Violence in America: Societal & Personal Factors

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  • 0:02 Violence in Society
  • 0:36 Violence, Aggravated…
  • 1:37 Factors that…
  • 3:19 Factors that Help…
  • 4:05 Lesson Summary
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Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

More than just economic factors play a role in the potential for someone to commit a violent crime. Some other types of factors that may contribute to someone committing a violent crime are discussed here as well.

Violence in Society

Walls have been built around big cities in ancient times, like Troy, to defend against invading armies. The police patrol city streets to catch criminals. Even cameras are put in full public view to try and deter illegal activities.

But you know what? No matter which method has been used, past or present, violence still occurs. No matter how you try to stop it, big walls or new technology, there is always a way for violence to seep through and into society.

There are many personal and societal factors that contribute to this, and they will be the subject of our discussion.

Violence, Aggravated Assault, and Robbery

Violence is the use of force to try and harm, injure, or kill oneself or another person.

It happens every day, in cities big and small, countries rich and poor.

The FBI reports that, in 2012, over 1.2 million violent crimes occurred in the U.S. Over 60% of these were aggravated assaults, almost 30% were robberies, about 7% were rape, and just a bit more than 1% were murders. Over two-thirds of the time firearms were used in a murder.

An aggravated assault, by the way, is an unlawful attack by a person for the purposes of causing severe bodily injury, and a robbery is the taking or attempt to take something of value from a person by threat or use of force. A robbery shouldn't be confused with a burglary, where someone enters a property without consent in order to commit a crime.

A violent crime occurs in this country more than twice a minute, and someone is murdered about every half hour.

Factors That Contribute to Violence

Gender clearly plays a role in violent crime, as FBI data revealed in 2012. Most violent acts are committed by men. That fact is probably not very shocking to you.

Men are about nine times more likely to commit murder and are three times more likely to be murdered.

Age is also a factor in violent crimes, such as murder. A large proportion of murderers are aged 17-34.

While we tend to live in fear of strangers attacking us in our homes while we sleep or robbing us at gunpoint on the street, the fact of the matter is that you are more likely to be attacked by someone you know!

As an example of this, consider the fact that more than half of women who are murdered and about three-fourths of sexual assaults are actually caused by a person the female victim knows.

But there are outside roles that seem to influence the potential for violence. Many people are the victims of terrible acts on college campuses; 95% of the time alcohol is involved in these instances.

College students, younger kids, and even some adults enjoy playing violent video games. The debate is still on about whether or not teens or adults are truly affected in a negative manner that can lead to a violent act due to the content of such a video game, TV show, or music. However, it has been shown that children are more likely to engage in aggressive behaviors, at least temporarily so, when exposed to violence in media.

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