Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Youth Culture Update 12.06.2010

Welcome to the ProYouthWorker culture news update for the week of December 6, 2010.  There are many things affecting today’s teens.  This is your opportunity to spend a few moments think about the most prevalent.  (At least in my opinion). 

This week introduced us to a new term being thrown around in the complex sexually identity debates being faced by young people.  The term is “Flexisexulaity” and it refers to the way young people, particularly teen girls are experimenting with homosexuality.  The trend in the news is to pinpoint where this all started, but I think that it reflects a reality that has been happening for years.  It is just now experts have a label to use in describing it.  The problem with this experimentation phenomenon is that it puts an overemphasis on young people to identify themselves primarily in terms of sexuality instead of having a more holistic view of themselves. 

In the entertainment circles MTV announced that it is resurrecting their show called “True Life” in which they will address the “intimate and personal moments that compromise the lives of today’s youth culture”.  If you are a fan of MTV or not it is hard to argue the fact that they are closer to understanding youth culture than many others.  So what are the things that young people are struggling with at the end of 2010?  The topics range from sexual intimacy and obsession issues to how to nurture their paranormal talents.  Are these topics are on the minds of the young people you know?

Another reflection of youth culture came to light on the show “teen mom” in which there were several scenes of violence in the dating relationships of the shows stars.  According to a 2009 study on youth risk behavior as many as 1 out of 6 teens have experienced abuse in their relationships.  The article posted on this week says that the solution to this problem is early intervention.  What do you think?  Should we bring up the topic of abusive dating relationships into the elementary schools?

Teen Dating Violence

All of these reports may want lead some parents to keep their kids grounded until they turn 20, but seeing as that is impractical, how should parents assess what risks their kids are facing and what they are not.  What are the real dangers that the young people are facing in today’s culture.  A fascinating article on the New York Times this week helps parents assess what the real risks may be.  The article cited a survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention that listed that the 5 greatest dangers that today’s teens face are “car accidents, homicide (usually at the hands of someone they know), child abuse, suicide or drowning.” While a Mayo Clinic survey claims the greatest worries faced by parents concerning their teens are “Kidnapping, school snipers, terrorists, dangerous strangers and drugs.”  Are parents bad at risk assessment or do they simply need a window into the world of youth culture? 

I think being informed can never be a bad thing.  Be it for youth workers, parents and guardians, teachers and counselors to the young people themselves.  I am the proyouthworker and I present this information for just that reason.  I want to see youth survive and youth workers thrive.  

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