Remember Seventeen magazine?

At a recent parent workshop, I brought up how important it is to know what our teens are reading, listening to, and watching.  I commented that top-selling Seventeen Magazine isn’t the same as when WE read it as teens.  A woman in the audience who is raising a 15-year old granddaughter said, “Oh no…I just bought a 3-year subscription!”  I suggested these possible courses of action:  1) cancel the subscription, explain why, and promise a subscription to a less sex-saturated publication; 2) discuss with her teen the articles in the magazine that promoted or assumed sexual activity between teens; or 3) preview and remove the offending articles.  A middle school  teacher’s review of Seventeen on Epinions shows why Seventeen needs a second look.

It’s too bad for me that I didn’t read the reviews before I subscribed to this magazine for my classroom. Most magazines today use sex to sell but I didn’t think it would filter into such a well-known publication that has for years been read and loved by teens; but it has. In fact, this magazine has so many sex related articles that I have yanked it from my rack and toss it away monthly….That’s too bad too, because some of the material in the magazine is just what it should be, fashion and light articles that teen girls like to read. When the boys in class seemed to be the first to grab and read it I should have been clued in but it wasn’t until one of my more responsible students brought up the copy about blow jobs (not even called felatio) and said they didn’t think this magazine was a very good one for them to be able to read, that I began checking it out and decided that it probably wasn’t a good magazine for them to be reading or for me to be subscribing to. Since its title is, “Seventeen,” I assumed that it would be appropriate for girls in the teen range. It used to be one of the publications that the school library carried. I have since checked with my librarian and she said she stopped subscriptions to it last year.