The comparison of past generations has always been an intriguing topic. Most people of the previous generation believe their children are in a worse place than they were at their age. People believe that drug use is more common, and that sex is happening earlier and more frequently than when they were teenagers. Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale (2008), however found this to be false and stated that, “Although there is room for improvement, the picture of sexual health of Canadian teens is in many ways more positive than in previous generations.” She states throughout her journal that today’s generation of adolescents are not only waiting slightly longer to have sexual intercourse, but also being safer about it. The second journal’s position is the differences in the types of relationships that are occurring in today’s youth. This journal focuses on the recent commonness of friends with benefits relationships (FWBR), which is defined as, “relationships between friends who engage in sexual activity without defining the relationship as romantic.” (Weaver, MacKeigan, & MacDonald, 2011) FWBR and “hooking-up” is becoming more common among youth, as compared to older generations, and this journal reports their advantages, disadvantages and how both genders feel about this type of relationship. With regards to psychology ***. These two journals chosen illustrate the change that can occur from generation to generation, and that although it may not be dramatic the specifics of the relationships are diverse.
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The first journal, regarding sex and comparing today’s generation to the previous one, in respect to their preliminary research, they used two national surveys and compared the results. This is known as comparable research methodology, and one of the surveys was from the 1970s, and the second from 1998. As stated previously, they found that in the 70s, teens were having sex earlier, and having slightly more sexual partners than in the more recent study. The media has portrayed today’s adolescents as being more “casual” with their sexual partners and with easy access to the Internet and cell phones the general thought it is that today’s youth are more promiscuous than their parents. Another aspect to Maticka-Tyndale’s journal deals with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Because of the greater knowledge and availability of contraception, condoms and abortion, teens are taking responsibility for their own sexual health “far more than any previous Canadian generation.” (Maticka-Tyndale 2008) An interesting point from this journal is that although the previous statement is factual, rates of chlamydia have been raising steadily since 1997, though pregnancy rates have declined and condom use has increased. The reasons for this are still being examined, but what Maticka-Tyndale believes is that with more sensitive testing methods for STIs, more cases are being recorded, though teens are being safer and smarter about protection. The second journal is based on the “relatively new research of FWBRs and how common it is specifically among college and university students.”(Weaver, MacKeigan & MacDonald, 2011) Their survey found that over half of the students surveyed had been involved in FWBRs. Weaver, MacKeigan and MacDonald, the authors of this journal believe that these types of relationships occurred in past generations but are a lot more ordinary now. At a Canadian university, students over the age of 18 with FWBR experience could volunteer to be part of this study, and were later interviewed. The students were then asked a set of broad questions, followed by a number of prompts, which gave them much flexibility in their answers. The results of this survey found that on average students had a slightly positive response from the relationship, and that it lasted for eight months. With regards to protection, over 60% recorded that they used condoms consistently, and over 20% said they used condoms most of the time. This study’s results concerning protection coincide with the other journal in the fact that teens are being safer about sex.
The two journals chosen, though quite different in what they were studying, help researchers better understand adolescent sexuality and its recent trends. Many assumptions are made towards today’s teens and are falsely based on how the media portrays them. Maticka-Tyndale’s study displays the slight, though significant improvement of the sexual health among Canadian adolescents in comparison to previous generations. Not only are today’s youth waiting longer before having sexual intercourse, but they are engaging in different kinds relationships then their parents were. The relatively new phenomenon of FWBRs are more common today than before and more than half of the teens in the study had been involved on one. Within the last couple of years two popular movies have come out, and the two main characters in both movies were involved in a FWBR. This type of relationship is everywhere and is now not seen as unusual. It is interesting to see how things are changing from one generation to the next with regards to sexuality, and where Canada’s next generation will stand.
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Maticka-Tyndale, Eleanor. Sexuality, and sexual health of Canadian adolescents: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 17 (3) 2008, 85-91/
Weaver, Angela D., MacKeigan, Kelly L., & MacDonald, Hugh A. Experiences and perceptions of young adults in friends with benefits relationships; A qualitative study. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, Vol. 20 (1) 2011, 41-51.