Affected by an awkward but unconquerable irregularity of growth, the older child and the young adolescent feel rather self — conscious. The cliche may be corny, but it does have some truth. The parents are no great help. These age groups are characterized by distinctive qualities which every parent and every teacher recognizes. The direction of the sex urge is not yet definitely determined. But here, following the lead of those uncombed scrawny fellows with their undisguised backstreet accent, they can admit, amidst tears, aggressive screams and burlesquing, that they too want to hold a hand. Their own group code keeps them from expressing their sentimental wants.
On the other hand, they may giggle over a word that almost sounds like a well-known obscenity or sex term. The parents are no great help. Since these youngsters are hard to live with, the adults often show their disappointment. All kinds of speculations and explanations have been published about the Beatle fad. Yet aggression is not tolerated in our society. The frustrations of pre-adolescence and early adolescence are considerable. Yet a happy rebellion. And those mop-headed singers act as if they were pals of the youngsters, partly representing, partly making fun of their clumsiness and their appearance. The solid nucleus consists of girls, 12 to 15 years old, still before or briefly after their first menstruation. Fifty million dollars worth of goods bear their name as this article is written. The self-forgetfulness of the young adorers is similar to sexual abandon. The Beatles give them a legitimate opportunity for both second-hand and direct relief. Beigel, formerly professor in the Dept. Sex becomes a problem. This is an outlet for approval and for defiance. They express their feeling in grouchiness or aggressiveness. In other ways, too, the Beatles provide a safety valve. But here, following the lead of those uncombed scrawny fellows with their undisguised backstreet accent, they can admit, amidst tears, aggressive screams and burlesquing, that they too want to hold a hand. The ages of Beatle fans spread as far down as 9 years and include about 30 per cent boys. And She let Him. For those shaggy-haired idols offer the children identification as well as emotional outlets. Indeed, the mop-style hair-do, adopted in imitation of that of a German female photographer, not only gives them a clownish note, but it also blurs the line between the sexes. For some the performance ends when they faint. Participation in a live performance does even more for them. They are prevented by the social conventions of the adult world from expressing their sexual urges.
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