Look no further than our sports fields to explain teenage violence

sportsThere is a common notion that sports grounds require some amount of brute force and violence, and there is no way around it. One just has to accept this downside if they want their sons or daughters to play a sport regularly. You may want to play mobile casino apps, but the sports world isn’t as good as that.

However, there is a deep-rooted problem here that has gone ignored for far too long here. This early exposure to violence and rage can impact teenage behaviour in ways that cannot be anticipated early on.

Recent occurrences

Today, more and more boys are getting into physical fights on the field and injuring themselves. For example, the Eagles-Fremantle match saw West Coast’s Andrew Gaff punch Fremantle’s Andrew Brayshaw just a few days back. These actions may seem justified in the heat of the moment, but children hardly think of consequences which makes it difficult for them to identify what is right and what is wrong.

Another incident that brought this to light was when a 14-year-old boy punched his mother for fun, and then referred to it as “only a light tap” on the stomach. He never stopped to consider that this might be considered abuse and might even involve the police. For him, it was something that he could tell his friends and laugh about. He even made a video of his mother choking and gasping following the assault because found it funny. The boy justified his actions by saying that such things happened in sports every day. He had himself gone through worse when playing in the school rugby league.

What is happening?

The inherent violence in video games has always been considered to be harmful to young, impressionable children. However, we forgot to consider that real life physical and verbal abuse can have an even more lasting impact. While we are very particular about the films kids should watch, we ignore all warning when it comes to basketball, cricket, football, martial arts or any other sport. The idea of violence in sports is so ingrained in our brain that we forget how dangerous it can be for children.

Albert Bandura, a psychologist, studied the effects of observed violence in a famous experiment. An adult model was made to hit a Bobo doll continuously, and the children’s behaviour was evaluated while they were watching the show.  These toys are meant to spring back to their standing positions when they have been hit down. The children’s reaction to the adult being punished and rewarded for his actions was notable. Bandura also introduced a parameter where the adult suffered no consequences whatsoever.

It is not just limited to physical violence. Sledging on the field can inspire children to swear at home or in school. After a point, they refuse to understand how their favourite sportspersons can say anything negative and continue to use the words.

Observing violence can lead teenagers and children to adopt violent behaviour in their daily lives because their power of judgement still hasn’t fully developed. As adults, we have to be more sensible and caring if we do not want our children to value their animal instincts more than their the civilised selves.



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