social problems final

social problems final - Moravcik 1 Nicole Moravcik TA: Kara...

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Moravcik 1 Nicole Moravcik TA: Kara Lemma Professor Sternheimer SOCIAL PROBLEMS FINAL 8 December 2011 1. Systemic factors refer to the foundation of something, rather than one single entity affect- ing it. Thus, systemic factors have an underlying linkage and affect all decisions, as they are at the base of an issue--one part affects all parts; whereas, for example, a personal factor might af- fect just one aspect of a total issue, not serving as a detriment to the issue as a whole. Therefore, systemic factors influence the personal decisions individuals make, as they are bound in the foundation of the issue, allowing them to influence personal decisions originated from the base one is already given. For example, if a person wanted to buy a bar of chocolate, their decision would be influenced by systemic factors. Their craving for chocolate would institute them to buy the chocolate bar, a personal decision; however, their lack of funds or their lactose intolerance may inhibit them from doing so, thus serving as systemic factors. Even though they crave chocolate, systemic factors inhibit them from purchasing the chocolate bar. Thus, systemic factors indirectly influence our personal decisions, as they serve as the basis for what we choose to do. One example of how systemic factors influence our personal decisions is evident with the issue of teenage sexual behavior. People tend to blame teenage sexual behavior on modern day aspects of our society, such as television’s portrayal of sex or teen celebrities’ constant need to appear promiscuous. However, what these issues of popular culture fail to address is the systemic factors associated with teen sexual behavior. As Sternheimer suggests, it is the expectation of who teens are that has caused this change in behavior. Back in the day, teenage sex occurred after one was married, as they got married at a very early age in order to increase family stature and
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Moravcik 2 reproduce. Now, however, teens tend to have sex before marriage, for pleasure rather than repro- duction, due to the changes in courtship and dating. This change in values is once again due to systemic factors, as changes in laws, such as with the case of Griswold v. Connecticut, and the rise in industrialization gave rise to more freedom regarding teen sex (Sternhemer 128-130). This idea of teenage sex further stems back to structural issues, again regarding systemic factors as the cause for making personal decisions regarding teen sex. Males are more likely to be sexually ex- perienced, putting an emphasis on their masculinity. And, those in poverty, who have no expecta- tion of moving forward with an education or career, are more likely to participate in teen sex, as a baby doesn’t seem as much of a negative as it would to a wealthy family (Sternheimer 134- 135). The issue of teen pregnancy caused by teen sexual behavior shows that systemic factors in- fluence this issue also as evidence suggests that African American teens are more than twice as
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social problems final - Moravcik 1 Nicole Moravcik TA: Kara...

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