Adultism: A Well-Kept Secret

Adultism is the term used to describe the oppression of young people by adults. An article by John Bell included this definition: “…adultism refers to behaviors and attitudes based on the assumption that adults are better than young people, and entitled to act upon young people without their agreement. This mistreatment is reinforced by social institutions, laws, customs, and attitudes.”

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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How Adultism is Like Global Warming

I was listening to NPR today on the way to the bank. The program was about climate change and how there are many people who don’t want to admit that global warming is happening and that we humans are the cause. This reminded me of adultism. Adults just don’t want to admit that our behaviors and attitudes towards young people impact how they experience the world and how they behave as a result. And we’re always so surprised when a young person does something negative that is perfectly aligned with how they are treated in society. Mike Male’s book, The Scapegoat Generation: America’s War on Adolescents spells this out most clearly as I mentioned in an earlier blog. If a young person shoots someone it's because adults make the guns. If a young person is using pharmaceuticals, he or she probably found them in the medicine cabinet at home. If a young person gets pregnant or contracts an STD, it has a lot to do with adults refusing to allow them to have comprehensive sex education to learn how to take care of themselves. Young people don't create the problems, they just follow our lead. So, the next time you want to point a finger at a young person about their behavior, look first at your own.

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2 Comments:

Blogger AlexanderApostoleris said...

Hey, i thought that bringing up the subject about how most of the "problems" that kids have or engage in descend from parents, was a very good point-out. Hopefulyl i will be able to expand on that in my own writing.

May 19, 2008 at 11:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I donno, the worse my mom acts, the less and less of a role model I see her to be.
She is, although, a awsome role model on what crazy is like, and now NOT to be. So im still learning stuff.

May 3, 2010 at 2:11 AM  

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