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Teenage Violence Essay Research Paper Option BThe

Teenage Violence Essay, Research Paper Option B The events that happened in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School in April were tragic. No one will nor should attempt to defend the actions of the two

Teenage Violence Essay, Research Paper

Option B

The events that happened in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School in

April were tragic. No one will nor should attempt to defend the actions of the two

gunmen, but it is beneficial to look into the reasons that this did occur as a preventive

measure of sorts.

Simply looking back over the past few years of teenage violence a picture become

clear of who the aggressors are : white males. There is definitely a strong relationship

between the violence of late and gender. Better stated, the socialization of white males in

contemporary American society has absolutely lead to the rash of tragic, violent outbursts

in our school systems.

The mechanisms of socialization utilize childrens toys as a ?teaching? tool. There

is a noted breakdown amoung the genders on the toy front. Toys geared towards females

are softer and lead to a calmer climate of civility by their mere nature : dolls to play house

with, Barbie?s to dress up, Easy-Bake ovens to cook with, the list is endless. Toys geared

towards males are rougher and create a climate of more agressive playing by their mere

nature: guns to shoot each other with, plastic action figures to wage battles with, again the

list is endless. ?Comparison shop? down any store?s toy aisle and the gender gap becomes

all too clear. What is to be learned from the great toy divide? If males are encouraged to

play in a manner that is aggressive and ulimately violent, is it, then, not expected for them

to grow up to be agressive and violent.

According to Esterchild (Jan 28,1999), the expectations for masculinity include,

but are not limited to, the belief in the unflappable strength of the male and his absolute

aversion to all things ?feminine?, as in ?no sissy stuff?. ?In this world, the only thing that

is as bad as being a girl, is being a sissy, that is, being like a girl? (Kaufaman 11)

Males are taught from an early age, in no uncertain terms, that there is a huge

distinction between males and females. Females are weak, they have no power. Males, on

the other hand, are strong, aggressive and powerful. The guidelines for a man are clear

and spelled out through a male?s societal functions. Men fight. Men fight wars. Men play

sports, which are undoubtably violent. Men hold jobs. Men support their families.

Movies portray men as the stronger sex. Rarely, though there are a few

exceptions, the male is seen as the smarter, stronger, better sex. Men are action heroes.

Men run countries. Men are sports heroes. And in the movies, women are reliant upon

these strong men.

All of this is expected of your average man. He is expected to live up to the

standards set forth by our culture and evident in our history of colonialism, exploitation,

oppression and imperialism. These expectations are strongly reinforced by the

aforementioned playthings which are introduced to a male at a very, early, tender age.

To reiterate, males are strong and agressive; females simply are not. Through

virtually all the mediums of a didactic nature that we offer as a society (television, the

entire entertainment industry, language, government institutions, public school text books,

and history to name a few) the message is clear.

The two gun men from Littleton experienced ridicule at the hands of the athletes at

their school. ?[They] fought with [the] athletes who ridiculed them.? (Dallas Morning

News) Each?s very manhood was attacked. There were repeated, documented, incidents

of problems between the Trench Coat Mafia (of which the gunmen were a known part of)

and the athletes at Columbine High School. According to the Dallas Morning News, ?a

few months ago, the Trench Coat Mafia and the ?jocks? agreed to fight each other on a

baseball field?.

As a man, what recourse do you have to defend yourself against ridicule and

teasing. (The exact nature of the teasing is unknown. I was unable to locate any specific

information concerning what words were exchanged. I suspect, though, that many a barb

may have included assaults on their sexuality through the words fag and gay. I deduce this

through my experiences in high school and the exchanges I witnessed between the athletes

at my school and those they considered different.) The only solution, it would seem,

would be violence, and males are predispose to acts of violence.

At this time, I would like to discuss why some choose violence and some do not.

It is a cumlination of outside affects such as parental influence, econimic situation, peer

group, religiousity and personal diposition. Each situation is different. Each person is

different. The influences that they have and their individual morality may lead them down

different paths.

These specific perpetrators had the background and framework that made violence

seem like the most obvious option. Their gender sealed their fate. For them, their

takeover of the high school, was a ?natural? choice of retaliation.

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