Puberty and Adolescence

For the most part, the path set down for female and male children is merely continued into adolescence, although rural children who want to attend high school must move to a nearby city and live in a dormitory in order to do so. Nonetheless, adolescent girls continue to feel more pressure from their families to conform to their family's and society's constraints upon them, while boys are given more freedom to explore the world on their own. Mothers, particularly older ones and those in rural areas, continue to want their daughters to entertain boys at home rather than to go out with them (Vajda, 1998), although most girls prefer to go out on dates. Girls generally also experience heavier family sanctions against alcohol use and as a result experience drunkenness less than their male counterparts. Nonetheless, both adolescent girls and boys do drink alcohol, so much so that by 11th grade fully 100% of the boys and 94.9% of the girls in a recent study had tried alcohol (Swaim, Nemeth, & Oetting, 1995).

Another aspect of adolescents' lives that is a continuation from childhood is the emphasis on different kinds of education. Interestingly, this difference has contributed to a positive outcome for more Hungarian women than men during the change from an industrial to a service economy in the 1990s. In Hungary, girls and young women complete academic secondary school and both 3- and 4-year colleges more than boys and young men (Hrubos, 1994). Training in such fields as accounting, clerical work, and languages were predominantly seen as female, while boys were directed via vocational high schools into the industrial work force, with its opportunties for hands-on training and high industrial wages (Koncz, 1995). In addition, currently, more women are entering into formerly male-dominated fields such as economics and computer science (Hrubos, 1994). As a result, younger women make up a greater proportion of the well-educated Hungarian population and tend to have greater educational qualifications than men of the same age (Lobodzinska, 1995).

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