The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

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Sex in Society

Sex in Society

High school: four years in a person’s life that will never be forgotten. One could say this is because of all the opportunities to learn, participate in activities and meet new people. However, most would probably agree that this is because of all the newly brought on awkwardness, intense hormones, pressure around every corner and constant relationship drama.

As kids are exposed to television, movies and the internet, parents are asking why kids are beginning to have sex at such young ages. Television and movies consistently feature high school students having sex.

“That’s what the kids wanna see, they think it’s funny, they think it’s cool, they kinda get sucked into it,” freshman Ernesto Hodison said.

One thing that the kids on TV have in common is how their parent/authority figures are often unaccounted for or are simply oblivious. Most of these kids have freedom to go out whenever they want with whoever they want; consequently, they end up doing many things that most parents would not approve of. When the four main girls on “Pretty Little Liars” spend time with their boyfriends or girlfriends, they are usually alone, in empty houses, without parent interruption. Then reality TV has teens believing that the Jersey Shore lifestyle is the new normal. Society is putting teenagers in a monkey-see-monkey-do situation.

The cliche that “everyone’s doing it” is exactly what television is telling teenagers. The Secret Life of an American Teenager, a show that stars a pregnant girl in high school, is a good example of this. Instead of the stereotypical pregnant high school girl, like the girls on Teen Mom, Amy is a shy, goody two-shoes girl who got carried away at band camp. As the show goes on, virginity becomes close to non-existent throughout the high school. One character was strong in her Catholic faith and took the promises of her purity ring very seriously; she looked like a strong advocate for abstinence. Eventually, she too, gave in to the pressure and temptations.

Classic old-fashioned greetings like “how do you do” or “good afternoon” seem to have disappeared from the hallway and been replaced with the crude, “Hey slut.” Apparently, calling a friend a slut or hoe is the new way of showing affection. In many cases, girls throw these words around casually, but this can be dangerous.
“I think [calling girls sluts is] a bad thing,” freshman Erica Arensberg said. “…That could hurt someone’s reputation…and it could obviously make them feel bad about themselves.”

Every girl has an image in her head of what is “pretty”. Society tells girls that all guys love big breasts, leaving the girls who are forever stuck in A-cups feeling hopeless. From the look of most magazine covers, girls also get the impression that they must have a size 0 figure in order to consider themselves pretty. So now the curvy girls, the ones with the features that the guys supposedly like, are looking for a way to change their body.

A study done by Dove found that 72 percent of girls feel pressure to be beautiful. With the amount of exposure to the airbrushed photos on advertisements, and movies and television displaying girls who spent an unnatural amount of time in hair and makeup, it’s easy to see where a majority of this pressure originates.

Insecurities stop people from being the best version of themselves. Girls look from glossy magazine covers to their reflection in the mirror and are instantly dissatisfied. When girls can find no end to their insecurities, many often turn to boys for attention and approval. Because television features sex-driven, simple minded men, girls become confident that men are easy to please. Girls often seek acceptance through sex.

Many say that chivalry has died, but many women still expect men to hold the door and pay for dinner.

“Normally in society the guy buys stuff for the girls, instead of the other way around,” sophomore Randall Schmidt said. Society also tells girls that the guy is supposed to be more forward. The guy is the one who must go through the nerve wracking experience of asking the girl out. Afterwards, the guy is expected to set up the first date and make the first move. This leaves girls to be dependent on the man, except when cooking dinner, as society says.

Making sexist jokes has become a trend among guys. Guys constantly joke about a woman’s obligation to the kitchen. Although these are considered jokes, it is hard not to wonder if guys believe what they are saying is true.

Girls cannot pretend to always be the victim of a guy’s offensive remarks; sometimes, girls are the initiators. Some girls will post a picture on Instagram after putting together a quality sandwich or baking a batch of cookies and label themselves as “wifey material”. Rather than seeing this as degrading to women, girls may see this as a harmless way to show off their cooking skills or get a guy’s attention.

Sex is featured on every non-Disney channel, love is in every scene of a Nicholas Sparks movie and relationships fill the hallways. With all of this swimming around in an adolescent brain, focusing on something like a math test can be a big challenge. Boys will be boys and girls will be girls; all a teenager can hope for is to make it through these four awkward years and escape from high school’s version of “the real world.”

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