The LG/LB Dynamic by Andrea Krakan

12Dec11

As we enter a new school year, we are quickly being exposed to new and emerging trends/issues coming from the youth we are engaging with. One trend that we were already aware of, and something that has been prevalent for a few years now, is the extremely concerning LG issue. 

As explained in a previous blog entry written by former facilitator, Amar Ghelani (https://childrenofthestreet.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/lg-parties-and-the-seeds-of-exploitation/), the term LG (Little Girl) is a label used by teenagers to stereotype young women (between the ages of 11-15) for wearing revealing clothing or perceived promiscuity. We have also heard of the term LB (Little Boy), a label given to young men (ages 11-15) who are also vulnerable. The second part of this equation is the LG Hunters- older youth who are targeting younger LG’s/LB’s to pressure them to exchange a sexual act with them. The exchange could be tangible, such as drugs or alcohol, but it could also be intangible, such as popularity or physical validation. Through conversations we have had with youth, we as facilitators have drawn a couple of conclusions about what is going on, and why this is a much bigger problem than we may think.

 The first point we gathered, is that there is a huge power imbalance in this dynamic. These very young girls and boys are being targeted by much older youth (typically gr.11 and 12’s), which tells us that by there simply being an age gap, these young individuals are extremely influenced by their older counterparts. Instead of being mature, responsible role models, it seems that these older youth are reinforcing this “LG” behaviour by not only encouraging these young girls to dress and act a certain way, but further creating demand by engaging in sexual activity with them. We feel that because these young girls and boys are so vulnerable and inexperienced in the high school dynamic, they don’t even realize they are being exploited and unfortunately made fun of.

The second point we have gathered, is that there is limited empathy coming from our students. This feeling comes to us mainly from the older girls. When we asked a group of older girls why there is a lack of respect for these young girls, we are often told they disrespect them because, “it’s not our fault they dress like that and hook up with our boyfriends”.

When we present our workshops, we engage students in the idea that sexual exploitation is everyone’s issue, not just those who are involved. Similarly, the LG/LB dynamic is also everyone’s issue.  We are now encouraging youth of all ages to see this for what it is: 

Exploitation in our elementary and high schools. By comparing the LG dynamic to the sex trade, we believe we are opening their eyes to a much bigger problem. The sex trade would not exist if there wasn’t a demand for it- LG/LB’s wouldn’t exist if there wasn’t a demand for them. We seek to inspire youth to become respectful, compassionate and encouraging role models for these young people. We are asking them to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, maybe if they modeled how to act and behave, LG/LB’s wouldn’t exist. Rather, there would be the development of mature and responsible young adults. We feel that by taking the word LG and projecting it to a bigger issue like the sex trade, we are showing students that the repercussions of their predatory behaviour can lead to a much more serious problem. We ask them, “what do we call a 35 year old man who is interested in 13 year olds?” They typically respond with, “pedophile”. So we ask them, “What happens when these young men, these LG hunters who are actively seeking out these young girls, get older and become the 35 year old who is still interested in little girls? Or even if they aren’t attracted to LG’s but they build a pattern of behaviour that is exploitive towards women?” Then we see the concern in their eyes.

When we tackle issues such as the LG dynamic, we are never blaming our youth for what they are doing or what is happening to them. We seek to draw out the issue and highlight how it reflects something much larger. It is everyone’s problem, therefore we all have to be part of the solution. We are all vulnerable at some point in time and we have to recognize these vulnerabilities in each other and choose not to prey on them. It’s time to use our power in the right way to encourage others to be the best that they can be. Our students have just as much power as we do to create change and fuel the positive energy that is needed with an issue as serious and concerning as the LG/LB dynamic.



One Response to “The LG/LB Dynamic by Andrea Krakan”

  1. 1 Richard Haines

    The simple solution would be to encourage all schools to adopt school uniforms.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: