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I think there have been both positive and negative consequences. Women have certainly benefited from changes in society. It has become common place for a woman to work and expect equal treatment. Men are also encouraged to have a more active role in the families. Men have moved from being hands off to hands on when it comes to children, cooking, and other family roles traditionally held by women.
At the same time, it has led to some dangerous consequences. I see many teenagers wearing clothing that my mother would have flipped over. Teenagers are permitted far more freedom and there are not always positive consequences. We've seen a rise in STDs and teen pregnancy. While society no longer places a teen mother in a hidden facility, we have become a little too accepting. Some teens now plan a pregnancy with their boyfriend and society accepts this as a good idea rather than something to be discouraged.
Unlike 30 years ago, it is now commonplace for children to grow up in single-parent families as well as in same sex marriages and families. Teen gang life has been revitalized, and teachers have gone from being respected role models to being blamed for most of the problems found in schools.
If we just look at the last 30 years, I would argue that the changes are not great. The major differences in permissiveness came about in the '60s. As a teacher, I think I see differences in the degree of respect for authority that students (and their parents) show today as compared to how things were in 1982.
Permissiveness: The word has a negative tone, but it is from the same root as 'permission'. In the last 30 years we have demanded our 'leaders' justify their authority. It's been messy and it will continue to be messy, but we have learned how to say, "Oh yeah? Sez you." to our self-satisfied leaders.
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