Traditions, Values and Young People

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Relationships: A Survey


2 people holding hands
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Two students from Year 9 of the German school at Mülheim, a girl and a boy, did a survey about relationships. These were their findings:

"We asked 30 people aged 10 to 30 about the topic of relationships. 20 of them were female, so there were only 10 male participants.

About half of those interviewed said they met their friends no more than five times a week, while 27 % stated they met their friends as often as possible. Almost everybody claimed their friends were very important to them. Strangely, only just over 50 % thought they themselves were also important for their friends.

When asked whether they had a steady partner, almost half said they had, and of those, about 50 % claimed they spent as much time as possible with these partners.

So obviously there is a lot of variation in the importance that partnerships have for the lifestyles of young people.

In our survey it also became clear that most people enter into friendships and relationships because they need company. Most young people long for the security that another person offers. Although negative aspects like envy and jealousy often influence personal relationships, people usually see the positive aspects like trust, understanding and fun as being much more important.

The persons we interviewed thought that sex played a greater role in relationships today as opposed to former days. They also thought that sex was allowed and accepted at an earlier age than it used to be. Many also believe that love affairs among youngsters start much earlier these days but, on the other hand, do not last so long because pressure from the parents is not as strong anymore and the young people enjoy greater freedom."