December 15, 2021

How Do Today’s Teenagers Use Sex in Their Transition into Adulthood?

Jim Manganello | Lucy Ireland, 30

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PodcastSend Pics, Episode 2 of ‘The Slow Dance’, 2021

When we discuss sex, our society likes to consider itself tolerant, forward-thinking, welcoming. But as we began to prepare a project centred around teenagers, sex, and technology, we ran up against a renewed puritanism among adults. This puritanism is passed on to our young people, who feel like they must say the right things about sex, which usually means the things that adults want to hear – or stay silent. We wanted to cut through this puritanism. So in late 2020/early 2021, we began facilitating discussions with groups of teenagers about sex and technology. We knew the true story wasn’t so tidy. Our own teenage years felt simultaneously not that long ago and in the distant past – and we suspected that being a teenager had changed both drastically and not at all. In this episode of the resulting podcast series, ‘The Slow Dance’, we examine how teenagers are using image-based social media to play the game of sex. Against the adult fears of such media corrupting our youth, we see teens using the tools of social media to re-fashion themselves sexually; that is, to rehearse and finally enter adulthood.