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The Adolescent in Society

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1 The Adolescent in Society
Chapter 6

2 Introduction Adolescents are people caught between two worlds.
They are no longer children, yet they are not adults in the eyes of society. Adolescence is the period between the normal onset of puberty and the beginning of adulthood.

3 Introduction Puberty is the physical maturing that makes an individual capable of sexual reproduction. Adolescence as a distinct life stage is the creation of modern industrial society, it is not a universal phenomenon. Adolescence simply does not exist as a concept in many parts of the world

4 Introduction In American society, adolescence is generally considered to run from ages 12 to 19. Puberty and acceptance into the adult world occur at different times for different people.

5 The Concept of Adolescence
In many preindustrial societies, young people go directly from childhood to adulthood once they have taken part in formal ceremonies known as puberty rites around ages 13 or 14. Common rites include; Demonstrations of strength or endurance Filing of teeth Tattooing or scarring of the skin

6 The Concept of Adolescence
In the U.S., the stage of adolescence did not occur prior to the Civil War. The adolescent experience has become an acknowledged stage of development in industrialized countries in only the past century.

7 The Concept of Adolescence
There are 3 factors that are important in the development of adolescence as a distinct life stage Education-State laws make education mandatory up until age 16; most people stay in school until 18. Most people who attend college stay in school until their early 20s.

8 The Concept of Adolescence
Education extends adolescence because many students depend on others for their financial support. While in school, most students do not take on the other roles of adulthood, such as spouse, parent, and provider.

9 The Concept of Adolescence
The 2nd factor is exclusion of youth from the workforce. In most states, child-labor laws prevent people from working until age 16. When they do start working, most young people lack the training to compete for all but the most routine jobs.

10 The Concept of Adolescence
The third factor is the development of the juvenile-justice system. By distinguishing between juvenile and adult offenders, American society has created a separate legal status for young people.

11 Characteristics of Adolescence
The experiences of adolescence are not the same for everyone. Economic status, family composition, and place of residence can affect life during adolescence. Similarly, race, ethnicity, religion, and cultural heritage can make a difference in the kinds of adolescent experiences a person has. There are, however, five characteristics that generally apply to all adolescents.

12 Biological Growth and Development
Puberty is the one aspect of adolescence that is found in every society. Puberty is universal because it is biological rather than cultural in origin. The brain and the endocrine system control biological development.

13 Biological Growth and Development
During adolescence, individuals often undergo spurts of growth in height and weight as well as body proportion. In addition, they experience the development of primary and secondary sexual characteristics. According to the AAD, almost all young people develop some form of acne and 40% have it so severe that they seek medical treatment

14 Undefined Status Our society’s expectations for children are quite clear. The expectations for adults are also known. The adolescent expectations are often vague, however Ex. Marriage at 16 w/consent and voting at 18 While some adults treat adolescents as children, others treat them as adults.

15 Undefined Status It is often difficult for adolescents to define their status. Ex. Many U.S. states allow young people to marry (age 16 with consent), however, you must be 18 to legally vote. Some adults have adopted some of the values and styles of dress that are popular among teenagers while others are critical of the way adolescents dress, the music they listen to, and the way they behave.

16 Increased Decision Making
Young children have most of their decisions made for them by adults. When children reach adolescence, they must make many of their own decisions. Some of these decisions are of little life-long importance. Other decisions have far-reaching consequences.

17 Increased Pressure Adolescents are faced with pressure from many sources. (ex. Parents want students to have an active social life, but they generally make the rules regarding curfews.) Adolescents must strike a balance between parental wishes and peer pressures.

18 Increased Pressure Perhaps the greatest pressures come from peers.
Teenagers want to be accepted by their peers and to be part of the “in” group. Adolescents also face pressure to establish relationships. Adolescents also face job-related pressures.

19 The Search for Self Adolescents are mature enough to think about themselves and about what they want out of life. Most teens can sort through their values and decide what things are really important to them. When people know who they are, what they want out of life, and which values serve them best, they are in a better position to make the most of adulthood.

20 The Search for Self Preparing for future roles is one aspect of finding oneself. Anticipatory socialization involves learning the rights, and expectations of a role to prepare for assuming that role in the future (ex. Children playing house is a form of anticipatory socialization for adult family roles).

21 The Search for Self During adolescence, anticipatory socialization becomes much more important. A part-time job, club membership, and dating are 3 forms of anticipatory socialization during adolescence.

22 Dating Dating, like adolescence, is not a universal phenomenon.
Dating, or the meeting of people as a romantic engagement, is most commonly found in societies that allow individuals to choose their own marriage partners. In some societies marriages are arranged by parents or a go-between who negotiates a formal marriage contract between families.

23 Dating Dating, although it may seem like it has been around forever, is only a recent phenomenon. Dating did not emerge as a form of social interaction between the sexes until just after World War I. Only in the past 60 years have sociologists taken an interest in dating as a topic of study.

24 Courtship and Dating Prior to the rise of dating in the U.S., interaction between young unmarried men and women was restricted to courtship. Courtship differs from dating in that courtship’s express purpose is eventual marriage. Dating, may eventually lead to marriage. Its main purpose is entertainment and amusement, at least in the early stages.

25 Courtship and Dating Try to view dating on a continuum…
Casual dating Steady dating Engagement Marriage As people move along the continuum, the degree of commitment increases and interaction may stop at any point.

26 Courtship and Dating Courtship continuum- Think of courtship being in between steady dating and engagement. Courtship was not casual and had very strictly defined roles. To court a woman, a man must ask her parents’ permission, show honorable intentions, and have marriage in mind.

27 Courtship and Dating Courtship was usually conducted under close supervision or in a social situation among many people, rarely was a couple left alone. Young people did have fun during this time, but the main purpose was to find a spouse. It is from this strict base that the modern-day system of dating emerged.

28 The Emergence of Dating
The rise of industrialization in the U.S. greatly contributed to the development of dating. In agriculture America, the timing of marriage was determined by the age at which the man acquired the property necessary to support a family. Because the father had to be willing to transfer a portion of the land, parents were largely in control over the marriage choices of their children.

29 The Emergence of Dating
As the Industrial Revolution moved forward, people moved off of farms and into cities. Young adults became less dependent of their parents for economic security because they could get their own jobs. This economic freedom reduced parental control over courtship.

30 The Emergence of Dating
Free public secondary education also helped pave the way for dating. Unlike most private schools, public schools were coeducational. After World War I, more Americans acquired telephones and automobiles, which gave young Americans the freedom of movement.

31 The Emergence of Dating
The 1920s was also a time of increased freedom for women. Interaction between single men and women increased due to more women entering the workforce.

32 Willard Waller Study Conducted a study in the 20s and 30s at Penn St.
Findings… Casual dating had more to do with entertainment and little to do with mate selection. Partners were selected because of popularity, good looks, and nice clothes. Differed from courtship where dependability and honesty were most important

33 Willard Waller Study Dating was almost limited to members of fraternities and sororities (people dated people of similar social rank). Women ranked potential dates according to; fraternity membership, looks, money, clothes, cars, and dancing ability. The object was to be seen with the “right” people. To be seen with a person of lower status could damage an individual’s social standing on campus.

34 The Emergence of Dating
Waller’s study has since been challenged. Character and personality factors are also important in selecting dating partners. Similarities exist between the qualities that an individual looks for in a casual date or marriage partner. Homogamy- The tendency of individuals to marry people who have social characteristics similar to their own.

35 Why Date? Dating is a form of entertainment.
Dating allows young people to simply have fun. Dating is a mechanism for socialization. It teaches individuals about members of the opposite sex and how to behave in social situations as well as role behaviors.

36 Why Date? Dating fulfills certain basic psychological needs.
Conversation, companionship, and understanding. Dating helps individuals attain status. In societies where people choose their own partners, people are judged in part by who they date. Dating someone who someone else wants to date can help raise status. As you get older, spousal selection becomes an important issue.

37 Why Date? All of these functions may not be present at each stage of the dating continuum, or if they are present, they may not carry the same weight. Ex. In casual dating, entertainment and status attainment may be important. However, as the level of commitment increases, socialization and companionship may be of primary concern.

38 Dating Patterns Dating patterns can also be viewed as a continuum.
On one end are traditional dating patterns associated with behavior prior to the 1960s. On the other end are informal patterns that are characteristic of dating today.

39 Traditional Dating Patterns
These patterns can still be found in small towns and rural areas of the country. They are most characteristic of dating during the 1940s and 1950s. Under this pattern, responsibility for arranging the date fell to the man. Contact the intended date, suggest a time and place, select the activity, and pay for expenses.

40 Traditional Dating Patterns
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41 Traditional Dating Patterns
Traditional dates were very ritualized. If you didn’t call by Wednesday to set up a Saturday date, you were rejected. Accepting a date later in the week was evidence that the woman was not the man’s first choice. Dating was so tied to social status that people who did not have dates on prime dating nights were known to hide in their rooms in shame.

42 Traditional Dating Patterns
Dates in the early stages of a relationship were set around activities (movies, sporting events) so attention could be focused elsewhere if the date wasn’t going well. As casual dating progressed, the relationship often developed into one of steady dating.

43 Traditional Dating Patterns
Steady dating carried with it a formal set of expectations and commitments. A visible symbol of commitment was often given by the man to the woman (class ring, varsity jacket, ID bracelet, etc.). Steady dating acted as anticipatory socialization for marriage even though is wasn’t expected that you had to get married.

44 Contemporary Dating Patterns
Dating patterns have changed since the 1960s. Greater opportunity for young men and women to interact with each other informally. No set stages of dating Men and women equally initiate dates. It is acceptable for either partner to pay (not on first date men!)

45 Contemporary Dating Patterns
Relationships today are based much more on friendship and group- than on the couple. Men don’t need “lines” today to give off a favorable, but sometimes false, impression of themselves because most adolescents known one another.

46 Introduction The characteristics of adolescence that mark it as a distinct life stage give rise to pressures and problems not generally found in childhood. Teenagers face important developmental tasks; Carving out identity planning for the future Becoming more independent Developing close relationships

47 Teenage Sexual Behavior
The norms governing sexual behavior vary widely from society to society. In small preindustrial countries, adolescent sexual activity is permitted and in some cases encouraged (seen as prep for marriage). Traditional sexual values in the U.S. are an outgrowth of Puritan and Victorian views of sexual morality.

48 Teenage Sexual Behavior
According to these views, sexual activity should be confined to marriage. Since the 1960s and 1970s, there has been a “sexual revolution” due to; The development of birth control Youth counterculture The feminist movement

49 Teenage Sexual Behavior
Teens can see sexual references in TV shows, displays of intimacy in almost all movies that are not rated “G”, and in many advertisements that use sexuality to sell their products. An unanticipated consequence of these changing norms is the dramatic increase of adolescent sexual behavior.

50 The Rate of Teenage Sexual Activity
From the Center for Disease Control (CDC); Sexual activity among unmarried year old girls %, % Children born to unmarried teen females births/1, births/1,000 The CDC preached abstinence and also birth control during the 1990s. Sexual activity declined, birth control increased, and teen pregnancy decreased.

51 Influences on Early Sexual Activity
Social scientists have developed explanations (mostly economic and subcultural) for why adolescents engage in sexual activity. In general, teens from higher-income two- parent families have lower rates of sexual activity than teens from low-income one-parent families.

52 Influences on Early Sexual Activity
Teens who actively practice their religion tend to hold less-permissive attitudes and are less experienced sexually than some nonreligious teens. Generally, teens whose friends engage in premarital sex are more likely to be sexually active. Early sexual behavior is also associated with other risk-taking behaviors such as drug use and delinquency.

53 Consequences of Early Sexual Activity
According to the CDC, less than 1/3 of teen women who are sexually active use birth-control methods on a regular basis. Negative consequences of teen pregnancy (check handout and know for test). 4 million teens contract sexually transmitted diseases each year.

54 Consequences of Early Sexual Activity
Ages (in 2008) accounted for 8% of all syphilis cases 28% of all gonorrhea cases And nearly 40% of all chlamydia cases

55 Teenage Suicide The rate of suicide among young people in the U.S. has more than doubled in the past three decades. As of 1997, teen suicide happens “once every 2 hours in the U.S., 12 times a day, 84 times a week…well over 4,000 times a year.” Suicide is 3rd only to accidents and homicide as the leading cause of death among people aged 15 to 24.

56 Teenage Suicide Researchers argue that suicide rates among the young would be much higher if certain accidental drownings, drug overdoses, and other similar deaths were taken into consideration. In 1999, the CDC said 8% of students questioned had attempted suicide and 20% said they considered suicide.

57 Teenage Suicide 14% of these students even went as far as to make a suicide plan. As startling as these findings are, it is important to understand that the rate of suicide for people aged is almost twice as high as it is among the young.

58 The Sociological View of Suicide
Sociologists acknowledge that suicide is an act committed by individuals, but they are more interested in the social factors that affect suicide rates. According to the sociological perspective, variations in suicide rates can be understood by studying the structure of society and the experiences of people.

59 The Sociological View of Suicide
Emile Durkheim’s classic study Suicide is still the most comprehensive sociological analysis of suicide to date. Durkheim was interested in why some societies or groups within a society have higher rates of suicide than others. Durkheim found that variations in suicide rates can be explained by the level of social integration in a group or society.

60 The Sociological View of Suicide
Social integration is the degree of attachment people have to social groups or to society as a whole. Durkheim found that people who have high integration of low levels of integration have a high risk of suicide. (ex. Inuit elders who walk into the snowy wild to die when they become a burden to the group)

61 The Sociological View of Suicide
Low integration suicide occurs much more often that high integration suicides. Low levels of integration occur in periods of social disorganization, which result from many factors; Rapid social change Increased geographic mobility War or natural disasters Sudden changes in economic conditions

62 The Sociological View of Suicide
Suicide rates increase during periods of social disorganization because the norms that govern behavior weaken or become less clear. The social bonds that give individuals a sense of group solidarity- such as family ties and religion- tend to weaken during periods of social disorganization. Deprived of clear behavioral guidelines and adequate social support, some people turn to suicide as a last resort.

63 Predictors of Teen Suicide
Alcohol or drug use Triggering events- a specific event or anticipation of a specific event triggers suicide attempt. Age- The risk of suicide increases with age Sex- Females are 3x more likely than males to attempt, males are more likely to succeed. Population density- Under-populated areas have a higher rate of teen suicide

64 Predictors of Teen Suicide
Family relations-The weakening of social bonds increases the likelihood of suicide. Cluster effect- A teenage suicide sometimes results in other suicide attempt.

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