It looks like one of the leading indicators of juvenile decline–the so-called Sex Bracelet scandal–may just be an urban legend. From a report on CNN's Web site:
"Jelly bracelets" are making a comeback with teens and some grade-school kids. But this time, there's a twist: In some parts of the U.S., they're calling them "sex bracelets"—with various colors supposedly representing promises to perform sex acts in a game called "Snap."
As the story goes, break someone's orange bracelet (or purple, in some cases) and you get a kiss. Red, a lap dance. Blue, oral sex. Black, intercourse. And so on.
It's unclear whether young people are really following through with the sex acts. And some experts think most youth are hearing about the game from recent news reports, not each other.
Snopes.com, a Web site dedicated to exposing urban legends, has deemed the validity of sex bracelets "undetermined."
"Every now and then, I get a note from kids who say it is true," says Barbara Mikkelson, Snopes.com's co-founder. "But I get a heck of a lot of e-mails from kids who are outraged that adults think they would do this. To them, [the bracelets] are just a fashion statement."
Regardless, a few schools in such states as Illinois, Ohio and Florida have banned the bracelets.
…When the staff at Teenage Research asked its 300-some young consultants nationwide about sex bracelets, they found nothing concrete.
"They knew of a friend who had a friend who had a friend who knew about this," says Michael Wood, the company's vice president. "But no one could point a finger to anyone who was actually doing this."
Ah well, like other media dreams about kids gone wild, this one dies hard. But at least we can still believe that Dianne Linkletter killed herself while on LSD, right? As they say in the newspaper biz, some stories are just too good to check out.