top-rated free essay

Peer Pressure

By Mstennisman1 Mar 07, 2013 823 Words
Martin Saa

Ms. Taylor

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 pressure has such a big effect on teens that “About 60 percent of my fifteen- and sixteen-year-old males report that they have had sex.” (Basso). Now even if all of those figures have not been caused due to peer pressure, it is safe to say that a large amount have as “of the 35 percent who had sex [ females], 90 percent said they regretted it and wish they had waited.” (Basso). Sex, it is obvious, is very easily influenced by pressure. This because one is not only getting pressures and influenced by his classmates, and friends, but the other partner in the relationship may can also exert sexual pressure. This can lead to very stressful situations and moments in a relationship, which is why author Michael Basso advices to “Practice assertive communication and body language, using ‘put off’ words and moves “.

Teens having sex before they are ready, as well as alcohol and tobacco abuse from peer pressure, can be dealt with by teaching teens the importance of being independent. Of course, that is not easy; as one author puts it “One of your greatest challenges will be dealing with peer pressure.”(Basso). In order to avoid peer pressure, teens should be taught the possible consequences of decisions that are not thoroughly thought out or made by oneself. A common consequence is teenage pregnancy. Then there is the fact that “11 million Americans under 21 drink alcohol…” and that “The AMA also states that nearly half of teen automobile fatalities involve alcohol and that alcohol is involved in two-thirds of sexual assaults and date rapes.” (Alcohol Abuse). If teens knew these facts, would they be so easy going with letting others do their decisions for them?

It is made clear that peer pressure leads is a big problem with teens in today’s society. Peer pressure and curiosity, addiction, or any other reason might cause the above mentioned actions. Or it might be peer pressure by itself that has caused a teen to have sex, or to abuse alcohol. The fact is, that teens must be educated on this topic in order to avoid further, more serious consequences, such as drunk driving, or a teenage pregnancy. If one knew how real these consequences were, and how easily he might be a victim of peer pressure, then maybe he would be more assertive with his desire to be independent and not allow others to decide for him.

Works Cited

Basso, Michael J. "Peer Pressure Shapes Teen Attitudes About Sex." Teenage Sexuality. Ed. Tamara L. Roleff. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2006. N. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

"Introduction to Alcohol Abuse: At Issue." Alcohol Abuse. Ed. Ronnie D. Lankford. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2008. N. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

"Introduction to Smoking: Teen Decisions." Smoking. Ed. Laura K. Egendorf. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 2001. N. pag. Gale Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 29 Oct. 2012.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • Effects of teenage peer pressure

    ...effects of Teenage Peer Pressure In today’s society, most teenagers are extremely influenced by their friends. Relying on friends more than family is very common among today’s teenagers. Unfortunately this results in poor decision making skills and giving into peer pressure. Many teenagers, before the age of 15 years old will have tried d...

    Read More
  • Peer Pressure

    ...Peer pressure is the social pressure by members of one’s peer group to take a certain action, adopt certain values, or otherwise conform in order to be accepted. It is a powerful mental force that influences everyone, but it could bring about good or bad effects depending on the group of people around the individual. The effects of peer pressu...

    Read More
  • peer pressure

    ...Peer Pressure has been very controversial topic over the years. Today, the media has transformed the issue into a topic that is discussed every day. Many people are sometimes misinformed about topics because the media twist facts enough to make anyone believe what they tell them. The media has gotten the public to believe that peer pressure is a...

    Read More
  • Peer Pressure

    ...contemporary issue and argue how it has and will continue to have an impact on your generation. Peer Pressure. We have all at one stage in our lives, experienced it. We all know what it feels like to be pressured by a peer. Peer pressure today impacts on kids of my generation in a huge aspect. Teenagers feel social pressure in numerous ways s...

    Read More
  • Peer Pressure

    ...Peer pressure is the control and influence people affect others. A negative effect of peer pressure is anything that a peer tells an individual what to do that makes them feel uncomfortable or that they know is wrong. It can be a very dangerous thing when you are young and impressionable. Negative peer pressure can make teens do many different t...

    Read More
  • Peer Pressure During Adolescence

    ...Peer Pressure during adolescence Tyrone Taiwo PSYC4020 6.00D Seminar in Social Psychology April 6, 2011 Noreen Stuckless Peer Pressure during Adolescence This paper will discuss aspects of peer pressure during adolescence. Peer pressure is defined as the social influence that others have on an individual, in this case adolescents. ...

    Read More
  • Argumentative Essay: Peer Pressure

    ...Connally, Blake Connally, Blake ID 25800 Teacher Name Dr. Sells 9th Grade 9th Grade The Effect of Peers on Young Teens (Teen-Adult Hood) Peer pressure affects many teens lives daily. Peer pressure means to want to adopt a specific behavior, style, or even attitude (“Peer”). Peer pressure affects teens all over th...

    Read More
  • Peer Pressure Among Teenagers

    ...TEENS & PEER PRESSURE • To be a member of a peer group is the primary goal of most teenagers during adolescence. The feeling of belonging and social acceptance is very strong at this stage of development. This is why peer influence plays a huge part in steering the experiences and interest of teenagers. When teens are searching for their...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.