Moral fester can be further attested by looking at some examples of real life problems. For instance, according to Dr. Ted (2006) the Chairman of the Christian Film and Television Commission, when Dakota was 12, she appeared semi naked and shot some rape scenes in her movie, Hounddog. In addition, a famous actress, Lindsay Lohan now is one of the famous town’s party-girl. Due to alcohol and drug-induced hospitalization, she misses film shoots and this irresponsible action causes a huge loss to the company. Furthermore, cases of unwanted babies being killed by their young mothers are being published in local newspapers almost every single day. It is found that hundreds of thousands of Malaysian teen girls are having premarital sex and eventually, abandon and kill their child after labour.
In a sum, a society is actually destroying itself from the inside if they overlooked its moral code (Carter 2003).
1.2 Research Question
This epidemic as well as due to different views from diverse parties regarding the causes of moral decay among youth has led to a research question:
‘To what extent are parents to be blamed on moral decay of the youth?’
Since children’s behaviour reflects the parents’, this research report is focusing on parents who being the subject of the arguments. Parents, who are workaholic, fail to discipline their children, and endow their children with less emotional attention are the ones who end up raising the moral flawed children. However, should 100% blame be placed on the parents? Some of the other undisputed factors include mass media influences, unsuitable educational system, and less futile actions by the government also have to be taken into consideration.
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Moral can be depicted as pertaining to good manner or the distinction between right or wrong behaviour (Bullough and Bullough, 1994). Its synonyms include righteous, just, virtuous, and good while decay is the gradual destruction of a society, an institution, a system and etcetera (Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 7th Edition). From that, definition of moral decay relevant to this research can be identified as perish of the moral values or fading of the righteous deeds or moral decline.
Moral decay can obviously be perceived in this era. According to statistics, teen is a group of people who portray bad habit the most. Dr. Ted Baehr (2006) revealed the US entertainment poll in his article where sexual materials in movies and in television programs has affronted 58% and 74% teen boys and girls respectively whereas Dhammananda exposed the upshot from a study that have been conducted by the Youth and Sports Ministry of Malaysia among 5,860 youths was 71% smoke, 40% watch pornographic videos, 28% gamble, 25% consume alcohol and 14% take drugs. Additionally, ten out of eleven juveniles from assorted detention centres throughout the nation are confirmed HIV carriers which cause AIDS are below age 20 (2001). These statistics which illustrate a part of the moral decay among teens at present shows that we are going to be downgraded and if this problem is not resolved, we will lose our future leaders to rule and handle this world with justice and good manner.
Parents are the ones who are supposedly be the closest person to the children. Parents should become the child’s idols, best friends, and motivators who can implant moral principles in children thus producing a first-class society with successful adolescences. Thus, there are some arguments from several parties who blame the parents on the moral decay of our youth nowadays when they fail to play their roles well. Workaholic parents, parents who fail to discipline their youngsters as well as parents who give less emotional attention to the children are the argues for rising up spoilt teens.
Parents are workaholic
The author of ‘Life Interrupted: The Scoop on Being a Young Mom’, Tricia Goyer thinks that parents are not spent their time with their children due to the busy lifestyles. Hence, parents cannot provide loves that being craved by the children making their offspring look for it in each other (Hatch, 2010). As a result, these children opt to spend most of their times with their peers rather than their families due to lack of love and if they are exposed to a wrong group of friends, they will be influenced by the unhealthy activities. Lule and Naigino (2010), writers of the New Vision paper, point out the Vision Group CEO, Robert Kabushenga’s view that the increase in moral decay nowadays is due to the failure of the parents to shape their children’s principles. This is because the first idol children should have is their parent however; many of the parents are botched up to be one as they do not even have time to chat with the kids. Consequently, the children will feel abandon and pushed aside. Additionally, according to Roy Chapman, the headmaster of Malvern College, parents bore a superior accountability than schools for a child’s conduct but paradoxically, material goods and money are supplied as a substitute for love and concern (FRAN ABRAMS, 1996). It is believed that most of the parents think that by granting all the child’s wishes, they consider themselves as good parents. However, their hard work to earn money for the child should not be misjudged. If the child could have spent the money wisely and the parents themselves does not overlook into moral aspects, the moral decay among the youth can be reduced.
Parents are failing to discipline their children
Besides that, there are also parents who are not bother about their children’s life and future but more apprehension on their status and popularities. Referring to Baehr’s writing (2006), a bright and naive kid, Dakota, has been surrendered to the golden statue of the Academy Awards. Her own mother said that “Dakota’s ‘gritty performance’ will win her an Oscar”. In addition, some parents think that immediate school text books and maid are responsible to educate their children to be an all around entity, but in fact they cannot teach the children about morals and social values. Other than love, the form of discipline and conveying ethics should always be thought by the parents. Sadly, parents these days prefer not to discipline their children and unintentionally, spoiling them rotten and think that their children will become better as they grow older and more mature. It is alleged that a child’s behaviour can be simply corrected as long as it is done from an early age. By allowing the child to do as he wish is likely to let him end up having a messed up adult life (Yin, 2008). So, parents should be held accountable for growing up ill-bred individuals of society as parents are the one who supposed to raise children with great responsibilities. Reporter of the Canberra Times who is known as The Independent (2005) noted that some parents used to blame other parties for almost everything that is wrong in their life. Instead of willing to support teachers in enforcing discipline, they see teachers as another outside force that is letting them down when it should be making life easier for them. This proves that adults are not mature enough to take responsibility for their children. As opposed to behave professionally and portraying a good example to the kids, the parents pointing and blaming others for spoiling their kids.
3.3 Parents are endowing their children with less emotional attention
It is also true that most of the juvenile delinquents receive less emotional attention (i.e. love and care) from their parents. In Dhammananda’s piece (2001), it is stated that children can be easily preyed to unhealthy influences if their parents guide them incongruously. Those teens will involve in more serious crime as they think that they are free to do whatever they like. Therefore, parents must strengthen the family institution to withstand the demands of a changing society. This can be done by spending more time for each other in order to construct a close knit relationship among the family members. Additionally, it has also been alleged that parents do not even have little control over the negative influences assaulting their children: gangs, drug and alcohol abuse, premarital sex, and the risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. Furthermore, it is a proven fact that kids love to watch an excessive amount of unbeneficial programs on television and eventually exposing themselves to the negative influences by the characters in such programs. Those precious times should be spent with parents, teachers, or other positive role models (The Natural Law Party, 1996). Moreover, Rob Jackson believed that parents do not evaluate the form and quantity of media permitted at home without knowing that their kids have a propensity to absorb the messages that bombard children in popular media. They ignore what the children have been listening and watching to albeit the foundational principles of sexuality and dignity of a person can be scraped by the media (2004). On the other hand, it is undeniable that there are some parents are trying their best to supervise their children but some kids do all the bad things behind their parents and portray angelic behaviour in front of them. There are also some parents who are over protective and as a result, the kids opt to rebel. Thus parents should know how to protect and monitor their children effectively yet give them some space to enjoy their teenage life.
4.0 ARGUMENTS AGAINST:
Parents cannot be blamed 100% for shooting up of moral decay among youth as there are also a lot of cases whereby a well bred, smart, and virtue kids are being raised up by workaholic or ignorant parents. If parents are the only party to be blamed, such exceptional cases would not be occurred. This shows that other factors such as mass media influence, ineffective educational system, and less futile actions by the government should also be weighed.
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4.1 Mass media influence
Technologies particularly television and internet has promoted to needs from desires. Televisions and movies frequently show violence and causes trauma in some children while others tend to watch them persistently. As they grow, those actions contribute in shaping their personalities, values and beliefs. As a result, the kid will become aggressive or lose a sense of differentiating reality and fiction of what they are seeing (Rayuso, 2008). In addition, Dr. Ted Baehr explained about Lohan’s behaviour that malformed by the characters from ‘Sex & the City’ whereby those girls often change their sex partners. Lohan once mentioned that she wants her boyfriend to be loyal but she wishes to keep flirting. The author observed that young stars are trying their best to maintain their reputation and willing to do whatever it takes even if they have to appear horny in almost every movie just to be seen as celebrities as they wish to be idolised unremittingly (2006). Additionally, according to Rob Jackson (2004), amelioration of the internet has make it very difficult for parents to shield their children from pornography as most of the children spent more time online for homework or entertainment purposes. The ex-attorney general of Unites States, John Ashcroft estimated that 9 in 10 teens have been exposed to pornography and many of them are crave for porn images. Thus, indubitably internet is the fast ramp to sex addiction and as children’s minds are still in progress of maturing, addiction can happen quicker than what the parents might think. Hence, to made media possible to rise youths with high virtue, media should revolutionize their contents (Crewes, 2009). It is strongly urge that mass media have to censor their movies before release them. They must rate the movies accordingly because most of the PG or lower rated movies show things that should not be watched by small kids.
Ineffective educational system
Besides that, according to The Natural Law Party (1996), our educational system fails to instil core values in students, such as mutual respect, civility, honesty, and social responsibility. Government Chief Curriculum adviser claimed that teachers spent too little time educate children conventional moral principles. They said that they are boosting their self-esteem too much and already teaching right and wrong. However, they blamed the national curriculum and public seize for the stunting children’s spiritual development. On the other hand, neophyte teachers were so bothered about being accused of racism or sexism that they were reluctant to edify any values. Additionally, it has been reported that The Liberal Democrat education spokesman, Don Foster have been visited to schools and he found that students encounter problems in familiarizing with what they see around although they know how to differentiate between good and bad (FRAN ABRAMS, 1996). Accordingly, to resolve these issues, the educational system should provide a compulsory moral and ethics classes to all students. The teaching method should not just exam oriented based but also should incorporate some practical. A continuous education and evaluation will help too. This is because if the lesson is just for exam purposes, the students would not take the lesson seriously and they tend not to practise what they have learnt in their daily life.
Less futile actions by the government
In addition, enlargement of government has brought a politicized life and this has weakened the moral fabric of society as the government is more focus on their issues rather than the society. In Dorn’s text (n.d), it is stated that individuals lose their moral bearing and they become dependent on welfare as they are not held accountable for their behaviour. For instance, to overcome the abandon children from unmarried couples’ problems, government (particularly Germany, Japan, Pakistan, and Malaysia) has introduced a centre which allows mothers to leave their babies incognito. Supporters for this baby hatch centre claims that unmarried couples now can opt to seek for aid after having unwanted child instead of abandon them (France-Presse, 2010). However, this project is actually dwindling social moral values as it teaches couples to be irresponsible for their actions. Eventually, such implementation will contribute to custody problems, degenerate the counselling services, as well as promote a retarded emotional development of the infants (Reuters, 2007). Consequently, the internal moral compass that normally guides individual conduct and is supported by loving parents, religious teachers, and community standards will no longer function when the government ‘has pointed the needle in the wrong direction’. With a conscious effort to make public education a moral, government rewards dysfunctional behaviour by sending the message that people have a “right” to welfare (that they are entitled to other people’s money), educate children that premarital sex is all right as long as it is safe, implies that underprivileged groups should be held to a different set of moral standards than other groups because they are victims of past injustice, and tries to cultivate virtue by the force of law, moral state of the public is sure to decline (Dorn, n.d). Hence, to control the moral decay, the government themselves should portray good exemplar to the society along with introducing new legislation on ethics.
To recapitulate, mostly all the ill bred teens are raise up by workaholic parents, having poor disciplinary exposed by the parents, and receive less emotional attention from their parents. After considering all the above arguments, it can be concluded that parents should be blamed on moral decay among youth as parents are the one who carry the responsibility to shape up the children. However, other factors that are also accountable to the shooting up of moral decay among youth comprise of mass media, ineffective educational system, and less futile actions by the government cannot be neglected. Nevertheless, if the parents are keen enough on what their children watch and listen to, such media cannot manipulate the kids. For the ineffective educational system, parents can take several actions and one of the alternative is by sending their children to extra classes (classes to deepen the religion, belief and moral of the kids) and parents should not depends on the school only. It is crucial for the parents to spend their time to teach the kids at home and show a good example and by doing this, the children can learn faster. Parents should bear in mind that not all education happen in classroom. To conclude, every party should play their important roles in order to reduce, and if possible, to overcome moral decay among youth starting by the very basic group of individuals; family.
To surmount moral problems, it starts from each and every individual himself. Limbaugh claims that as long as Americans are unwilling to take an honest look at them and shape up good society, the nation will continue its moral decay. According to Dr. Ted Baehr (2006), Melina Erkan decided to not watching MTV and VHI anymore because she cannot tolerate with women in the music video who dress really cheap as women do not actually look and act like that while Hannah Montes has stopped watching television because of all the crudity she saw. Nonetheless, parents should take the first action when there is something strange happen to their teen; illicit sexual behaviour, addiction regardless of the discomfort; awkward, embarrassed (Jackson, 2004). Adults should try listening to youth instead of laying blame on others. A proven fact – when adults listen and there is an open dialogue between parents and teen, matters are better resolved and compromises more readily reached provided adults must have to be truly honest about choices and consequences and stand behind their warnings with actions. Hence, both sides have to work toward change. Other than that, guardians should be more concern and become media wise so that young celebrities for instance Lohan and Dakota would not bring tremendous negative influences to their youngsters (Baehr, 2006)
For the government, they should legislate against media operators who publish indecent action in their publication. This is to ensure that only appropriate type of broadcasting will be televised and eventually reduces the stress of moral decay. Besides that, government should priory intend to address this moral defect rather than introducing a welfare to cover the stories behind for the sake of someone’s reputation. For instance, sex education which based on religions perspectives should be seriously implemented as opposed to baby hatches programmes. Furthermore, mass media should pay more attention on the mind control issue rather than number of viewers. Movie producers should modify at least 50% of their new family movies rated PG or lower rating and disclose in detail for any movies rating beyond PG on all packaging, movie posters, web sites, and movie trailers (Carter, 2003). It is sturdily recommend that the New World Order should be reconstructed as it promotes a lot of moral perished.