American Hysteria is a podcast exploring our moral panics, urban legends, and conspiracy theories, how they shape our psychology and culture, and why we end up believing them. Host Chelsey Weber-Smith explores the sometimes hilarious, sometimes distressing stories of modern and historical American freak-outs, why we fear the wrong things, and what these bizarre panics might be covering up.
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United States
16 episodes
since Nov, 2018


8: Teenage Sex

In 1996, Scream taught American teenagers the first rule to surviving a horror movie. Never, ever have sex. Classic slasher movies have their roots in an urban legend we all heard growing up: a guy and a girl are parked on a deserted lover’s lane making out while a hook-handed killer is on the loose. The 2000s gave us urban legends about dangerous teen sex games, Rainbow parties and sex bracelets, as well as bans on high school dances over grinding and twerking, and with the recent outrage over teen sexting, it seems that kids these days are out of control. But since the invention of the American teenager, rumor and outrage has swirled around this reckless developmental stage. Through looking at the start of teenage culture in the 1920s, when risqué dance trends and controversial make-out parties scandalized the nation, we’ll find the roots of these modern moral panics, and see how our battles around sex education have left them in an uneducated limbo, creating suburban legends to make sense of their parents’ utter horror at their private lives. This episode is sponsored by Daily Harvest, the superfood subscription service. Head to daily-harvest.com and use our promo code American to get three cups free in your first box. American Hysteria is written and produced by Chelsey Weber-Smith Assistant produced by Derrick Smith Produced and edited by Clear Commo Studios Voice acting by Will Rogers and Lily Orrey Show art by Roache Subscribe now at skylarkmedia.com/podcasts/americanhysteria Follow American Hysteria on social media: 
Twitter: @AmerHysteria
 Instagram: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
 Facebook: @AmericanHysteriaPodcast
Disclaimer: The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Skylark Media, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.


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