Peer pressure has been an issue in our society for many years. Adults, teens and even children are being subject to all kinds of outside influences to act and be a certain way, and to do certain things. Peer pressure is caused be the need to belong, ignorance and fear, and also the embarrassment of rejection.
Teens, reaching for a bottle of alcohol at a party though they normally wouldn't drink; this is an example of the need we all feel to belong. This is the "everyone else is doing it, it can't be that bad," approach. It may even be a subconscious action, you don't realize what you have done until afterwards. Ignorance or fear can also play a role. Telling a young child to try something, knowing that they don't know if it's wrong or not, is playing on their ignorance. Embarrassment of rejection is close to the need to belong. Avoiding rejection can be a big incentive when it comes to peer pressure. When you feel you will be abandoned or rejected if you don't follow other people's actions. Initiation rituals, or hazing, are situations that happen a lot. An individual feeling pushed to do something they might not want to do. The fear of rejection, or embarrassment, cause them to do some potentially dangerous things. Peer pressure can have critical effects on it's victims.
Peer pressure can leave scars, it can haunt people for the rest of their lives. Addictions can rise up from being pressured to experiment with alcohol, smoking, drugs, and other things. Eating disorders develop, often, if someone feels inferior due to society's pressure to look a certain way. People will literally starve themselves to try to "be normal". These effects can also lead to depression. No longer feeling loved, that they belong, can cause people to draw back and become majorly depressed. The self hate from not measuring up to other people's standards may cause a person to experiment with self harm; hair pulling, bruising themselves, burning and cutting are just a few ways....
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