Imagine if switching sexes was as matter- of-fact as getting your tooth pulled.

The way things are rapidly moving, it could happen soon. “I think over time people will change their gender because people are not happy with who they are,” says Daniela Brea, 15, who goes to the Edward M. Kennedy Academy for Health Careers. Already, people these days go shopping for new body parts so often, adding bigger breasts or removing male genitalia, that it’s getting harder to tell who is really whom. As with many cultural advances, TV shows are pointing the way. In “Orange Is the New Black,” a man changes himself into a woman because he did not like the way he was. He goes to prison because he committed credit card fraud to fi   the switch. Medical advances are already making it more possible for couples to try to choose the gender of their babies. Quicker sex- change switches than are happening today could be next. “It will be easier for people to change their gender because of the new technology,” says Alejandra Merino, 15, from Charlestown High School. This summer, former male model Andrej Pejic acknowledged undergoing sex reassignment surgery. She emerged as a female model named Andreja Pejic. She told People magazine that she had female feelings as a child but suppressed them under family pressure. Those types of restrictions are loosening quickly. “In the US,” says Jaime Soto, 17, from EMK, “people change their sex more because people have more freedom to do whatever they want.”
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Eliany Flores, 16, from Brighton High School, knows how it feels to be a victim of social media attacks. Flores says people claimed many false things about her and put her reputation to the floor. “Although I knew I didn’t do anything wrong, being talked about so bad and reading their words somehow made me feel like I did,” she says. “It really makes you feel hopeless and like nobody would ever like you again.” Many teens use social media to communicate and share things with their friends. Then there are those who use it as a weapon. “Honestly, I don’t care,” says a Madison Park High School junior who admitted launching barrages on social media and who refused to be identified. “If you do something wrong or send a picture to someone, stuff like that happens. It’s pretty obvious you shouldn’t trust everyone.” According to bullying statistics.org, about 58 percent of youth have reported that something nasty has been said to them -- or about them -- online, and some 35 percent have been threatened online. Selina Sorto, 16, from Boston Community Leadership Academy, believes that both sides can be at fault. “It’s immature if you really think about it,” she says of the social media assaults, “but then again, people nowadays crave too much attention and sometimes that’s the ugly outcome.”
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Jerrelynn Perez, 15, has a problem with people who post fighting onto Worldstarhiphop.com. “They’re just as bad as the people fighting because they’re not stopping it,” says Perez, who goes to the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science.

Some teens believe that by posting fighting videos they will become famous.

“They just want be relevant like everyone else,” says Perez WorldStar was originally used to provide people with the hottest topics in urban media and music videos.

As time went on, the site also featured brutal fighting  videos. Crisdalis Matos, 15, is aware of the dangers of WorldStar. “Everybody copies what they see on the fighting  videos,”says Matos, from Roxbury.

In one video that went viral, one girl kicks another in the face over a boy. She later worries when she reports that the police came knocking on her door. Teens say that’s the part that many forget when they’re glorifying the videos. “Teens think they gain respect from the fighting says Jennifer Flores, 15, from Madison Park High School.
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Kripa Thapa, 17, from West Roxbury Academy, understands the hazards of meeting people in cyberspace.

“I believe that catfishing  can be dangerous,” says Thapa, “so before I would go out with someone that I would meet through online, first I would FaceTime them in order to make sure that they are not fake.” The Urban Dictionary defines catfishing – made famous by a documentary and TV show -- as: “The phenomenon of internet predators that fabricate online identities and entire social circles to trick people into emotional/romantic relationships (over a long period of time).” Eighteen-year-old Nedjie Thompson says she has never made new friends from online meetings. “I have met or seen all the friends that I have on Facebook before, and sometimes they are friends of friends,” says Thompson, who attends the John D. O’Bryant School of Math & Science. “I think it is very dangerous to meet someone online. You can never be sure that they are telling the truth about their life or what they look like.” Morelia Morales, 18, takes security measures with her online acquaintances. “If I would go out with someone that I did not know well, I would meet them in a place where there are a lot of people,” says Morales, who lives in Jamaica Plain. “In this way, it will never be dangerous.”
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In the battle of their favorite beaches -- Revere vs. Carson -- teens interviewed say they would rather go to Revere.

For 16-year-old Dnasia Lee, of English High School, Revere is way cleaner than Carson. Lashonda Cottrell, 15, from West Roxbury Academy, says she dislikes the jellyfish at Carson. “Stepping on them, they’re all squishy and stuff,” she says. “It’s nasty.” Chris Harris, 17, who goes to school in Jamaica Plain, says he also prefers Revere but ends up going to Carson. It’s closer to home, Harris says.
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