The Valley Tribune

The Valley Tribune

The Disconcerting Effects of Dirty Dancing at Prom

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It’s no secret that Prom is a huge event for many people in high school. From the cheesy ways to pick up a date to the time it takes to look as good as possible on the day of, Prom is an important rite of passage for many teenagers. However, nowadays, too many young adults are taking things way too far in terms of sexuality. The dresses are getting more revealing, the drinks are getting spiked, and the dancing has become too vulgar for regular viewing. How is this really affecting the youth of America? Besides being a disappointment to their parents, teenagers are actually undergoing many different psychological affects from oversexualized activity.




Studies from the American Psychological Institution, a very trusted source as many would agree, suggest that the oversexualisation of society is linked to mental health problems in girls, like depression, bulimia, anorexia, and low self-esteem, for reasons that should be obvious to everyone. Sexualizaton causes a social standard to be set that no one- besides Victoria’s Secret models who establish them- can live up to. No one is perfect no matter how many guys argue for it. Girls and even many guys feel as if they are fighting a losing battle against perfection. According to the Institution, sexualisation can be defined as when a person is defined by their sexual or physical attributes and not their behavior or their personality. When dirty dancing occurs at Prom, this influences even those who aren’t participating.

“Cognitive and Emotional Consequences: Sexualization and objectification undermine a person’s confidence in and comfort with her own body, leading to emotional and self-image problems, such as shame and anxiety.

Mental and Physical Health: Research links sexualization with three of the most common mental health problems diagnosed in girls and women–eating disorders, low self-esteem, and depression or depressed mood.

Sexual Development: Research suggests that the sexualization of girls has negative consequences on girls’ ability to develop a healthy sexual self-image.”

It should now be clear that Prom and dirty dancing can have serious affects on mental health and should be avoided, but it also affects everyone else.

Jacob Vega, a sophomore at Spring Valley High School, commented on the matter.

“It makes me a little uncomfortable, but at the same time, you’re going to see that everywhere. You’re going to have to get used to it.” This is one way to approach the subject, but there are more valid opinions.

Destiny Smith, a sophomore at Spring Valley High School, made the following statement. “It’s raunchy because I think you should not be doing stuff like that infront of other people; and you should respect the people around you.”

The fact is, Destiny is absolutely right. Put yourself in the shoes of a parent of a teenager going to Prom. It’s difficult to imagine if you are short-sighted or do not want kids, but here’s the picture:

Your seventeen year old little girl has finally gotten a date to Prom; she is ecstatic! She picks out a modest dress (much to your liking)  to match her date’s suit. Naturally, as any good parent would, you do a little snooping and get a full background check of the guy your daughter is about to be alone with for several hours, and find out that he seems to be a generally good young man. So, you trust the pair and send them into the plaza to have a good time. Two hours later, because you have raised your child to be better than oversexualized scum, and she has been exposed to such horrid and vulgar things, she is in tears. All of your hard work to raise your child right has gone down the drain, and the ball is rolling downhill from there.

Only time will tell, will your daughter be alright and suffer only minor memory scarring, or will she follow the path of oversexualization in young women?

Everyone knows that Prom isn’t just about the dancing. It’s what happens after Prom that does real damage. Many teens think that abstinence should be a thing of the past; prudish slang coming from the baby boomer generation that just goes to show that the older generation can’t have a good time. It’s not all about the sex or the partying, Prom should be about a coming of age, an introduction into the world of dating and into the world of formal social gatherings. Not all pleasure and fun comes from sexual relations and drugs and alcohol, and many people read such things and completely ignore the warning.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the teen birthrate in the United States was 13.5 births for every 1,000 teens in 2009.”

Says Health Communities.


A chart showing the rates of sex prior to marriage in different age groups. .”

The bottom line is that public vulgarity- especially at Prom- Is disrespectful and unacceptable. It takes away the parent’s choice to filter what their teens should be exposed to. I propose that anyone engaging in such disorderly conduct should be immediately removed from the event and banned from re-entering; and it is the responsibility of the chaperones who are allowing this to go on to stop it. Teens only do what they are allowed to- if there were rules against injustice, it would not happen.

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The Disconcerting Effects of Dirty Dancing at Prom