Life is a (personal) journey.
No matter who you are or what you do there are going to be people who dislike you. Character like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
For example some people will swear president Obama lacks character and others will say the same thing about former president George W. Bush.
Only you as an individual know your character, heart, and intentions.
As you stated: Reputation is merely what (others) think you are.
"Do not to sleep around" for example means nothing to men. It's not that women love guys who sleep with every woman they can. In fact they call such men "no good", "cheaters", "dogs", "jerks", and "a-holes".
The primary difference is other men don't put these men down and many would love to know their "secret". Secondly men don't care what women think or call them (unless they consider a specific one to be special).
In this regard women will never be equal to men until they stop bad mouthing other women and stop caring what men think about them.
Ultimately a lot of life is trial and error. Ideally a person learns from their mistakes and make adjustments to obtain those things they desire.
Parenting has changed dramatically over the past few generations. In fact many of todays parents had no plans of emulating their own parent's ways of raising them. When I was growing up me and brothers knew at age 18 we were either going off to college or moving out into our own apartments.
Today a lot of parents have no desire to kick children out of the nest! There are some adult children in their 30s still living at home rent free and their mother cooks and does their laundry for them. I know one set of parents who converted their basement into separate apartment for their adult child.
Independence and being self-reliant are not character traits most of these children aspire to have and their parents don't seem to mind.
One's character is tied to their principles and what they stand for.