Movies, Moms, and Norms for Teenagers
MARIA AND DAVE were waiting in the food court of a large cinema complex. The film they had come to see was not set to start for another twenty minutes, so they were sipping sodas at one of the small tables near the door. Usually the theatre was packed with young teens and tweens waiting to see the latest hit film. Today was a bit different because mixed i n with the young people were a good number of adults. Maria said she thought most of them were coming to see a new R-rated film about young lovers. Maria had read about the new film in a newspaper. The review she read said the film was fairly raunchy and had a lot of gratuitous sex, but because the actors were popular with the 12-to-15 year-old crowd, this group of kids was clearly the target audience. None of the kids was old enough to be admitted without an adult, so they had obviously persuaded a good number of moms to accompany them to the film.
Maria told Dave she wasn’t sure how she felt about it. On the one hand, she was depressed that so many mothers agreed to accompany their daughters and sons to see such a film. Even worse, a number of moms had brought their much younger daughters, some of whom could not have been 10 years old. She also thought it was interesting so few dads were part of the group and she wondered what that was all about. Asking one’s mom to go to a film like this was awkward for a son or daughter, but maybe it was easier for the girls. Maybe the dads were at work and maybe they just weren’t around very much. Maybe physical distance in the movie theatre made it easier to see this type of film with your mother. Maria imagined