Middle School is a tough time for kids sexually. By the sixth grade they are beginning to explore their own sexuality and sexual identity. They are often confused by and unprepared for a society filled with sexual messages, pressures and dangers:
Source Teen Issues Recently, I attended a school program with other parents of teenagers.
The conversation was mainly complaints about raising teenagers. Each parent was only adding items to the list of complaints, but offering no solutions. This got me thinking that what we need today is to look at the problem in a different light.
I took a good look at the teenager I raise, followed him around, spoke to him awhile, talked with other teenagers, and this is what I found.
They long to belong to supportive and accepting communities beyond their family. They experience stress and difficulty prioritizing and managing their time.
They feel lots of pressure from peers, parents, and society to conform to conflicting expectations. They are at risk of mental and physical health issues. They lack good mentors, role models, and heroes.
They are tempted to begin unhealthy patterns with drugs and alcohol. They are exposed to on-screen violence and unhealthy social media.
They face bullying—online and off. They may participate in risky sexual activity and behavior. Each of these is described fully below, with suggestions for how a parent can help navigate or avoid these problems. Issues With Body image During the transition from childhood to adulthood, while their bodies are morphing into new shapes and sizes, teens are struggling to come to terms with their bodies and get comfortable inside their own skins.
The cherubic child is gone and they are left looking at a stranger in the mirror: Eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating, etc.
Eating disorders can affect a teen's health, mood, relationships, and day-to-day functioning. Eating disorders affect women more than men, but more young men are more prone to something called muscle dysmorphiawhere they become unhealthily obsessed with being bigger and more muscular.
Even if the discontentment with their body doesn't cause them to excessively exercise or make themselves sick, the ongoing and pervasive feeling that their bodies are "not right" can have many lasting negative affects on their lives.
Teens feel pressure to conform to many unhealthy expectations regarding their bodies, behavior, and appearance. An Unmet Need for Community and Identity I see many teenagers struggling to find a place in society, wanting to be recognized by their peers and accepted for what they are.
This is one of the most important tasks of their lives at this juncture and they are faced with a lot of anxiety and insecurity as they work around this.
When teens get the message that they don't fit in and don't belong here, it can lead to feelings of isolation, disconnect, and depression.
The television shows marketed to this age group normalize bullying, premarital sex, aggressive and violent behavior, and rule-breaking. You are cool only if you own all the brands.The study concluded: "The strong relationship between media and adolescents' sexual expression may be due to the media's role as an important source of sexual socialisation for teenagers.
Coupled with pressures for sexual activity, teenagers require guidance and effective information about pregnancy prevention.
If you're interested in working as a mental health counselor, specifically with adolescents, contact schools offering degree programs in counseling or psychology.
Data on sexual relations came from the Alan Guttmacher Institute, Sex and America’s Teenagers (), The chart on page 27 clearly illustrates the substantial differences between Latter-day Saint youth and teens nationwide in smoking, drinking, using drugs, being suspended from school, and participating in premarital sexual activity.
Abstract. What has been problematically termed ‘sexting’ has attracted considerable legal, political, public, media and academic attention. the various levels or pressures and the role of sexualization could be further explored. Respectability and Sexual Subjectivity in Child Protection/Crime Prevention Responses to Teenagers.
Representations of Gender on Social Media among Brazilian Young People They take a photo posing in the shape of the letter S, they bend everything (girls, , class C); There’re many girls on Facebook who overexpose themselves. In fact, teens report that their main source of information about sex, dating and sexual health comes from what they see and hear in the media.
Public health experts say that the media can be an effective sex educator when it includes specific information on birth control methods and sexually transmitted diseases.