| Question: What has caused many members of the younger generation to
be so violent?
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in research to answer that question.
The findings are startling. In addition to the violence children have seen on television
and in the movies, and apart from the drug wars they have witnessed, the tendency toward
violence is a function of the neglect and abuse so many have experienced. That is
especially true of those raised in the inner city. Many children born to drug-and alcohol
dependent parents have been subjected to unimaginable deprivation. They were left in cribs
for days with dirty diapers burning their buttocks and legs. Some were hit repeatedly, or
they were scalded or starved. Others simply had no one to love and hold them when they
were frightened. Many were sexually exploited from their earliest dayssome even in
infancy. If they survived, they grew up on the streets with no adult guidance and care.
What does it do to a child to experience intense pain, fear and
deprivation at a very early age? Kids who go through these traumas in the first year or
two of life produce high levels of stress hormones, notably cortisol and adrenaline. Those
substances put the body in an "alarm reaction state" in order to cope with the
crisis at hand. Human neurological apparatus is bombarded with chemicals that
shouldnt be there in a child that age. The result is impairment of the boy or
girls thinking apparatus and emotional development.
Many of todays abused kids can kill and destroy without pangs of
conscience because they are literally brain damaged. They dont feel what you and I
feel. They cant empathize with helpless victims the way they should, because the
emotion of compassion flows from cognitive functions that no longer operate.
The bottom line is this: We are paying a terrible price for the
disintegration of the family and for the victimization of children. Any society that
doesnt protect the most vulnerable in its midst can expect to suffer at the hands of
those abused individuals when they get old enough to strike back.
Send your questions to Dr. Dobson, c/o Focus on the Family, PO Box 444, Colorado
Springs, CO 80903. Dr. Dobson is the President of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to the preservation of the home. Copyright 1997 James Dobson, Inc.
All rights reserved. International copyright secured.