Brightly coloured jelly bracelets have been around since the 1980’s and used to be worn by the youth of that generation.

However, today in many playgrounds around the country they are now taking on a more sinister nature as they grow in popularity with primary school children. With a new name and meaning; ‘shag bands’ are now mainly worn by ‘tween’ girls.

The game involves a boy or girl chasing and trying to break the rubber band of the wearer. If it snaps, the wearer has to carry out the sexual act represented by the colour.

Experts say it is a worry that young people view this activity as a ‘game’ as it has no connection with the idea that the sexual acts involved usually take place within an exclusive intimate relationship of mutual consent.  A place where there is trust, emotional exchange and some degree of commitment.

Maggie Hamilton, author of What’s Happening to Our Girls? and Generation Next speaker feels that many young girls are performing these sexual acts because of peer pressure and boy’s expectations.

“Many girls are getting involved in a whole range of sexual activities they’re uncomfortable with, simply because they’re afraid of appearing repressed. The pressure teen girls experience around sex isn’t just from boys. Girlfriends can exert a huge influence over what a girl does,” she said.

The meaning of the colours varies, but can include mutual oral sex (‘69’), sex toys, group sex and anal sex, depending on the age of the so called players. UrbanDictionary.com defines the rubber wrist bands as “jelly bracelets” and lists the entire range of sexual favours.

Generally the colours mean yellow for a hug and pink for a kiss, gold for whatever the snapper chooses, purple for a ‘hand/blow job’ and black for sex.

Melinda Tankard-Reist, editor of Getting Real: Challenging the Sexualisation of Girls and Generation Next speaker, said the so-called shag bands set young girls up for “sexual consumption”.

“It’s just setting up girls as service stations for boys,” she said. “This is another example of young women expected to be publicly sexual, to advertise their sexual repertoire. It’s insidious . . . it’s damaging to girls and their worth.”

Joe Tucci of the Australian Childhood Foundation said that early sexualisation was worrying. “All this is selling the idea of sexualisation is a way to negotiate relationships,” he said.

“What’s happened to just playing?”

Writer Helen Splarn. Editor Dr Ramesh Manocha.
Source: The Sunday Mail