Eating away at the heart of democracy today, the fear of youth is a force that’s destroying families, community, and society. Known as ephebiphobia, this phenomenon is a wide-spread cultural force that causes adults to scoot away from kids in restaurants, voters to wage campaigns against public schools, and seniors to move away from neighborhoods with teens living in them.

Since I discovered the term in an obscure academic journal more than a decade ago, I have been using The Freechild  Project to promote awareness of ephebiphobia. I have also authored an article on Wikipedia, and helped several students write their own work on the topic too. I have trained thousands of youth workers and educators across the US and Canada on the fear of youth, and challenged young people to combat it directly themselves. We’re making headway, but there’s a lot of room to grow. Learn more at

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!