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New World Notes - Puberty Rites

04/16/2013 12:00 pm
04/16/2013 12:30 pm


This week on New World Notes: radio program #267, April 16, 2013, from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., host Kenneth Dowst tackles an intimate issue.

Our culture lacks--and much needs--puberty rites for adolescents, such as civilized societies have. These ceremonies teach kids adult roles, reinforce community values, celebrate sexuality, define the licit and illicit, increase social cohesion, help teens through a difficult period, justify a big party, honor the gods, etc.

I'll describe the rites of Ghana's Ashanti people, play a 1958 health-class movie for girls, and discuss why puberty rites won't soon be coming to the U.S.

This installment was originally broadcast in September 2008.

Listener advisory: Adult themes.

The program includes 2 songs of comic satire: Tom Lehrer, "Be Prepared!" and Roy Zimmerman, "Nothing But the Best [For Our Little Girl]." The movie played is Molly Grows Up (1958).

The photo the program describes, of Ashanti puberty rites, can be seen at our Web site. The complete text of the article on these rites is at Ghana's Web site.

New World Notes is produced under the auspices (Latin for "considerable embarrassment") of WWUH-FM, a community service of the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both A-Infos Radio Project and (from #90 onwards) the Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chronological listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page; each page has links to the recorded audio; and a handy table of contents will quickly find the installment you want.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want--and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Catch New World Notes (all times Eastern):

Tuesdays, Noon to 12:30 PM, WWUH FM 91.3 (West Hartford, CT)

Tuesdays, Noon to 12:30 PM, WAPJ FM 89.9 and 105.1 (Torrington, CT)

Saturdays, 1:00-1:30 PM, KRFP FM 92.5, Radio Free Moscow (Moscow, ID) 

Saturdays, 5:00 to 5:30 PM, WHUS FM 91.7 (Storrs, CT) &

Any time: Listen to or download any installment. Just go to New World Notes and click a link to the audio at the top of the page. (Every installment has a page on the Web site, and every page has links to the audio.)