The Panther

Day 13: Sex Through The Ages

Anastasiya Dudaryk, copy editor

As technology and social media become more apparent in the lives of teenagers and younger adults, a generational divide forms over the morals and values associated with sex and relationships. The widespread praise of figures like Kim Kardashian has both empowered and enraged women with the growing acceptance of female sexuality and shifts towards more provocative clothing and music choices. As diverse generational views on sex, fashion, music and culture emerge, many are left to wonder what changes await.

Opening a Palmecho yearbook from the early 1970’s, students marvel at the conservative dresses of the prom court and cheer squad. Shoulders are covered and all evidence of exposed skin is concealed by long gowns.

“They look really pretty,” freshman Riley Gleiberman said. “I love the amount of effort put into their outfits.”

Flipping through the pages of the yearbooks, individuals of all ages marveled at the contrasts seen between fashion trends from forty years ago and current ones.

“It’s crazy to think that’s how people dressed when they were going out,” junior Jonathan Rondon said. “It’s a very different style nowadays with more freedom of expression.”

Throughout the school’s hallways and the classrooms, different styles and fashion trends mark each individual. Some prefer to keep it simple with plain bottoms and spirit wear while others venture towards rips in their jeans and quirky shirts.

“Clothing opens an outlet to confidence or how you want to convey yourself to the outside world,” senior Emmanuel Rodriguez said. “It could be empowering to wear that new cute pair of shoes and look good in them or any outfit that you feel sexy on you”

The internet and media has allowed teenagers and outlet through which to identify with various forms of expression whether through fashion, music or art.

“We all express ourselves in different ways, some of us gravitate towards fashion and art while others go to the music,” Rodriguez said. “Music is powerful in its way to connect people and let others feel heard while also providing an outlet to show the world who you really are.”

While many students of this generation find confidence and empowerment in their freedom to express their sexuality, older generations comment on the excess amount of promiscuity associated in today’s society.

“It’s much more visceral. There’s absolutely no covering up what the end result is,” AP Art History teacher Peggy Falagan said. “For instance the prom. Prom started out being just a dance and then it evolved into an after dinner thing where you went to a diner and through the ages, its become more of a weekend thing where you have to get the hotel and in the end it is expected that a girl will put out.“

Throughout the years Falagan has witnessed the shifts in culture and society that have resulted in a greater confidence for younger girls to dress in a more provocatively manner.

“What message are you sending? Oh your jeans are worn out from the message you’re sending,” Falagan said. “I’m just mortified and I don’t have a daughter and if I had a daughter I wouldn’t allow it. I’m not necessarily old-school but its just, as a female, it’s the wrong message.”

While teenagers rave about their freedom of expression, Falagan challenges this generation to change their ways to a more traditional and simpler time. She empowers young women to continue expressing their sexuality, but without the exposure of their bodies to the world.

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Day 13: Sex Through The Ages