The horrors of peer pressure
By: Gaby Nuñez
Imagine this scenario: Katie, a 17 year old girl, was at a party one night when someone dared her to chug a quart of 107-proof Goldschlager around 1 am. Later in the afternoon a friend noticed Katie was unresponsive and called the ambulance. That day they had found out that the bet had killed her. Her alcohol level was at 0.381 about 12 hours after she took the $100 bet. Which meant after Katie drank the alcohol her alcohol level was around .600. Alcohol becomes deadly in the .400 to .500 range.
A teenagers brain is wired to respond differently to peers. Even if children aren't being pressured directly just knowing a friend is watching increases risky behavior. It is said that the affect is especially strong in teenagers. The reason being brain changes short after puberty make teenagers more aware of what other people are thinking of them. Research shows that teenage boys take more risks when a friend is in the car. But when a girlfriend is in the car they take more caution.
Many teenagers have been pressured into faking drug taking to fit in with their peers. Research shows "boys are twice as likely as girls to pretend they had taken drugs." But kids in the south east seem to be more prone to talking up their behavior. Its shown that as the make their hormone-laden journey from child to adult, they forge a personal identity by first making a social identity. A persons likes is one way to define oneself but the way they talk about themselves to peers also helps create a sense of self.
After repeatedly being told, kids still don't understand the harms of drug use and drinking. Here was a heightened awareness after another student was killed in an accident where alcohol was involved. They did their best job to teach kids the horrible things that can happen involving drug use and drinking.
Not all peer pressure is bad. There are positive things that come from peer pressure like good grades. Although that is true the things that come from negative peer pressure have much more of an impact in people's lives. There are teens that get killed due to negative peer pressure.
Peer pressure causes teens to do things they normally wouldn't do. This matter is very important because even though there is some positive peer pressure out there it doesn't make a big impact as negative peer pressure. Peer pressure can get a kids grades up if they have friends with good grades but otherwise peer pressure can cause teens to do very bad things. There are people who have been pressured into doing things so harmful they have died.