Teenagers today: Open-minded, gender fluid, politically engaged and stressed.

iNews reports that teenagers today are more likely to be open-minded about sexuality and gender than previous generations, have strong family values and be politically engaged.

But an analysis of young people’s outlook on the world published by the National Citizen Service also revealed that young people suffer body anxiety issues, been touched by mental health issues and been bullied at one stage in their lives.

The study is a collection of surveys targeted at 16 and 17 year olds over the last 12 months, which shows that 59 per cent of teens think the idea that everyone is either straight or gay is out of date, compared with 48 per cent of adults.

“Our research uncovers what it’s like to be a teenager in Britain today – investigating issues around identity, family relationships, leisure activities, social responsibility, how we feel about social media and our aspirations for the future,” Tara Khoo, NCS National Youth Board Member, said. “

“While this report may only have surveyed a small percentage of Britain’s teenagers, hopefully it can start a dialogue on how we can turn the negative experiences of young people into positive ones.”

It is perhaps unsurprising that more than a third – 37 per cent – said they had suffered from mental ill health in the past. Dr Anna Colton, a child and adolescent psychologist, said of the findings: “Generation Z are, on the whole, much more open-minded about [sexuality and gender] issues than previous generations.

“This fluidity in how they define themselves ties into an acceptance of fluidity in others.”

The study revealed that 80 per cent of teens believed their physical appearance was important to them, while 40 per cent added that their appearance is influenced by social media. Half of teens surveyed – 50 per cent – said they had been bullied in the past. A further 26 per cent of boys and 63 per cent of girls said they felt anxious.

Read more about today’s teens Teenagers today: Open-minded, gender fluid, politically engaged and stressed

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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