this is a great article on a variety of myths about adolescence, including:
– the myth that teenagers are more sexually active than ever, and at younger ages
– the myth that all teenagers are more highly stressed by their schedules than ever
– the myth that boys are falling behind in school
it focuses on the first of those myths (“teens are, in truth, having sex less and later than they did a decade or two ago”). here’s a snippet (but it’s a short article, and you should click through and read the whole thing):
In each of these examples, real problems – that some girls are engaging in too-young, risky and degrading sex, that some children are being stressed excessively and stifled by nonstop structure, that some boys (poor and minority boys) are doing badly in school, that some children are getting really reckless mental health services – are grossly simplified and, via the magical thinking of dogma and ideology, are elevated to the level of myth. Real complexities and nuances – details concerning exactly which children are suffering, flailing or failing, and in what numbers, and how and why, and what we can do about it – are lost.
we youth workers have perpetuated many of these myths, i think, in part, because it justifies our existence. this article is cause for pause, i think.
do you think there are other myths we perpetuate?
(ht to ypulse)