Adolescence, despite its apparent simplicity, in most cases, represents one of the most challenging periods in a person's life, when finalization of the personality and character formation occurs, along with the physical development. Lots of changes occur at this time in adolescent bodies and in their minds. The perception of the world, views, habits, opinions, body, balance of the hormones and relationship – everything changes. All this together has a profound impact on the young in all the areas of their lives, and it is easy to lose the way, choose the wrong path and lose onerself.
Year after year, progress is developing with an increasing speed. The total IQ is increasing rapidly, compared to previous generations. Children are smarter than their parents at the same age, and they grasp the information faster, which is a consequence of human progress and evolution. However, the overall picture is missing a lot of details that one way or another have an impact on the general situation and adolescents’ future development.
Considering the current state of affairs, teenagers will have problems with cultural development in future, caused by the absence of desire for reading books and learning material that requires use of the brain. Modern society does not care about the possible contribution to the cultural development of adolescents. TV shows, music videos, movies are becoming easier and easier, with less and less meaning, and this needs to be changed. All the mentioned gives no positive prospects for the future of teenagers.
Today's generation of adolescents was born in the age of rapid technological progress and development, the age of greater humanity than ever before. Of course, modern society has violence in it, but violence was, it is now and always will be a part of the society, as long as no changes are made to the base of the system. However, adolescents have more freedom of expression in the modern world than ever before. There are no restrictions, neither in the dressing style, nor in the way of thinking, or any expression of will, any criticism of the world. Opened possibilities reveal great prospects for multilateral development of the teenager and greater freedom of choice for their future.
Unfortunately, permissiveness comes along with freedom. Due to certain social factors there is a general trend towards degradation in modern society that has a direct impact on the development. Degradation of both cultural and intellectual components of the society is observed globally. Most of television programs carry no meaning, and have no impact on the positive thinking.
Simplification of thinking is observed in the majority of cultural branches. Imagination and creativity are being replaced by the tasteless music videos and movies. Despite the fact that masterpieces occasionally appear among this meaningless material, the majority of teenagers, being surrounded by empty material, have a negative impression about the art due to the fact that in this case the meaning is hidden and needs the application of mental activity in order to be revealed, in contrast to the majority of arts, where this activity is of no need. Logical thinking is replaced by Google’s answers, mathematical thinking is replaced by online calculators, etc. There is nothing wrong in using the technology, but it would be much better if people knew about what they use.
Otherwise we will face the problem when the future generation will not be able to survive even the short blackout.
Adolescence is a time of self-determination, time to choose your path of life, time of stabilization in the society and this process proceeds differently in each individual case. Modern society provides many opportunities for the development and help for those who need them, who are unable to cope by themselves. However overall tendencies in the development of adolescents do not seem to be positive.
Education has always been a problem because humanity has never managed to make the process of receiving the knowledge more interesting and catching than games with friends on the outside, or computer games, internet and TV. There are those who are driven by curiosity and are naturally interested in the surrounding world. They see their sense of life in the search for new knowledge. However, there are problems connected to the fact that any curiosity has its limits and even in case of a teenager, who is interested in science, his interests may not include the geography, history and many other subjects, and he will try his best to avoid filling his head with the unwanted knowledge.
Naturally, a human does something in order to survive, or to have fun, but nothing more. Survival and entertainment are the most powerful stimulus to the human. Extra load was never needed, and was never perceived positively. In case of education the majority of teenagers consider not interesting knowledge to be an extra load and it is absolutely natural that they are doing their best to avoid it. Questions are always the same: “why should I know which country lies on the opposite side of the globe and what rivers flow there? I know where I live, and that is enough. Why do I need to know about the artist who painted Mona Lisa or Sunflowers, if this knowledge will bring me no benefit and is of no interest for me? Why do I need to know what year was the Geneva Convention signed and who signed it, if I am living in the other time and I'm completely fine?”
We are told that it is necessary to know that information. It is important to understand that this is our basic development. However, none of the adolescents understands it. All they see are adults wanting to put the unwanted and uninteresting knowledge to their heads. Modern teenagers are not used to learn something "in reserve", and this is one of the major problems of today’s education.
Any knowledge given to a person should carry meaning and the possibilities of its use, otherwise you have to force teenager to learn something under the threat of the expulsion from school in case if adolescents will refuse to learn what they "need". Indeed, most of the information that we are given in schools is needed for the development of our future and ourselves, however, this is not realized fully, until these skills are used in real life in practice. Then this knowledge becomes needed and the desire to study appears.
The problem of modern education system lies in the fact that most of the knowledge we get, is consumed with the use of force under the label "very helpful, useful in the future", but we see nothing more than that label. All the words about how useful this is, how it will help in the long run are only the words. “We lived normally before we got this knowledge and will live the same way” – these thoughts are present in the mind of adolescents, and this is fundamentally wrong.
Mankind has made a great technological leap in its development. The level of intelligence has grown, and thus the amount of knowledge required for the successful existence in the modern world increased correspondingly. However, the way this knowledge is given still has not become optimal. Adolescents will always be against education. They will always sift what carries the least interest, unless children do see and understand why they need this or that knowledge. The education system should be changed so that those who receive knowledge are able to immediately apply it on practice and would have a need to do that. Naturally, human acquires knowledge in order to live and to develop. There is no point in getting the knowledge if this goal is not clearly visible. System needs to be changed in order to allow children to have both necessity and reasons to acquire knowledge.
Sexual Culture of Teenagers in Relation to Girls
First of all, it is necessary to define the meaning of the words "sexual culture of teenagers". Even though opinions vary, there is no need to create a special category called "sexual culture of teenagers" to my mind. Any sexual activity in adolescence is identical to the one present in adulthood, with the only difference in the level of blood hormones, and worse self-control as the consequence.
“We lay on the ground and kissed. Perhaps you smile. That we only lay on the ground and kissed. You young people can lend your bodies now, play with them, give them as we could not. But remember that you have paid a price: that of a world rich in mystery and delicate emotion. It is not only species of animal that die out. But whole species of feeling. And if you are wise you will never pity the past for what it did not know. But pity yourself for what it did” (Fowles, 1985)
If we remember, not so long ago, girls could not begin sexual life before the end of the juvenile period due to various risks including pregnancy, which was quite uncommon. The body of girls in its development is at least a year ahead of the male’s body in the same age, and the accelerated development concerns not only the body, but the mind.
The current situation is very different from the past and damages morality, as well as the body. We live in a world where sex is no longer something forbidden and hidden. Moreover, everything is open and accessible, what sets the stage for the development of sexuality in many ways. Of course, such a development should affect people and girls in particular. Permissiveness and broken taboos on sexual relations, awareness about sex due to "friends", the internet and magazines – all these open the doors.
Unfortunately, this simultaneously bears the same danger that existed long before, however, with the addition of new forms of sexually transmitted diseases in case of the modern world.
The fact is that even if the body of the girl develops faster than the man’s one does, her body may be ready for sexual contact only at a certain time and any premature sexual contact may cause irreparable damage to the body of a girl, as well as her state of mind. Early pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, physical and mental trauma - all this is no longer shocking. Moreover this is no longer extremely rare, but is the everyday reality. Sexually oriented community provides the freedom of sexual relations along with the set of rules. However, it does not care about the preservation of dignity and morality, sometimes representing everything in a perverted form and creating the corresponding idea in the girl’s head. Day by day mass media create more and more material with the decreasing censorship and increasing immorality and vulgarity. Things which previously used to be sacred and private became revealed and available with the help of people who are mostly represented by the idols of young girls, thus giving the example and the specific perception. Being grown in the society with these “idols”, girls do not know the other side, the other life.
All this is considered to be normal and is accepted.
Saving the current state of things in the long run does not bode anything good. Year after year more and more new frames are opened and less dignity and morality is preserved. It is clear that the world will not reach the level of "openness" that was present in Sodom and Gomorrah, but it can approach it.
The modern world opens up more opportunities by making more discoveries and allowing the things, which once were considered to be taboo. It was impossible hundred years ago to imagine a young couple, consisting of only men or only women. And even more impossible is was to imagine the trans-sexuality. However, now all this is known even to the children. Most of this is not hidden and is being explained to the teenagers along with the natural form of sexuality.
Despite the fact that many people still do not feel tolerant to the unconventional sexual orientation, this problem should not be as severe as it was before. The presence of explanatory talks for teenagers blurs the boundaries between the sexual majority and sexual minorities. Awareness of children in this issue gives them the opportunity to choose their attitude towards sexual minorities without being tied to a stereotypical thinking imposed by the society. However, the fact of imposing of the views by the child's family is still present.
Oppression of the sexual minorities is still present nowadays, and reasons for this are the same as they were 100 years ago. For many people, these social groups are unnatural. In some cases homophobia plays the role. All these problems should not be hidden, but on the contrary, should be revealed and told to the teenagers in order for them to decide how to treat this and what to do in this situation.
To some degree the awareness of children about the problems surrounding sexual minorities, may cause the aggravation of the situation. Being amplified by the opinion of the parents of the community it may provoke the desire for isolation from these communities in many adolescents. However, the lack of awareness is as wrong as the lack of explanatory talk of parents with children about sex and security. In fact, parents talk about sex and all the potential problems and dangers related to this process, starting from pregnancy and ending with the AIDS. Why do you need to raise these issues, and not raise the problems of sexual minorities?
Adolescents need to know everything about world that surrounds them in order to operate correctly and exist in harmony with the surrounding conditions. The reason of the issues revolving around the LGBT community lies in the fact that people are not fully informed. Moreover, the majority of people are not informed properly, causing the misunderstandings, aversion and fears, amplified by the public opinion, to isolate the community. As it was mentioned previously, these problems also have to deal with the stereotypes surrounding this community and being transferred to the adolescents in their early years by the TV, parents or in most cases friends, who also got this stereotypic vision from other sources. Conversations need to be performed in a way that there will be no place for the stereotypes, or at least in a way that these stereotypes would be changed in a positive way.
The responsibility of parents includes the explanation of what is good and what is bad to their children, what is real and what is not, what to expect and what not to expect. After a close look it is clearly visible that the modern society does not fully accept sexual minorities with all the concerns being based on the old beliefs and opinions of the older generations. It is absolutely possible that conversations on such topics performed with children will remove the barrier and thus will get rid of the problems faced by modern sexual minorities, with the main problem being the lack of acceptance and understanding.
Cultural conversations with the adolescents performed in a proper way will give the opportunity to change the situation in the future.