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Results tagged “Cecilia Gran”

Fashion magazines make girls feel ugly

Cecilia-Gran.jpgI recently watched a video that brought some startling facts about girls and body image into view. After three minutes of leafing through a fashion magazine:

  • 3 out of 4 girls feel depressed, ashamed, and guilty about themselves
  • 48% of young girls want to be as skinny as fashion models; and
  • 31% of young girls are starving themselves
  • Eight years old is the peak age for girls to have leadership ambitions. At that age, 44% of them want to be leaders, but the number drops as they get older.

Problem youth or problem adults?

Cecilia-Gran.jpgHave you ever heard of the word "ephebiphobia?" I hadn't until I ran into it when I was looking for information on the subject of youth rights. It means the fear and loathing of adolescents and it results in an "irrational, exaggerated, and sensational characterization of young people"

Coined by Kirk Astroth, a 4-H outreach agent in Montana, today ephebiphobia is recognized as a major issue in youth engagement throughout society. Sociologists, government agencies, educators, and youth advocacy organizations use the word to describe any loathing, paranoia, or fear of young people or of that time of life called "youth".

How do your ethics reveal themselves in your work with youth?

Cecilia-Gran.jpgA youth worker in Minneapolis told me about how she dealt with conflict between English-speaking and Hmong-speaking youth at her neighborhood recreation center. The English-only speakers accused the Hmong speakers of talking about them, and situation brewed into a fistfight. To resolve the problem, the youth worker made a rule that they must all speak English while they were at the center. She felt that her solution attempted to level the playing field between the groups of youth. But did it?

I think this youth worker had good intentions, but the outcome of her decision ended up being unjust and unfair to the Hmong-speaking youth. Our decisions and judgments are never neutral, even when we intend them to be.

Cecilia-Gran.jpg

Megan Gunnar, a professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, recently spoke on Minnesota Public Radio about the damaging long-term effects of the stress of poverty on brain development in infants, children, and youth. This illustrates to me the insidiousness of our economic policies and beliefs about who deserves what and how much they deserve. Poor children and youth do not have equal opportunities for healthy growth and positive development. We are ignoring the data of the best youth development thinking of the past 75 years.

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