I'm the Hype for the Critical Beatdown!

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A bunch of girls beat up another girl in an argument about a boy. I know it doesn't seem like the stuff of a sensational news story, but it is. Because a 16-year old boy (who was in on the beatdown) taped the girls and put the video online, Florida media have turned the fight into an epic worthy of Tom Wolfe. And the cable networks, lacking anything big like a war to cover, have gotten in on the story.Here's a segment on it from the last episode of the O'Reilly Factor, with child psychologist Dr. Susan Bartel slinging bullshit until her elbows cramp up.

O'REILLY: Now I was brought up in Levittown, Long Island, a tough neighborhood back then in the 50s. There were fights every single day among boys.

BARTELL: Right.

O'REILLY: Very rarely among girls.

BARTELL: Right.

Well, none that O'Reilly was invited to.

O'REILLY: Has culture changed?

BARTELL: I think that there are more girls fighting than there used to be. I think certainly over the last several years, a couple of years since you grew up.

O'REILLY: More than a couple, yes.

BARTELL: That there are more girls fighting than there used to be.

Notice the absolute lack of evidence. What's happened in Florida is obvious: Kids are fighting each other, but unlike the fights of 10 or 20 years ago, these are easily recorded and shared online. It takes a bizarre mindset to not factor this in when discussing whether or not vicious beatdowns are occuring more often than ever. Are there more or less people lip-syncing to songs than there used to be? No, but more people are taping themselves doing it and uploading the videos. But don't tell that to the culture marms.

O'REILLY: Why?

BARTELL: Many reasons. I think first of all, girls have more power than they used to in relationships, in life. I think that girls are fighting more now over boys. I think that girls aren't as prim and proper as they used to be. I think boys egg on girl fights, which never used to be the case. I think there's a lot of sexuality involved with boys. If you look on YouTube you see the boys watching the fight, cheering the girls on. I think that the girls enjoy that. And I think that girls really have crossed those boundaries. I think that you see now on TV girl fights in the media. You know what used to be World Wide Wrestling was only amongst boys, you know, and men.

O'REILLY: They have girls now, right.

BARTELL: I think that's a role model for the girls.

O'REILLY: That's a good point.

The confluence of feminism and Vince MacMahon, turning America's youth into hot-blooded savages! Criminy.

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  1. Plus “if women are grabbing and clawing at each other there’s a chance they might somehow kiss.”

  2. I’m curious as to why this was the one video that finally got this attention, sites like filecabi.net have been showing these for at least the last few years.

  3. Wasn’t the Glorious Ladies Of Wrestling a product of the 1970’s?

  4. The G.L.O.W. girls were the 80’s (Gorgeous, not Glorious, I think)

  5. Excuse me, I have to go chalk up another reason to get the hell out of journalism.

  6. When I was a yoot girls rarely got into fights, but when they did it was a sure bet that there would be ripped clothing. Actually, when there was a girl fight the word spread like wild fire bringing boys running from all directions. You might even say the boys egged the girls on, because girls with ripped tops were much more interesting to adolescent boys than guys with bloody noses.

    Video evidence or not, there is some reasonable indication that girls today are more willing to resort to fist fights than they were fifty years ago. I think that boys are less likely.

  7. This is all due to that Bud Light commercial.

  8. TWC,
    I think that boys are less likely only because of the “militarization” of schools. I attended HS in the early ’90s in two different locations, San Antonio and a much smaller town in Florida. Even though the schools had approximately the same populations (2500 students) the attitudes towards fights were radically different.

    In the Florida school, when a fight broke out it would last for 5 minutes or so, and then administrators would wade in and separate the exhausted kids. They would then be sent to the principal and appropriate punishment would occur, usually detention or some such.

    In the S.A. school, fights would go on for maybe two minutes before armed police would wade in and arrest the students and charge them with a minimum of “Distrubing the Peace”. As such, most students gravitated away from fistacuffs and towards knives. It takes a lot less than two minutes to stab someone and if you are going to be arrested, be arrested for “attempted murder”.

    Of course, my observations are about as scientific as any I have heard so far.

  9. I think The Fabulous Moolah would be surprised to hear that women’s wrestling is a new phenomenon.

  10. Just to add my irrelevant 2 cents…when I was in school in the 70’s, early 80’s, girl fights weren’t common, but they happened, and yeah, there was a lot more clothes-ripping, hair-pulling, and, every now and then, one or both girls would have those larger, dogtag-style chains as “jewelry” and would start whipping the other girl with it.
    Girl fights, always more interesting than boy fights.

  11. I’m surprised no one has noted the rise in girls playing video games.

  12. RRRRowr….Hiissssss!

  13. I think boys egg on girl fights, which never used to be the case.

    What planet did this guy grow up on? A small, backward-looking town in South Carolina is hardly the bastion of left-wing social degeneracy, but the boys ALWAYS egged on ANY fight, regardless of the sex of the agonistes.

  14. I graduated HS in 91. We had girl fights. Unfortunately the girls who tended to fight were not, uh, the ones we would have enjoyed watching so much. Don’t get me wrong – any fight drew a crowd, but if the head cheerleader had been fighting the head pom-pon…what was I going to say?
    Anywho, how can anyone say that there were no girl fights in the 50s? I have seen the lurid juvenile delinquent films. They had some tough broads back then.

  15. Good thing Fox aired the video over and over, and posted it on the website, so right-thinking Americans can see just how depraved our teenage girls have become. Terrible, terrible. I need to watch that again. Oh yeah.

  16. As O’RLLY could tell you, the refined way to handle disputes is by shouting at people and turning off their microphone. Punching is right out.

  17. Florida Police Probe Female Teen Beating After Video Surfaces on Web

    Cheeky headline.

    And what’s with FOX and O’Reilly complaining about too much violence? It’s liberals that screech about too much violence in society, conservatives get to yell about too much sex.

  18. This is clearly a violation of traditional gender roles. Boys are supposed beat fools up, and girls are supposed to go wild. I support Bill on this one.

  19. My middle school was pretty rough in the early 90’s (my high school not so much–this was about the time they starting posting cops in the schools permanently where I lived) and girl fights were both more common and much, much more entertaining. Usually one every day or so. The guys went at more like once a week.

  20. Thoreau wins the thread, Daze gets runner-up.

  21. Just to add to the chorus… if things have changed then it sure hasn’t been recent. Girls have been fighting since I was in grade school. In fact they were often the most brutal too, some involving kitchen knives and one really ugly case of a face meeting a sidewalk repeatedly.

  22. I have seen the lurid juvenile delinquent films. They had some tough broads back then.

    May Ed Wood’s soul rest in peace.

  23. Plus “if women are grabbing and clawing at each other there’s a chance they might somehow kiss.”

    Two words: nip slip.

  24. Headlines can be so confusing without punctuation.

    Let me fix that:

    Florida: Police Probe Female Teen. Beating After Video Surfaces on Web

  25. According to the Justice Department’s Uniform Crime Report, arrests of girls for assault rose 41% between 1992 and 2003, while arrests of boys only rose 4.3%:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16691386/

  26. I graduated high school in (gasp) 1985, and one of my scariest memories to this day (OK, not quite like 9/11, but…) was when my brainy geek-squad best friend Marcy and I (equally nerdy) crossed two of the town’s toughest female “burnouts” in a dispute over precedence on the Ms. Pacman machine at the local Magic Fountain.

    We got to play Ms. Pacman, but the girls were waiting for us in the parking lot afterwards. They followed us and beat the crap out of us as soon as we were away from the commercial area (although we fought back valiantly, and I inflicted some damage by ripping one of our attacker’s prized initial chain off her neck and throwing it in the gutter). I refused to go to gym class for a month — fearing a locker room reprise.

    They obviously didn’t get the Bill O’Reilly memo that girls didn’t fight back then. Sure, we all fought like girls — scratching, poking, pulling and pushing as much as hitting. But it hurt!

  27. Joe, you bastard, I got coke all over my monitor.

  28. So Bill is wrong to site this one incident as evidence that girls fight more these days. But a commentor’s anecdotal evidence of a fight 20 years ago is evidence that girls don’t fight more today? Aren’t both statements based on flimsy evidence?

  29. I graduated in 1992 and there were plenty of girl fights. I didn’t even know that girls didn’t fight. I taught high school in the late 1990’s, and girls fought on a regular basis. I guess back in O’Reilly’s day they just had bake-offs.

  30. Elaine: What is so appealing to men about a cat fight?
    Kramer: Yeah, yeah, cat fight!
    Jerry: Because men think if women are grabbing and clawing at each other there’s a chance they might somehow… kiss.

  31. Kwix, good point about the diff between the way fighting is handled. At my kids school it’s a big boot, asap, and it does keep the violence in check.

    Also have to agree with Duncan, the chicks seem more brutal. With guys the fight was over when the guy was beaten and down. With chicks, that’s just the starting point.

    Just to be clear, TWC is not saying girls didn’t used ta fight, just that it was pretty rare. I don’t think it’s as rare now. But, as Elaine pointed out it didn’t become less rare yesterday.

    On a slightly different note, I know it’s just localized and anecdotal, but the kids that go to school with mine seem to be a whole lot nicer to each other than kids were when I was that age. I blame all that PC crap. 🙂

  32. And what’s with FOX and O’Reilly complaining about too much violence? It’s liberals that screech about too much violence in society, conservatives get to yell about too much sex.

    This is about sex. O’Reilly isn’t complaining about the fighting, he’s complaining because the girls are acting like boys ought to.

  33. Lamar, O’Reilly graduated HS around 1967. 🙂

    A lot of this goes to personal experience. I went to a class reunion and listened to a former geeky girl who had become a HS teacher go on and on about how today’s kids had all gone to hell and when we were in HS nobody did drugs, and girls didn’t get knocked up, and……….

    We went to the same high school. The entire JV cheerleader squad got PG when I was a junior, my buddy Allerton sold Organo joints to the dorky freshmen for fifty cents each (yes, they got high, go figure), and, well, you get the picture. Where the hell was she?

  34. What’s the point of fighting if there are no members of the opposite sex to watch you and secretly (or openly) yearn for your tough genes?

  35. Jerry Seinfeld: I beat you by a mile. If we were chicks, we’d duke it out on video.

  36. So Bill is wrong to site this one incident as evidence that girls fight more these days. But a commentor’s anecdotal evidence of a fight 20 years ago is evidence that girls don’t fight more today? Aren’t both statements based on flimsy evidence?

    Maybe, but I’d say that’s it’s more O’Reilly’s track record of claiming that everything is worse than it’s ever been/ nothing like this happened in the past despite our recollections to the contrary that works against him here.

    It’s like if someone told you that binge-drinking was rare on college campuses until recently. You’d know instantly that they’re full of shit.

  37. I went to the best public schools around and graduated in 82. I don’t remember any actual fights. I remember getting beat up a lot. Anyone caught fighting would have gotten suspended I’m sure.

    They probably took it out back of the school where they went to smoke, I never went back there.

  38. What’s the point of fighting if there are no members of the opposite sex to watch you and secretly (or openly) yearn for your tough genes?

    As for myself, I always went for the chicks on the wrong end of the beat down. Something about the torn clothes and all of the bruises. I don’t know, maybe it was just an Oedipal thing? 🙂

  39. When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.

    No point, except that the potential for violence among the gentler sex is not new.

  40. I was in high school in the 80s. In my town–the poor trashy town–the girls fought “like girls”. In the county seat, where all the “rich” girls lived, they fought LIKE BOYS! These girls were amazing, and they were often the popular girls–cheerleaders and everything! Halloween 1987 left me with a permanent memory of my ex-girlfriend and my then current girlfriend duking it out in the street. It was mind blowing (especially since I was chemically “altered” at the time). Eventually, the whole experience began to weird me out, so I left the scene and made-out with a third female who happened to be a friend of both of the other girls. Ahh… high school.

  41. the potential for violence among the gentler sex is not new.

    Tell me about it

  42. I grew up a tomboy outside of New Orleans so I had my share of fights with boys and girls. The most memorable fight was in 9th grade with my best friend Julie. We walked out of the cafeteria like nothing was wrong and then beat the shit out of each other. The crowd was mostly boys hoping to catch a glimpse of barely there breasts. We were both suspended and our asses were kicked again by our parents. She and I were laughing about just last week.

  43. Let’s not forget about the Lizzies.

  44. O’REILLY: Now I was brought up in Levittown, Long Island, a tough neighborhood back then in the 50s.

    Maybe some of the NYers here can help me out. Is Levittown just around the corner from Bed-Stuy?

  45. Levittown is in the middle of Long Island, a short train trip (i.e., not subway) or car ride to Bed Stuy. It’s probably 1/2 to 1 hour away, depending on traffic. Culturally, I have no idea about either place. Levittown started out as an affordable place for enlisted G.I.’s to live after WW2 and seems to have turned into a middle class, even if lower middle class, neighborhood. BedStuy was a battle zone for years, and is only recently feeling the effects of gentrification/whitey moving in.

  46. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown%2C_New_York

    short version: no, it’s not. it’s in the middle of long island.

    as usually, o’reilly is doing his best to accidentally entertain us all.

  47. My elbows are aching a bit, but I’ll try to get through my comment before they give out on me completely…I don’t know how old you are, or whether you have any knowledge to back your comments, but twenty years ago girls never fought the way you see in these videos. But all that aside, what’s actually fascinating to me is that these girls, and boys for that matter, are consumed with immortalizing their violence on the internet–even knowing that they might get caught. A sociopathic form of entertainment seems to be developing in this generation and whether you think that girls have always been fighters or not is irrelevant to the fact that it is fairly disturbing that at 14 or 15 years old a kid has the desire to show the world that she has beat up another human being. Well, my arms are exhausted from last night, I’d better quit now…

  48. Dr. Bartell,

    I can’t say for sure about twenty years ago, but 15-17 years ago, I remmber some girl fights that were roughly equivalent to the one in the video. Probably close like one per semester, in a Catholic high school. We would also see about one girl fight every Saturday night at clubs.

    The only reason that they weren’t posted on the internet is that there was no internet(not in the sense we have now), and video cameras were too expensive for high school kids to own(as opposed to being an accessory on every cell phone, another thing that we didn’t have). The question is how much the existence of video recordings makes such things seem more prevalent than they are. I’d say quite a bit, in much the same way that TV coverage of rapes ,murders, carjackings, and home invasions makes my grandmother believe she living in an Escape From New York-style dystopia when she really lives in a middle-class neighborhood that hasn’t had a burglary in ten years.

    I’ll agree with you that today’s teens can be disturbing, but teen behavior has always been disturbing to adults.

  49. Well we all know that some men like girl on girl action so this is not exactly a shock.

    I used to go to a hard rock lounge here in the London. I never once saw a fight between the leather-clad throngs of blokes…but women have a bit of a barney happened at least once every time I went.

  50. David,
    clearly the existence of the technology is what makes this all possible and if it had existed 20 years ago this would have been happening then, but I think that there is some truth in what your granmother feels. The existence of the technology is fueling teens to fight more, and for a bigger audience– it is sensationilism, media attraction for teens who feel anonymous, the cometitiveness (kids comete w/ each other to see who can have a bigger fight, beat up someone more, for a bigger audience). What’s more, the fact that it’s online cannot be ignored from a legal perspective, it carries far different implications for the teen and for the family than a traditional schoolyard fight. To trivialize all of this the way you seem to be, is doing a disservice to the power of the technology and how as adults need to teach responsibility about it to the next generation.

  51. Dr. Bartell,

    The existence of the technology is fueling teens to fight more, and for a bigger audience–

    But are the actually fighting more, or does the video record merely make it seem that way?

    it is sensationalism, media attraction for teens who feel anonymous, the competitiveness (kids compete w/ each other to see who can have a bigger fight, beat up someone more, for a bigger audience).

    Do you have any evidence to support the theory that kids are competing to stage bigger fights? I have trouble believing that the fights are real if kids are joining in to make for a better YouTube rating rather than to help a friend.

    What’s more, the fact that it’s online cannot be ignored from a legal perspective, it carries far different implications for the teen and for the family than a traditional schoolyard fight. To trivialize all of this the way you seem to be, is doing a disservice to the power of the technology and how as adults need to teach responsibility about it to the next generation.

    You right that creating evidence of yourself committing a crime is a foolish use of technology, but I don’t think that’s quite the lesson you’re hoping parents will teach. I don’t think (a few snarky comments aside)that anyone’s trivializing the issue, in my case it’s more that I don’t buy the “It’s all new, all different, all horrible!” angle that you’ve presented.

    As far as my grandmother goes, she’s wrong. If anything, her city is safer now than it was 20 years ago. She just believes it’s worse because every case gets media coverage.

  52. Weigel tosses in a Kool Keith ref in the hed. Old School sweet!

  53. Levittown is not in the middle of LI. Towns like Middle Island and Centereach are in the middle of the island, hence their names. LI is a good 120 miles from Brooklyn to Montauk, and Levittown is only 25-30 miles from Manhattan.

    Bill O is engaging in blarney when he tries to talk up Levittown as a rough neighborhood. Yeah, back in the 50s most of the families had moved out from The City. The O’Reillys were from Brooklyn. But the former potato farms the little boxes were built on were not fertile fields for a recreation of the Bowery Boys. O’Reilly’s neighborhood was annexed by nearby Westbury. How tough could you be if you lived in Westbury? Levittown was all-white, too.

    Levittown was also tainted at birth by the offhand racism of midcentury America. Though Levittown is racially mixed today, for years Levitt’s sales contracts barred resale to African Americans. He once offered to build a separate development for blacks but refused to integrate his white Levitt developments. “We can solve a housing problem, or we can try to solve a racial problem,” he once said. “But we can’t combine the two.” In 1963 his all-white policies led to civil rights demonstrations at another Levitt subdivision, in Bowie, Md. – Richard Lacayo, Time ,Dec. 07, 1998.

    Bill went to Chaminade H.S., as upscale a Catholic school as you could imagine. Your parents could probably spend more and send you to LaSalle Military Academy in Oakdale as a boarding student, I suppose.

    Chaminade has never been co-ed, BTW. Not the best environment for observing girls, fighting or otherwise. So, take any anecdodal evidence from him with a salt mine or two.

    Kevin
    (native Lawn Islander)

  54. David,
    The evidence I have is from the teens themselves who tell me that their fights escalate because they know they are being recorded–wouldn’t you behave differently if you were being taped? why has utube surpassed myspace in ratings–there is power in being seen by the world and their is also power in beating somone up. It is no coincidence that those who want to beat up other kids also want to record it for the world to see. The one fuels the other–I do NOT think it is simply a recording of the status quo, it is an escalation of sociopathic behavior because the power provided by the internet is simpatico with the power hungry personality that needs to beat up a less powerful peer. But, incidentally, some of the fights between two girls (which are not beatings) that you see on utube, are staged for an audience of lusting boys, Susan

  55. I started elementary school in the late 60’s. Went to a tough inner city school. The girls fought as hard (or harder) as the boys and sometimes with the boys.

    Now what ‘tough’ tweedy prep school did O’Really say he went to?

  56. The evidence I have is from the teens themselves who tell me that their fights escalate because they know they are being recorded–wouldn’t you behave differently if you were being taped?

    The only way that makes sense is if no one wanted a recording of herself backing down. Even so, I think that people have always been reluctant to back down in front of a crowd, and school fights almost always have a crowd present. Once punches have been thrown, I can’t imagine that cameras make any difference. the main concern at that point is to hurt the other person before they hurt you.

    But, incidentally, some of the fights between two girls (which are not beatings) that you see on utube, are staged for an audience of lusting boys, Susan

    If the fights aren’t real, and no one’s injured, what’s the problem?

  57. The fights might be staged but they are real and there are injuries–and besides, you don’t see a problem with kids ripping out each other’s hair, punching and kicking each other in the head and mauling each other as a form of entertainment as a problem?? If it was your kid?? I mean really, let’s get real, are you arguing just for the sake of arguing or are you really thinking about the impact of this on REAL kids in REAL life. Search “girl fights” on utube and then tell me if you rethink that comment.

  58. Anyone who thinks girl fights are currently more vicious or more common now than they were 30 to 40 years ago has lived a sheltered life.

  59. it is an escalation of sociopathic behavior because the power provided by the internet is simpatico with the power hungry personality

    If there is an increase in teen fighting because of technology then it would be the opposite of sociopathic behavior. Any kid that fights another to get on youtube knows that it will appear to be antisocial and shocking behavior – that’s the appeal to rebellious teens. The fights on youtube have much more in common with WWF and reality shows than with Jeffrey Dahmer.

    And is it really any different than the good old days when afterschool fights were preceeded by a days worth of boasting, taunting and letting everyone know exactly when and where it would take place? Technology just makes a larger audience possible.

  60. “I think boys egg on girl fights, which never used to be the case”

    Rubbish!

    Chick fights were the highlight of the school year(graduate ’74). We’d egg the chicks on everytime.(pun intended)

  61. I mean really, let’s get real, are you arguing just for the sake of arguing or are you really thinking about the impact of this on REAL kids in REAL life

    Is it not possible to think that maybe these fights aren’t a new abomination without being dismissed as un-serious? Or possible to think that the impact on REAL kids in REAL life is being overstated to sell a “Look what the liberals have wrought! We’re living in the worst era ever!” message without arguing for the sake of arguing?

    As far as the fights being staged, do you mean staged in the sense of “let’s fight each other and tape it!” or “Let’s go beat up that bitch Renee, and put it on You Tube!”. The former is merely stupid and doesn’t seem malicious, the latter is assault and should be treated as such.

    Maybe my problem is that I can remember when my own generation was engaging in similar behavior to what is currently regarded as a new low. Things like drinking, drug use, violence, and sex all existed when I was in high school, and I think maybe even before that.

  62. David, this has little to do with liberalism, even if you’d like to get on that soapbox, and it is everything to do with technology and how we need to teach kids (and adults) how to use it responsibly and also what the impact is of technology on violence, sex and the media. Of course drugs, drinking etc existed when you were in HS, but the chemistry that is now used to manufacture today’s drugs didn’t exist back then and the fact is that I see kids every day becoming addicted faster and more easily than they did to the beer, weed and cocaine of your day; AIDS didn’t exist years ago either, neither did genital warts, herpes or all the other STD’s that kids can get for life–that have no cure. So, should we pretend that everything is just as it was 20 years ago and not teach kids to behave differently, just because you, David, would like to convince them that it is because you don’t want to accept that perhaps the world really, truly is a different place. Maybe in your little corner things haven’t changed, but take a few steps to either side and get real. Not everything is about argument for argument’s sake. The kids and young adults that I see every day need a shot of reality or they’ll end up dead or in jail and for that matter their parents need an even bigger dose of that same reality–I think you, David, need the biggest shot of all. Do you have kids???

  63. good doctor: would it be fair to say that you tend to see teens who are already in trouble?

    also: herpes didn’t exist in 1974? genital warts didn’t exist?

  64. dhex:

    ‘course not, you silly, silly man! The Reagan Administration wasn’t around to cause those yet!

    🙂

  65. herpes didn’t exist in 1974? genital warts didn’t exist?

    It’s worse: The doctor said “20 years ago.” That’s 1987, or as I prefer to call it, “yesterday.”

  66. David, this has little to do with liberalism, even if you’d like to get on that soapbox, and it is everything to do with technology and how we need to teach kids (and adults) how to use it responsibly and also what the impact is of technology on violence, sex and the media.

    The technology isn’t the problem, it’s the “don’t hit people” part that some kids have failed to learn. Until they learn that, don’t videotape yourself hitting people is sort of unimportant.

    Of course drugs, drinking etc existed when you were in HS, but the chemistry that is now used to manufacture today’s drugs didn’t exist back then and the fact is that I see kids every day becoming addicted faster and more easily than they did to the beer, weed and cocaine of your day;

    Which drugs are those? Ecstacy and crystal meth were around before I was in high school, as were crack, heroin, pcp, and others.

    AIDS didn’t exist years ago either, neither did genital warts, herpes or all the other STD’s that kids can get for life–that have no cure.

    AIDS was first diagnosed in the early eighties. All the rest have been known to humanity for a long time.

    So, should we pretend that everything is just as it was 20 years ago and not teach kids to behave differently, just because you, David, would like to convince them that it is because you don’t want to accept that perhaps the world really, truly is a different place. Maybe in your little corner things haven’t changed, but take a few steps to either side and get real. Not everything is about argument for argument’s sake.

    I just think that I remember the world of 20 years ago being pretty much as bad as it is now. Maybe technology has changed, but humanity hasn’t.

    The kids and young adults that I see every day need a shot of reality or they’ll end up dead or in jail and for that matter their parents need an even bigger dose of that same reality–I think you, David, need the biggest shot of all.

    To further dhex’s point, do you suppose it’s possible that the kids you meet might have skewed your opinions about this generation of teens as a whole?

    Do you have kids???

    No, I don’t have kids. But I was one, longer ago than I’d like but not that long ago.

  67. The doctor came across as almost sensible at first, didn’t she?

  68. dhex and David, the kids I work with are totally main stream, suburban kids, with no major pathology to speak of, I’m not skewed at all and the diseases may have existed way back then but they didn’t permeate mainstream society the way they did now (hence the need for the HPV vaccine to be given to 9-year old girls and the drugs weren’t nearly as powerful either. Get some kids of your own and we’ll talk again, David. Perhaps you’ll even be calling me then for advice, and I won’t even say I told you so 🙂

  69. dhex and David, the kids I work with are totally main stream, suburban kids, with no major pathology to speak of

    That isn’t the point. The point is the fact that any doc deals with a skewed sample: the people who need to see a doctor. No one disputes that mainstream suburban kids can have problems; the question is how typical those problems are, and whether they’re more or less common now than in the past.

    My father’s a pathologist, so he’s more likely than you or me to encounter someone who’s dead. But that in itself doesn’t tell him anything about death rates.

    the diseases may have existed way back then but they didn’t permeate mainstream society the way they did now

    Could you back that up with some stats? Given the treatments that have been developed, I would think AIDS is much less of a threat today than it was 20 years ago — and I don’t think it “permeates” mainstream society either. (It might be more mainstream to the extent that the gay community itself is now more likely to be considered part of the mainstream. But that’s a step forward, not a step back.) I don’t know how herpes rates have been moving, but the big herpes scare was in the early ’80s, not today. (Granted, the original herpes scare was out of proportion to the actual threat.)

    In general, kids today compared to kids 20 or 30 years ago are less likely to get pregnant, abuse drugs, or engage in several other behaviors that tend to alarm parents. There may well be other trends that point in the other direction. Maybe an increase in girlfighting is among them. But to demonstrate that, you need to point us to some hard evidence. YouTube doesn’t cut it, for the reasons David pointed out in his original post.

    -Jesse (born in 1970, father of one girl)

  70. Dr.,

    I witnessed/participated in some crazy s**t as a teenager. We even videotaped some of it.
    You have shown no evidence of things getting worse. If you research juvenile delinquency and popular culture in the 20th century, you may notice that the types of fears you have are quite similar to the fears that adults have consistently had over the years.
    I was born in 1973. I have one child.

  71. the diseases may have existed way back then but they didn’t permeate mainstream society the way they did now (hence the need for the HPV vaccine to be given to 9-year old girls and the drugs weren’t nearly as powerful either.

    By permeating mainstream society, you mean Middle/High School aged children having sex, correct? Before you commit yourself to a false position, you may want to check out the stats provided by the CDC regarding Adolescent Sexual Behaviors, particularly the Sexual Behavior Trends from 1991-2005(170k .pdf). These statistics clearly show a decrease in the number of kids having sexual relations and the number of partners over the preceeding 15 years.

    As for “drugs [not being] nearly as powerful” you are sadly mistaken. Of the mainstream drugs only Marijuana has shown an increase of potency in the last 20 years and due to the nature of the drug, ingestion of THC is self limiting. Cocaine(both powder and crack forms), Heroin and Methamphetamine are all just as strong as they have ever been, though both Crack and Methamphetamine have shown a decrease in purity, or “strength”, in the last few years. The only thing relatively new is kids sharing antidepressants or antipsychotic medications and this is only because these are newly created drugs(though lithium carbonate/citrate has been around for quite a while).

  72. How long has the good Dr. been practicing? She seems like someone who grew up in a sheltered suburb and now that she is working in a somewhat less sheltered suburb she is surprised to see that some of the harder edges of life exist in the ‘mainstream world.’ I guess then the non-mainstream world is the inner city? Is it disturbing that there are big bad social problems out there or just that those big bad social problems have come a visitin’ rich whitey more than ever in the past?

    And violence in the media – movies, television, youtube, etc. – doesn’t ’cause’ violence in society. If it did, everyone one of us would have killed someone. Adn besides, violent crime rates, before there were movies and television, youtube etc. in centuries past were lower.

  73. I think the Doc is reasoning from the ‘look outside my window approach.’ She looks outside her window, sees some garbage, then concludes that garbage is not just smelly and bad but is getting worse. By this way of reasoning it’s easy to overlook longer term trends, that there might be less garbage out there 5, 10, 20 years ago. That takes study and time. Not just reacting to what you see in from of you.

  74. What I like about the “do you have kids of your own?” angle is that it reveals the purely anecdotal approach to social science driving all of this garbage.

    Also, it’s an ad hominem fallacy, but that’s obvious.

  75. “Adn besides, violent crime rates, before there were movies and television, youtube etc. in centuries past were lower.”

    Oops, I meant ‘higher.’

  76. if anything, certain sti’s permeated mainstream society far more many years ago – syphillis comes to mind. the french/british/italian pox, as it were, which reminds us that contamination vectors have been mythologized – and fantasized about, in some sense – for a very long time. hundreds of years.

    i have a lot of doubts about the power of drugs for reasons outlined above. also, you selfish boomers had access to some seriously mind-melting quality lsd.

    bastards.

  77. How long has the good Dr. been practicing?

    Gorp,
    Per the alumni list of the Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology at Yeshiva Univeristy, Dr. Susan Silver Bartell graduated in 1988. It appears that she has been at her private practice in Port Washington, New York for a while. So, let’s say at the outside, she has been practicing since graduation, or 19 years.

  78. oh.

    long island.

    …and the veil of maya is lifted…

  79. Dr. Susan Bartell was fundamentally dishonest by ignoring the phenomenon of underreporting. Kids have always fought. They always will. Gender isn’t the issue; poor impulse control is. The kids who stand around and video these fights clearly lack structure and self esteem. They’re trying to live vicariously through someone else. They look for an adrenaline rush, but they don’t want themselves to risk getting hurt and embarrassed by getting into a fight. That’s why they record these fights. Now there’s a market for these things, and some of these kids are making money from selling recordings of fights. I find it surprising that someone with a Ph. D. (or Psy. D.) couldn’t figure this out.

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