Rebellion at a young age is almost a rite of passage. Most children will rebel against their parents at some point. This can be for a range of reasons, such as hormones, repression, and peer pressure. Studies have shown rebellion can potentially lead to criminal offenses as a teenager and as an adult. I will discuss why rebellion can lead directly to crime.
Firstly, it’s important to establish the fact teen rebellion is a general term. It can apply to anything from simple disobedience to petty theft. If the rebellion involves the latter, rebellion has already immediately led to crime, and this can increase the chances of becoming a habitual criminal in later life.
The main reason why many teenage rebellions turn to crime is a soft handed approach from the authorities. If a teenager commits a crime in an act of rebellion, it’s important to punish them harshly. It sends the message that what they did was entirely wrong. If this message isn’t clear to them, they won’t see why they’re being punished and they’ll likely repeat the same mistakes.
Rebellion in the form of popular culture also carries the risk of crime. Many role models today glorify breaking the law and crime. It’s not difficult to see how gangster rappers and sports personalities who get into legal trouble influence young minds. If they see rebellion like this on television and in the media, they could believe they aren’t doing anything wrong by mimicking what they see.
A common form of rebellion involves hanging out with bad crowds. Parents caution their teenagers not to hang around with certain types of people, so in an act of rebellion a teenager decides to do it anyway. The problem is these people could themselves come from broken or criminal homes. Their influence through peer pressure often infects those who come into their social circles. If they’re surrounded by crime, there’s a high chance of them becoming active participants.
People say rebellion doesn’t always lead to crime, and this is true. Acts of teen rebellion can be as small as having underage sex or watching adult videos. Not all acts of rebellion are crimes or could lead to crimes. For example, a teenager who access extreme pornography from their computer isn’t necessarily going to become a sexual deviant.
Repression is just as much a catalyst to teen rebellion and crime than any other. One of the biggest influences of whether a teen will rebel is what they perceive as societal norms. Teenagers want to be individuals and stand out from everyone else. Naturally, this results in some sort of rebellion. Repression, often through religion, acts much like an elastic band. The more repressed they are the bigger the rebellion. It’s why so many criminals come from deeply religious and idealistic households.
Overall, teen rebellion can lead to crime, but it’s not something that happens overnight. It might act as the catalyst, but it requires the right influences and certain socioeconomic scenarios for a teenager to become a hardened criminal. For most teenagers, they grow out of the rebellious stage at about the age of 18 and become decent and healthy members of society.