Lowering the minimum legal drinking age to 18

There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not that lowering the minimum legal drinking age to 18 would help reduce the amount of binge drinking among people under age 21. The evidence from recent history and research do not support this change. Some have argued that lowering the drinking age will reduce the allure of alcohol as a “forbidden fruit” for minors. In fact, research suggests that lowering the drinking age will make alcohol more available to an even younger population, replacing “forbidden fruit” with “low-hanging fruit. The practices and behaviors of 18 year-olds are particularly influential on 15 to 17 year-olds (Bonnie, p. 38-58, 1980). If 18 year-olds get the OK to drink, they will be modeling drinking for younger teens. Legal access to alcohol for 18 year-olds will provide more opportunities for younger teens to obtain it illegally from older peers, making enforcement that much more difficult among high school students. For this reason, parents and schools strongly supported the age-21 MLDA (Bonnie, p. 38-58, 1980).

Finally, the following is a response from U. S. Surgeon General RADM Steven K. Galson, about lowering the drinking age. “We all should be very concerned about the extent and consequences of underage drinking. The fact is when youth drink, they tend to drink heavily. Today, we know more about the effects of underage alcohol use on health than ever before. For example, the science tells us that underage drinking can have serious health and safety consequences, such as motor vehicle crashes and sexual assaults.

New research is also emerging on the potential harm alcohol may have on the developing brain which continues to mature well into the 20s. So based on the most recent research and the information contained in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking, I believe that drinking under the age of 21 is not worth the risk. ”(Bonnie, p. 38-58, 1980) The next topic that I am going to explain is that why do violent video games lead to an increase in crime.

This article presents a brief overview of existing research on the effects of exposure to violent video games. An updated meta-analysis reveals that exposure to violent video games is significantly linked to increases in aggressive behavior, aggressive cognition, aggressive affect, and cardiovascular arousal, and to decreases in helping behavior. Experimental studies reveal this linkage to be causal. Correlational studies reveal a linkage to serious, real-world types of aggression.

Methodologically weaker studies yielded smaller effect sizes than methodologically stronger studies, suggesting that previous meta-analytic studies of video games underestimate the true magnitude of observed deleterious effects on behavior, cognition, and affect (Anderson, 2004). Of course, anecdotal accounts of such incidents do not provide a solid scientific basis for public policy decisions or for the testing and development of relevant scientific theories of aggression.

But there is considerable theory and research on both the immediate impact of a single brief exposure to media violence and the long term impact of repeated exposure to such violence (e. g. Donnerstein, Slaby, ; Eron, 1994; Huesmann ; Miller, 1994; Anderson ; Bushman, 2001; Bushman ; Huesmann, 2001; Anderson ; Bushman, 2002a; Anderson et al. , in press; Anderson ; Huesmann, 2003). Three findings are particularly important. First, as more studies of violent video games have been conducted, the significance of violent video game effects on key aggression and helping related variables has become clearer.

Second, the claim (or worry) that a poor methodological characteristic of some studies has led to a false, inflated conclusion about violent video game effects is simply wrong. Third, video game studies with better

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methods typically yield bigger effects, suggesting that heightened concern about deleterious effects of exposure to violent video games is warranted. Three major types of studies have clearly and consistently linked media violence to aggressive and violent behavior: experimental, cross-sectional (correlational); and longitudinal.

Social-cognitive models of human aggression clearly link exposure to media violence to subsequent aggressive and violent behavior at both the theoretical and empirical levels (e. g. Huesmann, 1988; Anderson ; Bushman, 2002a; Anderson ; Huesmann, in press). Lastly, I am going to discuss why that Social networking is a healthy activity and is largely harmless. Everyday a teenager gets on the computer to log on to Facebook, to check emails, to see what everyone else is doing, and sometimes they are getting bullied on the computer.

Social networking can have its pros and cons when dealing with everyday life. Social networking can be very dangerous to our youth and here is a couple of inserts that prove my analysis. You have pedophiles stalking young children because they have an illness. You also have males pretending to be females, because they are hiding their infatuations about the other person behind the computer. In the case involving the 15-year-old girl, police said the man met the girl online in November, when he contacted her through her profile at MySpace, and they later exchanged cell phone numbers.

Police said they met face to face for the first time at a military installation and from there began to have a consensual sexual relationship. The suspect did not have a home of his own and arranged meetings with the victim at his friend’s home or in his friend’s vehicle unbeknownst to the girl’s parents, police said. Police learned of the case in January when the girl was identified as an unescorted minor by security at the front gate of the military installation.

She told military investigators that she was having a sexual relationship with the man, who worked until then as a civilian employee for the Department of Defense. As a result of the investigation, the man was barred from the base, and he has since been terminated from his job (Rod Antone, 2006). Fifteen percent of all of the youth reported an unwanted sexual solicitation online in the last year; 4% reported an incident on a social networking site specifically. Thirty-three percent reported an online harassment in the last year; 9% reported an incident on a social networking site specifically.

Among targeted youth, solicitations were more commonly reported via instant messaging (43%) and in chat rooms (32%), and harassment was more commonly reported in instant messaging (55%) than through social networking sites (27% and 28%, respectively)( Ybarra, M. L. , & Mitchell, K. J. , 2008). This is only a couple scenarios that I have listed to prove that social networking can harm our youth so let’s protect our youth and monitor what they do on the computer.

References

Anderson, Craig A. (2004). “An update on the effects of playing violent video games,”Journal of Adolescence 27, 113–122. Bonnie, RJ, “Discouraging Unhealthy Personal Choices through Government Regulation: Some Thoughts about the Minimum Drinking Age,” In Minimum-Drinking-Age Laws, Wechsler, H (Ed.), Lexington, MA: DC Heath Co., p39-58, 1980.) Donnerstein, E., Slaby, R. G., & Eron, L. D. (1994). The mass media and youth aggression. In L. D. Eron,J.H. Gentry, & P.Schlegel (Eds.), Reason to hope: A psychosocial perspective on violence and youth (pp.219–250).Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Rod Antone, 2006. “Another isle man allegedly baits teen victim on MySpace,” Honolulu Star Bulletin (9 March), at http://starbulletin.com/2006/03/09/news/story05.html, accessed 21 March 2006. Ybarra, M. L., & Mitchell, K. J. (2008). How risky are social networking sites? A comparison of places online where youth sexual solicitation and harassment occurs. Pediatrics, 121(2), e350-e357.

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