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Rumspringa: Amish Teens Venture into Modern Vices

Jun 7, 2006 (Talk of the Nation)

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When Amish children turn 16, the rules change. They're encouraged to experiment and explore. The idea is that teens will come back to the church after tasting the modern world. For most, this means a tentative foray — a trip to the local movie theater, or driving lessons. But for some, the experience, called rumspringa, is all about sex, parties and fast cars.

Tom Shachtman's new book Rumspringa: To Be or Not To Be Amish had its beginnings in the research done for the documentary film Devil's Playground. Shachtman talks about how rumspringa works and what parents can learn from the Amish practice.

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