SPAN1021 Introduction to Spanish Culture
Essay topic: Youth Problems Among Spaniards and Hong Kong people
Youth is a stage where every individual have to pass through. During this stage of life, there are huge amount of problems to deal with as he or she grows up and are inevitable. Juveniles from different countries and places may have a variety of growing-up issues but are generally similar. In this essay, it is going to discuss about the youth problems faced by teens in Spain and in Hong Kong by comparing and contrasting the similarities and differences. It is going to focus on several youth problems including gender equalities or images and sexual orientation discrimination, educational system, unemployment or work opportunities and family prospects. Lastly, it will be concluded on the whole trend of youth problems and few suggestions.
Gender equalities and sexual orientation discrimination
During the stage of growing up, individuals often find lost feelings and misunderstanding of their own identities. Sometimes teenagers will doubt their gender identities as well as their sexual orientations because it is the time for them to start thinking of love relationships or become interested in others. Gender identity is the identity that was recognized by oneself and includes behaviors that one will act according to the expected gender (Richardson, 2001). In Spain, traditionally male had a dominant and strong image while the female had a passive and obedient character (Richardson, 2001). In previous times, women only were limited to few places in the community and they generally only appear at home, church, schools, market places or shopping malls (Richardson, 2001). However, nowadays young women in Spain are allowed to travel anywhere they wish to and adopt a strong and independent role for themselves (Jordan & Tamosunas, 2000). This may be slightly due to the advertising effect of media such as television or magazines advertisements. Jordan & Tamosunas (2000) discussed the effect of advertising on projecting a both masculine and feminine image on male or female. Both soft and caring, as well as powerful and tough characteristics, were advertised on media to make individuals in projecting them as models and in achieving them. In fact this is similar to the gender roles for Hong Kong teenagers during development. In the past Hong Kong women were traditional Chinese women who were submissive but at present they tend to be quite strong (Lee, 2003). Young women in Hong Kong have their own rights and control for their future, unlike in the old days which their decisions were all made by parents, even the men they were going to marry (Lee, 2003). It is similar to Spanish women who process both masculinity as well as femininity and they present themselves as successful modern women nowadays. Young men in both countries not only have to display strength and confidence but also the tendering and good-looking side of them so to attract others (Jordan & Tamosunas, 2000). These gender images and behaviors together may have actually a slight influence on teenagers’ perspective of sexual orientation. Although one’s sexual orientation refers to the affection towards another person, same sex or opposite sex (Richardson, 2001), the gender images of the society still influence juvenile’s decision in their attraction towards the others. Nevertheless, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community was still suffering from discriminations in Spain even though the nation has already past the gay marriage law, which is a great leap of gaining approval from the society. Studies have shown that homophobia still exist in high schools in Madrid, Spain (Galán, Puras, & Riley, 2009). Although back in 2006 there was a proposed new education syllabus for teaching school children of rejecting homophobia and accepting diversity in the society, till now the proposed course is still not included in the syllabus (Galán,...
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