A history of corrupting children

(via Joystiq)

Wired magazine has a fun and funny article about some of the things in history which were considered a corrupting influence on children before adults had videogames to blame.  Of course, we all know before videogames, it was Rock and Roll corrupting children, but did you know that the telephone, the waltz, and novels were also considered bad for children?

The Waltz
“The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced … at the English Court on Friday last … It is quite sufficient to cast one’s eyes on the voluptuous inter­twining of the limbs, and close com­pressure of the bodies … to see that it is far indeed removed from the modest reserve which has hitherto been considered distinctive of English females. So long as this obscene display was con­fined to prostitutes and adulteresses, we did not think it deserving of notice; but now that it is … forced on the respectable classes of society by the evil example of their superiors, we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion.”
– The Times of London, 1816

The Telephone
“Does the telephone make men more active or more lazy? Does [it] break up home life and the old practice of visiting friends?”
– Survey conducted by the Knights of Columbus Adult Education Committee, San Francisco Bay Area, 1926

Some of the major bad-things of the past are covered in the full article.

[tags]Corrupting influences, Think of the children[/tags]