Boys lose sexism of seventies

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September 09, 2012 /
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THE modern-day teenager still grapples with issues surrounding sex and drugs – but the attitude of boys towards girls has made a complete backflip in the past 30 years.

TV’s coming-of-age Puberty Blues has brought to life the laid-back lifestyle of living in the ’70s; carefree days of surfing, drug-taking and “pashing” in the back of a Holden panel van.

It also highlights a complete disrespect towards women.

Director of the Journalism and Media Research Centre at UNSW, Professor Catharine Lumby, said she expects many young boys would be surprised by the blatant disrespect for women shown in the hit show.

“I think that a lot of young boys would be shocked by how overt the sexism in that culture was. They would probably be shocked at the brutal treatment of women that you see in the Puberty Blues era.”

Professor Lumby said gone are the days where a teen girl sits on the beach watching her boyfriend surf, while minding his “Chiko Roll.”

Social demographer Neer Korn said while the technology, fashion and slang has changed since the ’70s, the pressure to take drugs, engage in teen sex, commit adultery, sexual assault, violence and child abuse, which are all portrayed in the TV series, are still prevalent.

“While the attitudes of young men have changed dramatically, there is no question the sex and alcohol is more common than ever.”

Dr Lauren Rosewarne, lecturer at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne, said the attitudes of men towards women has changed.

“The generation of now has a female prime minister; teenage boys are used to seeing females in positions of authority.”