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The following archived material from Trinity College WA (author unknown) circa 2000 is student responses to the then TEE Comprehension Comment Section 1.

The two passages “What Mums need to know about their sons” (p1) and the extract from Social Psychology: Explorations In Understanding, (p3) portray different attitudes in relation to juvenile aggression.

291 word response - spelling and punctuation errors have been corrected in this transcript:

In comparing and contrasting passages one and three, it becomes evident that the attitudes presented towards juvenile aggression are accepted as normal behaviour, and are established by parents.

In passage one it states that boys who are rough and violent are simply learning their boundaries and are learning to interact with their peers.  “There are clear benefits to all that competitive play.  Boys learn the limits of their aggression.”  This reinforces the attitude of William Pollack – a Harvard psychologist, that childhood violence is acceptable and normal.  Pollack also believes that boys who have violent imaginations learn the difference from reality and imagination, and they develop by working out stories together.  “Few boys go from violent imaginations to real violence.”  Pollack is again indicating that violence is simply a part of a boy’s learning.  Pollack also believes that children with violent imaginations invent stories to “help establish a moral compass.”  Again this is reinforcing the attitude that childhood violence is normal and is encountered by most boys.

In contrast to passage one, passage three indicates that parents establish roles that males and females undertake.  Passage three states “parents pass along their own concepts of appropriate behaviour.”  Indicating that the parents can control their sons’/daughters’ behaviour.  This is in contrast to passage one as the first passage indicates violence is almost in built in a boy.  While passage three believes it is passed on by parents.  Passage three also states that as males and females are treated differently, by their parents, their ideas of violence are different.

Passages one and three are contrasting articles.  This is evident through the information provided.  In passage one it is believed that violence is natural while passage three indicates that it is passed on by the parents.

This response penalised for lack of paragraphing.

Passage One presents juvenile aggression in boys as a characteristic, simply developed through both upbringing and biological factors, whereas passage three explores the personal investigation of sex roles by the boy himself through exposure to nurturant qualities from parents to the appropriate behaviour for their gender which is passed along to them.  In passage one it is evidently suggested that aggression in young boys is common and natural, “Biology plays a part”, and tells readers that the physiological characteristics of a boy promotes aggression regardless of exposure to it in other forms and it “may also help shape their mental and emotional makeup”.  Passage three suggests it is the specificity of behaviour by the individual rather than the generalised gender role grouping.  The attitude towards juvenile aggression in passage one is challenged by passage three which “gives little support to the belief that sex typing is the result of a unitary identification process.”  Passage three’s  entire attitude is summarised in the quotation which finishes to “indicate that an individual’s sex typed behaviour may be quite specific.”  This attitude is reinforced in providing an example, “the girl who likes to play with dolls may also be a better soccer player than her older brother is,” which shows readers a suggestion of commonality amongst gender behavioural tendencies.  Passage one though reinforces the attitude of juvenile aggression as biological and natural, by generalising the entire male population under a code of behaviour which claims to “extend to the way young males communicate.”  The subheadings before each explanatory paragraph can be read:  “He’s rough and tough,” “He has a violent imagination,” “He doesn’t open up easily” and “He wants to strike a deal.”  Each paragraph provides an example of each “code”, all with the idea that it is a natural tendency for boys to be violent.  An example of a young boy who wasn’t exposed to a sexist upbringing was still proved to have violent thoughts on the mind after using a toy drill as a gun.  Although in Passage One, the byline reads “You can relax. . . they’re not as tough as they look,” this helps readers to conceptualise the issue rather than overexaggerate its existence.

This response totalling nearly 400 words, really more than needed to be said.:

Passage one, titled “What Mums need to know about Sons,” identifies the ways in which boys behave and why.  The article presents information targeted specifically at mothers of the behaviour of their sons as opposed to the behaviour of their daughters.  Similarly, passage three, and extract from a text book entitled “Social Psychology: Explorations in understanding” presents how children become aware of their sexual identity and through this, learn how to behave appropriately to their sex roles.  Both passages explore the different behaviour of boys and girls and are evidently aimed at parents.

The attitude towards juvenile aggression in passage one is some what mixed, as it states that it is feared by mothers that their sons are rough and are becoming influenced by violence in the media such as movies and video games.  The mothers are worried, and this point of view, through the mothers eyes shows the negative attitudes towards juvenile aggression.  On the other hand, experts like William Pollack, a Harvard psychologist shows a positive attitude towards juvenile aggression as he believes that boys need to play rough and to be physically aggressive to learn the limits of aggression and how far they can go safely without injury and how to be aware of others feelings.  Pollack believes that this kind of behaviour does not mean that the boys are headed in the direction of becoming roughnecks in the future, and are instead benefiting from it.

Of boys are not exposed to violence on the television or video tames with characters shooting and killing each other, they will eventually let their imaginations take over, which is a far worse consequence.

In contrast to passage one, passage three distinguishes the behaviour of boys and girls and what is expected of them.  The attitude towards juvenile aggression in the passage was that boys were allowed to be aggressive but girls were not, and they were punished if they did act in such a way; however were praised for conformity, obedience and sweetness.  On the other hand, parents did not want their boys to be too passive or too conforming.  The views of this passage are also sexist, as males are expected to act in a masculine way, allowing for juvenile aggression, but females are expected to act approximately and obediently.  In comparison to passage one, the attitudes toward juvenile aggression in passage three is accepting and positive.





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