Who’s to blame for youth gone bad?

16 03 2006

Whatever’s new and popular at the time is what gets blamed for youth’s problems simply because it’s new and it’s easy to make it a scapegoat rather than address the actual reasons for a given problem.  Check out this pattern :

  • 1950’s : Comics were to blame
  • 1960’s : Hippies were to blame
  • 1970’s : Dungeons & Dragons was to blame
  • 1980’s : Hair Metal was to blame
  • 1990’s : Gangsta rap was to blame
  • 2000’s : Video games were to blame

If you believe the media and some of the “studies” out there (& some really are out there), these kinds of things are what’s corrupting our youth.  I’m not old enough to relate to all of these, but I’ve heard the last 3 quite a bit, and I’ve heard mention of the other ones.  The latest one, video games, is a hot topic these days.  If a teenager goes on a shooting spree, the finger is often pointed at video games.  There’s even lawyers who make it their personal agenda to blame video games (see Jack Thompson) for youth gone bad.  Never mind that millions of youth play video games yet only a few do these really bad things…

Granted, some of the items listed above can be an influence, but none of them will necessarily corrupt someone.  I’ve been exposed to 4 of those categories and I’m not a violent person.  What is often lacking from these discussions is the parents.  Aren’t the parents mostly responsible for how their kids turn out?  Yes.  (I know some psychologists say otherwise, but I don’t buy it.)  But these days many people won’t take personal responsibility, and the blame has to end up somewhere…  And I suspect the blame-shifters don’t realize that if we keep ignoring the root of the issue that things will just get worse…

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