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Scott Fitzgerald warned that “none of the Victorian mothers . The 1922 edition contained a chapter on “The Chaperon and Other Conventions”; by 1927 it had been retitled “The Vanishing Chaperone and Other New Conventions”; and by 1937, “The Vanished Chaperone and Other Lost Conventions.” That certain conventions had disappeared did not mean that courtship had devolved into a free-for-all.
Rather, having been brought together in schools, young people were developing their own codes. Read More: The Invention of Teenagers: LIFE and the Triumph of Youth Culture In 1925, Benjamin Lindsey attempted to explain the changes in attitude that he saw taking place.
“This does not mean that every girl lets hugged and kissed.” Lindsey concluded that by the end of high school, 15 to 25 percent of those “who begin with the hugging and kissing eventually ‘go the limit.’” The rate among boys was roughly the same as it had been in the late nineteenth century.
By the mid-1930s, 80 percent of women in professional families and nearly 70 percent of women in managerial families read at least one book on child rearing every year. Fathers, too, began buying these books and attending events like teacher conferences. They sent their children to school longer and allowed them a great deal more leisure than they themselves had enjoyed.A judge from Denver, Lindsey had spent decades working in the juvenile justice system.Many of the cases that he describes in start with a date gone awry.In the relatively sheltered atmosphere that the school provided, students were willing to take the kinds of risks that only Charity Girls had ventured in dive bars or on boardwalks.When students left for college, they moved into the world of peers and immersed themselves in their rituals full-time.However, the real revelation was that school, in itself, constituted a kind of sex education.The ways the boys and girls dating culture that they developed after class, became a key part of what they went there to learn.Even if they refused to go “all the way,” “nice girls” were no longer insulted by being asked.In light of these facts, Lindsey argued that it was imperative that parents and educators discard their “wet dishrag morality” and speak openly with children.Ironically, the more they gave their children, the less influence they exerted over them. As young people started spending less time with their families and more time with one another, they created their own culture.Petting was part of it, and helped prepare kids for a world that was changing faster than their parents could keep up with. By the 1920s, more than three-quarters of American teens attended.