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Myth of the teenager

Does the stroppy adolescent exist?

By Lucy Maddox   April 2013

© Heide Benser/Corbis

Teenagers often get a bad press. There are easy stories to be mined here: ASBOs, underage drinking, “hug a hoodie,” drug use—even, recently, the teenager who drugged her parents to access the internet.

These are not new stereotypes. As a shepherd in Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale puts it, “I would there were no age between 10 and three-and-20, or that youth would sleep out the rest; for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting.” Change the syntax, and…

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