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.”
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.
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.”