Generation Y suffers from adult indifference : LETTERS

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The Independent Online
From Dr L. Elliot Shubert Sir: As a professional educator for sexuality, my reaction to "generation Y: sex" (23 January) is both positive and negative. You were forthright to publish the sexual thoughts, ideas and behaviour of 16- to 24-year-olds as theyexpressed it to your journalists. Some insights were gained from the comments and interviews. However, without data from a properly designed and executed scientific survey these reports can only be viewed as sound bytes, which may or may not be typical of 16- to 24- year-olds.

What I did glean from the articles was that young people are experiencing the mechanics of sex (thanks to "genital focused" sex education), but they lack the holistic understanding of sexuality and interpersonal relationships (education for sexuality). Nothing has really changed despite renaming generation X as Y. It is apparent to me that there continues to be a lack of adequate education about sexuality in the schools; parents are not communicating with their children, much less about sexuality, values and mores, and religion is not taking an active and responsible role. So, life goes on, as adolescent girls continue to get pregnant, adolescents continue to contract a majority of sexually transmitted diseases, the age for contracting HIV gets younger, and date rape continues unabated. All of these are 100 per cent preventable but it seems that society deals better with a crisis than prevention.

It might be more appropriate to write about generation Zzzz or the adult generation. It appears that adults in responsible positions, both in the public and private sectors, are still asleep, since their decisions are having a direct negative effect on the quality of lives of young people. A lot could be done to improve the quality of life and prevent the crisis situations of generation Y.

Yours sincerely, L. Elliot Shubert London, SE18

23 January