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Old 01-07-2012, 01:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is wrong with todays children?

I was reading about a violent attack on a school bus where 7 other teenagers beat one girl until she was unconscious.
There was fighting and bullying when I went to school but never actions like we read today about kids killing kids with weapons brought to school or like this gang of kids who attacked a new student on the bus and beat her.
Do children seem more violent today than say 20 years ago? or is it because we have better news coverage and we are hearing about events that did not make the news before?

"
One girl allegedly asked students if they wanted to hit the victim, then instructed the teens to form a circle and began hitting and kicking the victim. Several witnesses said they saw the girl fall to the floor and "appear to have a seizure and pass out," according to the arrest report.
The victim, who is not being identified, was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a concussion, severe bruising on her head and muscle spasms. 7 teens charged with beating classmate unconscious - Yahoo! News "
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Do children seem more violent today than say 20 years ago? or is it because we have better news coverage and we are hearing about events that did not make the news before?
The latter.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Greater news coverage coupled with more pressure, I suspect.

Childhood violence may in fact be greater today, but kids using knives and even guns is nothing new. I purchased my first weapon, a folding knife, right outside of the principal's office back in the late 70's and I recall my father mentioning the guy who brought an over and under to school to 'discuss' his grades once.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I remember 20 years ago pretty clearly, and it was just as bad.

One story that sprigs to mind was a young father in the east end of Glasgow, who tried to intervene in a gang of kids beating another kid,, and ending up attacked himself, and kicked several times in the head... ended up dead.

Also remember looking down into a police helicopter i the Red Road flats, as the chopper and several police vans were dispatched to break up a massive gang fight.

And yes back then people were asking "was it as bad X number of years ago, and yes, it was then too.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't think kids are definitely worse now, but I do think some societal changes in the way they are raised, combined with desensitizing to violence and consequences are both factors. You see it in the way kids talk to their parents and people in authority like teachers. Yes, that has always gone on and media exposure to it does make it seem more pronounced than it is, but I do still think there has a been a change for the worse. Then again, society as a whole seems a lot more depraved and cruel than it used to.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think kids are definitely worse now, but I do think some societal changes in the way they are raised, combined with desensitizing to violence and consequences are both factors. You see it in the way kids talk to their parents and people in authority like teachers. Yes, that has always gone on and media exposure to it does make it seem more pronounced than it is, but I do still think there has a been a change for the worse. Then again, society as a whole seems a lot more depraved and cruel than it used to.
What desensitisation to violence?

TV. Movies, Video Games?
When I was a kid we had corporal punishment in schools, and there was no moral debate on spanking, if kids misbehaved you got a cuff round the ear. So we were exposed to real violence, which was surely more desensitising than video games.

As to games and movies... kids are well able to seperate fanrasy from reality.

Again. when I was a kid, we played games like "cops and robbers" and "Japs and Commandos" in the playground, where we would pretend to kill one another.

Violence in movies might not have been as graphic, but it was still there, and often glamorised.

This line of argument is old and tired...

I'll finish this post with a quote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plato (424 to 348 BC)
"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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one of my neighbours is 70 odd, and was a bit of a boy in his youth, telling me about having razor blades under his collar (for when people grab you to pull you in for a head butt) and carrying a heavy chain to swing at people.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Luc beat me with the Plato quote.

But here are two more:
Quote:
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint.
~Hesiod, Eighth Century B.C.
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"The world is passing through troubling times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress."
~Extract from a sermon preached by Peter the Hermit in A.D. 1274. Probably apochryphal.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:37 PM   #12 (permalink)
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From the stories I hear about the past, the past was if anything more violent. For example my dad talks of having to be continuously aware of other boys because they would frequently beat other boys up for no reason at all, throw stones at them, etc.

Men I've known of my generation didn't get subject to random violence by their peers to anything like that degree. It seems to have been a far more accepted part of growing up than it is now, plus as Lucifer said, both parental and institutional violence was far more accepted. Children who spend most of the time inside playing computer games, whether violent or otherwise, are typically not the ones out in the street causing trouble.

Of course, according to many people in the UK, the very reason that children behave worse now is because they're not beaten enough. Yeah, tell 'em violence is wrong by hitting them, that'll show 'em!
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What is wrong with todays children?
Without getting into the whole "Previous generations were just as bad!" argument: My Generation (X) are pretty shitty parents. The boomers were pretty shitty in their own way, too. Of course, I also believe on my optimistic days that 75% of the human race is morons who we'd be better off sterilizing (though I don't actually condone doing that...) so maybe I'm just a curmudgeon.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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maybe I'm just a curmudgeon.
Yes you are.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:37 PM   #16 (permalink)
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my personal experience is that it was just as bad if not worse when I grew up.

on the other hand I'd answer the title question with "their parents and community"
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:45 PM   #17 (permalink)
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The news used to mainly coverage violence within the region, not all over the country or the world. They have discovered that violence is a bigger audience draw than real news, so they give us lots of it.

Crime has been going down for decades and yet our fear of crime grows.
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:54 PM   #18 (permalink)
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In much the same way that "stranger danger" is far less likely than danger from our family and acquaintances for crimes of violence, the "violent teen" is a handy stereotype for the media to use to draw more viewers. Feeding the gigantic maw of the 24/7 global news cycle takes a lot more content than ever, and these stories are great "fear bait".
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:08 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Do children seem more violent today than say 20 years ago?
In a word, no:

Quote:
"What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them?" - Plato, 4th Century BC
Teens have always been rather wild, because the part of the brain involved in forethought does not fully develop until around 20 or so (sometimes earlier, sometimes never, it varies by person):

Quote:
Recent studies show that neural insulation (myelin) isn't complete until the mid-20s. This also may explain why teenagers often seem so maddeningly self-centered. "You think of them as these surly, rude, selfish people," Jensen says. "Well, actually, that's the developmental stage they're at. They aren't yet at that place where they're thinking about — or capable, necessarily, of thinking about the effects of their behavior on other people. That requires insight." And insight requires — that's right — a fully connected frontal lobe.
Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=124119468

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:29 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Last year I read a study that showed that today's children and teens are far less likely to commit violent acts or other crimes than us or our parents, by a significant margin at that.

They are also less likely to take drugs, drink alcohol, have pre-marital sex and get pregnant than us or our parents, or our parents' parents, at that age.

As Cajsa pointed out, crime has been trending downward for decades, all this increased talk of violence among children in the media is just news media looking for the sensational story that will draw viewers.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:02 PM   #21 (permalink)
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The worst Incident I can remember from my days in school (70s-80s) was the time one of the less popular kids got tired of being picked on, and stabbed another classmate with a pencil. He got expelled for that. I'm sure it didn't make news.

I think it's probably a combination of both factors the OP mentioned.

There may be a smaller chance for kids to commit a crime, but when they do, it seems to be more violent than it used to be, and therefore more newsworthy.
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:55 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah, I don't remember any childhood crime either, but my home town had 21 people. There's not much to speak of on the crime front now, either. We have to rely on broader experience and data beyond our personal experience.
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:13 PM   #23 (permalink)
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People do seem less compassionate now than then, generally, not just the children.

Agreed about the media though. Their tendency to focus on school shootings and the various forms of security theater definitly inflates the perception that not only kids but the world in general is more dangerous now.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:52 AM   #24 (permalink)
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People do seem less compassionate now than then, generally, not just the children.
That's just a factor of capitalism in the US shifting into pure FYGM cannibalism mode, and filtering down to everyone.

I don'[t think things are any 'worse' than they were in the past, besides the aforementioned need to stir up fear by feeding the 24/7 news beast.
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Old 01-08-2012, 11:58 AM   #25 (permalink)
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I don't think kids are definitely worse now, but I do think some societal changes in the way they are raised, combined with desensitizing to violence and consequences are both factors. You see it in the way kids talk to their parents and people in authority like teachers.
Actually, I do, due to the kids not really being 'scared' of doing something wrong. Now, the punishments are just 'inconvenient'.

Another aspect I have noticed , at least in this region, is that the higher the financial class the less likelihood there is of violence being done, although when it is done in the upper classes, it is notable and usually where someone has 'snapped' rather than simple gangish thugery.

Finally, one more clue to the OP's 'article'...the school system and the school bus driver had an obligation to protect the child being beaten through the use of rules and keeping the number of children per bus to a manageable number for the school bus driver and yet they didn't seem to do so. The driver did not seem to have control of the bus and did not seem to intervene on the beaten kids behalf.
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