Today in St. Paul two people were murdered. It has been reported that the two were fighting with a third party about a phone call that was made. The suspect is in custody and the case is under investigation, a reporter in the ten oclock news reports. Spouse and child abuse are on the rise. This year alone over 6 million men, women, and children were victims of severe physical attacks from their spouses or parents(article 16)*, another reporter reports. Is it just me or does this seem like something that is all too often heard on the news? The violent acts in the United States are out of control.
But what can be done about it, and how much worse are things going to get? It seems to me that what is being done now isnt enough, because things just keeps getting worse. There are twelve main things that have been being studied in depth lately by sociologists. They include: spanking, child abuse, spouse abuse, the punishment for the offenders, gun control, the medias affect on violence, the role sports play in violence, the role religion plays in violence, pacifism, and international violence. My paper will discuss each of these aspects as well as my opinions and state some facts.
Before I can say how I feel, I think there is a need to define violence, aggressiveness, and assertiveness and explain the difference between them. Violence is a physical act that intends to harm or hurt another person. Violence includes many things; such as, hitting, punching, biting, killing, stabbing, shoving, and so much more. Violence can be linked to two other words that have also become a part of every day life for many people; aggression and being assertive. Aggression is a hostile, or destructive act that is forceful.
Aggression is usually related with someone being dominant. Being assertive is to stating something (i. e. ur opinion) boldly. Both aggression and being assertive do not involve a physical force. Although these three words have different meanings, I think they very closely related. When a person is being assertive and not getting their way, or getting their point across, they can often become aggressive, and aggression often times leads to a violent act. This domino effect closely relates all these words. Violence, it has become something that society has to deal with every day now. Much newspaper space is currently being given to violence–the violence that is happening and the frequent cries to stop it, says that writer of article 3*.
Just think of the major world events that happened last couple years; Columbine, the Oklahoma City bombing, Jonesboro, the increase of gang violence, or even the racist incidents that happened at Champlin Park last year. All of these huge events involves at least one violent reaction. Turn on the television for half an hour, the amount of violence, assertiveness, or aggression you will notice in cartoons, sitcoms, or even on the news will be extremely high. We are being exposed to violence more and more every day, and a lot of times I dont think people even realize that they are being exposed.
Watching wrestling or a sport on television are two examples of this. It seems like society is starting to see violence as something normal. A person getting murdered is no longer headline news, it takes a immature kid to go and shoot eight classmates of his in order to open peoples eyes. People have become so used to hearing about someone being unable to control themselves and lashing out at someone that they dont even turn their head anymore when they hear about it. Violence, aggression and assertiveness are an everyday part of life now.
Violence, and aggression are learned behaviors. . aggressive behavior is learned very early in life and continues with the individual over many years, (article 18)*. Just like a parent teaches a child to say please and thank you and be considerate of others, they can teach them violence. A parent is probably the most important influence a person has. Children not only look up their parents and admire them, they want to be like them. When a child sees the person they admire hitting someone, or do something else that could be characterized as violent, they begin to think it is okay to act in such a way.
After continuously seeing this violence they will become violent themselves. Society also teaches violence. We have produced a society in which there is a great pressure on males to continually prove themselves. Much teaching in our society, including the role-modeling in TV and movie fiction, reinforces the view that if males dont get what they want, or if life has been unfair, they should go out and get even by beating up, even killing, other people, (article 1). Society does this through the media, television, music, and other things that are an important part of a childs life. Sometimes what defeats us is the larger culture.
American society is marvelous in its competitiveness and its autonomy and its independence. But many times that spills over into a kind of me-first aggression, this statement from article 1* agrees with me fully on my statement that society also teaches violence. A child, for example, viewing a lot of television shows that incorporate violence in their plot, sees that violence is okay. There are tons of television shows aimed at children that have violence in them. Think of X-Men, Superman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and hundreds of other shows that are centered around violence.
Music has also gotten worse when it comes to promoting violence. The number of CDs with the explicit lyrics sticker on it has probably tripled in the past 5 years. The lyrics of songs have gotten much more graphic and are constantly talking about shooting someone, or beating up a cop. The song just isnt a song without that in there now it seems like. An example from article 16* that also supports society teaches violence is, People reflect their culture in their behavior and theyre just doing what theyve been taught. Their hero on that show may beat up or even kill the villain which causes a child to see this as okay to do.
He then may go to school and beat another child up for making him angry. I think that violence roots from being left out, and having an anti-social life. When a person has no friends, they can not relate to people and have little people skills. Goldstein said he believes that antisocial behavior, including violence, is learned. One is not born with it, (article 1). Teaching child to be social and have interpersonal relationships throughout their life can definitely absolve people feeling left out and assist a person in gaining social skills that are necessary in life.
How a parent chooses to discipline their child could shape who the child is for the rest of their life. Therefore, a parent must be very careful on how they decide to punish their youngster. My personal opinion on how a parent should deal with a child acting out in a unfavorable way is to force the child to sit down and talk about what happened, why it happened, and what they feel should be a punishment. I feel that this is a pretty hard punishment for a child because most of the time a child will want to go sit in their room for 5 minutes or have a toy taken away.
This form of discipline was suggested to me in article 1, which discussed a family that doesnt punish their kids using the conventional methods. Instead, they talk to their children which has been proven to be a pretty harsh punishment; His wife, Dianne, said, We do put a big value on talking… Sometimes the kids will say Hit me. Just dont make me talk about it. As far as spanking goes, I dont think a parent should EVER do this. In my opinion this is a form of child abuse. It is hitting a child, and touching a child in an unloving way which constitutes as abuse.
Spanking a child, as a form of cultivation, has been shown to harm the child in the future. Corporal punishment impairs the development of children, interferes with the learning and increases the likelihood of vandalism and aggression, according to the resolutionist, (article 2). If parents were aware of this, I highly doubt that they would continue to use spanking as their form of punishment. They care too much about their childs future to impair it. We need to provide more parenting support and education, for not only parents, but also for those that work with children.
I also think that it is very hypocritical for a parent to spank a kid. I find even more hypocritical considering a recent survey discovered that 75% of respondents opposed spanking, 55% believed it to be an abusive act, 48% reported having spanked their children, (article 4). They are constantly telling their children not to hit, that hitting is wrong, but then they go around and spank their kid. They are giving mixed signals which just confuses a person and doesnt help him/her at all. Child abuse is defined, in my opinion, as any unwanted physical act that is harmful toward the victim.
I think society has become more lenient when it comes to child abuse. It is considered tough love these days if a father beats his child mercilessly for stealing a dollar from his mothers purse. Society has also begun to turn the other way when they see child abuse. It isnt my problem so I shouldnt have to deal with it, seems to be the current mentality of many US citizens. I would hope that if I saw a parent hit their child I would have the courage and strength to seek the proper authorities and inform them of the situation.
I think that if everyone is so concerned with the well-being of children and how parents are raising them, then they have to stop looking in the other direction when they witness a child being punished beyond what they feel is being disciplined. Once a parent is found guilty of child abuse they should have mandatory parenting classes, anger management classes and go through many psychological visits to find the roots of why they feel it is necessary to punish in this way, and to teach them how to deal with things differently.
I also feel that the abused should see a therapist, to deal with the emotional scaring, and to avoid becoming abusers themselves. The American family is second only to the military in the rate of injuries, and thats only during war time,* as this quote from article 16 shows, spouse abuse is a much bigger problem than most people think it is. In fact the number of violent lovers is at about 25% (article 9*). To alleviate this horrid problem there needs to be stricter enforcement and punishment for the abusers.
Placing the accused in jail over night or forcing them to go stay in a hotel for the night will only solve the problem for the night. Article 7-A* agrees with me on this, Jail wont do much good. It will not make the person stop all together. Tougher things need to be done to the abuser. Jail time (for more than one night) and mandatory counseling seems like a good idea to me to surpress that amount of violence in relationships. The abuser needs to realize that they have a problem in order to take the first step to fixing it.
Spending a week or two in jail and going through counseling may force them to come to reality. It doesnt matter how far along the relationship has developed if a person places any part of their body on the other person involved in the relationship in a way that is not wanted, it is abuse. It is very hard for a woman to get out of a relationship when she is being abused. … 50% felt they could not get along without their partner… , (article 17-A)* This is because of the love she feels for the man, and the happiness she has when he is not violent always seem to make up for the abuse she endures.
This is shown often in talk shows; the men abuse the women but they cant get out because they love the man, have children with him, or have happiness when he isnt abusing her. This was also brought to my attention by article 9* which states that the person doesnt get out because they often find separation harder to live with that the abuse. Reason: fear of loneliness or of losing the status that comes from having a steady date. Women also find it hard to leave the man because they have a tendency to see aggression as a kind of affection, (article 9).
Another thing that was brought to my attention about the person leaving the abuser is that Nearly 30% of the couples had at some time taken abuse as a sign of love. And a number considered violence a normal, even healthy part of a love affair. Three-quarters of those who had been involved in an assault said it did not do their relationship any harm. More than one-third felt that hitting, or being hit, actually improved their relationship, (article 9). I think that it is a lot harder for the woman to get out the longer she has been with the man.
When a relationship begins and the two are just dating I dont think it would be as hard for the woman to walk away because she doesnt have a strong bond with the man, and hasnt felt what his love is like. As the relationship develops and the two begin to fall in love the amount of emotional pain a woman would have to go through to leave increases. The two have now gotten closer and she knows both sides of him. The next step in the relationship would be engagement then marriage. Many couples involved in abusive situations during courtship go ahead with their plans for marriage anyway, *(article 17-A).
At this point it is extremely hard for the woman to leave. She has now built her life around this man and more than likely lives for him. She always has a glimmer of hope that he is going to change. Society has pointed the blame on this problem on how the abuser grows up; One in ten husbands who grew up in violent families are wife beaters, compared with one in 30 who grew up in nonviolent homes, (article 16). When a child grows up in a home seeing their father abuse their mother, the violent behavior seems an acceptable part of marriage.
I also think that men beating their significant other has to do with a males power struggle and the need they feel to be above their wife. Domestic abuse is something that is very hard to deal with for anyone, even the police, because they are criticized for interfering in a family squabble at all and criticized for not protecting victims, (article 8)*. The police currently have three ways of handling domestic violence: mediating the fight, separating the couple, or arresting the suspect, (article 8)* and none of these things seem to be working.
What needs to be done to alleviate this problem is to teach people differently when they are younger about the roles they play in the dating game. Currently it seems like the guys are taught to go to the girl for the date, and the girl is supposed to accept and go out and be flirty. An example of this is found in article 10*, Despite all the clamor and headlines about changing sex roles, young women still learn to be cute, sexually attractive, flirtatious and submissive in a dating relationship. You know-laugh at all the jokes, cuddle up, go where the date says to go. They arent supposed to take responsibility or control.
The young man, meanwhile, still learns to play the aggressor. He asks for the date, decides where to go, pays the expenses and drives. Getting rid of the stereo-types society has set about who plays what role in the dating world, having harsher punishments for abusers, and education women about abuse and how unhealthy it really is could definitely begin to impair domestic and spouse abuse. Other than murder, rape (unconsented and/or forced sexual activity) is the worst crime that can be committed.
It is the most scaring, frightening, painful, and the most unethical. The statistics on rape are amazing, and very surprising. -60% of the men said that under certain circumstances they might force a woman into sexual acts,, The questionnaire asked men to rate, on a scale of one to five-one was no likelihood, five was very likely- whether they would rape a woman in they could be assured that no one else would ever know bout it, and if they would force a woman into sexual acts if they could be assured of no negative consequences. 5-7% of college men admit to having done something that could be interpreted as rape although a much higher percentage of women report to having been victimized (raped).
The difference may be partly attributable to the fact that men dont consider using a modest amount of physical force or some form of psychological manipulation as sexual aggression he said, (article 12*) Another extremely surprising statistic is a rape occurs every seven minutes in the United states… This adds up to over one million rapes a year, from article 15*. I think what makes rape an even worse crime is the amount of times it goes unreported. The victim usually feels really guilty and dirty. Sometimes the victim blames herself or thinks that because she is on a date, she has somehow consented to sex.
Or, if the attacker used pressure and threats rather than physical violence, she may feel she did not fight hard enough to stop the rape, (article 15). Also, Rape victims often blame themselves for not foreseeing- and preventing- the incident. But, counselors say, these feelings can be the biggest obstacle to moving past the experience. Realize it was a violation that you had no control over and shove the blame back where it belongs- on the shoulders of the attacker, (article 15). It is very hard to convict a person of rape because there is a fine line between rape and sex when it comes to evidence.
It is hard for medical examiners to tell if the guy really did force sex unless there are bruises or some other obvious physical signs. Finding sperm evidence on the woman is not enough evidence to say for sure that the woman was raped. In my opinion, we need to make it a more comfortable situation for a woman to report the rape. We also need to have tougher punishments for the rapist. Life in jail, with no bail and no appeals sounds great to me. I also think that we need to make it easier to prove that a man is guilty. Using something like a lie detector test would help greatly in this.
Death is sometimes punishment for rape and murders. I think that the invention of electric chair, lethal injection machine, and all other things used for the death penalty were the stupidest things ever invented. What were these people thinking when they invented this? Did they actually think it would work? Did they ever consider that an eye for the eye makes the world blind, or two wrongs dont make a right? What is the point of having the death penalty? There isnt one! It hasnt lessened the amount of crime present in America. Giving a criminal the death penalty is giving them the easy way out.
It is doing to them exactly what we are punishing them for in a lot of instances. How can we preach one thing but then go against it to punish someone? It would be MUCH harder for someone to sit in a brick square with no contact with the important people in their life, no television, limited time outside, and arduous work all day long. These convicted sex offenders, and murderers need is life imprisonment in a maximum security prison with no parole, and no appeals. It is outrageous the amount of people that go into prison on a 15 year sentence and get out many years before that.
How do people expect to make changes in the amount of violence in American when they are consistently lenient on criminals? Why should we waste our money killing someone when we can rehabilitate them and give them a real punishment by forcing them to live the rest of their wasted life behind bars? My thoughts on the death penalty agree with my thoughts on other life and death issues. I am 100% against abortion and euthanasia also. I think that the main reason I am against abortion is because of adoption. There are so many people that dream of having kids and find out they cant. Adoption gives them the chance to fulfill their life-long dreams.
By allowing a woman to murder her baby, her own flesh and blood, we are throwing away thousands of peoples hopes and dreams. The person that wishes to have the abortion needs to take responsibility for getting in bed with that man. There are many precautions she could have taken, but chose not to. It is now him and her responsibility to let that child live. They produced it, they must care for it, even if it is only for the 9 months of pregnancy. Even in the case of rape, I am against abortion. That woman can give up that child just like a woman can that didnt want the child. I am also against doctor assisted suicide.
If a doctor consents to taking a patient off of life support or prescribe a drug that will kill them, they are committing murder. All three of these life and death issues are wrong and should be outlawed! It would be more difficult to commit murder if it was more difficult to get weapons. Hand guns should definitely be banned. They should be allowed only for law enforcement and those that are involved in the armed force. Article 24* uses statistics to prove this, Deaths caused by firearms, most of them handguns, number about 40,000 each year in the United States. More than 1,600 of them are accidents.
The number of nonfatal injuries caused by hand gun accidents is four to six times higher.. guns are the second most deadly consumer product, after cars, on the death market.. some states the death rate related to firearms already exceeded that associated with motor vehicles. The ownership of guns increased the risk of homicide among teens and young adults more than threefold and the risk of suicide is more than tenfold, (article 24). Also, the availability of a gun greatly increases the likelihood that suicide attempt will succeed. Nationwide, firearms– mostly handguns– are used in about 19,000 suicides each year.
Among young people from 10 to 19, more than 1,400 suicides are committed with guns each year, (article 24). For the safety of the entire nation, hand guns need to be banned. Research shows that playing with toy guns prompts aggression and anti-social behavior, which may include kicking, fist fighting, pushing and shoving, damaging property, and threatening to hurt someone, (article 25*). As we learned before anti-social behavior as a child can result in violence later on in life. Giving a child a toy gun is setting them up for a hard time later in life when it comes to relating to people, and is setting them up for a violent life style.
Why would any parent want to ruin their childs life like that? I wouldnt want to, therefore my children would never be allowed to play with any toy that resembles a gun. This includes lazor shooters and a lot of toys that are popular now-days. This would probably cause a lot of arguing, but I know that it would help my children in the future because providing children with imitation weapons parents are, in effect, giving tacit approval to the kind of behavior with which guns are closely associated: violence and aggression, (article 25).
If I knew that my childs friend had toy guns in their house, I would still let them play there, but I would make sure the friends parents knew that my child could not play with them. Most respectable people would take the toy guns away while my child was there. The second amendment makes banning handguns unconstitutional, in many peoples opinions. The second amendment gives the right to a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
My interpretation of this amendment is that a person has the right to bear arms if they are protecting the security of the United States through means of the armed forces only. When the Constitution was written violence with guns was not a problem. Things have changed since then and so should the amendment. I think it should read a person has the right to bear arms if it is necessary to the security of the free state through the means of armed forces and law enforcement. This way there would be no controversy over if we are being unconstitutional by making it illegal to have a hand gun.
I think violence shown through the media should be regulated. When a person turns on the television or radio they are bound to hear/see some sort of violence. Children are viewing this and beginning to think all of this violence is okay, and sometimes even a cool thing. If so and so artist sings this, or so and so actor kills someone it is okay, it cant be morally unjust, is what many are beginning to think. The media currently has the biggest impact on the growth of violence in America, I think. Violence in television has gotten way out of hand, but due to the first amendment nothing can be done through the judicial system.
When the constitution allowed freedom of the press I dont think that they know what would happen in the future. They never expected songs to be about killing other people or television showing brutality. Parents can restrict the amount of violence, if any, that their child views by purchasing the new v-chips. With these they can set a block that will not allow shows with a certain rating to be viewed through their television. Also, many televisions have a program where you can put a block on certain channels. In order to unblock the channel you must know the code.
These two things are very helpful and can diminish the amount of violence seen through television. Song lyrics also seem to have a lot more phrases in them that suggest or talk about violent acts. CDs have stickers on them that say there are explicit lyrics in the songs, but that doesnt seem to help. Music stores should have a law that says you cannot buy a CD with this sticker on it unless you are eighteen years old. Producers should supply CDs with the regular lyrics and CDs with edited lyrics. This way a twelve year old child can listen to the music they enjoy without hearing the f-word every other word.
They can no longer be influenced by the type of music they enjoy. Just like we have a rating system for television, we should have one for books, and music. Not as many kids read books as do watch TV or listen to music, so that doesnt seem to be as big of a problem. A problem that I see to be a lot larger than books would be the Internet and computer games. Just look at the two boys from Columbine, constantly playing war games on the computer and learning how to make bombs through the Internet. Somehow the United States Government needs to regulate these games and the web sites placed on the Internet.
When it comes to my children I will definitely have restrictions on the music they listen to, the television they watch, and what other things they do in their spare time. I personally dont think a kid needs to see people being blown up or hear about something shooting a cop to be entertained. If my ideas about alleviating the amount of violence in the media happen in the next ten years I may not have to worry so much about what restrictions I will have on my children. Sport is set apart both cognitively and emotionally from the everyday world. rticle 29*) The way an athlete performs on the field, ice or in the ring does not reflect they way there are as a human being. Playing the sport and the contact that goes along with it has nothing to do with how the person acts on the streets. Contact is a major part of the game, and I see nothing wrong with it. There is a problem, though, when the athletes start to use their sports contact outside of the sport. There is a certain point in which the severity of aggression is too high. Some aggressive acts are not acceptable. The game is a game.
You go out to win, but theres a line-limitations-there are rules… You try to dominate the other player, but you dont want to make him leave the game, supports what I am saying exactly (article 29). When a person paralyzes someone because they tackled them something needs to be done; they need to be suspended from the sport until they learn their lesson. It is part of the persons job as a sports figure to be a person someone can look up to, and when things are taken too far or aggression is used outside of the sport they arent doing their job.
Most people get fired when they dont do their job, athletes should be fired just like everyone else. They should receive no special treatment. Sports arent encouraging violence in society in any way. The three sports that have the most aggression in them are boxing, football, and hockey. When a person signs up to play these sports they know that they are a very physical game, and are consenting to what may happen to them while playing. I see nothing wrong with these three sports at all. The physical contact is part of the game, and without it what fun would it be to play and watch?
I will let my children play sports that involve physical contact but I will make sure they know the difference between what is justified during the game, and that how they act while playing their sport will never be allowed outside of the sport. I dont think a persons religion makes a person for or against violence unless they practice their religion purposely. People go to war a lot of times despite the fact that they are Christian.
People do seem to be as dedicated to their religion as they used to be, therefore they are losing some of their morals and not following every aspect and rule of their religion to a T. I think that the Christian commandment Thou shall not kill means exactly what it says; dont kill-no exceptions. Even in the situation of war I dont think that commandment allows people to kill. Therefore, I do not believe in the just war theory. I dont believe in war period. Religions shouldnt take a stance on things. They should let the people decide for themselves how they feel rather than saying since you believe this you must also believe this, because a lot of people have contrasting views now.
Religion may be an important part of peoples lives because of what they believe in when it comes to a higher being, but I dont think that it impacts every single part of their life. If Jesus were alive today I think he would be extremely disappointed in everyone. He would probably be hurt that people arent following his ways to the extent he did, but things have changed a lot in 2,000 years and people can no longer be expected to follow every aspect of their religion.
Pacifism and civil disobedience have been effective many times (i. e. Ghandi, and Martin Luther King Jr. ). It can still be very effective when it is used. Ghandi and Martin Luther King did a very brave things by trying to accomplish their goals non-violently when the people they were against were only using violence. It seems like everyone thinks that everything has to be solved with violence now, though. I would have to say that I am a pacifist. IF something can be solved by means of talking then do it.
Not everything has to be solved by blowing up half a country and killing thousands of innocent people. I would never ever go to war. I would flee to Canada if they made it mandatory for women to fill out the draft cards. I am against war 100%. . Every minute, the world spends $1. 3 million for military purposes, article 34* claims. Some other interesting facts about what is spent for military purposes are: The worlds stockpile of nuclear weapons represents an explosive force more than 5,000 times greater that all the munitions used in World War II.
The cost of one new nuclear submarine equals the annual education budget of 23 developing countries with 160 million school-age children. article 34) Why are we wasting all this time and energy on nuclear weapons when we could be giving children a better education and educating them on how not to have war and how to solve things peacefully. Everything can be solved nonviolently it just takes a lot more time and effort. With how busy peoples lifestyles are now, they just dont want to take the time to sit down and work it out.
I personally think that non-violent means of solving things are a lot more productive than violent means. Look at how much Martin Luther King Jr. ccomplished in less than a year, then look at what little we have solved with the Middle East since we went to war with them. What accomplished more? Martin Luther King did. Non-violence accomplishes more in less time than violence does. The United States and every other country all need to get together and sit down and discuss calmly how they feel about things and work all their problems out.