• Period between normal onset of puberty to the
beginning of adulthood.
*In pre-industrial societies, people passed this stage in
life after performing necessary puberty rites.
*In U.S. adolescence didn’t exist before the Civil War
Anticipatory socialization- adolescent preparin
to take on new adult roles
Puberty- physical maturing that makes an individual
capable of sexual reproduction.
Puberty rites (men & women)
• differ from society to society
• average age is 13yrs. old
Demonstrations of strength and endurance (simulation)
Ritual filing of the teeth (volunteer)
• Tattooing or scarring of the body (powerpoint)
There are 3 factors that make
adolescence a life stage:
1. Education- students living at home while
2. Exclusion of youth in the workforce- child
3. Development of the juvenile justice system-
different sentencing guidelines based on age
Ex. Lee Boyd Malvo- 16 yr. old sniper
4 Characteristics of Adolescence
1. Biological Growth & Development
2. Undefined Status
3. Increased Decision Making
4. Increased Pressure
Biological Growth & Development
• Puberty is universal
• Endocrine system- hormone-producing
• Spurts in height & weight in short amount
• Pimples! 80% of adolescents have acne-
results in anxiety/embarrassment
Undefined status- some adults treat teenagers
like adults, some treat them like children
• Marriage at 14-18 w/o parental consent in
• Voting age- 18
• Drinking age- 21
• Driver’s License- 16-18
• Service in Armed Forces- 18
Increased Decision Making
• What courses should I take in school?
• What sports should I play?
• What car/job should I have?
• College, tech school, take a year off, work
for the family?
• Choosing a mate & career- MAJOR
• Relationships with family and friends
• Job- finding one, keeping one, juggling school
work/grades, scheduling free time
• Teenagers want to fit in:
true friends or not?
Advertisements to lure teens into brand
name clothes, certain music, movies, etc.
Teenagers and Dating
• Dating is NOT universal!
• Dating didn’t exist before WWI- it was
•Very few dates with the person you chose to marry!
• If left alone in a room, one foot had to be on the
floor& the door always open.
4 forms of dating
3. Attain status
4. Fulfill psychological needs
List at least 20 recreational activities to do on a
date! Keep it clean!
(up to 1960)
•Male to female contact
•Visible sign of commitment
•Certain times of the week to make plans for the weekend
•Both contact each other
•Group friendship at first
•Parents don’t have as much control
For many of the Old Order Amish young people, pairing
up begins at Sunday evening singings. The boy will take
the girl home in his buggy. The couple is secretive about
their courtship. Several days to two weeks before the
wedding, the couple is published in church and their
intentions to marry are made known. Weddings are in
November, or at the very latest in early December. That's
after the busy fall harvesting season is over. Weddings are
on Tuesdays or Thursdays-the least busy days of the week
on an Amish farm. The wedding is held at the home of the
bride and the sermon and ceremony will last about four
hours. Weddings usually begin at 8:30 a.m. There are no
kisses, rings, photography, flowers or caterers. There are
usually 200 or more guests. After the wedding there is a
dinner of chicken, filling, mashed potatoes, gravy, ham,
canned fruit, plus many cookies, cakes and pies.
Was used to set the time a
gentleman caller could spend
courting a young girl. The girl's
father would light and raise or
lower the candle the height he
felt appropriate as the courter
arrived. If the father thought the
young man was a good prospect
for his daughter, the candle was
set high. On the other hand, if he
disapproved, he made sure the
candle was set very low.
Everyone knew that when the
candle burned down to the top of
the candleholder, it was time to
Amish Case Study (2001)
Community records: Out of 200 Amish
members, there hasn’t been one divorce!
Question: Maybe our societal views on
dating should change to lower our
devastating divorce rate- which is 1.5
out of 2 marriages in 2005 ended!
Stages of dating
1. Casual (recreation/amusement)
2. Steady (no interest in anyone else)
3. Engagement (ring and a date)
Sequence of dating
•Degree of commitment increases w/ each stage
•Stages may be skipped (love at first site?)
•Can be stopped at any time (runaway bride)
How did the Industrial Revolution change
courting in the U.S.?
1. Cars- easier to communicate (neighbors)
2. Males no longer on farms- become
independent, workplace acquaintances
3. Creation of co-ed public school system
4. Establishment of child labor laws allows
for more “free time”
5. Women in the workforce in the 1920’s!
Willard Waller- (Penn State) sociologist that
studied dating people.
He made a bold conclusion that dating had
little to do with mate selection and more to
do with having fun!
•Mother/Father of my •Popularity & good looks
children • False sense of tremendous wealth
•Inheritance is sizable • Education
Homogomy- individuals marry people who
have social characteristics similar to their own
Cinderella is a
1. Pregnancy & AIDS
Early sexual activity =
Negative Health Consequences
Here are two of the many you need to remember!
Do you know what the 6th leading cause of death is among adolescents?
Sociologists attribute this horrifying statistic to
Do you have any guesses?
1. Unprotected sex
2. Drug use
Comprehensive AIDS website
Aids Memorial Quilt
The U.S. teenage pregnancy rate is
5x that of Germany, Japan, or
Background to the social problem:
• In the 1960’s, the Sexual
Revolution happened and the
Birth Control Pill was
• Love-Inns & Swinging parties
TV Censorship timeline
In 2005- 99% of TV programs had
sexual material in the script
Reasons for early sexual activity:
• Socio and economical factors
2 parents & high income- lowest rate
Single parent & low income- highest rate
• Religious participation
• Drug use & peer pressure
Consequences of early sexual activity:
• Teenage mothers become drop-outs
• Teenage mothers have lower paying jobs
• Children of teenagers have more learning difficulties
• Children of teenagers have a higher rate of
becoming teenage parents themselves
STAT: Over 10% of mothers are
Cocaine and Heroin ads
Harrison Narcotic Act (1914)-
outlawed heroin and cocaine for
recreational or medicinal purposes
• Extreme mood swings
• Increase in criminal activities
• Crack cocaine is #1 drug in gang violence
• Marijuana- leading drug in high schools
• Cigarettes- 20% of teenagers are
addicted to nicotine by the age of 17
• Alcohol abuse by teens has decreased
slightly in the past decade
WHY do teens use drugs?
2. Social and academic problems
3. Living in a hostile or rejecting family
Department of Health &
Best resource for suicide information:
Center for Disease and Control
Disclaimer: Suicides stats. are often wrong.
Many are reported as accidents
(single-car/no brake marks) or drug overdoses.
•Alcohol and/or drug use- Why?
1. Low level of self-control
2. Use it as a method to commit suicide
3. Easily frustrated & more likely to act on impulse
More predictors cont.-
• Triggering Events- unwanted pregnancy, poor grades,
family crisis, loss/rejection of an important person
• Age- 3rd leading cause of death among people
(1. Accidents 2. Homicides)
• Gender- Females are 3x more likely to attempt
suicide but fail (pills/superficial cuts)
Males more likely to succeed b/c they
Suicide predictors cont.-
• Family Relations- violence in the home, intense
marital conflicts, recent loss of parent due to divorce
*Suicide is more common in families whose parent/s
show rejection or hostility towards their children.*
• Population Density- under populated areas have a
higher suicide rate b/c there are fewer social services
and more social isolation
Geographically, fewer suicides happen where?
East coast, West coast or Midwest? Western
• Cluster Effect- one suicide often leads to a COPYCAT suicide within a
community. The news acts like a fuse with already unstable teens.
Social Factors that affect suicide rates:
Emile Durkheim (1897)- famous for the
most comprehensive case study of suicide
He wanted to know why some groups within a society have
higher suicide rates then others. He concluded this:
It depends on the their level of social integration.
Social Integration- the degree of attachment one
has to a social group or society.
• Opposite ends of Eskimos in Greenland
the spectrum; if In many societies, primarily nomadic or
very poor ones, it is not uncommon
you place your that old members of the tribe will
groups’ needs commit suicide to avoid continuing life
above your own as weak and pitiable creatures that are
because you are a burden on their community. Among
the Eskimos, such motives appeared to
very socially be quite frequent, and a person might
integrated- you be placed in a kayak on the ocean to
have an increased sail toward the sunrise, or be left
risk. behind in the wilderness. Last recorded
Iluilissat Ice fjord
• People w/ low levels of social
integration have the highest
rate of suicide.
What groups are you involved
• Rates also increase during
periods of social
Examples: natural disasters,
war, sudden change in