Home Politics & Debate

Don't (just) blame the parents - large scale study indicates

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8177990.stm

Nuffield foundation research indicates that parenting may not be the decisive factor in bad behaviour by teenagers.

More time with family is actually being spent than in previous generations, and patterns in parental attendence appear to have remained broadly stable throughout the period.

However, there has been a marked and broadly acknowledged upswing in bad behaviour by teenagers during the period 1970-late 1990s.

You can the briefing paper here:

There is an interesting thread of suggestion in the paper which states that trends in youth culture, and of cultural developments which condition norms and values, that could help explain this.

I would speculate that this probably true - there is a nasty element to the pervasive hip-hop culture that has grown up throughout the decade which is a kind of ethics-free, violent demand to gain as much economic and cultural capital as you can (and sod everyone else). Criminality and drug dealing has been valorised, as has violence.

This is nothing new - we saw this kind of action of culture on collective ethics when we had a mass problem with football violence in the 1970s and 1980s...before that, in the gang cultures of Victorian London, or Glasgow since the 1950s...

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    However, there has been a marked and broadly acknowledged upswing in bad behaviour by teenagers during the period 1970-late 1990s.

    See now this is the bit I have a problem with. I've flicked through the report, and there's certainly evidence of an upswing in parent-reported bad behaviour, which isn't the same thing as an increase in bad behaviour.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think behaviour has become much worse since the 1960s. You had the casuals of the 70s and 80s and then moving on to the 'honour' violence we've seen since the mid-90s.

    I think quite a lot of it is cultural. We've imported hip-hop culture wholesale, which actively encourages violent responses 'minor 'disrespect' and sexual violence towards women and gays. Violence has become glorified, the winners are those who are the most violent, and grotesque amounts of violence are tolerated in films and computer games.

    I think the Nuffield research confirms a lot of what I've suspected, and what's unfashionable to claim: Violent films and violent computer games lead to a violent society. We have mainstream films like Hollow Man gloriifyng rape as a sexy encounter and then wonder why rape levels are through the roof. We have films like Irreversible and Antichrist getting mainstream release certificates and wonder why people are getting more violent. It isn't rocket science.

    Parental upbringing can combat this to an extent, if it's robust, but if parents aren't robust in instilling discipline then we end up with kids pouring bleach over people and thinking it's OK to rape drunken women.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    See now this is the bit I have a problem with. I've flicked through the report, and there's certainly evidence of an upswing in parent-reported bad behaviour, which isn't the same thing as an increase in bad behaviour.

    mmm I see that, but to be honest from the scope of the research, if you look at the range that was looked at it seems reasonably sound in the context of an acknowledged trend of bad behaviour over time.

    As I understand it as well this relates to first hand knowledge of children within the immediate millieu, so in large part factors out the effects of media representation (i.e: report of bad behaviour in remote areas).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think quite a lot of it is cultural. We've imported hip-hop culture wholesale, which actively encourages violent responses 'minor 'disrespect' and sexual violence towards women and gays. Violence has become glorified, the winners are those who are the most violent, and grotesque amounts of violence are tolerated in films and computer games.

    See here's the thing - up to a point I agree, but the problem is that you reach a point where you get two groups and one is imbibing all this stuff and not engaging in antisocial behaviour, and the other is.

    The answer I think is one that comes back to thinking through the effects of norms and values, the importance of the abstract tool kit that is given to us in from early years to early teens and from which we draw alot out to face and give context to what life throws at us.

    I like cutting things up with a pointy things in Fallout 3, but I'm also a veggie and like (still live and hopping about) bunnies :p why is that for me and not for someone else?

    I think it's not just information, its the context of reception as well.
  • Indrid ColdIndrid Cold Warming up? Posts: 16,688
    Since I was a little kid and even now I've observed that my school teachers' and friends' attitudes always played a bigger role in forming my personality than my parents' ever did. Reading this isn't surprising at all.

    That's not to say that I was anything like the "trouble teenagers" the article speaks of.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I think the Nuffield research confirms a lot of what I've suspected, and what's unfashionable to claim: Violent films and violent computer games lead to a violent society. We have mainstream films like Hollow Man gloriifyng rape as a sexy encounter and then wonder why rape levels are through the roof. We have films like Irreversible and Antichrist getting mainstream release certificates and wonder why people are getting more violent. It isn't rocket science.

    Oh, you mean the Danish film Antichrist and the French film Irreversible? The films where it wasn't even a question about them being given a full release in their home countries? Countries that coincidentally have nowhere near the level of social problems that we do? And frankly, if your theory was correct, I'd be more concerned about the likes of Terminator 4 being given a 12A certificate (ironically, they could've put sex in it or said the C word, and it would've been instantly bumped up to an 18) than a couple of art-house films. But the facts speak for themselves. If there was a massive upturn in bad behaviour in the 70s and 80s, it corrosponded with a period of fairly intense censorship. All of the countries we might want to emulate have pretty liberal rules on censorship. Even Japan with their slightly bizarre pornography rules have some of the most extreme and violent stuff out there, and yet seem to have a pretty civil society compared to us. It just doesn't add up. The statistics don't back it up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    All of the countries we might want to emulate have pretty liberal rules on censorship. Even Japan with their slightly bizarre pornography rules have some of the most extreme and violent stuff out there, and yet seem to have a pretty civil society compared to us. It just doesn't add up. The statistics don't back it up.

    Bang on - there's a great book on the direct media=behaviour correlation theory by a guy called David Gauntlett - http://www.theory.org.uk/david/book7.htm
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What about the so-called "video nasty"? Yes, we still have video, but instead of being on VHS tapes, they're on DVD or Blu-ray. Still video though. Or programmes shown after the watershed, viewed by minors (because they're at a mates house / parents turned a blind eye to it etc).
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh, you mean the Danish film Antichrist and the French film Irreversible? The films where it wasn't even a question about them being given a full release in their home countries? Countries that coincidentally have nowhere near the level of social problems that we do?

    France has massive social problems, as evidenced by the fact that Paris becomes a giant barbecue every August, as does Marseille.

    Regardless of whether you have the social skills to understand that films are not real, the point still remains that violent films and computer games normalise violence. It's the same with pornography, which normalises seeing women as sex objects.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    France has massive social problems, as evidenced by the fact that Paris becomes a giant barbecue every August, as does Marseille.
    Plenty of countries have social problems. But not on the scale of the UK. France has high levels of unemployment, which is the major contributor to any unrest you usually see on the news. And you've certainly demonstrated no corrolation between the status of violence in the media and violent behaviour in society as a whole. The single biggest cause of crime is an inequal society, not breakdown of family or violent films, or any of this other horse shit people like to bring up as if it's some sort of easy solution that acts as a convenient excuse to ban anything they don't like the look of.
    Kermit wrote: »
    Regardless of whether you have the social skills to understand that films are not real, the point still remains that violent films and computer games normalise violence. It's the same with pornography, which normalises seeing women as sex objects.
    See above. What does "normalise violence" mean? I couldn't care less if it normalises violence. I'm concerned as to whether it actually results in increasing violent incidents, and there is very little evidence that it does.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fifteenth century visitors to these islands were always astounded by the locals propesnity to get themselves pissed and into fights. The same was true of visitors in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (and probably true of the twentieth as well). You might as well face it the British are a violent people, from a violent culture. The fights on a Saturday night aren't caused by films, nor by social inequality, but by Brits liking to get pissed up and then be unwilling to back down from anyone.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Violent crime has always been a problem in the UK, just look at the football rioting in the 70's and 80's. The most violent video game back then was Pong ffs.

    You can't blame a society's ills on the media. I remember the massive uproar when that youth was murdered in the North. The media got into a frenzy because the murderer had been addicted to GTA, when actually it had been the victim.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Fifteenth century visitors to these islands were always astounded by the locals propesnity to get themselves pissed and into fights. The same was true of visitors in the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (and probably true of the twentieth as well). You might as well face it the British are a violent people, from a violent culture. The fights on a Saturday night aren't caused by films, nor by social inequality, but by Brits liking to get pissed up and then be unwilling to back down from anyone.

    Apart from the fact that social conditions do increase the ability for these type of behaviours to manifest, I agree. The 18th century gin epidemic is also a good example.
Sign In or Register to comment.