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Peer Pressure in Adolescent's Eyes

Essay by review  •  December 1, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  1,668 Words (7 Pages)  •  995 Views

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Peer Pressure in Adolescent's Eyes

What is peer pressure? Peer pressure can be described as a positive or negative reaction that occurs when one is influenced by certain people (http://dictionary.com). Peer pressure is constantly surrounding individuals all the time. I believe friends, family members, and religious institutions have the strongest influence of peer pressure on society. When adolescents are faced with difficult decisions, they turn to those they can trust to help them make the right choice. With the help and guidance from those we love, adolescents can be influenced to choose a decision that is right. The only problem is the influence of peers has led teens and children astray by pressuring them to make the wrong decisions concerning, more specifically sexual behaviors and drugs. With the help by other support systems present in their lives, teens can learn to push away the bad influence and say "No" to the decisions that they are faced with and know what is right and what is wrong.

In today's society it is very hard to find teens and even children who are virgins. Sex for example is a very big subject for adolescents. Once while it was popular to be a virgin, now it is not. Children and teens that are virgins are sometimes made fun of, excluded, or even lie about their virginity just to fit in. I believe that the media is partly responsible for this. When a child sees people on the television having sex, they want to go out and do the same thing. They do not understand what it is or how it affects him or her both mentally, sexually, physically, and most important spiritually. Sex is something that should be saved for marriage, although most people experience it before then.

Teens and children are having sex at a young age impart because most of their friends may be doing the same thing. The want to fit in and be part of the "in-crowd" so they will not follow what they feel is right and will take part in sexual behavior in order to be "cool." Sex is just one issue that adolescents are faced with. Drugs are another factor that can lead to bad decisions based on the friendships that they make. Even though most adolescents peer pressure their friends into doing something wrong, there are times when they are influenced to do something right. Adolescents need to make the proper decisions and conform to the right crowd in order to develop fully and wholly.

Drugs are becoming more prevalent in today's society and are leading more and more adolescents in making the wrong choices and following the "cool" crowd. In an interview done one can see how individuals in the past were heavily influenced by their peers,

Interviewer: Have you ever done something you didn't want to do, just so people liked you more?

Adolescent 1: I broke a window because I wanted to be more popular, and I just got into trouble.

Adolescent 2: I tried to jump a jump on my bike, to be cool in my bike club.

Adolescent 3: When Steven and the rest of his friends were going round acting tough - and they were popular, so I would go around being like them. Soon after I learnt that they were being stupid for a bit of attention and I fell for it.

Interviewer: Is it easy to stay popular in a group?

Adolescent 4: No, because if you do something wrong they tell you you're dumb.

Adolescent 5: No, you have to play along with the group.

(Cotterell, 130). It is seen in this simple observation how easily adolescents are swayed to do something wrong in order to still be included in a group of friends. As children grow, develop, and move into early adolescence, involvement with one's peers increases. They are faced with decisions to try new things, such as drugs. The use of drugs by teenagers is the result of a combination of factors such as peer pressure, curiosity, and availability (Cotterell, 135). Simple drugs such as inhalants are present in households everywhere and teens can have their hands on it very easily. Adolescents may hear that they can get a high off an air freshener bottle and their curiosity leads to poor decisions. If one friend brings the bottle to the hang out and tells another teen to try it because it is "so cool," he or she will experiment with it unbeknownst to the effects it can lead to. Peers are the ones who most frequently initiate one another into drug use. Usually the gene cluster develops a consensus about where, when, the types of drugs to be used, and so on. Members of the clique exert pressure to conform to the norm of the group by offering attractive rewards, such as status with the group hierarchy, and undesirable sanctions, such as exclusion. (Miller, 33).

Friends, as it is seen, are a major source of peer pressure that one encounters when growing up. I believe from past experiences, friends have the strongest influence on us. The effects from our friends can sometimes be really good or truly bad. Choosing the friends one hangs out with can sometimes be difficult. As a young adult, I can compare life to a science project; always experimenting and finding out different results. For example, I would make the decision to hang out with the rebellious older crowd or angelic companion. As a young adult, friends have a strong influence because of the peer pressure that is involved. Even though we know what is right from wrong we still have the tendency to do the wrong thing. Even though there are a lot of negative effects from friend's influences, there are just as many positive effects too. I believe the right friends can push one to doing the right things such as belonging

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