September 06, 2005


Alkie see. Alkie do. This month's issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine detailed a shocking (entertaining) study in which children of smokers and drinkers, when given play money to accessorize Barbie's social evening, purchased cigarettes and booze for America's littlest debutante.

Said some of the children during the Barbie shopping spree:

"Honey, have some smokes. Do you like smokes? I like smokes." (Six year old boy)

"I need this for my man. A man needs cigarettes." (Four year old girl)

"Bitch, I gots to get crunk! Ken, we gonna do it freak nasty. Gonna make you scream Ken! Where they keep the Pall Malls?" (Thirty year old gay man)

The study shows overwhelming evidence that children of smokers and boozers mimic such irresponsible behavior. The children were led in a standardized play time in which each child, pretending to be Barbie or Ken, shopped for a visiting houseguest. The pretend store was stocked with boring items ranging from meat, fruit and soda to fabulous cigarettes, beer and wine. Unfortunately, handguns and scratch-off tickets were not available for purchase. The children of alkies boozed it up just like dear old mom and dad.

28% of the kids bought cigarettes. 61% of the kids bought liquor. Children of smokers were four times a likely to buy cigarettes and children of drinkers were three times as likely to buy alcohol.

None of the children portraying Barbie commented on their jealousy of Skipper. Although a small percentage of children playing Ken thought she is kind of hot, but annoying.

Another funny fact was the kids who watch adult-content movies were five times as likely to buy alcohol, but the researchers didn't find a significant link between cinema and smoking.

After a relaxing cocktail hour, the researchers hid some of the parents behind one way mirrors to watch the children shop. The parents were understandably shocked as their tipsy toddlers purchased liquor and cigarettes. I'm sure more than a few parents expressed concern as their little boys chose to shop as Barbie instead of Ken.

Also expressing concern were the parents of Nameesha Washington, age 4. Madeline Dalton, the study co-author, confirmed the children were of mostly white families. Sadly, when little Nameesha wished to shop as Black Barbie, she was told to operate the cash register.

You can find the further details of this interesting study here.

1 comment:

Foxy said...

You did not lie. Black Barbie does look fabulous in that picture.