Man is a social animal and our behaviour in society affects everyone around us. Families raise children that grow up becoming a part of society and therefore nurturing right behaviour is important for a healthy and positive society. I chose this topic as I come from a very family-oriented home, and I occasionally wonder about the behaviour of ill-mannered or badly brought up children, and the reason why they are that way. I often conclude that the cause of the child’s deviant behaviour is probably due to the family environment they grow up in.
These children brought up in homes with poor family dynamics are more likely to grow up portraying deviant behaviour and contribute to crime in society. People have many theories as to what makes a criminal, some of these conclusions are based either on first-hand knowledge or some are unfortunately based on racism and prejudice, while the rest are left to scientific investigations. Research shows that crime is never particular to one cause but may include a combination of factors like economic conditions, family structure, traditions and culture, women and child rights amongst many others. It is only when perspectives globally and closer home are researched against these factors, will we be able to reach a better understanding.
`It is said that positive family influence on children at an early age produces children that positively contribute to society.’ Whereas broken families or abusive families tend to have children that negatively contribute to society. Research says that 70% of criminals come from broken homes. Thus families that tolerate bad behaviour from children are more likely to have these children grow up to be criminal juveniles or adults. There are many reasons for broken homes, economic conditions being one of them. Research states that in developed countries citizens worry less of having to earn a livelihood and instead can divert attention to other positive ways to contribute to society, as also leaving more time to bringing up children.
Venezuela has the highest crime rate in the world at 84.86 in the crime index. It is famous for robberies and pickpockets, this is due to the poor economy, where the average monthly income of an individual is $ 2.00 which is due to inflation. On the other hand, Iceland is the world’s safest country with its peace index at 1.072. The average monthly income is $5,030.
Areas with similar population sizes and different economic conditions point to a relation between poverty and crime. In Arlington, Virginia the median household income is $105,76. This is $46731 higher than the U.S median household income and only 9% of people live under the poverty line. The crime rate here is 17.58 with violent crime at 1.37 and property crimes at 16.20. On the other hand, Garland with a similar population has the median household income at $51,997 which is $7,042 less than the US median household income. 17.2% of the people live under the poverty line and the crime rate here is 34.75 with violent crime at 3.01 and property crime at 31.75.
Though economic well being helps stable family dynamics, it may not prevent deviant behaviour because other factors mentioned above also play a role in defining behaviour patterns. US and UK despite being more developed nations remain at position 49 and 59 respectively on the crime index, higher on the scale than India, a developing nation which is at position 65, this is possibly due to India’s closer family structures.
Finland believes fathers play a crucial role in child development. The government offers fathers nine weeks of paternity leave, during which they are paid 70% of their salary. Family structure is changing drastically, families are becoming smaller and family values are getting diluted. A joint family in the past had more adults present to teach children the values their families stood by in society. Iceland and Finland which have been ranked to be the safest countries in the world have the best child care programs and women are treated as equals. Iceland ranks first in gender equality and Finland ranks third.
Papua New Guinea with the second-highest crime rate in the world is a patriarchal society and has very few rights for woman and children. An estimated 70 per cent of women in Papua New Guinea experience rape or assault in their lifetime. 67% of women in the country suffer from domestic abuse.
There are a variety of reasons which contribute to deviant behaviour leading to crime, but what emerges clearly is that globally it is a combination of these factors which finally define the health of a society.
India, an economically developing South Asian country, is home to the second-largest population in the world with 1.3 billion people. It is a multicultural country with many different traditions and cultures, family structures and values making it ideal to research.
More than 70% of India’s population lives in rural areas. In rural areas families focus on farming and therefore tend to be larger. Larger families have more adults and elders who supervise and teach their children family values they stand by in society. As compared to some Western societies where families are smaller, India falls midway in the world crime index possibly due to its family structures.
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It is not always guaranteed that family structures will prevent deviant behaviour. 18.62% of India’s rural population lives in Uttar Pradesh which has large families and 29.43% of this population lives under the poverty line. Uttar Pradesh has been ranked the most dangerous state many times in the last few years despite its large family structures. Culturally in the State, more freedom and attention is given to the boy child than the girl, this often leads to the men believing they are more superior and commit crime against women. Uttar Pradesh recorded the maximum number of crimes against women with 56,011 cases in 2017. Majority of cases under crimes against women were registered under “cruelty by husband or his relatives’ at 27.9%, followed by “assault on women ‘ at 21.7%, “kidnapping and abduction of women’ at 20.5% and “rape’ accounting for 7.0%.
I come to form a very family-oriented house, though we are a small family my mother chose to not take up a job and instead spent time with us in our early developing years. This resulted in family values being passed on to us rather than learning from other caregivers. We communicate a lot as a family and are able to exchange our ideas to learn what is right from wrong.
I have seen some parents outsource their role to other caregivers which results in children not getting enough quality parental time, they become attention-seeking and portray negative behaviour. These children usually are manipulative, bullies and are more likely to display deviant behaviour in society as they grow up.
In our developing years, we had restricted screen time and instead would be doing brain-stimulating activities like arts, craft, outdoor activities and pursuing hobbies. Unsupervised screen time at an early age could lead children to absorb violent and inappropriate content which may lead them to believe those actions are acceptable in society. I have noticed people jumping traffic lights and throwing garbage on the side of the road which is small scale deviant behaviours and shows poor upbringing and lack of right family and societal values. To a large extent, I believe that poor family dynamics finally leads to more serious crime in society.
With people seeking economic improvement and development, they are likely to migrate from rural areas to urbanised areas. This migration will break the larger rural family structure to smaller urbanised families. Working parents will have less time to give attention to their children which is likely to have a negative influence on family values and dynamics. Therefore In developing nations taking into account all these factors crime and social disturbance is likely to increase.
In today’s age, the internet gives full access to a verity of content. Social media has become a platform where people share their views and opinions which has an overall influence on the behaviour of people. Therefore in the information age family values are likely to get diluted and unless positive influence is generated, there is a possibility of an increase in deviant behaviour in society.
POSSIBLE COURSES OF ACTION
Developing countries should have policies to encourage rural populations to stay back to be able to make a profitable livelihood. Agriculture if made more sustainable by improving infrastructure and organising retail will help farmers. Further providing credit and technology will give a boost, thereby slowing down migration and its connected problems.
Improving ways in which families can devote more time with children like parental leave in Finland is important. We as a society need to agree on putting proper controls on the internet so that unrestricted negative content is not available to influence the behaviour of people. Devices should be restricted to a certain age and app should make child-friendly versions of themselves such as Netflix and now youtube.
Parents that afford devices for there children should not have it connected to the wifi and instead download content that they want their child to watch or play this I s safer the exposing the child to the internet where it can gain incorporate and violence content at an early age.
Govermnets should have campaigns that educate people in rural and urban areas about the importance of familys and the role it plays when is come to deviance in society
After the research I have conducted I conclude that the economic condition that a criminal comes form plays a large role in his/hers devient behaviour, however, I also feel that the environment they are brought up in play a significant role too. Violent actions against a child at a young age by a respected individual often results in the child assuming violence is acceptable in society leading them to portray deviant behaviour. I feel that unsupervised screen at a young age can also lead children to portray devient behaviour as they have full access to the internet and can often end up watching violent and inappropriate content.
I also strongly feel that the way women are treated in society play a large role in levels of devient behaviour amongst young adults and adults. Finally deviant behaviour depands on all these factor but most important and common factor, in my opinion and from the facts that i have gathered, is the way families intract and grow.