Mar 27, 2008
Why Children Kill ?
In the 21st Century, children and youth have been growing up quicker versus the past thirty years. What ever happened to children and youth who enjoyed playing house, hide and go seek and other various games? It seems as though children and youth are more concentrated in this Century to “get back” at others who have harmed them by hurting others, either with firearms, weapons or simply by their aggressiveness. An author seizes to explain how children are ending lives even before their own has begun. (Jonathan Paul; “When Kids Kill”, 2003). Children and youth are more knowledgable and sensitive to society issues. Providence, USA,1921. Two playmates, both aged of three years, were thought to be playing in the yard, out of harms way. John put a cord around his playmate’s neck and tied the other end to a grindstone. He turned the handle until his playmate was dead. When John was asked why he had done what he did, he simply replied: “I don’t like her anymore”(“When Kids Kill”, p.1). Dr. Susan Bailey, a forensic psychiatrist believes John was truly innocent in his act. She claimed: “Learning about life, includes learning about death” (“When Kids Kill”, p.1). Children who commit murderous and violent crimes are often influenced by their great sense of media awareness, their family situations and any disorders that they may have.
The majority of parents strongly believe that television is held responsible for the violent behaviours children and youth demonstrate. It is presented that violent films, video games and the internet play an important role in the values of unintelligent youths. Children and youth have been exploited for decades, not only by sexual predators but by politicians who are willing to over stimulate parents’ fears due to current material regarding technology and popular culture (Katz, 1998).
According to a researcher, who has examined, in her book, “Mayhem” that the effects of violence presented in the media clarified that young lives are immersed with graphic violence that is quite different and extremely dangerous than in the preceding era.
Sissela Bok claims: “We have movie role models showing violence as fun, and video games where you kill and get rewarded for killing, for hours and hours.” It is, she wrote: “A very combustible mix, enraged young people with access to semi-automatic weapons, exposed to violence as entertainment, violence shown as exciting and thrilling”.(Katz, 1999) An article presents that children grow up with a misunderstanding of life’s substanciality. They have fixed images of cartoons, movies and television programs that demonstrate individuals being killed (Katz, 1999). The young minds grow up in environments who either reinforce violence through video games, films and often within one’s family surroundings.
Family situations, in which a child’s environment consists of, strongly influences a child’s behaviour. It has been said that the majority of killers have been adolescent caucasian males who reside in different areas and are children who come from middle-class families (Katz, 1999). It becomes difficult to understand how middle-class children who are described as well parented, would commit such outrageous crimes. In order to analyze children and youth’s family situations, it is obvious that one cannot define that children commit murderous acts simply based accordingly upon their social classes. In order to come to a definite conclusion in relation to a child or youth’s family situation, one must observe the parents. Factors such as single parents, preoccupied parents, drug users and many more, influence a child’s behaviour. One researcher claimed that in his line of experience, he has observed a great amount of boys who did not reside with both parents. However, he noticed that the boys’ biological fathers were not present in their life and noticed that their sense of morality were substantiously lower than a child who had his biological father present (Shawn Johnston). Children who commit murderous acts have an extreme lack of moral teachings. It is said that in America, each year there is over one million American children who suffer through the divorce of their parents. More than half of the children who will be born this year will experience a divorce between their parents, even before they’ve reached the age of eighteen years. It has been demonstrated that divorce can have a devastating physical, emotional and financial impact throughout adulthood and in the future generations as well. Children who experience divorce from their parents may experience, health, emotional and behavioural problems and be more likely to be involved in crime, drug abuse, suicide and many more (Fagan & Rector, 2000). Parents might raise their children the best way possible, although other factors such as disorders like Attention Deficit Disorder, Anxiety and many more, can affect whether a child or youth who engages in violent or innappropriate acts.
When seeking to explain the many reasons to why children kill, disorder such as depression, anxiety, attention deficit combinated with proactive drugs often influences a child or youth to engage in violent crimes. Sustaining disproportions and chemical exposures can also greatly influence a child or youth’s dietary habits. In the 21st Century, it is noticable that instead of identifying the cause, doctors and psychologists believe that treating children and youth’s symptoms with powerful medications such as Prozac, Luvox, Paxil and Zoloft, who all belong to the class of drugs better known as Selective Seretonin Reuptake Inhibitors(SSRI). Now days almost nine million children, about one out of five children, take proactive drugs for their behavioural disorders, many of those being debatable diagnoses (Why kids kill? Prozac and Alternatives). As presented in an article, a study states that six percent of children on prozac became psychotic (Breggin, 1994).This article further explains some of the unfortunate results. One case states that Eric Harris, a student who took part in the Columbine shooting in April of 1999 was on Luvox. Another case claims that Kipland Kinkel, the fifteen year old student from Thurston high who mudered his parents, as well as two students and wounded twenty two fellow students was taking Prozac (Why Kids Kill? Prozac and Alternatives). With some of the cases presented, it demonstrates how proactive drugs can cause serious harm to an individual with a psychological disorder.
Crimes, such as murderous acts by children and youth have been present for some time. Although in the 21st century, it is more common to hear that a child or youth would take away one’s life before their own has properly begun. Children who commit murderous and violent crimes such as murder are often influenced by factors such as media awareness, family situations and disorders. With nine millions children, about one out of five who are taking proactive drugs, this number can greatly increase in the future. If children and youth continue with this increasing number of committing offences, such as, taking an innocent life, it is difficult to imagine what exactly will happen to them. Should the government bring capital punishment back, rather than emprisoning children and youth who commit serious offences?
Breggin, P.R., Talking Back to Prozac, St. Martin;s Paperbacks, New York, NY, 1994.
Fagan, P.F., & Rector, R.E. (2000, June). The Effects of Divorce on America. Retrieved April 2,
2006, from The Heritage Foundation: Research Family website: http://www.heritage.org
Katz, J. (1998). What Makes Kids Kill?. Retrieved February 15, 2006, from http://www.efc.ca
Katz, J. (April 1999). Why do kids kill. Retrieved February 15, 2006, from
Freedom Forum website: http://www.freedomforum.org
Paul, J. (2003). When Kids Kill. Virgin Books.
What causes school shootings?. (1998, June 18). When Kids Kill. Retrieved February 15, 2006,
Wilson, L. Why Kids Kill? Prozac and Alternatives. Retrieved from http://drwilson.com