Assignment: Understanding Adultism

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Assignment: Understanding Adultism

Assignment: Understanding Adultism

“Our society, for the most part, considers young people to be less important than an inferior to adults. It does not take young people seriously and does not include them as decision makers in the broader life of their communities.” (Bell, 2016). If I had a quarter for every time that I heard my grandmother use the phrase, “children should be seen and not heard” when I was little, I would never have to work a day in my life. To me this meant that as children we did not have a voice in any adult conversation; we should just stay out of the way when everyone got together. Now, keep in mind that I always thought of my grandmother as evil incarnate 90% of the time. But now, as an adult, I remember the phrase but never use it. As an adult, I believe that I am guilty of adultism at time, although I never really thought about it until now. Using your dominance as an adult in any situation, is considered adultism. In the case of Eboni, she is a 16 year old pregnant teenager. She is smart, had her college life planned and a bright future ahead of her. Eboni’s mom had her when she was a teen ager, and referred to Eboni as a slut for letting this happen to her. Her mom does not want Eboni to go through the same struggles that she went through. Eboni’s mom wants her to get an abortion, however, Eboni is not sure how she feels about that. She has been placing blame on Eboni since the pregnancy and making her feel guilty for letting it happen. Eboni sees a SW who placed blame on Eboni by not using protection, essentially, it was her fault. At this point, she does not know what she is wanting to do.

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Many teenagers are having babies today, because it is not at frowned upon. I would never want my daughter to be a pregnant teenager, I want her to finish college, get a job and then have children. Unlike her step-sister who had a baby at 18, my daughter sees the struggle that she has had to deal with and knows that she does not want that at a young age. In many cases, when things occur, it is a cycle; Eboni and her mom are no different. The difference now, is that Eboni can still go to college, it will be more difficult, but it can be done.


Bell, John. (2016). Understanding Adultism. National Youth Rights Association. Retrieved from

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013). Logan Family (Episode 34) [Video file]. InSessions. Retrieved from

Response 2

· Respond to a colleague’s post by offering additional insight about how social workers can work toward assuring the best outcomes for adolescents questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.

· Please use 1-2 Learning Resources to support your answer.

Colleague 1:L

As in Braly, J., (2002) “Oliver’s Pink Bike” the initial reaction to an adolescent’s desire to do or react differently than the gender roles assigned to them by society is denial of the difference, persuasion to conform, and a preoccupation with societies acceptance of the difference (Braly, J., 2002). Society has long held to the belief that individuals are to act in a certain manner in line with their gender. Boys are to be masculine and girls are to be feminine. Girls are associated with weakness, and feminine colors. Boys are associated with strength and masculine colors. Stepping outside of these boxes poses a problem for many in society. Oliver enjoyed the color pink. He wanted everything around him pink. Although Oliver’s dad tried to sway him in another direction, a direction he was most comfortable with for Oliver, Oliver was persistent. Oliver’s dad had come around and was receptive to his decision to like pink, as long as it was confined to items and activities within the household. When Oliver asked for a pink bike, it became a much bigger issue for his dad, as a bike is something that he would ride outside of the home and now those in the neighborhood would see his son’s difference.

Societies expectations of what Oliver’s gender role norms should be played a role in Oliver’s dads hesitation regarding the bike. During this process Oliver’s dad learned that allowing Oliver to be who he was worked out much better for Oliver. His father realized that he was trying to impose what he felt Oliver should be like onto Oliver. A child’s surrounding support system plays an important role in their future mental health. Accepting and understanding who they are and not attempting to make them who one feels they should be, is important. According to Bos, H., et al, (2008) “the quality of the adolescents’ social network (including relationships with parents, peers, and other adults, such as class mentors at school) affects their psychosocial functioning, we hypothesized that the mental health and school performance of young adolescents with SSA is impaired. Studies have found that the quality of the parent-child relationship is negatively related to problem behavior” (Bos.H. W. M., et al, 2008).

As a social worker it is our ethical duty to be culturally competent and always look out for the best interest of our clients (NASW, 2008). In order to ensure the best outcomes for adolescents who question their identity or their sexual orientation is to simply identify with who they say they are without attempting to impose any specific gender role norms upon them. A social worker should be empathetic and sensitive to the unique obstacles, stressors and barriers that many questioning individuals face.


Braly. J. (2002). Oliver’s pink bicycle [Audio file]. Retrieved from

Bos, H. M. W., Sanfort, T. G. M., de Bruyn, E. H., & Hakvoort, E. M. (2008). Same-sex attraction, social relationships, psychsocial functioning, and school performance in early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 44(1), 59–68. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers (2008). Retrieved from:

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