Mahatma Gandhi once said, ‘An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind. The consequences of committing violent crimes are prevalent in todays society. The main reason for an arise in violent tendencies in youth is social interactions with their primary and secondary social groups as well as the influence of media. On that note, the reason behind such violent acts varies which makes it difficult to pin the blame on a single factor. As a step towards tackling the problem at hand, I believe that not only should we find the root cause of violent tendencies amongst youth, but also to prevent violent crimes from taking place for the interest of the society.
The main factors for a young person propensity to violence is internal and external social interactions as well as the media. On the other hand, some might argue that those same factors are debatable, and it all boils down to decision making.
One of the main causes of a rise in violent tendencies among youth is due to exposure to violence in the home and school.
There is a spectrum in terms of upbringing, it might have been the reason youth turn to violence to express their emotions and thoughts. It could be poor monitoring and supervision of adolescents by parents. Instead, it could also be authoritarian parenting where parents have very high expectations of their children and provide little nurture in their upbringing. Young people learn from their surroundings, events that take place around them, especially so, observing the people who are close to them.
Studies show that a dysfunctional family where there is an engagement to violence, abuse or neglect of the children ___. An example is _(physical violence abuse leading to violent acts)______ In other cases, they could be exposed to violence in the family. An example is _(youth violence due to dysfunctional family background)______ Another main cause of violent acts among adolescents is secondary factors, influence from their peers at school. An individual might be socializing with delinquents or gang associations which might lead them astray and to use violence to have ones way. These delinquents or gang associations are more likely to commit violent acts and feel no hesitation or a sense of remorse because they have found violence to be a way of life. (Highly aggressive, violent people happen to think very highly of themselves, debunking the theory that people are aggressive to make up for low self-esteem.) For instance, the situation where the parents are in an abusive relationship. An adolescent might live in constant fear and develop a sense of guilt or self-blame in these stressful situations. Such behaviour could also arise due to trauma or neglect, a lack of attention that they seek in their upbringing. The more details the youth observes the act of abuse, the more traumatized that he will be. There is evidence showing that a youths psychological reactions to trauma are more intense based off their proximity to the violence, attachment with the victim or wrongdoer, their temperament, brutality of the violence, and care made available. (Osofsky, 2003) A home environment is a crucial place of learning for the young. (piagets or erik eriksons theory) is where a youth acquires knowledge and core values from their parents, their role models. Therefore, the risk factors within close relationships and exposure to violence might be the crux of the problem of violent tendencies among youth.
However, some others might argue that it all boils down to communication with parents about the problems that they are facing. This is so that they can reach out for help instead of resorting to violence to vent their frustration or anger. Young people can be taught alternatives instead of using violence to solve problems or express their thoughts and emotions. They need to be taught that the violent acts on television programmes are not real and they should not emulate what is seen. Parents play a pivotal role in paying close attention to their children, to observe and keep a close eye of behavioural changes or significant mood changes that might have a proclivity to commit violent acts. Youth are more likely to be exposed to media violence
when they are not supervised and misguided. Having considered both sides of the arguments and recognising that there might be situations where there is lack of a parental figure for a youth to approach and seek for guidance, I strongly believe that it all still boils down to making the right decision in a dichotomy. This is supported by free will theory where (Free will) There is a need for these youth to practice accountability and responsibility for ones actions. In some circumstances, the wrong choices are made where the consequences are not taken into consideration and that is when they resort to violence to have it their way.
Another root cause of violence stems from communication factors like media that influence youth to have violent tendencies. There are many factors that demand and compete for a slice of an individuals time and media is a significant influence. It is suggested by many that media has made violence to be more prevalent in our lives. According to the social-learning approach, we learn about many behaviours by observing the behaviours of others. It has been recognized that through that theory, youth who are being overly exposed to violent scenes in the media have a tendency to incorporate those ideas into their learning process. Studies have shown that young individuals who consume high levels of media violence are at increased risk of aggressive behaviour as adults. (Huesmann, 2009) Media violence desensitises youth to real violence. The accessibility to a myriad of online information leads to a lack of restrictions to explicit media which leads to desensitisation. Youth tend to imitate the behaviour they see. The rational part of a childs brain, the frontal cortex, is not fully developed and will not be until age 25 or so. It is the area of the brain which develops later in their lives that controls reasoning and helps us to think before we act. As a result, in most cases, they do not take into consideration the consequences of their actions and act on impulse. Adolescents who are continuously being exposed to violence tend to incorporate the ideas behind such violent acts in their learning process. (Bandura, 1963) Hence, there is a possibility that those who watch a great deal of violence on television will become more violent. However, for media, it is a double-edged sword, as it can be used to educate and expose youth to the outside world or even negate harmful effects. Contrary to the claims that violent video games are linked to aggressive assaults and homicides, no evidence was found to suggest that this medium was positively related to real-world violence in the United States. (Markey, Markey, & French, 2015) Vicarious learning occurs when people observe the consequences of another persons behaviour and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Media could be used as a tool to teach them the dire consequences of resorting to violence. Based off of observing prior offenders getting punished, serving their sentence, they are aware that the displayed behaviour is frowned upon by society. Thus, the society is also responsible to prevent youth violence.
Barack Obama once said, We know we cant stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. (Rhodan, 2016) There is a myriad of factors that might have influence youth to have violent tendencies. But ultimately, it is about making the right decision. I strongly believe that no single discipline alone can prevent violence. Such a complex issue in todays society amongst youth must be tackled using a fusion of approaches with the help of different social groups to seek fruition in the future. Everyone must play a role in ensuring that youth stay on the right track. Youth need to be educated that they have to pay the price for committing such acts. They need to make the right decisions, even in the face of temptations to commit violent acts to get their way.