Media cliches portray teen drinking as humorous

Glorifying Alcohol in Teen Movies, Criminal Defence Blawg, January 3, 2013

An article that makes many crucial points. The major one is that getting drunk for the teen is a cliche in movies and TV shows that are popular with teens. The idea is that getting drunk is a lark and has few serious consequences. Even a hang-over in these kids of media presentations is a reason to laugh. Many movies and TV shows rely on this cliche to deliver laughs to the audience over the outlandish behavior of the drunken goofy guy or girl.

Certainly the real consequences are left out. The statistics do not lie: 4,700 underage Americans die every year due to drinking. Over 180,000 ER visits every year happen due to alcohol use by minors. Over 20% of underage drinkers have engaged in binge drinking, and 25% of teenagers have driving with a drinking driver.

The key here is that the two clumps of data–the reality about how much and how unsafely teens use alcohol and the glamorization and normalization of teen drinking and drunkenness by the media–are causally linked.