Our Movie Made Children

By Henry James Forman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
SEX-DELINQUENCY AND CRIME

TRUANCY used to be a simple thing. A boy stayed away from school to go fishing or swimming, and he was a reprehensible person and he was duly punished for it. Girls played truant but seldom and offered few problems. Then appeared various new elements including the movies--and new temptations in the field of conflict with a sense of duty, the acquisition of which plays so large a part in the education of all of us. "It is apparent beyond a slight statistical chance," observe Thrasher and Cressey, "that delinquents and truants tend more often to go excessively to the movies." Having provided our young with an elaborate and expensive school system, we have proceeded to supply them with new temptations to lure them and tempt them from the paths we wish them to follow. Today it is the girls who play truant most frequently, and generally the temptation is strengthened in the movies. Many of them find this lure quite irresistible. A number of those investigated by Blumer and Hauser give an account somewhat like this:

"One reason I went away from school was I enjoyed movies better than school. I got money from my parents for lunch so instead of going to school, I made some excuse and went to the movies." Another, a girl of fourteen, explains her troubles--

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