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The Pressures Of Todays Youth

            The Pressures of Today's Youth Many young people in this day and age are tying to look act, and overall seem older. Youths face many dilemmas in their trek to adulthood yet, they still try to obtain adulthood earlier by going through the "proper" rites of passage. These rites create dilemmas which can help or hinder lifetime goals. Two of the dilemmas that young people face today are peer pressure, and adult pressure. Two essayists have given their thoughts on these subjects They are Mark Gerzon ( "Manhood. The Elusive Goal ") and Joan Didion ( On Self-respect"). "Manhood The elusive goal" is an enigmatic journey of a young male into adult hood. He encounters some of the many rites of passage (dilemmas) in the modern society;smoking, drinking, and violence. The author refers to these as part of the "masculine code of conduct" an item every male must follow verbatim. "On Self-respect " faces the every day pressures of adolescent life. The main premise of this essay is that you must respect yourself for anyone to respect you. Both essay's rely on self respect to relate to the rites of passage in today's society. Peer pressure is a very major dilemma in that friends or peers try to get a person to do what they, the majority, like and not what the individual likes. Peers create some of the so-called rites, then when one follows more start to follow, then it becomes the scenario of the lemmings following their leader off of the face of a cliff. Some teens think that drinking is a passage into adulthood because the law states you must be 21 to drink . The logic of some teens then indicates that if you drink you are considered an adult. Therefore if one teen tries it he/she is supposedly accepted as a more mature person, so more people will follow. Many adolescents fear their peers because of the fact that the peer group may have set certain ideals yet the individual may or may not have the resources to obtain the ideals.