According to the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, more than 119 million violent crimes, not including homicide, were committed within the last twenty years in the United States. At this rate, five percent of households in the United States will be a victim of a violent crime by the end of 2003. There are many causes of why these violent acts were performed and will be performed. The most common causes of violence in our society are the media, social environment, and genetics.
The first culprit to violence is the media. With new technology, television shows and movies are now able to show violence in a more realistic manner. Television shows, such as The Sopranos, made their success by overexposing violence and leaving nothing to the imagination. Violence is not only captivated in adult programming but also in cartoons and in video games.
Even popular music promotes violence to our society. Many bands and artists have been banned from performing in certain cities because of the extent of their violent-natured music. The media depicts violence as acceptable and many are following its footsteps. In recent news, a young boy burned his friend with hot water because he saw it on a television show.
Some children have even committed suicide because the lyrics in a song commanded them to do so. With so much violence in the media and it being so accessible to the younger generation, many unnecessary violent crimes have been committed. The media is not the only cause of violence in our society. Studies have also shown that the environment that you live in also plays a large part with violent crimes. A child surrounded by violence is more likely to perform a violent act than a child that is not. For instance, if a child is living under the conditions of constant abuse, that child is more likely to be abusive himself.
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Many children that are involved in violent crimes also have family members that have also been implicated in violent crimes. These children live under the impression that violence is a “normal” thing to do. It goes back to the old saying, “monkey see, monkey do.” A family that sets an example of violence will only create a child that is violent. Even if the violence is not seen in the home, but a child is witnessing constant violence in its neighboring streets, then that child will also have the tendency to incorporate in violent crimes. Many cities in the United States with a high crime rate are also experiencing a high violent crime rate. This is partially due to the environment that surrounds these individuals.
A person’s environment affects more than is sometimes realized. Genetics also play a role in the development of a child and their violent tendencies. It is possible to remove a child at birth from a violent family and place them is a peaceful, loving home and still have a child that turns to violence. Some researchers have examined the genetics of these individuals and have noticed a common trait that causes them to be violent natured. Psychological factors that are passed down by genetics can make a person act in a violent way, even if they have never been exposed to much violence.
Though this theory is still being reviewed and examined, there is still enough evidence that indicates that violence could be in our genetics. With all this information, many wonder if violence is caused by just one thing in particular. Despite recent efforts from the media to suppress some violence from our children, violent acts are still being performed at alarming rates. Attempts have been made to educate communities with high violent crime rates by explaining to its citizens the negative affects of violence in the society. Yet these cities are still at the top of the charts when it comes to violent crimes.
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Medical intervention, such as medicine and therapy, have been given to patients in order to reduce their violent tendencies, but even under treatment, some patients are still reacting violently. The causes of violent act are numerous indeed and one justification will not be sufficed to explain all violent reactions. Therefore, the cause of violence may not be defensible by just one reason alone, but with a combination of influences from the media, our environment, and our genes.