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girl still ill
January 22, 2010, 11:08 AM
In light of the sentencing of the 2 brothers who subjected 2 young boys (9 and 11) to an horiffic and sustained attack last April, the overwhelming view is that the parents should be culpable for the behaviour of the 2 boys. We have all heard of the "toxic" home life the brothers were subjected too, so why are the parents not being held accountable?


Also, how many times can social services get it wrong?

A shocking and horiffic case that makes me sick to my stomach. My thoughts go out to the 2 young victims and their families.

CrookedLittleVein
January 22, 2010, 11:43 AM
It's a truly awful case, reminiscent of the Jamie Bulger tragedy.

As for holding the parents accountable, I think, yes, to a certain extent.

But who is accountable for the parents? How were they allowed to become what they became?

Blame is a convenient thing because it closes down the possibility of further exploration and frees the population as a whole from delving into the murky depths.

Paedophilia is a case in point. Our hearts (quite rightly) go out to the victims of paedophilia and yet the majority of paedophiles are just that: victims of paedophilia, their own sexual appetites warped by the horrors that were inflicted upon them.

I don't have any answers, true, but the problem with blame is it prevents us from asking any further questions.

Increasingly, as a society (in the affluent West, at least), we see 'closure' as a positive thing, something we should strive for. But surely 'closure' represents the 'end of thought' concerning a particular incident, which can't be a good thing.

Just thinking out loud. :)

girl still ill
January 22, 2010, 12:13 PM
I completely agree with you. Society as a whole should be examined, not just the parents. I do believe they are accountable for their part though. The brothers are themselves victims of their horiffic upbringing. Listening to details of their childhoods, it would not have taken a genius to work out that this would be the path they would inevitably end up on.

I guess its a question of when to intervene.

If I remember rightly, the Bulger case was the first to highlight the dangerous influence violent video games and movies had on young children. I know of many young children (incl my nephew who is 8), who regularly play on 18 rated video games, for hours on end. I find it quite shocking, but feel im in the minority and being old fashioned.

The parents of these brothers chose to become parents. Unless deemed lacking in competence or unable to make autonomous decisions, they are fully responsible for bringing their children into the world. No one forced them to become parents. But the numerous agencies that must have been involved with this family, have to question why they didn't intervene sooner? The neighbours put up with years of hell from those brothers before they were moved to foster care. Does that mean that the police were also involved?


If anything, this case highlights the need for an open and public debate. Not closure.

snowfallsoon
January 22, 2010, 01:02 PM
If anything, this case highlights the need for an open and public debate. Not closure.

Interesting article about video games and violence in children:

Henry Jenkins
MIT Professor

[I]A large gap exists between the public's perception of video games and what the research actually shows. The following is an attempt to separate fact from fiction.

1. The availability of video games has led to an epidemic of youth violence.

According to federal crime statistics, the rate of juvenile violent crime in the United States is at a 30-year low. Researchers find that people serving time for violent crimes typically consume less media before committing their crimes than the average person in the general population. It's true that young offenders who have committed school shootings in America have also been game players. But young people in general are more likely to be gamers 90 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls play. The overwhelming majority of kids who play do NOT commit antisocial acts. According to a 2001 U.S. Surgeon General's report, the strongest risk factors for school shootings centered on mental stability and the quality of home life, not media exposure. The moral panic over violent video games is doubly harmful. It has led adult authorities to be more suspicious and hostile to many kids who already feel cut off from the system. It also misdirects energy away from eliminating the actual causes of youth violence and allows problems to continue to fester.
2. Scientific evidence links violent game play with youth aggression.

Claims like this are based on the work of researchers who represent one relatively narrow school of research, "media effects." This research includes some 300 studies of media violence. But most of those studies are inconclusive and many have been criticized on methodological grounds. In these studies, media images are removed from any narrative context. Subjects are asked to engage with content that they would not normally consume and may not understand. Finally, the laboratory context is radically different from the environments where games would normally be played. Most studies found a correlation, not a causal relationship, which means the research could simply show that aggressive people like aggressive entertainment. That's why the vague term "links" is used here. If there is a consensus emerging around this research, it is that violent video games may be one risk factor - when coupled with other more immediate, real-world influences which can contribute to anti-social behavior. But no research has found that video games are a primary factor or that violent video game play could turn an otherwise normal person into a killer.
3. Children are the primary market for video games.

While most American kids do play video games, the center of the video game market has shifted older as the first generation of gamers continues to play into adulthood. Already 62 percent of the console market and 66 percent of the PC market is age 18 or older. The game industry caters to adult tastes. Meanwhile, a sizable number of parents ignore game ratings because they assume that games are for kids. One quarter of children ages 11 to 16 identify an M-Rated (Mature Content) game as among their favorites. Clearly, more should be done to restrict advertising and marketing that targets young consumers with mature content, and to educate parents about the media choices they are facing. But parents need to share some of the responsibility for making decisions about what is appropriate for their children. The news on this front is not all bad. The Federal Trade Commission has found that 83 percent of game purchases for underage consumers are made by parents or by parents and children together.
4. Almost no girls play computer games.

Historically, the video game market has been predominantly male. However, the percentage of women playing games has steadily increased over the past decade. Women now slightly outnumber men playing Web-based games. Spurred by the belief that games were an important gateway into other kinds of digital literacy, efforts were made in the mid-90s to build games that appealed to girls. More recent games such as The Sims were huge crossover successes that attracted many women who had never played games before. Given the historic imbalance in the game market (and among people working inside the game industry), the presence of sexist stereotyping in games is hardly surprising. Yet it's also important to note that female game characters are often portrayed as powerful and independent. In his book Killing Monsters, Gerard Jones argues that young girls often build upon these representations of strong women warriors as a means of building up their self confidence in confronting challenges in their everyday lives.
5. Because games are used to train soldiers to kill, they have the same impact on the kids who play them.

Former military psychologist and moral reformer David Grossman argues that because the military uses games in training (including, he claims, training soldiers to shoot and kill), the generation of young people who play such games are similarly being brutalized and conditioned to be aggressive in their everyday social interactions.
Grossman's model only works if:

we remove training and education from a meaningful cultural context.
we assume learners have no conscious goals and that they show no resistance to what they are being taught.
we assume that they unwittingly apply what they learn in a fantasy environment to real world spaces.
The military uses games as part of a specific curriculum, with clearly defined goals, in a context where students actively want to learn and have a need for the information being transmitted. There are consequences for not mastering those skills. That being said, a growing body of research does suggest that games can enhance learning. In his recent book, What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, James Gee describes game players as active problem solvers who do not see mistakes as errors, but as opportunities for improvement. Players search for newer, better solutions to problems and challenges, he says. And they are encouraged to constantly form and test hypotheses. This research points to a fundamentally different model of how and what players learn from games.
6. Video games are not a meaningful form of expression.

Part 2 below.

snowfallsoon
January 22, 2010, 01:06 PM
On April 19, 2002, U.S. District Judge Stephen N. Limbaugh Sr. ruled that video games do not convey ideas and thus enjoy no constitutional protection. As evidence, Saint Louis County presented the judge with videotaped excerpts from four games, all within a narrow range of genres, and all the subject of previous controversy. Overturning a similar decision in Indianapolis, Federal Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner noted: "Violence has always been and remains a central interest of humankind and a recurrent, even obsessive theme of culture both high and low. It engages the interest of children from an early age, as anyone familiar with the classic fairy tales collected by Grimm, Andersen, and Perrault are aware." Posner adds, "To shield children right up to the age of 18 from exposure to violent descriptions and images would not only be quixotic, but deforming; it would leave them unequipped to cope with the world as we know it." Many early games were little more than shooting galleries where players were encouraged to blast everything that moved. Many current games are designed to be ethical testing grounds. They allow players to navigate an expansive and open-ended world, make their own choices and witness their consequences. The Sims designer Will Wright argues that games are perhaps the only medium that allows us to experience guilt over the actions of fictional characters. In a movie, one can always pull back and condemn the character or the artist when they cross certain social boundaries. But in playing a game, we choose what happens to the characters. In the right circumstances, we can be encouraged to examine our own values by seeing how we behave within virtual space.
7. Video game play is socially isolating.

Much video game play is social. Almost 60 percent of frequent gamers play with friends. Thirty-three percent play with siblings and 25 percent play with spouses or parents. Even games designed for single players are often played socially, with one person giving advice to another holding a joystick. A growing number of games are designed for multiple players — for either cooperative play in the same space or online play with distributed players. Sociologist Talmadge Wright has logged many hours observing online communities interact with and react to violent video games, concluding that meta-gaming (conversation about game content) provides a context for thinking about rules and rule-breaking. In this way there are really two games taking place simultaneously: one, the explicit conflict and combat on the screen; the other, the implicit cooperation and comradeship between the players. Two players may be fighting to death on screen and growing closer as friends off screen. Social expectations are reaffirmed through the social contract governing play, even as they are symbolically cast aside within the transgressive fantasies represented onscreen.
8. Video game play is desensitizing.

Classic studies of play behavior among primates suggest that apes make basic distinctions between play fighting and actual combat. In some circumstances, they seem to take pleasure wrestling and tousling with each other. In others, they might rip each other apart in mortal combat. Game designer and play theorist Eric Zimmerman describes the ways we understand play as distinctive from reality as entering the "magic circle." The same action — say, sweeping a floor — may take on different meanings in play (as in playing house) than in reality (housework). Play allows kids to express feelings and impulses that have to be carefully held in check in their real-world interactions. Media reformers argue that playing violent video games can cause a lack of empathy for real-world victims. Yet, a child who responds to a video game the same way he or she responds to a real-world tragedy could be showing symptoms of being severely emotionally disturbed. Here's where the media effects research, which often uses punching rubber dolls as a marker of real-world aggression, becomes problematic. The kid who is punching a toy designed for this purpose is still within the "magic circle" of play and understands her actions on those terms. Such research shows us only that violent play leads to more violent play.
[/I]

snowfallsoon
January 22, 2010, 01:15 PM
another interesting article about youth violence and how it's actually decreased.
http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/violence_and_videogames

vaca peluda
January 22, 2010, 01:40 PM
ITV news at six reported on this case last night. Apparently the boys watched porn and films like Chuckie from a young age, also they repeatedly watched their mother get beaten.
When the boys in question were asked what provoked them to do this, they replied 'Dunno', we had nowt to do'

Their mother should have kept them in check, after all, in the eyes of a child Mother is God.

girl still ill
January 22, 2010, 03:53 PM
another interesting article about youth violence and how it's actually decreased.
http://www.gamerevolution.com/features/violence_and_videogames

Thanks for the articles, both make interesting reading. Im not saying that violent video games are solely to blame, they are but one small part of the "toxic" upbringing experienced by the 2 brothers. It would appear it was a culmination of many factors; over a number of years, that resulted in the horiffic attack on the 2 young boys. eg witnessing violence between their parents, lack of discipline or any moral values and an apparent overall failure of all services involved.

Im sure such incidences are few and far between. For the 2 young victims and their families, it was one incident too many

Daddy Cool
January 22, 2010, 04:27 PM
All of society is to blame.

The breakdown of the family and loosening of morals (and belts) has made modern society almost pitiful. The way some people live is absolutely shameful. Why does no-one stand up and say, "teenage pregnancy rates are a big fucking black mark on this country!"? Because they are. And it's a vicious circle. We are now seeing second and third generation children of teenage mothers. These kids are being brought up, surrounded by people who have no idea how to raise children to live in decent society with other people.
And "broken families" are another cause. Why in the name of God is it now fine to hear about children who spend the week "at mum's" and the weekend "with my dad and his girlfriend". It makes me sick. We're all being brought down by these ill-educated, scummy, tracksuit wearing morons who have no idea of the value of education, or of real respect (not the chav, i-wanna-be-black kind of "respek"), or of the joy of working for a living and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

The saddest part is that it has gone so far that there is nothing we can do about it, except sit back and watch this generation of knife-wielding louts bring children into the world and raise them in an even worse way than they were raised. Anyone over 50 is lucky, they'll be dead before the shit properly hits the fan, the rest of us are fucked.

Excuse my language, by the way. Blame my parents...

girl still ill
January 22, 2010, 05:10 PM
All of society is to blame.

The breakdown of the family and loosening of morals (and belts) has made modern society almost pitiful. The way some people live is absolutely shameful. Why does no-one stand up and say, "teenage pregnancy rates are a big fucking black mark on this country!"? Because they are. And it's a vicious circle. We are now seeing second and third generation children of teenage mothers. These kids are being brought up, surrounded by people who have no idea how to raise children to live in decent society with other people.
And "broken families" are another cause. Why in the name of God is it now fine to hear about children who spend the week "at mum's" and the weekend "with my dad and his girlfriend". It makes me sick. We're all being brought down by these ill-educated, scummy, tracksuit wearing morons who have no idea of the value of education, or of real respect (not the chav, i-wanna-be-black kind of "respek"), or of the joy of working for a living and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

The saddest part is that it has gone so far that there is nothing we can do about it, except sit back and watch this generation of knife-wielding louts bring children into the world and raise them in an even worse way than they were raised. Anyone over 50 is lucky, they'll be dead before the shit properly hits the fan, the rest of us are fucked.

Excuse my language, by the way. Blame my parents...



My parents are divorced and I was brought up in a so called "broken home". I was also brought up to respect my elders, to want to gain an education, to want to work for a living and not spunge off the state, and most importantly to know the difference between right and wrong.

The parents obviously had no interest in good parenting skills, which should have been identified when they were still young (by health visitors, midwives) and brought to the attention of social services. Once at school age, teachers have a responsibility to identify children with problems at home. They were expelled at some point, so who's responsibiliy is it to supervise the children once out of education?
They also caused havoc on the estate they lived on, presumably this was brought to the attention of the police. But what action?
And what of the friends and family of the brothers and their parents?


Its not rocket science

Jukebox Jury
January 22, 2010, 05:27 PM
All of society is to blame.

The breakdown of the family and loosening of morals (and belts) has made modern society almost pitiful. The way some people live is absolutely shameful. Why does no-one stand up and say, "teenage pregnancy rates are a big fucking black mark on this country!"? Because they are. And it's a vicious circle. We are now seeing second and third generation children of teenage mothers. These kids are being brought up, surrounded by people who have no idea how to raise children to live in decent society with other people.
And "broken families" are another cause. Why in the name of God is it now fine to hear about children who spend the week "at mum's" and the weekend "with my dad and his girlfriend". It makes me sick. We're all being brought down by these ill-educated, scummy, tracksuit wearing morons who have no idea of the value of education, or of real respect (not the chav, i-wanna-be-black kind of "respek"), or of the joy of working for a living and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

The saddest part is that it has gone so far that there is nothing we can do about it, except sit back and watch this generation of knife-wielding louts bring children into the world and raise them in an even worse way than they were raised. Anyone over 50 is lucky, they'll be dead before the shit properly hits the fan, the rest of us are fucked.

Excuse my language, by the way. Blame my parents...

woooooo..... slow down a little...... teenage girls have got pregnant since time began......but the birth was swept under the carpet. babies forced into kids homes or adoption and even sent abroad:eek:
In ''older days'' parents ''stayed together for the sake of the children'' but the children lived in an atmosphere of hatred, violence and silence.
I'm divorced and my kids spent the weekend with me when they were younger and the week with their mum. I'm sure they would have wanted us all to be together but from my point of view I was with them in a healthier environment than if I was still living with their mum (and for the record there was no hatred and violence.... but plenty of silence.)
The couple involved with these brothers WERE together......... so please don't generalise all parents who either divorce or teenage girls having kids (and yes my daughter had a kid aged 17 last year)

Jukebox ''who's the grandaddy'' Jury

Daddy Cool
January 22, 2010, 06:03 PM
woooooo..... slow down a little...... teenage girls have got pregnant since time began......but the birth was swept inder the carpet. babies forced into kids homes or adoption and even sent abroad:eek:
In ''older days'' parents ''stayed together for the sake of the children'' but the children lived in an atmosphere of hatred, violence and silence.
I'm divorced and my kids spent the weekend with me when they were younger and the week with their mum. I'm sure they would have wanted us all to be together but from my point of view I was with them in a healthier environment than if I was still living with their mum (and for the record there was no hatred and violence.... but plenty of silence.)
The couple involved with these brothers WERE together......... so please don't generalise all parents who either divorce or teenage girls having kids (and yes my daughter had a kid aged 17 last year)

Jukebox ''who's the grandaddy'' Jury

Wasn't that your daughter I saw threatening an old lady with her stiletto heel last weekend..?

And I think I was right to generalise. In general, what I said has more than an element of truth but in some cases (such as yours) there are exceptions. I wasn't trying to offend anyone in particular, that's why I generalised. But there is definitely a correlation between the breakdown of the "traditional" family and the degeneration of society, whether one likes to admit it or not. I'm not getting at anyone or picking on specific cases - it just (to me) seems like there is a general erosion of family/society values. And bad parents have to shoulder the blame. As do those of us who live perfect lives, because we let it happen.

Jukebox Jury
January 22, 2010, 06:05 PM
Wasn't that your daughter I saw threatening an old lady with her stiletto heel last weekend?

:rolleyes:

Jukebox Jury

girl still ill
January 22, 2010, 06:21 PM
Wasn't that your daughter I saw threatening an old lady with her stiletto heel last weekend..?

And I think I was right to generalise. In general, what I said has more than an element of truth but in some cases (such as yours) there are exceptions. I wasn't trying to offend anyone in particular, that's why I generalised. But there is definitely a correlation between the breakdown of the "traditional" family and the degeneration of society, whether one likes to admit it or not. I'm not getting at anyone or picking on specific cases - it just (to me) seems like there is a general erosion of family/society values. And bad parents have to shoulder the blame. As do those of us who live perfect lives, because we let it happen.


Parents can instill values and beliefs in their children, whether they are together or separated. It is when they fail to do so that problems occur.

Daddy Cool
January 22, 2010, 06:32 PM
Parents can instill values and beliefs in their children, whether they are together or separated. It is when they fail to do so that problems occur.

We'll see who's right in 50 years time.

Jukebox Jury
January 22, 2010, 06:47 PM
Wasn't that your daughter I saw threatening an old lady with her stiletto heel last weekend..?

And I think I was right to generalise. In general, what I said has more than an element of truth but in some cases (such as yours) there are exceptions. I wasn't trying to offend anyone in particular, that's why I generalised. But there is definitely a correlation between the breakdown of the "traditional" family and the degeneration of society, whether one likes to admit it or not. I'm not getting at anyone or picking on specific cases - it just (to me) seems like there is a general erosion of family/society values. And bad parents have to shoulder the blame. As do those of us who live perfect lives, because we let it happen.

But my case is the majority, not the minority, so you were wrong to generalise (and I wasn't offended by the way:thumb:)
Is it a breakdown of 'Victorian Values' within families or within society? Parents are blamed...... yet parents can't 'hit' their kids in punishing them when they do something wrong.
I'm only 46, but I grew up fearing the local officer dibble as he could crack me round the ear if I gave him some cheek. Now lads taunt and goad the dibble knowing they can do nothing about it......

I work with young people and last week I had a review with my boss. The last 12 weeks had been a bit tough with the group I had been working with and my boss asked if I felt I could have been a bit more firmer with two of the lads who were a handful.
I replied that ''yes I could have been a bit firmer'', but added that during the 12 weeks they were with me, one was in court three times, the other four times..... each time they walked free with a slap on the wrists and pissing themselves laughing..... so me bollocking them for arseing around on the course is nothing to them.... they are committing all sorts of shit and walking free from court with a small fine and a few hours community service:rolleyes:
I actually wanted one of them to go down, just to shake the other one up (and hopefully the one going down too) but they kept walking free, laughing their heads off at the system:mad:

Jukebox Jury

Mad Vespa
January 22, 2010, 11:58 PM
Ok ... sounds extreme? This fella is totally on the ball - we are NOT strict enough with the type of people who are raising these type of children. Let's be honest ... when you go into a house where the kids have ben allowed to peel wallpaper off, break furniture and the place hasn't been hoovered since 1998 you you have a PROBLEM!

The home is a very, very clear correlation of the mind of a child - if it's shit-shaped and social work are already monitoring the scenario ..... why do these things occur?!!! I just think people are NOT doing their jobs. Full stop. you choose to be a Social Worker .... you FIX it.




All of society is to blame.

The breakdown of the family and loosening of morals (and belts) has made modern society almost pitiful. The way some people live is absolutely shameful. Why does no-one stand up and say, "teenage pregnancy rates are a big fucking black mark on this country!"? Because they are. And it's a vicious circle. We are now seeing second and third generation children of teenage mothers. These kids are being brought up, surrounded by people who have no idea how to raise children to live in decent society with other people.
And "broken families" are another cause. Why in the name of God is it now fine to hear about children who spend the week "at mum's" and the weekend "with my dad and his girlfriend". It makes me sick. We're all being brought down by these ill-educated, scummy, tracksuit wearing morons who have no idea of the value of education, or of real respect (not the chav, i-wanna-be-black kind of "respek"), or of the joy of working for a living and contributing to society in a meaningful way.

The saddest part is that it has gone so far that there is nothing we can do about it, except sit back and watch this generation of knife-wielding louts bring children into the world and raise them in an even worse way than they were raised. Anyone over 50 is lucky, they'll be dead before the shit properly hits the fan, the rest of us are fucked.

Excuse my language, by the way. Blame my parents...

LuvMozzy
January 24, 2010, 11:19 PM
Reading what happened to the victims in this case was truly horrifying. But one of the perpetrators is ten years old. Do people truly believe a 10 year old should be locked up for life for this?
Having said that, I think the sentences should be longer; around ten-fifteen years so at least they would go to adult prison. Then you wouldn't even have to change identities, because 'justice' would have been done. In the Bulger case, justice wasnt seen to be done, but if they'd locked them up a bit longer, it might have been a different story. It might be a lot easier to forgive with their own identities, but the mystique surrounding any 'new life' is always sexed up by the press. It's probably just a grubby depressing life, with a different name.
In this case, the parents must be held accountable; what kind of things does a ten year old have to go through to turn out like that? But how do we hold the parents accountable if they are morally bankrupt? I guess a neglect charge: but how long will they get? Bugger all, I'd imagine.

Mad Vespa
January 26, 2010, 11:27 PM
[QUOTE=LuvMozzy;1294087]Reading what happened to the victims in this case was truly horrifying. But one of the perpetrators is ten years old. Do people truly believe a 10 year old should be locked up for life for this?


Studies now how that between the ages of birth and 3 - the nurture of a child is complete. After this, it would be difficult to change or adapt the pattern for social interaction for children .. isn't that sad?!

It means that kids are being so abused - verbally and mentally if not physically at this stage in life - they're scarred forever. It deeply affects how people perceive themselves, then how society see's them and so how they react. It damages children very day and there are thousands of damaged people walking our streets.

We need to step up social care since there is no community any more - people can disappear under the radar without friends an family to 'monitor' difficult families. The family/community is most definately gone from some people's lives (whether by choice or by other circumstances) and there needs to be a support system to replace it - and by the way, the 'Health Visitor' is not it. Judge-mental, sanctimonious and generally inept 'advice' soesn NOT help us.

Rant over ...

someofusisturningnasty
January 27, 2010, 09:41 AM
Sometimes relationships don't work out, for whatever reason. That doesn't mean to say that the child can't be raised in a secure and loving home- if he/she just sees dad or mum at the weekend it doesn't automatically mean they are gonna end up on the wrong side of the tracks. People are very quick to judge one parent families but there are times when one happy parent is better than two unhappy ones...

The biggest problem in society today regarding childrens upbringings is the lack of discipline and the amount of freedom most of them are automatically afforded. When I was a kid (which wasn't that long ago), if I was late in or misbehaved my mum or dad would give me a slap. It didnt psychologically damage me, it didnt bring me up to think that violence was correct, it just installed in me a healthy respect for them both. I also had to earn the right to stay out late- if I breached the curfew I had to start all over again.

This case is just horrendous. The poor victims of the attack will doubtless be scarred for life- though hopefully they will have as much support as possible from their loving families.

The boys that carried out the attack...it's more difficult to predict. They are obviously very messed up and disturbed little boys. I hope for their own sakes, and more importantly the safety of others, that they are institutionalised for the rest of their lives.

A sad story all round, I hope the two lads who were attacked will in time recover.