Youth Violence Essay

Abstract Youth Violence has become a very wide spread epidemic, many people have different views on the cause which is making these kids become violent. Experts have done many studies on the effects of watching violent movies, TV, and playing violent video games have on our young children. The types of families these kids come from are different walks of life that affect the way kids act towards other people and themselves. Violent kids do so many different crimes that really affect people’s lives forever. The age bracket kids become violent, and types of crimes they do is just appalling.

What Causes Youth Violence and the Crimes they do It’s in everyone’s best interest to combat youth violence, because kids are hurting and torturing others kids and it needs to stop. The Center for Disease control and Prevention has done studies on youth violence and their finding are astounding, “ 7. 8% of kids reported being threatened or injured with weapons on school property one or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey” (CDC2008b). Kids have reported, they have had physical fights in school and they have missed one or more days in a month because they do not feel safe at school.

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Americans have many concerns about the consequence that all the violence in the media will have on the youth. The United States Government has conducted several studies on the subject of violence in the media and youth violence. The Surgeon General’s report indicated that violent media effects certain people. Watching violent shows or playing violent games stimulates violent behavior in youth. Youth that watch violent movies have a greater tendency to show more aggressive behavior and thoughts than youth that do not. Randomized experiments reveal that exposure to media violence can cause immediate increases in aggressive thoughts and tolerance for aggression in both children and older youth (Drabman and Thomas, 1974). Many polls have been done to find out what people think “the federal government should do more to regulate the violence on the internet (65%), in video games (58%) and on TV (56%). Nearly half thought it should do more to regulate violence in movies (49%) and in popular music (48%) ” (Carlson, 2002). Despite what veryone has done to make it known that violent media promotes kids to act violent it is still a choice, parents need to monitor their kids to make sure what they are watching is appropriate. Parents need to make certain their children are choosing the right games to play and what they are looking at on the internet. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their kids are safe from violent media and that kids know violence is wrong and will not be tolerated. What and who do you think is responsible for kids being so violent, and what could be done to stop youth violence?

The quality of life that youth are raised in does have a great impact how they treat others. There is not just one thing that causes youth to act out aggressively, these children usually have multiple problems in their life. Many violent youth come from homes with parents that are abusive, hostile or even conflict ridden. “Many come from families in which the parents are negligent or disengaged from their child rearing responsibilities” (Steinberg, 1999). The susceptibility for violence extends even to children that a very young age, around 4 or 5 anti social behavior develops in its worst form.

Some kids will start showing signs of aggressive violent behavior even before they are a teenager, out of all of these kids 20% are responsible for the majority of serious crimes. Some signs that a kid could become aggressive or violent are when they are fighting, bullying or stealing from people as they become closer to being a teen. “They may already be engaged in violent criminal behavior. What these youths have in common is a lack of empathy for their victims” (Bergman, 1996). Children of today are doing more crimes that are brutal and violent in nature then they were ten years ago.

These kids are using more weapons and are involved in gang related crimes, they’re act out with very violent behavior. In Preston, England there was a case in which two 10 year old boys conned a two year old to follow them away from his mother when she was shopping. Once the two boys had him they proceeded to beat him to death with a brick and a metal pipe, and then left his body on train tracks where his body was run over by a train and was cut in half. When these boys went to trial, evidence showed these kids already had a long legal record of violent activity. Experts generally agree that the most serious offenders emerge in far greater numbers from homes where there has been serious emotional or financial problems” (Bergman, 1996). A 13 year old girl told a silent courtroom a month ago that a 11 year old boy held her down and taunted two other boys ages 13, and 15 to rape her. These boys have been charged for the rape and their trail continues on August 27. The girl also told the court that the 13, and 15 year olds were letting her go, but the younger boy shoved her to the ground and sat on her stomach.

After the boys were arrested in May, the authorities told reporters that the youngest boy taunted the older boys with crazy phrases to get them to rape her. They also said the 11 year old has gotten away with other violent crimes because of his age (Bergman, 1996). Youth violence is such a horrible reality that it is so hard to comprehend, that parents would not start taking care of their kids the way they should. If only parents of the two ten year old boys would have had an active role in their lives, the two year old boy they killed would still be safe with his mom.

Parents also need to start regulating what type of movies their kids watch and games they play. If the parents of the three boys that were involved in the rape of the girl in Canada, were paying attention to what their kids were watching and the games they were playing, they may of noticed that they were becoming aggressive and violent. The parents could have got them help before their aggression became too far out of control, the teenage girl would still be happy and innocent without fear of being raped again or worry about being beat.

With all the investigations and polls that have been done on youth violence, parents really need to start realizing they need to be more involved in their children’s lives. Parents need to be aware of what their kids are doing and how they act; they also need to know what their friends are like. Being a good parent is one big step in stopping youth violence. References Bergman. B. , (1996, Aug12). When Children Are Vicious. Volume 109, (Issue 33), (pg. 2). Retrieved from: Business Source Premier. Carlson. D. (2003).

The Blame Game: Youth and Media Violence. Gallop Tuesday Briefing, Education & Youth, January 22. Drabman, R. S. , & Thomas, M. H. (1974). Does Media Violence Increase Children’s Tolerance for Real Life Aggression? Developmental Psychology, (vol. 10), (p. 418-421). Steinberg. L. (1999). Youth Violence: Do Parents make a Difference. National Institute of Justice Journals, (n243), (pp31-38). United States, (2007). Center for Disease Control and Prevention (b). Youth risk behavioral surveillance, MMWR 2008; 57 (No SS-4).


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