Teens of today generally face more issues and problems as compared to their peers from yesteryears. Today’s teenagers appear to be more complex and dynamic. As a result, adults are finding it hard to understand them and are struggling on what actions are needed to be undertaken to foster better relations with their teens. The answers don’t come easy nowadays. Teenagers take a bad rap today, they are not all bad. We cannot categorize them all in one bunch. That’s not fair and obviously not right.
Understanding the world they grew up in will help adults see where they are coming from. Everyone is a product of his/her influences and teenagers are no exception. Identifying the major influences of a teenager’s life will help us to understand why some act the way they do. Whatever you can do to change those influences will help attain the desired effect that you would like to witness in them. Good influences will produce good teens, just as much as bad influences create bad teens. Culture, in this regard is on the top list of influences.
Religion is a component of America’s culture that plays a major influence in teen behavior.
Around the world, matters of faith vary greatly, with no single thing sacred to everyone on earth. Religion is a matter of faith and established beliefs. Religion encourages teens to look hopefully to a better future, minimizing the social problems of their times. A link exists between religious beliefs and societal benefit. But the question remains as to whether there is really a link between religion and adolescent behavior, such as sex, drug abuse, delinquency, among others. Several decades of social scientific studies have revealed that religion is often a factor in the lives of American teenagers, influencing their attitudes and behaviors in ways that are typically viewed as positive and constructive.
Music is another culture component which greatly influences teens. Everyone has his/her preference for a certain type of music. For decades, some forms of music have been blamed for antisocial or inappropriate behavior among teenagers. However, according to a report by the Arts Censorship Project of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, a direct link between antisocial behavior and the exposure to the content of any form of artistic expression has never been scientifically established. The question remains as to whether music really influences a teen to the point of committing rape, murder or suicide. Organizations such as Parents Music Resource Center say it can, yet musicians and the Recording Industry Association of America say otherwise. They claim that music is not that powerful to control the state of mind or behavior of a teenager.
American teenagers are exposed to prejudice and biases by watching television, reading books and magazines, surfing the internet, or even studying school textbooks that present typecast views of various groups of people. Many scientific studies have confirmed that for the news and information that teens need about themselves, their communities, and their world, they now turn more often to mass media, especially television and the internet, instead of turning to their families, friends, religious organizations, or social institutions. The internet in particular, has increasingly become a very dominant medium and has a cumulative effect that creates ultimately the kind of culture in which teens live in. The internet has become the hub by which American teenagers tend to establish their values and ethics that they will hold for their lifetime.
There is no doubt the American culture extends its influence on all facets of being a teenager. It sets the standards as to what teenagers would believe in, how they should acts and react in a given situation, and how they ought to live their lives in general. The influence of American culture is not confined in America alone, it permeates and transcends the culture of other nations whose people look up to America as the richest and most powerful nation on earth.