Increases in Female Aggression in America
Violence Up In Grades K-12
The incidence of violence in schools and in other public and private places fluctuates in America and groups of people have plenty of other groups to blame. Various interests blame society, television and video game violence, lack of enough gun control, mental illness, handicapped economy, illegal drugs, and even "Women's Liberation." A good example in summer 2013 was the Jodi Arias murder case. People chose up sides and became nraged that others did not agree with them, whether their stance was that she was an abused woman fighting back or a mentally ill woman that killed out of obsession. We may never know the full answer in the Arias case. We do know some things about public schools --
In Public Health research back in the early 1990s, my team found that in the greater metropolitan area of our work, including the suburbs whose schools achieved higher scores overall on standardized testing of all kinds and at grade levels, the Number One Challenge reported by instructional staff in schools K-12 and daycare centers was VIOLENCE. Character building curricula did not stop it. Police Officers stationed in some schools did seem to reduce incidents of violence in those schools, but not enough, according to teachers, aides, staff, parents, and kids. One elementary school teacher's solution was to diagnose her entire class with ADHD (teachers were permitted to diagnoses and manage meds in that school system at that time) and require each child to be 1) medicated and 2) all physical activity (exercise was "disruptive" and "violent"). That did not work, either.
In the 2010s, we heard about widespread bullying of special needs students by some current female teachers and aides in the same school systems. Violence changes positions and changes operations, but still carries on. In addition, Girls are catching up to boys. Rather violent gangs of girls emerged here in the 1990s as well.
See Jane Hit. I think it was bound to happen.
If violent scenes - and experiences of bullying - enter eyes, ears, and minds of youth frequently, over long enough periods of time, they come back out their mouths, fists, and other weapons of choice. These images and experiences come through the movie screen, the computer screen, and the TV screen. They come through the homelife of children and youth. They come through the SmartPhone screen and the iPad.
See Jane Hit:
Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It
by James Garbarino, PhD
304 pages; Penguin Paperback
Sports can be violent and girls are getting better and better at sports.
Another example of violent aggression is the "choking game." The game is played by those as young as the first grade in France, USA, and Canada.
Children hang themselves, hopefully temporarily, to experience a "rush" that is portrayed in films.In real life, it killed David Carradine and young children found hanged in their closets by shocked parents. For the actor, it was an erotic catalyst, but kids spread the activity by word of mouth as "fun" or "I dare you."
Violence is spreading among youth like wildfire in burnt grass, directed toward others and themselves (cutting, suicide, dangerous "game" pursuits). Author James Garbarino does a a well researched and thorough job of describing the spread of violence and aggression, good and bad, in See Jane Hit.
Kids watch violent sex, abuse, murder, and mayhem on TV and the Internet.Parents take infants and young elementary school children to R-rated films full of obscenity and gore.
Song lyrics glorify violence. Eight-year-old girls sing about bitch-slapping others. Birthday parties are blood baths encouraged by mothers that "want to get even" and YouTube shows many of these incidents. Girls beat other girls in classrooms while some teachers just watch.
One mother on the national news directed her pre-teen daughter to beat up another girl for talking to the first girl's "man." Should an 11-year-old girl even have a man? Was the mom 11 when she bore her daughter? --That happened in my clinic once in the 1990s.
On the other hand, girls may be increasing their success in good pursuits by applying physical aggression - they see it work for boys. However, physically aggressive girls may lack support at home or even be bullied by parents or siblings and then act out at school.
Girls may just be more active in sports since Title IX came into being and allowed entry by more young women and girls. I remember winning early school footraces with boys and girls in the same race - bad memories, because the teacher told us the wins did not count because I was female. Yes, I was angry.
Internet job-search sites advertise that Generations X and Y need to "get in everyone's face" to achieve career success. That places us just short of the Star Trek Klingon tradition (and Roman?) of the ship's first officer assassinating the boss for his job. The workplace is an angry place during now.
The next question is, "If there are a lot of empty slots left by retiring baby boomers, but Generations X and Y go to jail for committing violence in the workplace, who is going to work in America?" See Jane Hit makes some good suggestions.
What Can We Do About Violence?
- Emotions and Abuse: Are Humans Naturally Violent?
The concept of
- How To Stop Teen Dating Violence - Signs, Statistics...
Teens in America are concerned that the problem of dating violence is increasing.
- What to Do About Pre-Teen Violence? - What You Don't...
If we've waited for the Pre-Teen Years to begin Prevention against violence, we are already too late --
- National Violence Awareness Month - Origins
Some book critics feel that girl-aggression is over-inflated in the media, but I disagree.In my martial arts studios for years, I can testify that it is real. Our city mayor made gang violence a priority for concern equally among boys and girls in the 2000s - a metro area of 1,000,000 and growing.
See Jane Hit outlines aspects, concerns, and results of increasing girl-aggression.
James Garbarino, Ph.D., holds the Maude C. Clarke Chair in Humanistic Psychology at Loyola University in Chicago and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. He has advised the National Committee to Prevent Child Abuse, the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect, the FBI, and others. He is a go-to authority with some views and answers that help.
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