Google+ Authentic Parenting: Youth, Violence and Society

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Youth, Violence and Society

Image: foto Rajith
Every so often, you hear people sigh: "Our youth is going down the drain, never before were times so violent". People tend to blame it on parents who have become less authoritarian, on the absence of spanking, on the lack of discipline. In the 'good old days', a delinquent boy would be 'smacked until he knew better'. Never was there as much rape and murder and senseless violence then right now... Or was there?
The fact is that not the occurrence of violence has augmented (quite on the contrary), but that it's span has gotten bigger, the weapons have gotten badder and our tolerance has lessened.
"Interestingly, the overall rate of juvenile crime has been decreasing since 1995. When people see gruesome images on television, such as the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, or the Springfield, Oregon, rampage of 15-year-old Kip Kinkel (who shot both his parents and two classmates), their impression is that juvenile crime is out of control."

A small century ago, violence and petty crime was a regular outlet for young men. Lives meant less and were easily disposed of. Crime fighting wasn't at the level it was right now, and many crimes went unreported and thus unseen. Bar fights were daily business, factory brawls were an oft seen display.
In my grandmother's day, many a girl would end up in a ditch for falling pregnant with the wrong man. But there weren't TV stations to cover these tragedies, so they were local stories that died an equally fast dead.

Guns and weapons have become more and more 'efficient' and easier available, so now when young people turn to violence, the casualties are often bigger numbers, so is the body count.

Violence does not spring out of less punished parenting, quite the contrary. (...) the major factors affecting adolescent antisocial behaviour were family dynamics, poor school performance, and early childhood aggression. (1)

So next time you hear someone sigh about how rotten our youth is, ask them how many fights he got into in his life, how many acts of vandalism he has committed, and if he has known a person who was seriously injured or murdered. And then do the same for yourself.

(1) Upbringing rather than neighborhood determines delinquency
(2) Juvenile Law - History



  1. I do agree! The youth I come across today are socially responsible people who care about themselves, life, each other and how they treat the world! But there are communities in our society where it is not going as well...

    WE are doing it better! (parenting)

  2. I think that most people regretting the "old times" are old people (or at least middle-aged). The young ones are quite happy with what the world has to offer. The truth is that when someone is young, everything is new, every thing is to be conquered, every opportunity is still open, the life is full of possible dreams. Hence the "it was better in my days...", even if evidences show the contrary.
    Same goes for violence : there is less violence now that there used to be a century ago.
    Thank you for a good article :-)


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