Youth violence is an increasing concern in our society. Violence, as defined in Webster's online dictionary, is an "intense, turbulent or furious and often destructive action or exertion of (physical) force so as to injure or abuse." There is a growing perception that there is a steady rise in violence amongst today's youth, and with this increased attention, comes many sources of blame for their actions, however, all but one are simply excuses.
There is a lack of hard evidence to support the supposed increase in youth violence (www.eurowrc.org .) Since violence is subject to interpretation, it is a hard thing to measure. Although, it is for sure that sex and violence have always been a part of humankind. Freud discussed this over 100 years ago. Many would agree that delinquent acts (including schoolyard violence) are a part of growing up, "such manifestations of risk-taking, rebellion, and rejection of traditional values are a part of normal development" (www.eurowrc.org ). As a functionalist would agree, deviance is necessary to set guidelines, and the boundaries between right and wrong. As an adolescent enters adulthood, becomes more responsible for his/her actions, establishes healthy relationships with others, delinquent behavior diminishes (www.eurowrc.org). Violence and aggressive behavior have always been a part of society, so why it is receiving so much attention these days? Perhaps it's because today's violent acts among adolescents "seem more likely to involve weapons and gangs and to involve more females and children of younger ages" (www.eurowrc.org) than in previous generations. Perhaps the degree of youth violence hasn't changed at all, but the factors mentioned above have simply created a heightened awareness of violence amongst youth. Perhaps a heightened awareness and a lower tolerance for such acts have simply caused an increase in reporting violence, creating an illusion of an increase in youth violent behavior. The fact is, that...
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