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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

"Ephebiphobia" is worse than ever!

The Guardian has a somewhat interesting if very self serving article by psychologist Tanya Byron about "ephebophobia" or the fear of tearaway youth. She begins with a pithy observation, namely that adults have been complaining that the kids these days have no respect, since time immemorial:
"We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self-control." These words - expressing the all-too-familiar contemporary condemnation of young people - were actually inscribed on a 6,000-year-old Egyptian tomb.
In other words, every generation thinks that the next generation is the worst ever. That's an excellent point. Yet she somehow missed the irony in the next line:
Such quotes illustrate what I believe has become a historically nurtured and culturally damaging phenomenon: ephebiphobia - the fear of youth. But today this problem is worse than ever.
Is it really? Or is there another Egyptian tomb somewhere, yet to be uncovered, in which someone laments how silly modern Egyptians are for thinking that everything was better in the good old days?

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