Are we afraid of teenagers?

A 13-year old British girl who was part of the emo movement recently committed suicide.

An inquest into the death of Hannah Bond was told that she killed herself after becoming obsessed by ’emo’ – a group which is characterised by dark clothes and music about death and negative emotions.

This comes as a study was published on Friday saying young adults in Europe deliberately use drink and drugs to improve their chance of sex.

Even though those questioned said they knew use of alcohol and drugs was linked to risky sexual practice up to a third confessed they would still binge “strategically”.

There are many other groups similar to “emo” out there, but should we be worried by them? Is it not normal for teenagers to form groups which challenge adult views? Or should there be some form of regulation on groups which are considered dangerous? Should young people be allowed to use drugs and drink to boost their sex lives, or this just promoting unsafe sex? Or are we simply we’re afraid of teenagers for no good reason?

18 Responses to “Are we afraid of teenagers?”

  1. 1 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 9, 2008 at 20:41

    Some people are very afraid of teenagers….but i am not
    afraid of teenagers!

    Dennis ~~Madrid, United States of America

  2. 2 Laura in Minneapolis
    May 9, 2008 at 21:02

    Wow, finally a topic I actually know something about!
    No time so I can’t comment now, but better believe you’ll be hearing from me soon.

    Laura in Minneapolis

  3. 3 Adrian
    May 10, 2008 at 07:49

    I personally have worked with teenagers/young adults for many years now, throught the years i feel that teenagers are nothing to fear, they are but the young embodyment of what we “adults” loathe and fear in our own self. Young people are part sponge, part hormone and the rest is restlesness. We “adults” have always had an great responsibility to teach groom and harness our youth to mold and shape them into viable young adults but we leaders have lost our way, too concerned in our own self to look back and teach the younger. Dont blame the youth for as conceited, unruly, silly and lost as they are, we in turn as a society led by “adults” should always blame ourselves.

  4. 4 Nge Valentine
    May 10, 2008 at 11:34

    Why should we start thinking of abnormal things to be normal? We are not afraid of teenagers and I think we have to put them in their right place unless I say we are part of their dissorders.
    see you soon

  5. 5 thelegendali
    May 10, 2008 at 12:41

    Noirmally young people can form groups that challenge the views of adults, but to the extent of taking drugs and alcohol to increase sexual apetite or habits is completely unacceptable. More than that, youth groups that are involved in promkoting such behaviours should be banned.

  6. 6 Emile Barre
    May 10, 2008 at 13:05

    No. We are afraid of knowledge.

  7. 7 Tatyana
    May 10, 2008 at 14:46

    “Are we afraid of teenages?” you ask
    The question isn’t a simple task.
    We can’t say here Yes or No
    It’s complicated, I do know.
    Some teens are smart, they know much,
    They try some innovations,
    But problems, I think , are the same
    With many other nations.
    I mean the drugs, the alcohol and sex, which is unsafe,
    Those different groups, formed by the youth,
    Which crimes, drug addicts gave.
    We are afraid of some of them,
    Can nothing do or change.
    We grown-ups act often wrong,
    And they take the revenge.

  8. 8 Will Rhodes
    May 10, 2008 at 16:24

    Are we afraid of teenagers?


    I am scared of the governments who constantly criticise young people then take away parenting rights which are then abuse by those teenagers who are then blamed for being brats!

    Look at what Jacqui Smith has just said “Youths who persistently misbehave and intimidate others in their communities should be “harassed themselves”, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has said.” She is advocating that the police “harass” young people.

    Jacqui Smith is Britain’s Home Secretary (Internal affairs minister). She is also a gimp!

  9. 9 Dennis Young, Jr.
    May 11, 2008 at 07:52

    @ Emile:

    i have to agree with what you wrote!

    we were all @ one time were teenagers…….

    [i have passed my teenager years some time ago]

    Dennis ~Madrid, United States of America

  10. 10 Laura in Minneapolis
    May 11, 2008 at 17:56

    My background with youth: I’ve been working at a YMCA summer camp for the last 6 years. I’m majoring in Child Psychology and Youth Studies in college. In short- working with young people is basically what defines me.

    Ephebiphobia: The fear of youth. It’s a tricky word to pronounce, but a more prominent phobia than you can imagine.

    Think about the last time you heard a news story about young people. It was probably about some troubled/misbehaving/law-breaking young person or group of young people. There is a chance, however a notably small chance, it was about a remarkable young person doing something “beyond there years.”

    The point being, unless you work within the realm of youth, the only time you hear about them is when they’re acting out or not acting their age (i.e. they’re very successful at an early age with OBVIOUSLY means they’re not a normal teenager).

    In a way, who can blame people for being nervous around youth?

    The problem is compacted by many young people’s reactions to this fear. When human beings are not trusted or believed to be even a little bit in control of their lives, the reaction is often not a positive one. Again, who can blame them? All they hear about is how hormonal and crazy they are, they’re followed around in stores, asked to leave public places when they congregate… the list goes on.

    If you know a young person, or work with young people on a daily basis, I urge you to give them back a little power. Trust them to be mature, rational individuals that are worthy of that trust. It’ll work wonders.

  11. May 11, 2008 at 18:17

    Oh lord, the emo-bashing has become mainstream news-worthy haha. I thought this was relegated to teenage music message boards.

    I remember back when Saves The Day first came out and they were considered ’emo’. My have things changed. Nowadays it’s all about the boys wearing scene-status girls skinny jeans and make-up and the gals who love em.

    I mean, I’m scared of pubescent boys wearing skinny jeans, make-up, fingernail polish, and looking as if they need a couple bites of a hamburger. But not scared for my safety or anything; Scared by the overall silliness of it I suppose. But then again, everyones got their own styles, what gives me the position to hate on them?

    ‘Emo’ promoting unsafe sex? No more than MTV pop hits with women prancing around in next to nothing and flashing their ‘goodies’ all over the place. If anything ’emo’ relishes in the hurt caused by broken-hearted sexual relations. I would think that would deter those from engaging in such acts. However, I suppose for those who want to feel those emotions and put themselves in such situations, they will go ahead and jump right into it.

    So lets see, we have Hip-Hop and Rap as bad musical genres, per the new blank page. We add ‘Emo’ to that list, there has been plenty of negative feelings towards Amy, Britney and the like, so Pop is now added to it. What about country music? Any haters there?

    Brett ~ Richmond, Va.

  12. May 11, 2008 at 18:26

    I’ve always thought of the current transition of traditional ’emo’ to the new pale, make-up, black dressing persons as more goth than ’emo’. That’s just me though. (?) That whole scene hasn’t always been as it is now. The past 10 or so years has seen a drastic change in the makeup of the ’emo’.

    It seems that the age has become younger. It seemed 10 years or so ago, that the ’emo’ kids were 17+ while the younger kids were still listening to Britney and NSync. Maybe those younger kids are unable to deal with the more complex emotions and their clash with societal norms and reality and feel the need to desperately fit in at any cost?

  13. 13 Dennis
    May 11, 2008 at 18:36


    I agreed with Brett totally….

    Dennis~~Madrid, U.S.A.

  14. May 12, 2008 at 15:06

    Emo: bad haircuts, bad clothes and nonstop whining. They’re not dark enough to be goth but too mopey to be mod. The music? No self-respecting goth would listen to that crap (I know because I run in that circle). Emo kids are the Young Werthers of our generation. Seriously, how on earth can anyone be afraid of Werther? (If you don’t get this literary reference to one of Goethe’s most famous works, you don’t “get” emo.) Are we going to freak out every time a new look arrives? Every time a kid commits suicide? Flash back to 1986, when Ozzy Osbourne is defending his music because teenager John Collumn killed himself, allegedly because he listened to Osbourne’s song “Suicide Solution.”

    To that point, can we stop blaming culture and society when a child dies and instead look at why his parents didn’t see his depression and get it treated? I know it’s obligatory to strafe a finger in every direction other than the parents who can’t hear the message (and shouldn’t have to at this juncture), but the parents of teens who are at risk and still alive might be able to hear it now. It’s not the music, it’s not the fashion, it’s the individual. And that individual is sick and needs help.

  15. May 17, 2008 at 02:03

    depression of success
    teens become meaningless
    how a diseased person contribute something good, is it possible?
    how our beauty full earth teens will blossom?
    no culture without agriculture

  16. May 21, 2008 at 12:05

    Only those with Guns And Knifes,I feel sorry for the young of today,They are being seriously let down by society as a whole,I know it may seem harsh, but we are going to have to teach respect and manners at an early stage for the young to understand respect of life later on ,They are delivered into a fast living world and are not given enough facts of what this means,nobody has the time lately to sit and listen to them, so they just go there own little way and more often than not is the wrong way,We seem too busy working longer hours to keep a roof over our heads,or watching TV,the stress from ourselves and the teachers are being picked up by the young,then we wonder why they go off the rails,They are growing up too fast,Learning the wrong things at an early age,Society caused this now they whinge,My respect goes out to the good parent,Kids can’t play on the streets either through perverts loitering or council rules,the council brag of supplying amenities but is charged at a considerable cost that even I cannot afford as a wage earner,In the 60s our youth club cost a shilling,5 pence in todays money for a night of music, refreshments etc,We could tell jokes without being in fear of being politically incorrect,They strive for university and then strangled with debt,What hope do we give to the young,If we showed a little respect to them they may return some.

  17. 17 Sheri
    May 23, 2008 at 20:13

    When did we as adults walk away from our responsibilities ? One would have to conclude that we do not in todays society understand that they are not given a voice. If children are killing themselves an adopting a type of behaviour that harm them, we should look at ourselves first an understand we have created the world they live in.

  18. 18 Shade
    May 25, 2008 at 00:13

    At this moment exactly I am typing away
    while watching a news report about a lad, 18 same age as me stabbed to death in a bar brawl.
    the tagline: “the newest victim of the war raging
    between the youth on our streets….”
    So actually yeah. ‘adults’ are petrified of young people.

    iIhave never hurt anyone, have no criminal record and I consider myself to be a law abiding young person that contributes more to society than most adults i know.yet me and my friends are constantly being attacked and penalized because of our youth.

    from our point of view: we are growing up in a world full of mechanisms that seem designed to shoot us down. combine this with the pressures of growing into a body and new role in a hostile society, that is difficult to understand. isnt easy with even the best parental support and the happiest childhood. most of us deal with it and come out ok. but alot do not.
    therefore its no wonder that youngsters who are minimised and made to feel insignificant and unimportant( and to some degree this covers most of the kids I know choose to internalise emotion and confusion
    join the newest ‘rebellion’ and sometimes even hurt themselves in order to try and rationalise on their own

    Yes, you ‘Adults’ with power and responsibility do fear us. but i think you have always feared us because the force and vitality of our youth, a youth that wasonce yours; that has always struggled to find accomodation in the social systems and constraints set up for it. is truly raging against the structure of this weakened and truly messed up world that your
    generation has helped create.
    you cannot blame the hurt and ignorant for their
    actions if you refuse to teach or heal them.

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