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Generational amnesia is a disease many adults suffer from today. Often times older generations seem to negate the fact that they themselves were ever teenagers or young adults.

Signs of generational amnesia become very apparent when youth behave like youth and are curious about relationships, sexuality, drugs, and sex.
Symptoms of generational amnesia include statements like:
  • When I was young we listened to our parents and didn’t do___.
  • When I was young we knew better than to disobey our parents.
  • When I was young we knew better than to have sex outside of marriage.
  • When I was young I knew about sex, you can’t possible tell me you need someone to teach you about sex.
  • When I was young we knew if we even thought about disobeying our elders we would have hell to face.
  • When I was young no body wondered if they were gay or not.
  • Note that “When I was young” can be replaced with “My generation” and still be signs of generational amnesia.
Generational amnesia is very harmful,  it can lead to:
  • youth feeling uncomfortable when it comes to speaking to adults about sex, relationships, drugs, and sexuality.
  • Older generations isolating themselves from a youth’s reality and challenges of growing up.
  • Older generations feeling youth, “need to just figure it out on their own.”
  • Older generations creating ads and public service announcements that do not reach youth because they are created by people who do not understand youth.
The cure for generational amnesia is still unknown however, if you know someone who suffers from generational amnesia gently urge them to remember their youth in an honest way.
If their parents are still living ask their parents to help their child accurately recount their teenage and young adult years.
Please note that there are several types of generational amnesia including but not limited to: privileged amnesia, the arts are a waste of time amnesia, body image amnesia and several more.
As a youth it is important to understand generational amnesia and work on not developing it as you grow older.


  • Ndan Anderson

    Omg! I was just talking to my grandmother about this! There is such a rift between generations because of this!! That rift causes turmoil in households and relationships all because people want to forget they were YOUNG at one point! The bond that can be created through dialogue and discussion is amazing but, on the flip side the confusion and resentment that can be caused by a lack of discussion can be downright terrible!

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