I think I've finally gotten to the bottom (so to speak) of the low pants fad. Recently, a friend who grew up in (and still lives in) a section of Lancaster I call "The Ward" and he calls "The Hood," and who has known a variety of rough characters in his day, explained to me what it's all about. Allegedly, when a prisoner originally wore his pants slung low, he was advertising to other prisoners that he was available for sexual relations. In the parlance of my friend, the prisoner is saying he is willing to be another man's "b----." He even said he had to explain this to his son, who was starting to engage in the practice. When I asked why so many young men follow the fad, he said it's because they misinterpreted the message. "They saw these guys wearing their pants low and thought it was cool," he told me. I didn't accept the explanation immediately as fact, so I did some research, and this is what I found . . .
The practice is called "sagging," and it is indeed a means of advertising one's availability for - shall we say - certain interpersonal interactions. Click HERE and HERE for more info.
Apparently, new prisoners routinely have their belts removed, because they can be used as weapons or to hang oneself. But unless you wear your pants several sizes too big, they will NOT fall below your buttocks unless you deliberately pull them down to that level FOR A SPECIFIC REASON. In a way, sagging is similar to the "rump display" that some animals in the wild use to initiate sex. So, it all begins to make sense. The low pants display sends an unmistakable message.
I'm not making any moral judgments about anyone's lifestyle, but I do wonder how many of the low pants faddists I see waddling around town with their pants under the buttocks really understand the message they're conveying. The lesson to be learned is this: If you're going to advertise, make sure you know what you're selling.