aquarius25 said:So this might be a weird journal entry but I feel like I am in a bit of shock and this is a safe place for me to get this all out. I really value the support from any of you who comment so thoughts and encouragement is welcome...
My heart is just so broken right now and I feel very overwhelmed. My son (age 11, going into 6th grade) was attending a science camp at a state college. He was really excited because they were building robots, and coding, and doing all these things he really loves. On the very last night of the camp one of the kids attending (all kids are grade 6-8) was assaulted by a few of the other kids. Yes, authorities were call and police notified. I am just horrified at this situation. Apparently 4 or 5 kids cornered a smaller kid in a bathroom on the last night and they whipped him with belts, kicked him repeatedly, and pulled down his pants and grabbed at him. My son had been playing during free time with this boy and one of the kids who attacked him was a kid on my son's science team. I asked my son about this and he said he was just so shocked and confused. He said that he felt so bad for this kid who was attacked. He said he was scared because it could have been him (he is smaller too), and he said he was confused because he had known all the kids who did this and they didn't seem like the kind to do that. I can see how this experience has really shaken him quite a bit. Frankly it has shaken me too. These are middle-schoolers!!!! The oldest kids were 13! It was a science camp at a state college. One of the administrators had told my son that attacks like these have been becoming more and more common in schools sadly. I am not sure what to think about that.
This program is a year long program. They are supposed to return for 2 Saturdays per month from September till April. They won't have any overnights anymore and obviously the kids that were involved in this are removed. I still just don't feel ok about any of this. This is such a broken world.
I can only speculate but my best guess would be that there is a general coarsening happening on all fronts and it's especially affecting the youth. This is undeniable in my mind. Just look at the movies, games, music, topics and billboards compared to a few centuries ago. I grew up in the 90s and I fell in love with hip hop early on. Recently, I have been listening to some of my favorite albums from back in the day and I really had an epiphany. The music back then was so much more thoughtful and in a way innocent. There has been gangster rap or even lyrics that are brutal but even they were much more harmless. And the artists who made this type of music weren't mainstream so only accessible to people who were actively searching for this type of music in an era where filesharing was in its child's shoes. Don't get me wrong, I'm not reluctant against gangster rap or so (quite the contrary to be honest) but this is music for adults. There was a line in some of the most popular rap songs from recent times that goes something like "Bring your gf to my show, she is going to be shredded backstage // run-of-the-mill, afterwards the sex-tape of her gets published in the internet" (this is a translation from German). It even went sort of viral in the US, if I'm informed correctly. You can watch it on youtube without any warnings for children or young people. It is not restricted (potential triggers ahead, watch at own risk) in any way. That is a problem in my mind.
Same thing with video games. Most of the kids these days with a computer are playing Fortnite because it is free, highly addictive (it's crazy to think that loot box systems are still allowed especially for games that target kids and adolescents. They are groomed to become gambling addicts...) and all their let's player idols play it. In Germany, it is recommended for 12 year olds and upwards if I'm informed correctly but there are no restrictions. So if you are eight year old and want to play it, you can play it. Fortnite graphics are in a comic style but it's still a battle royal shooter and there are different hit boxes, so you always want to aim for the head to deal the most damage. I want you to remind, that the original doom was put on the index and only available in video game stores from under the counter (at least in Germany). Please compare a 320x240 DOOM pixel party where you couldn't even aim for the head to a 4K Fortnite that "all" children play nowadays.
Look at music videos. A friend of mine showed me a video of Nicki Minaj a few months ago where she is in a jungle or so (can't remember it correctly and I don't listen to this type of music) and she was basically naked and stripping. When I was in my early teen I was glad if I could masturbate to a Jennifer Lopez video where I could catch a glimpse of her tush for a split second. Wind back a few more centuries and they didn't even dared to show the bellybutton of Tarzan. I'm not saying that this is ideal either and I don't want anyone to run around in a burka if he or she doesn't want it, I'm just trying to name a few examples.
Then you add porn to the mix (average age of boys being exposed to porn is 10 years old if I remember correctly) and then you have the perfect storm. And porn came a long way, too. I started on porn really early but porn back then were mostly movies with a small story and in hindsight I get the impression that the women were treated with respect (in the scenes) and not used like disposable objects like in a lot of scenes these days. I get the impression that women pretended to enjoy the act in the scenes and today it is really no anomaly to see actresses being disgusted, in pain, anxious and in other negative emotional states you never ever want your sexual partner to be in. Gonzo was a genre/category back then, if I'm not mistaken, and today it's the standard. If you go on a regular tube sites, you can find really disturbing stuff on the front page and easily access every legal thing imaginable. I read studies that young people (both boys and girls) believe anal sex is a everyday sexual practice and that it is normal to finish the coitus with a cumshot to the face. Girls are wondering why they won't have an orgasm when giving a BJ and all that sort of stuff.
A hotbed for brutalization and less empathy.
There needs to be more restrictions for children and adolescents and parents must be in a constant dialogue regarding this sort of stuff. It's funny and sad at the same time. Sex education back then was about how sex works, what it does and how to prevent catching STDs and pregnancy and it was done in a single or two sessions. Today you need to constantly protect your children from all the negative influence that modern media provides and regularly exchange information about it. Because even though you manage to prevent your child from consuming this sort of stuff successfully, there will always be a friend or a class mate who does and who shares his impressions and the data. That's just how things work. Media education is more important than ever.