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Ephebiphobia - The irrational fear of teenagers

Yes, there's actually a phobia for teenagers, and it seems lots of people have it.
by Wikipedia.org

Ephebiphobia (from Greek 'ephebos' ?f?▀?? = teenager, underage adolescent and 'fobos' f?▀?? = fear, phobia), also known as hebephobia (from Greek 'hebe' (?▀?) = youth), denotes both the irrational fear of teenagers or of adolescence, and the prejudice against teenagers or underage adolescents. It is essentially a social phobia comparable to xenophobia or homophobia.


Ephebiphobia can manifest in the following main categories :

* the irrational fear of being near, among or in the company of teenagers;
* the prejudice on the grounds of age (ageism) towards teenagers or underage adolescents, or the discrimination derived from this prejudice;
* the fear, prejudice, hatred, intolerance or discrimination referring to love relationships between adults and adolescents, either when it is the manifestation of ephebophilia, of ephebosexuality, or when it is none of them;
* the irrational fear, panic or hysteria, usually through the mass media (see culture of fear), relating to anything concerning the behavioral or social emancipation of underage adolescents (based on the belief that the adolescent's behavior is more appropriate for adults).

The concept encompasses the irrational fear of a wide variety of issues, ranging from teenage sexuality, teenage pregnancy, preteen pregnancy, and teen motherhood, to proposals to change the law and assure more youth rights, like reducing the voting age, the age of majority, the drinking age, the marriageable age, the age of consent, the age of candidacy, eliminating curfew laws or assuring more students rights.

Ageism against teenagers

Ageism is discrimination against a person or group on the grounds of age. Although theoretically the word can refer to the discrimination against any age group, ageism usually comes in one of two forms: discrimination against youth, and discrimination against the elderly. Ageism against youth is also known as "Adultism".

Some underage teenagers consider themselves victims of ageism and believe they should be treated more respectfully by adults and not as second-class citizens. Some complain that social stratification in age groups causes outsiders to incorrectly stereotype and generalize the group, to claim for instance that all adolescents are equally immature, violent or rebellious. Some have organized groups against ageism.

A growing number of sociologists address the issues of discrimination against youth, Adultism, and ephebiphobia as a digressive continuum for situating the conditions of adolescents throughout society.

Pathological forms of ephebiphobia

In extreme cases, pathological forms of ephebiphobia may be observed, especially when associated with violent acts (often but not always resulting in criminal acts).

Possible pathological behaviors include, among others, the following :

* incarcerating teenagers or underage adolescents at home for a long period of time, or through the use of handcuffs (in any period of time), usually to prevent them from going out to parties, to the mall, to the movie theatre or to any place where they could potentially develop a social or a love relationship;

* vigorously humiliating an underage adolescent in public;

* compulsively or obsessively hiding a pregnant teen or preteen from public observation (as if she had a contagious disease), especially when moving or traveling to another place (neighborhood, city, region or country) solely with the purpose of hiding the pregnancy;

* forcefully inducing or coercing an underage adolescent to have an abortion, by the means of violence, use of terror or threats of any kind (as if the baby were property of the perpetrator or threatener).


* Shelley Wu, PhD, psychologist and professor at the University of Pennsylvania - in About.com Psychology Glossary

* Mike Males - "The New Demons: Ordinary Teens" - Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2002 (see "External Links")

* Wendy Gr°nnestad-Damur and Lindy Pratch - presenters of the Alberta, Canada, Library Conference "No Ephebiphobia Here! Ephebiphobia: an abnormal and persistent fear of teenagers" (April 30, 2005).

* Thimothy Shary, visitant assistant professor of screen studies at Department of Visual and Performing Arts at Clark University - source used for the news article Studios caught in teen-age dilemmas Multiplex issues (Worcester Telegram & Gazette (MA) - July 20, 2001) (see Newslibrary.com)

* Ephebiphobia is listed in the National Youth Rights Association's Glossary. The NYRA website is affiliated to the Wikipedian system.


Original page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephebophobia

Written by: Wikipedia.org
27 December 2005

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