So here’s an interesting historical and social question

Six in 10 teenage girls say they are “completely unhappy” – with poor self-image and a “toxic” social media culture fuelling despair, research suggests.

The study of more than 11,000 teenagers found that misery levels among girls were twice those among boys the same age.

Researchers said young girls were suffering from “toxic social comparisons” in a culture based on unrealistic beauty images, airbrushing and “likes” on social media.

The study of 14-year-olds by Warwick University found 63 per cent of girls and 37 per cent of boys described themselves as “completely unhappy” when asked to complete a questionnaire.

Can anyone point to any period in history when teenagers were balanced and entirely level headed? Even, any period when it was desirable that they should be?

Or one in which teenage girls were not competitive with each other over looks etc? Or boys with each other during and just after adolescence? I mean, you know, given that every army ever has relied upon that male grouping thing when wasn’t it?

12 thoughts on “So here’s an interesting historical and social question”

  1. I remember something written by Cato the Elder (234 – 149 B.C.) in which he was grumbling that the way the youth of Rome were dressing and wearing their hair you couldn’t tell who was a boy and who a girl.

    So it seems nothing changes.

  2. Bloke in North Dorset

    In the past they’d have been out working by the time they were 14 or 15 and doing fairly physical jobs. This meant they were too tired to be worrying about trivia but mostly they were exposed to the real world and would have had the the piss taken out of them by adults, knocking out their sense of self importance and building up their resilience.

    Now they are not only kept in the physical echo chamber of education establishments until their early 20s, they’re kept in an emotional one by living their lives social media and we’re surprised they’re struggling emotionally.

    The clock isn’t going to go backwards so for all our benefit we need to find a solution to this problem PDQ.

  3. BiND is correct and people used to move from childhood to adulthood with the OED giving its first reference to “teen-ager” (sic) in 1941.

    Social media have the power as the recent general election has shown to set the world at odds and on its head.

  4. BiND,

    “Now they are not only kept in the physical echo chamber of education establishments until their early 20s, they’re kept in an emotional one by living their lives social media and we’re surprised they’re struggling emotionally.”

    I think school doesn’t help with this, either. For lots of kids, school is utterly pointless. They get to 12 or 13 and they just hate it. Work gives people purpose and responsibility, as well as rewards.

  5. That final paragraph makes it sound like its answering questionnaires that makes them unhappy.

    Sounds fair enough.

  6. In the good old days, kids went straight from being up a chimney to down the mines. Providing that is that they didn’t die of diphtheria or scarlet fever first.

    Bah, I blame Thatcher

  7. The survey was taken in 1963. Or _____ (fill in the blank).

    ‘Researchers said teenage levels of happinesss appeared to be badly affected by growing up in a social media climate.’

    Researchers? Sophomore psychology students, who every year are required to do this survey. Ms Donnelly, Health Editor, thinks it worth reporting. What a maroon.

  8. Surely you can’t be “completely ” unhappy? Doesn’t sound correct. Or maybe I’m being unnecessarily pendantic.

  9. From Andrew C: “So it seems nothing changes.”

    Ahem…

    “The historians commented bitterly on the extraordinary influence acquired by popular singers over young people, resulting in a decline in sexual morality”

    The above is in reference to Baghdad in the early 10th century.

    Also this:

    “They lamented also the corruption of the officials of the government and the fact that politicians always seemed to amass large fortunes while they were in office.”

    Both quotes from Sir John Glubb’s ‘Fate of Empires’.

    http://people.uncw.edu/kozloffm/glubb.pdf

  10. @BiND

    we need to find a solution to this problem PDQ

    Stop emmotional child abuse by teachers, then lectureres telling pupils & students “The World will end in 2030” would be an excellent start

    As for looks – it’s always been the same.

    When I was 21 at leaving party I was told by ex-boss Miss X was crying because I hadn’t asked her out. Nice girl I was friendly with, but fat and not for me. To smooth exit I took her out a few times, then we agreed not working. Gentleman Pcar kept her & ex-boss happy.

    @BoM4 December 19, 2019 at 11:01 am

    +1 and Brown raised school leaving age keeping them in “prison” for longer. Tories reversed? Nope.

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