Ageism Against Teenagers

This study has been conducted with the aim in looking how our young people in society are still being discriminated against because of their age. Looking at the ages of 13-19 has this is a difficult age to define; many experts have varying opinions of when this age starts and ends. The impact this has on them and the implementation procedures that will help young people deal with this discrimination. The researcher looked at various acts of parliament to see how these would help. She also looked at some organisations that help our young people and she still found that ageism is mostly aimed at the over 50's age group and not towards younger people in our society. There is a great view that people do not accept that discrimination exists towards our teenagers.

INTRODUCTION

The aim of this research was to look at the discrimination towards teenagers from certain family backgrounds, like stepfamilies, ethnic families and single parent families in council housing estates. The aim is to look at the age range of 13-18 years, as these youngsters have a tendency to be criticised more by society. With no thought that they are individuals with different morals and personalities.

There is a high level of petty crime, recreational drugs, truancy and teenage pregnancy in this range of younger people. There is also a higher level of social exclusions for this age group. There is always a tendency to lay blame on their circumstances and backgrounds. It is not necessarily true that if you come from a less adequate background, that you are more likely to be an underachiever. If you give someone self-esteem then they can always do better. People assume that they can pass judgement on someone else's life, which is labelling them as inadequate. 

Like traditional stereotypes, the teenager has been given a distorted image by the modern media (Int, 2003). Both young people and older adults deserve more choices in where and how they spend their time. Others should not dictate them, how and where. The need is more acceptable for this to happen for older adults but not for our younger people (Int, 2003). We as adults seem to think that we have priority over our young people and dominate them, which leads to them sometimes lacking human rights, as our authority is paramount. 

Discrimination is the behaviour that follows on from a prejudice viewpoint and is the denial of justice and fair treatment in many areas. This can either be direct or indirect, which forms the basis of certain acts of parliament. Age discrimination is widely known to be aimed at the older generation, although this is not so. Parliament is unsure how to define age discrimination. Ageism is to obtain someone's age and use it against them unfairly and stereotyping someone because of their age (See Appendix 1).

The impact of discrimination in the family structure can have wide negative implications on others. It is hard to help a young person in the situation, as their self-esteem would be low. This is also a high emotional subject and time for them, as a parent or sibling this would be a difficult time as the young person comes to terms with the implications of discrimination. 

The aim of this report is to find how widespread discrimination is towards our young people in the society today. How will we combat this and the procedures that should be implemented to help young people with the difficulties they face about discrimination against them? The report has also looked at statistics that back up the argument about young people and petty crime, which has fallen to 61.5% in 2001, teenage pregnancy, which has risen, and the use of recreational drugs in teenage people.

While researching this subject the researcher used Primary Data by longitudinal interviews with a social worker from youth workers at the council about the issue of ageism against our young people. She also used statistics from government reports. She also distributed a questionnaire sheet in schools aimed at this particular age group, showing the results on graphs (See Appendix 2).

During the research on this subject, She used secondary data from books, Internet websites and reports from the local council. She also researched different discrimination acts, to see how these affect young people. There were also a number of youth groups, which the researcher looked at, whom had the aim of helping with the issue of discrimination towards our young people.