Fear of youth is the theory that it is common for adults and social systems such as governments to fear and loath youth. The idea is associated with the bias that "today's youth lack morals and judgement." Such ideas occur in every adult generation stretching back for at least a century and can be seen in remarkable similar media commentary from one generation to the next.
Media PanicCompetitive media picks up on fear of youth as it is known to attract viewers and readers. Content typically stress that the new generation is fundamentally different and ascribes them either sensational abilities or weaknesses.
ResultThe fear of youth potentially manifests itself in discrimination against youth in employment as hiring managers may fear younger colleagues will challenge them or disrupt their routines. It may also impact government policy in the form of morality and control laws. In some cases, such policies may criminalize common behaviors amongst the younger generation. The fear of youth theory has been used to explain things such as early American Puritanism, prohibition, curfews, public surveillance and punishments for playing in the street.
|Type||Cognitive BiasEducationOffice PoliticsPoliticsMedia|
|Definition (1)||The theory that it is common for adults and social systems such as governments to fear youth.|
|Definition (2)||The fear that each adult generation has of the younger generation that will soon be running things.|
|Implications||Moral panicDiscrimination Control and repression over engaging youth and nurturing their potential.|
|Related Concepts||Culture of FearCognitive BiasesOffice PoliticsBase Rate Fallacy|
|Also Known As||Fear of teenagersEphebiphobia |
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