Struggling in relationships
A recent study by the Harvard Graduate School of Education, “The Talk: How Adults Can Promote Young People’s Healthy Relationships and Prevent Misogyny and Sexual Harassment”, showed an alarmingly large number of young people are struggling with forming healthy romantic relationships.
They are also ill-prepared to deal with widespread misogyny and sexual harassment which they encounter all too frequently in their daily lives.
Here are some of the findings of the study which surveyed and interviewed some 3,000 young adults and high school students in America as well as adults who were a key influence on the young, like parents, teachers, coaches and counsellors.
1. Most young people are not interested in “hooking-up” frequently. Eighty-five percent of respondents said they prefered spending time with friends or being in a serious relationship.
2. A large number of teens and young adults surveyed said they were unprepared for caring, lasting romantic relationships. They were, however, anxious about developing such relationships but had no guidance on how to do so. Seventy percent of respondents aged between 18-25 say they wish they had received more information from their parents about relationships and 65% wanted the subject to be addressed at school.
3. About 87% of the women surveyed reported having experienced some form of sexual harassment. Yet 76% of respondents had never had a conversation with their parents about how to avoid sexually harassing others. Most had also never spoken about misogyny.
4. Almost half the respondents (48%) felt that double standards against women did not exist in society. About 33% of the male respondents thought that men should be dominant in romantic relationships.
5. About 39% did not think women were inappropriately sexualised in the media.
Young people, like these students in this file photo, receive little or no help in forming and maintaining healthy, fulfilling relationships.