Sunday, June 1, 2008
Negative teenage stereotypes
I'm sure that most people in our media class has been a victim to some sort of stereotype put on you by adults. Adults tend to think teenagers are; alcoholics and drug abusers, criminals, bludgers, lazy, complaining and aggressive, but no one ever tells us why we're seen this way. The stereotypes on teens are getting so bad, that a 1994 edition of Extra! Magazine says "Today's media portrayals of teens employ the same stereotypes once openly applied to unpopular racial and ethnic groups: violent, reckless, hypersexed, welfare-draining, obnoxious, ignorant."
So, if American and Canadians put so much stress on preventing racism, why do they turn around and stereotype people due to age? Isn't that the same thing?
Teenagers aren't the problem, ignorance is. The San Francisco Chronicle polled adults on how much crime they believe is caused by youth, in the end, the people blamed youth for 43% of violent crimes, yet FBI statistics show youths responsible for only 13% of violent crime, much less than the people surveyed thought. The worst part about this though, is the fact that 65 percent of the people polled said they get their perception of crime from The Media. So isn't it nice to know that all youth are being seen as criminals, or violent? The Chronicle also states "In reality, crime data show youth are much more likely to be victims than perpetrators. For every violent or sexual offense committed by a youth under 18 years of age, there are three such crimes committed against a youth by adults."
So who is really to blame for all the crime in the world?
Here are 2 videos showing a policeman in Hot Springs Arkansas violently attacking teenage boys, and a teenage girl, just for skateboarding.
And what became of all of this? The cop was cleared of ALL charges put against him, and the skateboarders had to appear in court.
As one boy quotes in the video "There's people out there robbing stores and selling drugs, and we're getting arrested for riding pieces of wood down the street." How do these people think they can justify attempting to choke a young boy and a young girl?
Another stereotype put on teens is that apparently we're all sexually driven, and all the girls are getting pregnant due to teenagers having too much sex. So if this is true, why does Extra! magazine report 71% of teenage mothers, have partners over the age of 20? In fact, men over 20 cause 5 times more pregnancies in junior-high girls than junior-high boys do, and 2.5 times more pregnancies in high school girls than high school boys do. Who's to blame for all of this? "Even though many more pregnancies among teenage females are caused by men older than 25 than by boys under 18, media reports and pictures depict only high schoolers. By their choice of terms and images, the media blame the young and female while giving the adult and male a break."
Would it surprise you to know that the number one worry of teenagers is getting a good job, and the number one expectation is completing their education. Teens are also proven to hold jobs better than adults, 58% of teens hold their jobs, and 69% of teens regularly work around the house.
So, it really makes you wonder doesn't it? how bad can teenagers really be? I'm not saying all teenagers are nice people, but you can't find a single demographic of nice people. Focus your attention on something worthwhile, rather than expressing so much hate to the future leaders of the world.