Retro style cute Afro boy face outline emoticons

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While this new generation is showing how much better the world can be once we become more comfortable expressing ourselves and respecting others, there are still outdated stigmas that haunt and hurt communities of color.

A new national study from MTV and PRRI surveyed people aged 15-24 and found out that youth are increasingly challenging gender norms. Fewer than one in five young men and women describe themselves as completely masculine or completely feminine. A quarter of young men and 40 percent of young women identify themselves as mixed in terms of their masculine and feminine orientation. In addition to this, 62 percent of young LGBTQ+ people consider themselves to be toward the middle of the gender spectrum.

This is all amazing news — young children should definitely feel comfortable expressing themselves in whatever way they feel is best. But the study shows that the results differed significantly by race. More young Black men and women identified as mostly or completely masculine or feminine in comparison to their white peers. Forty-three percent of Black young people say they believe young men face a great deal of pressure in comparison to the 28 percent of white young people.

While these statistics are disappointing, they’re definitely not surprising. Black men, in particular, are constantly being hit with less than positive portrayals through myths, misconceptions and stereotypes that then hinder their developmental processes. These media portrayals carry into the way that they are treated in environments outside and inside the home.

You can read the rest of the survey here.

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