“In a celebrity-obsessed culture, it’s interesting to be a celebrity. You get to see what and why and how people care
about it. Being a celebrity . . . it’s basically being treated like a thing, like you’re Mickey Mouse.”
          - Actress Natalie Portman, Blender, November 2005, pp. 92, 94.

“I think so much of comedy is based in an anger. We’re always looking for approval, looking for somebody to listen
to us.”
          - Comedian/actor Billy Crystal, Time, October 17, 2005, p. 8.

“I’ve actually been in therapy my whole life—since I was, like 3—and I thought that was normal . . . I think I’ll
always go. I didn’t know that it was ‘weird.’ I don’t think of it as help. Sometimes I just go there ad talk about
what’s going on, and then when I say it out loud, it helps me.”
         - The Simple Life actress Nicole Richie, Seventeen, December 2005, p. 119.

“It’s weird to me how much emphasis gets put on physical appearance in this country.”
         - Actress Charlize Theron, Entertainment Weekly, October 28, 2005, p. 27.

“I think the fact that urban culture has become such a huge phenomenon . . . Also, American culture itself has taken
over the world.”
          - Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA answering what is the most important cultural development in the past 20 years,
          Spin, November 2005, p. 64.

“I really enjoy that I’m at a place where I see my parents as friends. Your parents always say, ‘You’ll understand
one day,’ and then one day you do.”
          - Singer/songwriter Fiona Apple, Spin, November 2005, p. 77.
“Both my parents were very involved in giving time to the community and giving money to the community, and
they instilled that in me as a very important thing. It was clear as I became successful, they expected the giving to
scale with the success.”
          - Microsoft founder Bill Gates answering if he had a philanthropic role model, Time, Nov 7, 2005, p. 103.

“Grandma is the prototype of most poor families in America. Grandparents are now raising the children because you
have a huge number of teenagers having babies who are not equipped to deal with it.”
         - Actress Viola Davis, who plays 50 Cent’s grandmother in the movie Get Rich or Die Tryin’, USA Today,
         November 8, 2005, 3D.

“One of the biggest things my mother always told me was to keep my faith in God and pray hard.”
         - Rapper Twista, Vibe, November 2005, p. 70.

“All day long. Whenever it strikes me. I pray that I am on the right path and that I am making the right moves and
the right decision, and, you know, for constant guidance.”
          - Dancer/singer Staci Flood speaking about her prayer life, Blender, November 2005, p. 122.

“I wanted to do something with my money other than buy BMW’s. I’ve been selfish my whole life and I want to
give something back.”
        - Ex-Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, Blender, November 2005, p. 40.

“Those were my younger years, and I’ve cleaned up. Many of my friends have children, so I’ve curbed the cursing.
It’s a whole new mouth!”
         - Actress Alyson Hannigan, Entertainment Weekly, October 28, 2005, p. 42.

“I do believe that I have been born again in a lot of ways. I think what I’ve changed are my priorities and my
relationship with God. I feel the difference when I don’t have my private moments to pray . . . I’m a fighter, but I
learned that I’m not in charge. Whatever God wants to happen is what’s going to happen. It really is ‘let go and let
         - Singer Mariah Carey, CosmoGirl, November 2005, p. 109.

“When I was a very young woman, someone said to me, 'Amy, I wake up and pray this prayer: 'God, lead me today
to those whom I need and those who need me, and let something I do have some eternal significance.' I don't know
that many days have passed that I haven't prayed that prayer, even if it's quick or loosely, because it does change
how you look at a day.”
         - Veteran singer Amy Grant, USA Weekend, October 16, 2005.

“I'm constantly trying to figure out what my place in the world is. That search was obviously instigated by the birth
of my daughter. In my film, I talk about how I woke up one day and thought, ‘my God, I'm about to have a baby;
how am I going to teach my child what the meaning of life is when I don't know myself?' If she asks why she's here
and who is God or why are people suffering, I want to have answers. And I want to ask those questions, too.”
        - Veteran pop singer Madonna, USA Today, October 28, 2005.

“It’s a plumb line for me. In the Scriptures, it is self-described as a clear pool that you can see yourself in, to see
where you’re at, if you’re still enough.”
          - U2’s Bono speaking about the Bible, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 56.

“Spirituality is saying, ‘May the heavens open up and angels bless everyone with a deep awareness of his own light.’
Religion says only Jesus got the light, you're full of [expletive], and you are in the dark. They are the only ones that
got it, and you've gotta go through them to get it. Man, in this life the only thing that's holy is your relationship with
your heart, your family and the air you breathe.”
          - Veteran musician Carlos Santana, USA Weekend, November 6, 2005.

“I like to draw a line between religion and spirituality. For me, the idea of God, or the idea of spirit, has nothing to
do with religion. Religion is about separating people, and I don't think that was ever the Creator's intention. That's
just people's need to belong to a group and feel good about themselves.”
          - Veteran pop singer Madonna, USA Today, October 28, 2005.

“I said to the Lord, I’m always going to write for you. And everything came together in my life.”
          - Novelist Anne Rice, who was famous for her vampire fantasies, talking about her 1998 decision to return
          to church and redirect her fiction writing, Entertainment Weekly, November 4, 2005, p. 34. Rice’s latest
          novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, is a fictional account of one year of Jesus’ life as a child.

“If I really complete the life of Christ the way I want to do it, then I might go on and write a new type of fiction. It
won't be like the other. It'll be in a world that includes redemption.”
           - Novelist Anne Rice, Newsweek, October 31, 2005.

“I don’t know. I would rarely be asking these questions inside the church. I see lovely nice people hanging out in a
church. Occasionally, when I’m singing a hymn like . . . ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ or ‘Be Thou My
Vision,’ something would stir inside of me. But, basically religion left me cold.”
         - U2’s Bono, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 54.

“I talk about sinful things, but I also think those are things that all people deal with . . . Clearly I’m not giving a
shining example for Christians for what people should do. But I never write music as a prescription for a happy
ending. I’m just a storyteller.”
          - R&B singer/songwriter John Legend talking about his lyrical content, Relevant, Nov/Dec 2005, p. 85.

“The best thing about writing and playing songs is that you have this fantastic medium for communicating emotions
and ideas in an intensely direct way.”
         - Franz Ferdinand singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos, Spin, November 2005, p. 60.

“I can't write 12 songs about nothing. My feelings or point of view inevitably sneaks in.”
          - Veteran pop singer Madonna, USA Today, October 28, 2005

“Music was my main source of peace and happiness. If there was something messed up going on in my house,
turmoil and things that were unsettling to me, I would walk and sing to myself. It grounded me emotionally.”
         - Singer Mariah Carey, CosmoGirl, November 2005, p. 109.

“It’s such an extraordinary thing, music. It is how we speak to God finally—or how we don’t. Even if we’re
ignoring God. It’s the language of the spirit. If you believe we contain within our skin and bones a spirit that might
last longer than your time breathing in and out—if there is a spirit, music is the thing that wakes it up. And it
certainly woke mine up. And it seems to be how we communicate on another level.”
         - U2’s Bono, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 102.

“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that
God is at the center of the jaunt.”
         - U2’s Bono, Rolling Stone, November 3, 2005, p. 54.

                                          Lyrical Expressions
I wait for the postman to bring me a letter, I wait for the good Lord to make me feel better
And I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, A family in crisis that only grows older
Why’d you have to go (3X)
Daughter to father, daughter to father, I am broken but I am hoping
Daughter to father, daughter to father, I am crying, a part of me is dying and
These are, these are, The confessions of a broken heart
          - Confessions of a Broken Heart by Lindsay Lohan.

          Watch the song’s voyeuristic store-front window display video (#1 most popular video on and
          #3 video on, November 14, 2005)

        See also: Kelly Clarkson’s Because of You song video about family relations

It was still getting colder when she made it to the shoulder and the car came to a stop
She cried when she saw that baby in the backseat sleeping like a rock
And for the first time in a long time she bowed her head to pray
She said I'm sorry for the way I've been living my life, I know I've got to change so from now on tonight
[Chorus] Jesus take the wheel, Take it from my hands
Cause I can't do this on my own, I'm letting go
So give me one more chance, To save me from this road I'm on
          - Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood (American Idol winner) from the Some Hearts album. The
          song debuted at #48 on the Billboard Hot 100™ chart dated November 19, 2005 (#23 on both the Billboard
          Hot Digital Songs™ chart after 1week and Hot Country Songs™ chart after two weeks).

                                                               Current Culture Image
                                                      This Jack Daniels ad appeared in the February 14, 2005
                                                      edition of Time, p. 4, and the November 3, 2005 issue of
                                                      Rolling Stone, p. 29. The ad shows four Jack Daniels bottle
                                                      labels at the top, a taxi car on the bottom, and the words,
                                                      “Drinking responsibly is a Black and White issue.” This ad
                                                      could be used to spark a discussion about underage drinking.
                                                      Also, this ad could be used to discuss moral absolutes by
                                                      focusing on what constitutes a “black and white issue.”

                                                                        Culture Links
                                             is the place to discover more about
                                                      cyberbullying and its impact on children and teens you know
                                                      and love. Their mission is "Mobilizing educators, parents,
                                                      students, and others to combat online social cruelty."

                                                     The Net Family News website is dedicated to informing
                                                     parents and educators about online safety for children and
                                                     teens. Their free weekly Net Family Newsletter is a detailed
and valuable news source, which will enable concerned adults to keep up with the latest tech trends. Also check out
their newsletter archive.

                               Walt Mueller’s Commentary
I’ve always believed the most dangerous music is not the stuff that blatantly and clearly promotes anti-Kingdom
living, but the music that we so readily embrace that seems to promote Kingdom living. While there’s much to
celebrate about Rascal Flatts, my evaluation experience has left me with a clear sense that because immorality has
been wrapped up in what looks like a great package, it might actually be some of the most subtly dangerous music
out there. Because of the package, parents and kids will either never see—or will overlook—the content that should
cause concern.
          - Excerpt from Walt’s article about Rascal Flatts from CPYU’s Fall 2005 edition of YouthCulture @
          Today, p. 9.

The CPYU “Youth Culture e-Update” is a freely distributed e-mail resource (approximately twice-monthly) containing relevant
information of interest for youth workers, parents, and educators. The Center for Parent/Youth Understanding is a non-profit
organization providing information and analysis on today’s rapidly changing youth culture. To contact us, write to or PO Box 414 Elizabethtown, PA 17022, or call 717-361-8429, or fax 717-361-8964.
          “Browser Discretion Advisory”: CPYU does not necessarily endorse, support, or condone the organizations/sites for
which we've provided you with links, nor does CPYU necessarily agree with the conclusions and/or recommendations of studies
cited. Some are listed for informational and research purposes only as they are prevalent in youth culture today.
          CPYU grants permission to cite or quote the “CPYU Youth Culture e-Update” electronically or in print as long as the
source is cited as the “CPYU Youth Culture e-Update - Doug West, ed.”

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