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Young Men and Violence

March 10, 1988

Brown has a point. Not only do we as a society overlook the larger sociocultural implications of incidents of male violence (such as the Sunnyvale tragedy), but we simultaneously deny our young boys positive male role models to suggest alternative behavior patterns.

From a very early age young boys are given toys which suggest violence. Masculine dolls almost invariably have some "special" power or weapon which enables them to dominate or control other figures. If these are the situations about which young boys are encouraged to fantasize, then we are teaching them that the object of social interaction is to achieve a position of dominance or supremacy. No wonder male violence is such a predominate social trend. And no wonder that, as young girls are discouraged from these "boy" toys, female violence (as depicted in the film "Fatal Attraction") is greeted with such outrage.

If society is to discourage such behavior then we must begin by educating our children, and especially our young boys, that violence is nod an acceptable form of social interaction. We must strive to provide examples of nurturing male role models in our youngsters' fantasy worlds, and encourage positive role playing. Let's hope that with the rise of the two-career family, and many more men taking on responsibilities in the home, that such nurturing male role models are not far behind in the toy market as well.

KELLI M. BIGGS

Ventura

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