Youth Violence

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Youth Violence Youth violence is an escalating problem in American society today. There are many different factors that can be blamed for this problem. During the last decade of the twentieth century people began searching for answers to this dilemma which is haunting America. Many tragic school shootings have taken place within the last decade that have gained the attention of the public. As of now, no one can give the right answer to the problem or the reason that it happens because there is no right answer yet and nobody can be sure that they know the cause. All we have to go by are the opinions of different people. The most popular cause of the problem of youth violence is the media. In “The Erosion of Empathy,” Sissela Bok says, Few imagine that media violence ‘makes’ someone act out their aggressions. Many factors are at issue, though not all are present in any one case: depression, drugs, anxiety, parental neglect or abuse, access to lethal weapons and instructions about how to construct bombs. … glamorized media violence contributes powerfully to blurring the line between fantasy and reality. Immaturity, anger, fierce enjoyment of media violence, and access to deadly weapons make for a Combustible mix. 2 Sissela Bok gets a good point across. Bok’s idea is that there is not just one cause, but that the many factors stated in the quote above put together have influence on youth violence, but she does stress the issue of violence in the media. The media is represented in many different ways including video games, movies, television, magazines, and newspapers. Some interactive games invite players to assume the role of ‘first person shooters’ and reward them for shooting and eviscerating victims in glory and photo-realistic detail. Youngsters are familiar with films portraying the murder of classmates, parents, and teachers as thrilling. (Bok 247) Much of this problem dealing with youth violence and the media is blamed on television and movies. “There are also the blood-drenched movies any kid can watch on HBO or network TV and teen cable shows like ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and ‘South Park,’ where kids’ decent impulses are derided and snuffed out every week.” (Sleeper 250) Children become engrossed in this type of television shows and look forward to the new episode every week. It is hard not to wonder what is going through thes... ... middle of paper ... ...nguage. 9th ed. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. New York: Longman, 2000. 261-263. Includes six letters to the editor of Newsweek magazine. Each are written by a different author and all speak of the shootings in Littleton, Colorado. Wallaert 6 Males, Mike. “Stop Blaming Kids and TV.” Exploring Language. 9th ed. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. New York: Longman, 2000. 257-260. Throughout history it has been believed that children’s behavior is reflected from their parents. When dealing with youth violence this belief is overlooked and media influence is given much emphasis. Explains that juvenile violence begins at home. Grossfield, Stan. “Not Gun Shy.” Exploring Language. 9th ed. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. New York: Longman, 2000. 263-267. Includes photos and edited transcripts of conversations held by Stan Grossfield and gun owners and dealers at Florida’s Palm Beach County gun show in June of 1999. Sleeper, Jim. “An Issue Beyond Idealogy.” Exploring Language. 9th ed. Ed. Gary Goshgarian. New York: Longman, 2000. 249-251. Speaks of the issues concerning youth and violence. Discusses the views of both conservatives and liberals. Gives causes of youth violence.

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