English II Pre-AP – 4
29 October 2012
Peer-Pressure- Making the Right Choices
Everyone talks about it, but why exactly is peer pressure as bad as everyone makes it seem? Peer pressure is a fancy word for the influence your peers exert on you, and it is mostly associated with teens, as they are most susceptible to such influence. Of course it is impossible to avoid getting influenced by peers altogether, but what is dangerous is that someone stops being independent when making decisions, and starts basing then on the opinions and actions of others. Peer pressure is the leading factor for which teens start using drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and it is the reason why many teens are having sex at such a young age, thus teens must be educated on the importance of being independent and making their own choices.
When a teen is not independent, aware of the decisions he is making, and the consequences of such decisions, it can lead to drug, alcohol, and tobacco abuse. “Peer pressure has been cited as an important component in youth alcohol abuse. ‘Peer affiliation and desire for peer acceptance are hallmarks of adolescents,’ writes H. Thomas Milhorn, Jr. in Drug and Alcohol Abuse: The Authoritative Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Counselors.” (Alcohol Abuse). A nearly identical explanation would also describe the process leading up to other drug use, such as marijuana. Another commonly abused substance is tobacco, and as oen author puts it, “Teenagers who smoke give a variety of reasons for their habit—peer pressure caused by friends who smoke…” (Smoking). It is clear that peer pressure stems from the desire to be accepted by classmates; this leads teens to be dependent on the critique of peers, in turn causing them to be readily submissive and susceptible to peer pressure.
While alcohol and tobacco abuse are certainly big problems stemming from peer pressure, sex is another commonly over looked problem. Peer...