People around the world live in a very dangerous, harmful world with many things that can go wrong. One safe thing people never notice they have, yet can potentially turn dangerous is smoke detectors. Detectors, whether it is for smoke, heat, or carbon monoxide are one of the most common household appliances. These appliances go unnoticed every day and are not even thought to be harmful or potentially dangerous. The beeping pieces of plastic on the ceiling could turn into a hazard if not cared for or installed properly. Detectors do have many benefits, but only if properly used and maintained. Smoke detectors save many lives annually, but detectors do have dangers that it is trying to prevent in the first place. They have the risk of not alerting when there is a threat of fire or smoke, or worse could start a fire because of improper maintenance, such as the wrong battery being placed inside, bad or old wiring, or simply a manufacturing mistake.

No one can deny smoke detectors are simple but valuable objects for preventing fatal house fires. But smoke detectors don’t always prevent the tragic loss of life. Battery-operated detectors work only when they have fresh, functioning batteries inside. Hard-wired detectors operate only if they’re properly installed and have a constant energy source. Short-circuits in wired models—a more common problem than we like to think—can actually spark fires. Homeowners commonly install detectors incorrectly, or install them correctly but fail to maintain them. Even the best detector cannot do its job correctly if it’s poorly installed or maintained.

It cannot be argued that smoke detectors are a necessity in your home, considering fire departments and fire protection agencies carefully and professionally handle and hand them out. But the risk starts if the installation of the product is not efficient and installed properly. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “Considerations For Installation Of Smoke Alarms On Residential Branch Circuits”, the proper installation of a detector is essential in order to decrease the risk of fires starting from detectors. Shortages, overheating wires and overloaded circuits are all ways a fire can start at any time if the installation is not done by a qualified professional.

Wires overheating due to excess current in the detector is one of the main issues that can cause an electrical fire. In a shocking report by Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), all home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year, which accounts for nine percent of all house fires. Electrical distribution systems, including the power source cable into the home, the circuit breaker boxes, and the wires supplying current to all electrical fixtures, are the third leading cause of home structure fires. Therefore, it bears investigating how wired smoke detectors might contribute to a fire catastrophe. An article published by CRM Risk lists many ways wiring can start a fire. Physical damage to wires leading to smoke detectors can cause fire at the device; even correct installations can also become damaged or deteriorate with age; overloaded circuits, especially those mishandled amateur home installers, or that use with large fuses and circuit breakers can result in overheated wires, the breakdown of insulation and eventual short circuits. All are intensified by an overuse of electrical devices, leading to the sad but inevitable conclusion that “more smoke detectors make a home fire more likely.”

Short circuits are a common cause of fires, whether it is from the main power source or the detector itself. According to Elizabeth McGrath’s “What Causes Short Circuits“, a short circuit occurs when part of a wire carrying current touches another wire or part of the circuit and gives the electricity a path of less resistance. For example, if a wire with faulty insulation becomes exposed and touches any type of metal, such as a metal light switch, current can flow along the light switch and result in a shock. Short circuits will produce more heat in a circuit and result in burns and electrical fires. In detectors, faulty installation can cause frayed or exposed wires, leading to a burst of energy through the circuit. This burst of energy creates a current into the detector, leading to heat which it cannot handle.

Something else that can actually cause a fire is the batteries used to power the detectors. But in many incidences, an ordinary item that may be found in the “junk drawer” of a house may have a higher risk of catching fire than you think. Fire Protection Team writes that if a metal object touches the posts of the batteries, the battery may short circuit, which creates enough heat to start a fire. There have been reports of this across the country of these batteries actually starting a fire, and enough that homeowners are launching a campaign to provide awareness of this unexpected hazard. In an article by Battery Universitythe author discusses safety concerns of lithium batteries and times where they have failed. “In 2006, a one-in-200,000 breakdown triggered a recall of almost six million lithium-ion packs. Sony, the maker of the lithium-ion cells in question, points out that on rare occasion microscopic metal particles may come into contact with other parts of the battery cell, leading to a short circuit within the cell…” These types of batteries, lithium ions, are the same being used in the detectors in houses today. Non-certified batteries, like the Sony ones, are a concern to many detector makers because they are not the intended battery of use.

One shocking example of this was in the town of Apex, North Carolina when a man was sent to the hospital after the battery inside of the smoke detector got so hot, it exploded and shot battery acid in his face. Raleigh’s news station WRAL reports that Greg Emel was changing a battery after it started to sound in the middle of the night and switched to a low battery chirp. Emel took the battery out but it was too late. Even more shocking than just this one story is that people all over the country have reported exploding batteries in a model of First Alert smoke alarms manufactured before October 2000. In this situation, like many others, a battery was being used that the detector was not intended to have inside. On the inside of Emel’s smoke detector, a sticker recommends a  Duracell battery, which is the exact one that exploded. First Alert posted a “recommendation” on its website a year ago, saying only specific models of Everready batteries should be used. It says other batteries “may bulge or open” inside the alarm. The makers of the detector do not seem they know the correct battery that should be used. Whether this was an off-brand battery in use or even a trusted one like the Duracell battery, the detector reacted negatively and exploded from the heat, causing an injury that could have been worse, like a fire.

This one terrifying event proves detectors are not “fireproof” even if the best plan is used. Chris Brooke from the Daily Mail reports that in 2011 in Humberside, England, the national fire service conducted a nationwide fire prevention campaign to reduce home fires. Of all competing competitors, the trusted Fire Angel ST 620 detector was supplied because of its “ground-breaking” smoke detection technology and its 10-year power pack. It was also supplied because of its quality and reliability to fire and rescue services for this campaign. This detector is now on alert after one caught fire in a home after ideal and professional installation. Despite the high quality and reliability of the detector, this fired occurred after the low battery chirp sounded, then spontaneously bursting into flames. Mrs. Gray, the homeowner said if her daughter Victoria not been at home to quell the flames, or worse, had she been sleeping in the house, a much worse tragedy might have occurred. The installation campaign has been suspended, which is no comfort to the fire professionals, who know full well how precarious are the homes they haven’t served, with their cheaper, less reliable detectors, poorly located, amateurishly installed by inexperienced homeowners. Chris Blacksell, Humberside’s Director of Safety, was forced to admit: “We have contacted every fire service in the country to find out if there have been any other incidents involving detectors [and] have decided to not fit that type of detector until our investigation is complete.”

Poor maintenance and upkeep of detectors can be a major role in a family’s fire safety. It should be added that in hard-wired detectors, batteries are still used as a backup. So if electricity is lost in a household and that backup battery is dead, there will be no way of knowing if there is smoke in a house or not. A deadly example of this is in an article written by Bruce Krasnow, titled “Fire Starts During Annual Smoke Detector Warning…“, which states that a fire started in a house that did not have smoke detectors at all. If there had been any smoke detectors installed, the lives of four children would not have been lost. Fire investigators said that the fire was smoldering long before it ignited, and if a detector was present, the four children would have been alerted and would have been able to get out safely. It is a tragic story that did not need to happen if a smoke detector was properly installed in the home.

The biggest risk a homeowner can take is not having a detector in their house at all. An alarming statistic by the National Fire Protection Agency states, “Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.” If there was a detector in any of those homes, the occupants may have been alerted, had time to react, and exit the house. However, the NFPA also reports that in home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, 46% of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. That is no longer a detector error, but a homeowner error. No matter how professional an electrician may be or how professionally placed of the detector is, if the homeowner does not care for the detector tragedy is bound to happen. If there had been family had been inside of the house, possibly sleeping, the horror of escaping a house fire would have been a reality.

The safest home is protected by detectors using fresh, intact, certified batteries that are regularly inspected. According to Arthur Lee’s report for the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, detector makers have made many improvements for these devices in recent years. Detectors can now be found with the battery life of up to 10 years. Cable Organized discusses maintenance of detectors to ensure they perform correctly in the worst situations. You must clean all detectors of dust and contaminant build-up at least twice a year. You must also replace all detectors at least every 10 years, and change batteries yearly while testing them monthly. A rule of thumb to replace batteries are doing it every time you turn your clocks back for daylight savings time. These are all the best ways to prevent any unwanted false alarms, or worse, no detection of a fire in a house. Along with these safety professional safety tips, new and improved detectors are always coming onto the market, usually advancing with technology. In an article by Haramis Electric, these detectors will alert emergency services automatically if a smoke detector is activated in a home. Also, if a homeowner is away from the house, an alert will still be sent to the police dispatch before the fire can spread. 

All the new technology being created creates a better way to prevent overheating or shortage of a detector while detecting smoke efficiently. McGrath states that a short circuit will cause a household breaker to trip, allowing you to see something was shorted out. But there are still some risks and dangers even with this technology and advancing improvements. Internal shortages can happen within a ceiling, which is harder to spot and can lead to a fire if it is not noticed fast enough. As the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states, there are some techniques being used to cut down electrical fires. Fuses are now being put in place so if overheating does occur, a fuse will be set off, not allowing any more current to go through the circuit. Overheating would be hard to catch, but a small fuse does make it easier to prevent any fires from starting from a detector.

A system of smoke detectors can seem so simple to most homeowners. A professional comes and installs the system, leading to a safe and effective smoke detector system. But these systems are much more than just a bunch of meaningless beeping circles on your ceiling. These detectors go unnoticed because they only mean something when they are going off. Homeowners are interested when they start to go off because of the danger that may be in their house. Some homeowners, however, will not even budge because they might believe it is a false alarm. False alarms are all too common, either because of the batteries inside are starting to die or a detector problem. As a firefighter, most calls our department receives are false alarms triggered because of a dead battery, and after arrival, all occupants are still in the home. I often think, “What if there is a fire?” or “What if all occupants are still inside and they do not realize the risk?” It is a very scary question all fire responders have upon arrival of a call.

A homeowner already worries that fire may break out in their home at any time. To add to the owner’s worries, a safety device is known to alert many of a possible blaze may turn into a time bomb. The wrong wiring or the wrong battery could possibly turn this safety device into a fiery piece of plastic. People should not need to worry about this device along with the many other safety concerns in a home. This seems strange to think about and no one would think that a device used to alert individuals of a fire, could be the reason there is a fire in the first place. As a firefighter, I, like many others, would not think a smoke detector could turn into a ball of flame, even after professional installation, and all the best ways to ensure a safe electrical system. We all see that blinking red light and hear that loud beep, but we never do think it could possibly turn into an inferno on someone.


Advantages/Disadvantages of Smart Smoke Detectors. (2016, September 08). Retrieved March 19, 2018, from

Brooke, C. (2011, November 08). Fire services on alert after smoke detector is blamed for causing TWO blazes. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from 

BU-304a: Safety Concerns with Li-ion. (2018, January 4). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from 

Common Causes of Electrical Fires. (2012, December). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

Home Electrical Fires. (2015, February 4). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

How to Maintain Smoke Alarms. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from Cable Organizer,


Lee, A., & Lee, D. (2005, October). Considerations For Installation Of Smoke Alarms On Residential Branch Circuits. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from

McGrath, E. (2017, July 11). What Causes Short Circuits?. Retrieved February 13, 2018 from

Reports and statistics about smoke alarms. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from National Fire Protection Agency,

Research Position Paper- Dancers


Bullying is one of the most common traumatizing phenomena among children and adolescents and is recently being recognized as a growing problem.

In grades 6 through 12 one in every five students reports being bullied according to the National Center for Educational Statistics taken in 2016. Out of the students who reported being bullied 33% said they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the year. Statistic of the students that have been subjected to bullying reported that 13% were made fun of, 12% were subjected to rumors, 5% were physically abused, and the last 5% were deliberately left out of activities. The percentage of students who admitted to being bullied is much higher than the percentage of students who report being bullied to someone within the school. Due to this huge gap in the percentages the bullying problem within schools is worse than we thought.

It is difficult to fully determine why children have bully like tendencies when interacting with others. But arguments can be made that children tend to pick up these tendencies at home. When parents treat their children poorly from a young age the child is going to grow up thinking that’s the way to treat others around them. If a child knows nothing about care and affection of course they will treat their peers poorly.

Its stated “Bullies tend to have aggressive behaviors designed to obtain goals and these goals often begin first in their home environment.” from “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behaviors.” Children are most vulnerable to learning the appropriate behaviors at a very young age. Most of the behaviors that bullies tend to pick up on are due to the way their family acts. The home situation of most bullies is quite harsh, punishment is often within the home either verbal or physical. If the child makes a minor infraction it could lead the parent to overreact in a verbal, emotional or physical way. Children being raised in an environment like this often don’t gain approval or praise at any time.

If the primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward the child at a young age with lack of warmth and involvement in this child, it increases the risk that this child will grow up with hostile or aggressive behaviors towards others. Not just people in their family but towards people in general. If the child does become aggressive and the parent becomes permissive of these behaviors, without setting clear limits to the behavior towards peers, siblings, and adults the child’s aggression will most likely increase. If the parent of a child uses physical punishment and violent emotional outburst when trying to get their point across, this child is more likely to become more aggressive than the average child.

It has been concluded that bullies often stem from families where the parents are authoritarian, hostile, and rejecting, have poor problem solving skills and advocate fighting back at least at the least provocation. Children being raised in a hostile home environment could often feel neglected and unwanted. This could lead to the child becoming aggressive and act out in order to try and gain attention from their parents.

The parents of these children probably don’t realize that their behaviors toward their child leads them to act the same way they do towards others. Some of these children who bully may not know any better because they were raised in a home with negativity and where they were constantly put down. So they may see it as normal behavior when they are treating others this way not realizing that they are actually bullying.

According to “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behavior” “Out of a home environment of negativity emerges a personality steeped in the belief and justification that intimidation and brute forces are ways to interact with obstacles that are encountered in life.” It has been said that violence begets violence. If a child is treated with violent behaviors they most often turn and treat others with violent behaviors.

The aggression and anger of these children often builds up because they are not able to speak out at home in which it grows. So when they arrive at school and have to deal with some sort of situation they may just explode and go off on others within this environment. It is hard for teachers and peers to deal with children who do not know how to act properly, fearing they will always act out when something bad happens.

Justifying bullies is not what is happening but these children that bullies often can’t take all the blame they are raised in a sense where negativity towards others is normal. Parents of children who bully often don’t acknowledge their tendencies as bullying, just children being children and one sticking up for themself in a situation.

Linda Goldman from “Raising Our Children to be Resilient” claims “Thousands and thousands of boys and girls are sitting in their homes, schools and communities with unresolved, unrecognized grief issues that all too often get projected out in the world in a form of bullying, abuse, violence, and homicide, or inwardly in the form of victimization and low self-esteem, depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide.”

Children could bully just because they have lost someone near and dear to them within their family and aren’t able to cope with the idea and grieve over it. Imagine being put down constantly within the home environment, never having the moment to grieve about how they are treated. If they grieve or look upset within their house about how they are treated it may lead to more violence towards them.

All in all ““Children learn what they live” is a useful phrase to emphasis the huge effect adult modeling has on our youth. Family systems that foster aggression and condone bullying on perpetuate the misconception that bullying toughens kids.” Goldman argued.

Parents often punish their children in order to make them grow up to learn that life isn’t perfect trying to toughen them for what’s to come later in life. Children can misconstrued this and think this is what life is supposed to be like while bullying other children. That they are trying to toughen their peers.

Bullying is not a problem that can be stopped by children alone especially when it may be exposed to them within their home. Schools need to step in with interventions throughout the whole school and within individual classrooms. Staff at schools need to talk to the children one on one in order to help them grieve and be able to discuss what is happening at home or just in life generally.

Children need to feel supported by at least one person and it is up to school districts to provide care for children who may not receive affection at home. Instead of just thinking bullies are horrible children staff should look deeper often they can misunderstood children crying out for attention, or not knowing any better way to act towards others.

Skepticism occurs about the connection between at home abuse and children who grow up to be bullies. Due to the fact that abuse cannot fully be defined, so the chain between the two can’t be proved.

Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. This abuse can come in many forms including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation and emotional abuse. Physical abuse of a child is when a caregiver causes non-accidental physical injuries to a child. Signs of physical abuse in a child will behave differently they may show signs of aggression toward peers or pets. Cases of sexual abuse is when an adult uses a child for sexual purposes or involves a child in sexual acts. After a child is sexually abused their behavior can become withdrawn, depressed or anxious. They can also show signs of aggression, delinquency, and have poor peer relationships. Emotional abuse is when a parent or caregiver harms a child’s mental and social development or causes severe emotional harm. Behavioral signs for children who have been emotionally abused include destructive or anti-social behaviors, violence and cruelty. (“The issue of Child Abuse”)

Abuse at home does have an effect on children who are living there, their behavior and or actions taken may be off a little. However it doesn’t mean that it is off so much to the point where the pick on others because of it.

Abuse at home does not include a child being reprimanded for the way they were acting by being spanked or yelled at. It means that the child is consistently being hurt at home in which they start to fear for their survival within the home. Abuse within a home can come in many different forms they may have loving parent but abusive siblings or one parent may be caring but the other may not be. It’s difficult to precisely determine what fully qualifies at home abuse.

Not every child will grow up to be a bully some of these children may escape their fate. Or it may be argued that some children who bully do not experience abuse at home at all. Making the connection between at home abuse and bullying difficult to be determined fully.

According to a study by researchers from the University of Washington and Indiana University, children who are exposed to violence in the home engaged higher levels of physical bullying than children who were not witnesses to this behavior. This study was the first to examine the association between child exposure to intimate partner violence and the involvement in bullying.

In the study they found the thirty-four percent of children that were studied engaged in bullying and seventy-three percent reported being the victim of some form of bullying with in previous years. It also found that ninety-seven percent of the bullies said that they were also victims of bullying themselves.

Lead author of the study, former UW pediatrician and now an assistant professor of pediatrics at Indian and Riley Children’s Hospital Nerissa Bauer states “Parents are very powerful role models and children will mimic the behavior of parents, wanting to be like them. They may believe that violence is OK and they can use it with peers. After all, they may think, ‘If Daddy can do this, perhaps I can hit this kid to get my way.’ When parents engage in violence, children may assume violence is the right way to do thing.”

Data from the study was drawn from the ongoing Seattle Social Development Project and the Intergenerational Projects, tracing youth development and social/ antisocial behavior. “Participants in these long-term studies were recruited from Seattle elementary schools, and 808 students (generation 2), their parents (generation 1) and their children (generation 3) have been followed since 1985.” The study looked at the behavior of 112 children form the third generation between the ages of six and thirteen, ages who are not normally studied in bullying research.

The study particularly focused on partner violence which is a broader term for domestic violence, physical, emotional or sexual acts of violence including couples who aren’t married or living together.  In 2000 a federal study showed an estimate between 3.3 and 10 million children are exposed to intimate partner violence.

The study found that seeing domestic violence does not lead to children becoming bullies. “Physicians and teachers should be sensitive that when children display behavior issues that the possibility of domestic violence in the family exists. Not all children exposed to violence will respond in the same way, but there are many indirect effects and problems that you can see, such as engaging in bullying, not being able to make friends, not eating or those with extended school absences. But not all bullies come from violent families.”  Bauer stated.

This study shows that in some cases children who are exposed to domestic violence may become aggressive toward other children. It is hard to determine what constitutes at home abuse and effectively take statistics of the children who bully that were also victims of bullying at home. But it shows that children who are exposed to at home violence may be more likely to become aggressive towards others.

Bullying comes in many different forms not just physical or verbal but also online, cyberbullying is a growing issue nationwide. Cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent now a days because every child is on at least one social media platform. Instead of bullying in person some now find it easier to do it online thinking they won’t get caught.

Social platforms are beginning to evolve world wide in order to attract a bigger audience and gain more users.  On average a teenager spends about nine hours on social platforms a day. The average person in society today will spend about two hours on social media. If calculated this is about five years and four months spent on social media within a lifetime. The average time spent of social media now adds up to be more time than a person uses to eat, drink, and socialize. Evan Asano, in his article “How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?”, states that the average person uses YouTube for approximately forty minutes, Facebook for thirty-five minutes, Snapchat for twenty-five minutes, Instagram for fifteen minutes, and finally Twitter for 1 minute.

Social media is all around us in this day and age and every person is on at least one social media site. But what is social media exactly, it is “Computer mediated technologies that facilitate the creation and sharing of information, ideas, career interests and other forms of expression via virtual communities and networks.” Wikipedia claims. Social media can be accessed through computers and cellphones now. Which means you have the the technology to use social media in your pocket at all times. There are thousands of different social media platforms available to use daily now not everyone uses every platform but the top five just about everyone uses.

According to statics taken in January of 2018 there are 7.593 billion people in the world.Out of the 7.593 billion people about 4.021 billion of them use the internet, 3.196 billion of them are active on social media, and 2.958 billion of them are active mobile social media users. Within the last year social media users have gone up by 362 million people and people who use mobile apps for social media has gone up 360 million people. America’s population is 1,011 million people and 648 of those million people are active social media users.

Social networking is growing to be more popular and more wide spread to reach all ages of people. Social networking gives people the opportunity to meet new people that share common the common interests. On social media websites the introductions about yourself gives other users information about you, allowing them to get to know you slightly before deciding to even interact with you.  Social media sites are also user friendly they are easy to navigate, even people with little knowledge on how to use the internet can work most of these sites. These websites also give people a job market by allowing professionals to establish their brand online, by posting their skills, accomplishments and previous experiences. In doing so they may be recognized by potential employers and or peers. Now social media allows individuals to reach out but it also allows businesses to reach out as well. Some businesses purposely buy adds on these different websites in order for customers to see them. Finally social networking sites are popular because they are free. It is free to sign up make an account on most of these websites. By these websites being free they gain more and more users.

For each social networking site they reach reach all different ages. Snapchat’s has demographics of 45% percent of users being eighteen to twenty-four, 26% of users are twenty-five to thirty-four, finally they even have 1% percent of users that are sixty-five or older. Facebook’s demographics are the most evenly spread throughout different age groups. 16% of users are between the ages of eighteen to twenty-four, 22% of users are twenty-five to thirty-four, 19% are thirty-four to forty-four, 18% are forty-five to fifty-four, 15% fifty-five to sixty-four, and the last 10% of users are over the age of sixty-five.

Social media reaches people of all backgrounds, such as common people and celebrities as well. Some people have become famous off of using different social media platforms allowing themselves to get their name out their and recognized. Most You Tuber’s start off with very little subscribers but can eventually take over and become widely known around the world. Social media is so influential that sometimes our president even takes to it in order to voice his opinions.

While everyone worldwide loves social media and uses social media daily, it may not be for the best even though it has benefits it also has negatives. With social media it gives people a false feeling of connection. Social media allows you to feel connected to people but at the same time you barely know this person. Using social media decreases the amount of privacy you have within your personal life. The last negative when it comes to social media and maybe the most prominent is the risk of cyber bullying occurring.

Cyber bullying is a problem within schools worldwide and is happening more often than expected. Children and teenagers now turn to these different platforms in order to harass other people, finding it easier to hide behind a screen.


Aqab, S. (2015, October 10). 6 Reasons Why Social Networking is Popular Today. Retrieved February 13, 2018, from

Chaffey, D. (2018, February 08). Global Social Media Statistics Summary 2017. Retrieved from

Goldman, L. (2004-12-27) Raising Our Children to Be Resilient. Retrieved from

Hoelzel, M. (2015, June 29). UPDATE: A breakdown of the demographics for each of the different social networks. Retrieved from

Ma, X. (n.d.). Bullying and Being Bullied. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

Musu-Gillette, L. (2017-5) Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016. Retrieved from

Olweus, D. (n.d.). Bully/Victim problems in school. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from
Roberts, W. B., Jr., & Morotti, A. A. (n.d.). The Bully as Victim. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from

Research Position Paper- DoubleA

The NFL: Artificial vs. Natural Grass

From the grandstands, artificial turf fields look so good it’s hard to believe they could be hazardous. But down on the field, where the cleats meet the turf and the athletes twist against the surface to propel themselves or push back their opponents, looks are irrelevant. When their knees buckle and they’re down on the turf crying for the trainer, the last thing wounded athletes are thinking of is how green the field looks.

One of the leading questions critics and players of the NFL have is what to do about the significant amount of knee injuries endured during an NFL season, and the correlation the playing fields have on these knee injuries. With multiple knee injuries occurring to big name players every season the NFL has a problem on their hands.

Due to the increasing number of concussions players were suffering over the past couple decades the NFL has tried to make the game safer. With new safety rules the NFL has managed to decrease the amount of head to head contact during games, but by doing this has raised the amount of low tackles which causes low blow tackles to the players knees.

Paired with concussions knee injuries are one of the biggest problems the NFL officials face now a days. Every season some team is affected by injuries along the way, but knee injuries are the biggest blow because they can take anywhere from 6-12 months to heal with rehab. This past season big names like Deshaun Watson, Carson Wentz, JJ Watt, Jason Peters all had big knee injuries that affected their team tremendously

Turf fields do have a direct impact on the increase in injuries we see in the NFL. 13 out of 32 stadiums sport an artificial turf material and even with less than half the number of fields of grass there is still more injuries on turf. An article written about the statistics of injuries on turf and grass fields from all the games from 2000-2009 found that there is a 22% increase in knee sprains on turf and a 67% increase in number of ACL sprains.

With this being said what exactly is the material the players are playing on? Field turf was a huge hit in the late 90s and most teams sport it now a days on their fields. The catch is though that the traction is so good with the new technology cleats that it is even easier to get a cleat stuck in the turf when planting or cutting.

We saw a prime example of this in 2017 when Bears tight end Zach Miller went to just plant while running from a defender and his knee bent the completely wrong when his knee just got caught up in the turf. It sparked a huge debate about the traction that turf causes while playing because Miller almost lost his leg due to the injury.

A study done in the late 90s tested a number of cleats from manufacturers and found that most cleats cause a safety implication because of how good the cleats react with the turf. The study suggested that people where turf cleats but as we all know no football players where them they all wear football cleats. Maybe the NFL can work on new cleat technology but for now safety precautions should be in effect after horrific injuries like Millers’.

Knee sprains are caused by unnatural movements during physical activity. Sudden turns or pivoting can cause injury to your ligaments. When these players get that much traction and that much body weight on a cut in the turf their body and knees cannot handle the pressure and force, so they give in on them. It’s a tragic thing to see. It is almost like you can’t watch a game without being scared every play someone can get hurt and their season can end on one play.

In 2010 a doctor by the name of Dr. Geier was asked a question on his blog about knee injuries. The question was “My question for you is do you think playing on turf field compared to regular grass has an impact on injuries?”

“Our varsity football team practices on grass field and play more than half of their games on turf. We had 3 meniscus injuries on the turf fields. Two were medial and one lateral; all 3 were repair. Also had a tibia/fibula fracture without impact. When asking the injured kids what they thought about the turf they all said it feels like their cleats stick into the ground.”

This question and evaluation was brought in by a random blogger named Gino who must play high school football.

The thing about Gino is the answer he received from the doctor was that it was the same results we talked about earlier 22% increase and 67% increase. He used the same study from earlier. Here is what he said,

“In a study performed by the National Football League Injury and Safety Panel, published in the October 2012 issue of the American Journal of Sports Medicine, Elliott B. Hershman et al., reviewed injury data from NFL games played between 2000 and 2009.They found that the injury rate of knee sprains as a whole was 22% higher on Field Turf than on natural grass. While MCL sprains did not occur at a rate significantly higher than on grass, rates of ACL sprains were 67% higher on Field Turf.”

There is obviously a clear correlation between turf and injuries. Yes, it was 3 kids in high school games but, my point is that in the article Dr. Geier flat-out gives us the results from a study done by the NFL and there were increases in knee sprains to the ACL and knee sprains altogether. This being said, knee sprains and other major knee injuries are overlooked in the NFL and some players may have to get surgery done multiple times throughout their careers due to sprains and tears.

I for one encountered my own injury on turf during a game where I played on turf. Of course, the one play I get put in at running back to run a jet sweep at the receiver position I tear my MCL. I just see it happening all over the place. Football is filled with injuries and at all levels but at the NFL level there is no doubt an increase of knee injuries on turf because of the size and speed of the players their bodies cannot keep up with the field conditions and wear and tear.

There is an article written about the cause factors of these freak knee injuries. The article states,

“Independent variables such as weather conditions, contact versus noncontact sport, shoe design, and field wear complicate many of the results reported in the literature, thereby preventing an accurate assessment of the true risk(s) associated with certain shoe-surface combinations. Historically, studies suggest that artificial turf is associated with a higher incidence of injury. Furthermore, reliable biomechanical data suggest that both the torque and strain experienced by lower extremity joints generated by artificial surfaces may be more than those generated by natural grass fields.”

As we see there is a lot of factors that it could come down to for cause of injuries but, with biomechanical data it says that it is caused by the torque and strain on joints. This is because the shoe surface is so good on turf that the stress endured by players knees is unbearable for the players knees. The article also claims that indeed there is a higher incidence of injury on artificial fields.

There can be tons of factors involved in why these freak knee injuries occur so often on artificial turf but, the only thing that we know is that artificial must go. If the injury rates keep coming back year after year the same, then something must be done. It’ll just be another one of Roger Goddell’s flaws in his term as commissioner. Player safety is huge in the NFL now a days with players retiring after a couple of seasons in their prime because they must look into the future and see if they can really go through with the injury worries anymore. Being an NFL athlete is hard and it takes a tole on your body but, when you are playing on these dangerous surfaces it can cut your career way short than expected. Something must be done now.

Critics of natural grass playing surfaces like to cite the woeful condition of their neighborhood high school field to illustrate the danger to athletes’ ankles and knees. Granted, those fields suffer a lot of abuse, and playing on them after several home games in a row is hazardous. It’s even true that many school districts have replaced their grass fields with artificial turf because they can’t afford the high cost of maintaining perfect grass. But the NFL, for the sake of reducing player injuries, is willing and able to make that continuing investment.

Fans of artificial turf say that grass requires too much maintenance. They contend that keeping fields polished and playable throughout the weather conditions and the strenuous foot traffic of an NFL season requires an expensive professional grounds crew. But the same objection is not made about baseball fields, which are always grass, nicely kept to avoid dangerous patches. To be fair, field turf has to be maintained too, and uneven wear creates dangerous worn down areas that should result in its replacement.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like the players are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written about the Houston Texans, Texans cornerback D.J. Swearinger talked about the awful field conditions at NRG stadium. They have turf square panels that get put in for every game. They essentially have seams in them as would Astroturf and everyone knows how awful Astroturf was to play on. Swearinger says in the article, “We actually said that the day before (the injury). If somebody was running right here and (they) plant, their ACL or MCL is gone just because of how deep the holes are.” Swearinger is referring to an injury that happened to top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Clowney was running for a tackle and got his leg caught in a seam and twisted his knee the wrong way and tore his meniscus.

People may also say that grass can get real cold in areas like Minnesota and Green Bay. Yes, this is true, and it is almost like you are playing on bricks but in Minnesota they just installed nice turf and first game of the year top pick Dalvin Cook tears his ACL cutting non-contact on the turf. Injuries like this are popping up everywhere.

In an article written by, they bring up the amount of ACL injuries that occur on turf fields. The number was staggering high when they found the results. The author states,

“The panel started to notice a higher rate of injuries on the new turf in evaluating the data that the NFL compiles each season, Hershman said. Once enough games had been played on the newer surfaces to do a scientific analysis, the panel found that anterior cruciate ligament injuries and a more serious type of ankle sprain occurred at a higher rate that is statistically significant.”

This panel was doing research from every game from the 2002-2008 season and how many ACL injuries occurred during these seasons. Their results were clear-cut and they came up with one result. That artificial turf causes more lower extremity injuries than natural grass fields. Their number is so staggering that they say that there is an 88% percent chance that you obtain a knee injury on artificial turf than natural grass.

Opposers may say that these results were too old to our times it has been ten years since they have conducted research on these fields. They also could say times have changed and that player safety is more thought about today and that they would have increased the quality of the fields in order to keep more players healthy. This may be the case but, in an article written in 2018 has stated the same results still occur today. The article says,

A variety of design factors have been hypothesized to play a role, including surface hardness, rotational stiffness, and release torque. These physical characteristics may interact with other environmental factors such as cleat design, surface moisture levels, and ambient temperature. Partially in response to these concerns, manufacturers have continued to refine these products to bring their physical characteristics closer in line to natural grass surfaces, but concerns among players, medical personnel, and the public persist.

The article furthers my point that artificial turf fields are still causing these injury bug problems to players now a days. Like the article says with all these risk factors it just makes the fields way more dangerous than the NFL wants them. It’s almost nerve-racking to watch your team play a game because you’re scared that your best players could go down in any play of any game because injuries are that common in the NFL. The biggest factor I see there in the article is rotational stiffness and release torque. I have seen these types of factors come up everywhere in other articles. The feel for turf is so good that people cannot cut on these fields properly and their knees bend the wrong ways and so much stress is being put on these ligaments they eventually just give out. With football players are the biggest and the strongest overall out of most sports so when you add these guys to these sketchy and unqualified fields long-term and career ending injuries could occur and that is the last thing the NFL wants.

There is no reason why teams can’t sport some nice Bermuda grass in a dome stadium. It doesn’t make teams cooler to have turf in their billion-dollar dome, what matters is player safety. Players all over the league past and present have questioned player safety with concussions. Knee injuries are the second most occurring injury in the NFL and they require surgery and months of rehab, the time to speak up is now.

To conclude, I think it is conclusive that there needs to be a change in the way turf fields in the NFL are kept and I think as this last season in the NFL teams got slapped in the face with the injury bug. I think that the NFL and team owners will discuss or should discuss ways on how to make the game safer for all players. Just like the concussion issues the NFL had endured I think it has to take a look at the knee injury numbers and truly come up with a conclusion as to how this is happening. To my estimation I truly believe that the turf fields are not helping this problem and I believe there might be a solution. Either teams convert to a universal playing field surface so teams are used to the surface or the NFL takes a look at the science between the traction of cleats and the turf to find a solution as to safer kinds of cleats that the players can play on and enjoy wearing.


NFL panel finds some knee, ankle injuries more common on turf. (n.d.). Retrieved from

NRG Stadium’s Playing Surface An ‘Abomination’. (2014, September 09). Retrieved from

6 – Risk of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injury as a Function of Type of Playing Surface. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Is an ACL tear more common on artificial turf or grass? (2018, March 03). Retrieved from

A Review of Synthetic Playing Surfaces, the Shoe-Surface Interface, and Lower Extremity Injuries in Athletes. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Hershman, E. B., Anderson, R., Bergfeld, J. A., Bradley, J. P., Coughlin, M. J., Johnson, R. J., . . . Tucker, A. (2012, 09). An Analysis of Specific Lower Extremity Injury Rates on Grass and FieldTurf Playing Surfaces in National Football League Games. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 40(10), 2200-2205. doi:10.1177/0363546512458888


Research – DudeInTheBack

Addiction is debilitating. When someone’s body and mental stability are physically dependent on a drug, it begins to effect the addicts life. Positive or negatively, the dependence of a substance can effect daily function, interpersonal relationships, or even make the dependent believe they need the drug to perform better. When a person has been prescribed a drug for their entire life, all they know is that drug, and without it, functioning seems abnormal. This is the case for most people who have been prescribed the ADHD ( Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ) medication “Adderall” since a young age. This is a drug that gives ADHD patients the magical ability to function normally by blocking the side effects of the diagnosis. Whether it be controlling outbursts, making it easier to focus, or class performance enhancing, being prescribed at a young age will make a child grow up thinking they need the drug to function normally. This is the problem at hand. We cannot idly sit by to setting up our diagnosed children to be dependent on a drug, regardless of its benefits.

The prescription of Adderall, along with other ADHD medications is readily available to all ADHD diagnosed children. This is a drug that is effective, and positive results will be shown in the short term. This is what the parents of the prescribed individual wants to see, and soon to come growing children realizing the drugs effect on themselves. All of the symptoms involved with ADHD, like inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, lack of focus, disorganization, fidgeting, excessive talking, or frequent interrupting, are controlled by the medication. An article titled, “Adderall vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference?” explains how the drug works, saying it “ by increasing the availability of the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and dopamine in your CNS connections. This speeds up your brain activity.” Speeding up the brain activity causing the superhuman focus and ability to become prevalent is what makes the drug readily prescribed to those with ADHD symptoms. As the drug is administered and the brain is working faster than without, the encompassed performance enhancing becomes prevalent.

In today’s society, the trust we put into doctors goes a long way. We follow their prescriptions and advice because we were paying them to give us the best answers to our problems. Rightfully so, we should trust them, but we should also realize that doctors are not in the business of caring about the long, long term. What is best for a child at a young age may not be the best thing for them as an adult. Unfortunately, our society’s view of what truly helps is medication, and some parents, along with their doctors guidance, take the medication route for their children. The prescription of Adderall, a medication that parents with ADHD diagnosed children resort to, although may be positive for a child in the short term, can lead to lifelong dependency issues and social problems.

A child who has symptoms of ADHD, may blurt out the answers before the questions have been completed, has difficulty awaiting turn, or intrudes and interrupts others. Temperaments that can simply be the result of bad teachings, and immaturity. As a parent, seeing your child struggle and not be able to focus at a young age puts parents in a position where they would do anything to help their kid. Going to the doctor and asking for his advice is a start to finding a solution. When the doctor assesses the child to having ADHD, the next recommended step is medication. The problem is that agreeing on the prescription of medication as the solution to their child’s classroom disturbances can be a lifelong decision.

This is where the problem starts: The miracle pill taken every day that without will prompt underachievement of what could potentially be achieved while on the drug. Depending on a drug to make you perform, rather than relying on what is normally produced by the body sets up a child for many problems in the future like addiction. The purpose for the pill is being put into effect and working, but what happens if the pill is not there? An article titled, “Adderall Addiction and Abuse” posted by the Addiction center states, “The brain of an addicted person is dependent on Adderall to stimulate alertness and productivity. Without Adderall, addicted people often feel tired and mentally foggy. These are symptoms of Adderall withdrawal, a strong sign of an addiction.” The withdrawal symptoms caused by Adderall addiction makes it hard for users to quit on their own. the come down, the grogginess, and mental skill lessening without the drug all boils down to keeping on the cycle of getting that medication, and coming back up to full potential. Someone who relies on this artificial performance, after receiving the skills they have obtained through the drug, can act like a bubble pop when the drug is taken away, becoming slower, and simply not performing as well.

In taking medication every day, especially longer down the line subconsciously becomes a way of life. There is no thought in taking the pill, since it is now a routine, and the only self that is known becomes the self on the drug. I personally feel that it is sad how it happens. Taking that pill everyday because the doctor prescribed it, and now being reliant on that pill to succeed is how the problem begins, and in most cases is not the individuals beginning choice to be put on the medication.

Take coffee as an example, I’m sure many people insist that coffee is what gets them through the day and without this coffee, they would perform less efficiently. The prescription of Adderall, along with other ADHD medications creates the same situation. By showing the parent, and child a more, in a sense, normal version of themselves creates the same problem of feeling inadequate without. I’m sure if a coffee drinker never was introduced to coffee, they would have no idea how much better they would perform with it. Even if it works, the problem of it working brings the problem of reliance.

The Recovery village, which specializes in addiction awareness/education, put an article up on their website titled, “Is Adderall Safe? | Safe for Adults and Children?” describing the true risk of the drug. The article describing the pills purpose as, “… not meant to be a long-term treatment because symptoms of ADHD often get better in children as they get older.” We cannot deny the positive performance effect of the drug, and with that comes the problem. With these amazing results of the child’s improvements performance, why would anyone want to stop taking it? Resorting back to a less functioning self is not the ideal situation. As their adolescent ADHD symptoms presumably subside, a diagnosed individual is already on that daily regiment of popping that pill each day that without, could not function to their presumed highest. Someone who is reliant on this pill, and who has been brought up entrusting that pill with their normality in society cannot simply say goodbye to the pill when symptoms vanish. Once medication is perceived to be this sort of “Miracle pill” to the user, who thinks the medication is a necessary part of their daily success, that is where the problem unavoidably starts.

Since determining an aspect of someone’s life is a very probable result of prescribing in the sense of dependence, we should at least avoid prescription in minors. I also say that the medication determines a child’s life because it puts them on the path of dependence. These ADHD medications bring with them heavy self improvement, and that is the counterintuitive aspect (the counterintuitive aspect being the fact that a doctor should not be prescribing something that could be so life changing, and dependence causing to someone looking for help). It is not right to show a child a better them through taking medication. Making the user believe that the drug will make it easier to function more efficiently is exactly why the drug should not be prescribed. Imagine being on a drug that you are brought up thinking makes you better than you actually are. Having to be constantly being reminded to take the medication, never missing a day, and being on this mind altering drug. What makes the drug so dangerous, is how the medication needs to be taken on a regiment, which in turn leads to becoming a habit.

The problem of these ADHD medications can be avoided by not prescribing and instead, providing behavioral therapy. In an article by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) titled “Behavior therapy for young children with ADHD” they say that, “Behavior therapy is effective treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that can improve a child’s behavior, self-control, and self-esteem.” As a parent I would much rather my child learn to deal with his symptoms through coaching, rather than relying on a drug. This dependence can be avoided by not giving the medication, and actually using a safer method that proves results. although it may be harder and less effective than treating it with medication, the problem of addiction can be avoided.

The matter of originally classifying a child’s temperaments, and immature qualities as ADHD stigmatizes a child, and puts them in a category different from others who are perceived to be “normal.” Once this connotation of being less functioning than the normal kids is put around an adolescent, they will start to think they need medication to be normal. In a YouTube video titled, “CCHR Co-Founder Dr. Thomas Szasz, Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus” Dr. Thomas Szasz describes the connotation an illness or disease has now. He believes that any disease cannot be not based on behavior, its something in the body that malfunctions. The stigma and connotation ADHD has around it is socially constructed. By diagnosing a child with ADHD and classifying it as a disease, or disorder stigmatizes a child, and puts them in a category that they should not be in. Parents should not think that their kid has an illness based on behavior, and should not jump to try to treat it. Instead, society, and doctors push to treat immediately. Making a child feel like he is sick and needs the medication to be normal destroys their perception of their own life by already seeing themselves as having an issue. Putting them in the pill cycle till they don’t have any more pills to take… and when they don’t have the pills, they believe they cannot be normal.

The other issue of stopping the medication intake is Adderall’s extremely addictive properties. The devastating effects of addiction should be enough to deter anyone from approaching any drug, but people tend to overlook, and outweigh addiction with all of the miracle works of the drug. In a first person account of one woman’s Adderall downfall published by The Washburn Review, in an article titled, ”The real effects of Adderall: a personal testimony” Taylor Evans goes in depth in her experiences. Evans knew that she did not have ADHD, but a simple visit to the doctors office with descriptions of problems with paying attention, and whatever other fluff she needed to embellish on to get the Adderall prescription. Evans loved the drug, comparing taking Adderall to “being superwoman.” She could get all of her homework done, write papers longer than the required length, clean her house until it was spotless and still pick up extra hours at work. Once someone builds up this notion of only achieving that success from the medication, they will make the connection of pill equaling success, and no pill equaling no success. As time went on, Evans addiction to the drug worsened. The author says, “…Evans started accomplishing less at school and work and shifted her main focus to finding more pills. This disrupted both her studies and home life”. The drug will turn the user into them fully depending on the medication.

The biggest refutation to my argument of Adderall being unsafe prescription is those who believe in Adderall’s therapeutic abilities. These medical properties should not be ignored, and I am not saying that the drug does not have medical properties. If it is as bad as I argue, then why is it still legal? It has to be helping out those with ADHD, and others who take the drug for performance enhancing.

The Invention of Adderall became what it was to compete in the market for ADD/ADHD medications, and eventually rose to being one of the most prescribed medications to treat ADD/ADHD. This hype over the medicine can be credited to its surprising results. In an Analog Classroom Assessment of Adderall in Children With ADHD, the effectiveness of the drug was tested. In this study of 30 children with ADHD, the effects of different dosages (5mg, 10mg, 15mg, 20mg), and a placebo were tested to see how the drug preformed.

For each treatment condition, a capsule was administered in the morning and assessments were performed in an analog classroom setting every 1.5 hours across the day. Subjective (teacher ratings of deportment and attention) and objective (scores on math tests) measures were obtained for each classroom session, and these measures were used to evaluate time-response and dose- response effects of Adderall.” In conclusion, “For doses of Adderall greater than 5 mg, significant time course effects were observed. Rapid improvements on teacher ratings and math performance were observed by 1.5 hours after administration, and these effects dissipated by the end of the day. The specific pattern of time course effects depended on dose: the time of peak effects and the duration of action increased with dose of Adderall.

In conclusion to this study, the addition of Adderall has shown that class performance has greatly increased. Showing that this medication is effective in correcting these ADHD symptoms.

We cannot overlook the short term benefits Adderall has on those with ADHD. Although there are long term effects of taking the drug, giving your child that boost in their start of schooling could benefit the child. In an article posted by Attitude Magazine, an ADHD blog, they say “Experts agree that parents should consider ADHD medications when symptoms interfere with their child’s social, emotional, or academic life.” Starting your child off with medications to quill their hyperactive tendencies could prevent interferences in their development that would come if symptoms were not dealt with. All of this information makes the medication seem important and almost like it rips the child out of the pit of failure, and gives them the opportunity to improve at a young age. If this is the case, it is still changing how a child would normally function, and still changes their own adapted personality. This outside force of medication, although changing the success of the child, renders too many negatives. The unfortunate upmost negative being addiction

This topic first spiked my interest when I first moved into college and started living with an Adderall addict. As I watched him up his daily dosage (without being prescribed to) and seeing how dependent he was on the drug to be able to wake up, go to class, maintain his appetite, and stay focused scared me. This is a great example of someone who has been prescribed Adderall ever since they were a kid. He mentioned to me that sometimes, when he felt like he was lacking, or becoming slow, he wondered if he even took his mediation that day. Upon this recollection, he would assume that he did not, and take more of the medication. His descript sounded like his situation was a mess. Not only did it scare me, but it made me fascinated as to why a doctor would prescribe such a drug readily to millions of people.

In fact, this idea of why doctors prescribe can easily be understood from an article focusing on the work of psychiatrist, Donald Levin titled, “Behaviorism and Mental Health An alternative perspective on psychiatry’s so-called mental disorders.” This article explains how easy it is to get a prescription, and the many ways why it is so easy. the diagnosis and prescription of medicine is what people see psychologists for nowadays. Donald says, “You have to have a diagnosis to get paid,” he said with a shrug. “I play the game.” Psychiatrists no longer engage in talk therapy anywhere near how they used to. instead, they prescribe medication to alternate behavior. The pills become what keeps the person going through her day as if it was a normal day, just drug induced. He gives the example of how a psychiatrist can earn $150 for three 15-minute medication visits compared with $90 for a 45-minute talk therapy session to show why a psych might just resort to a prescription, and getting paid for it.

It is not natural to have something change your performance so much that without it, fullest potential would not be reached. The use of the medication becomes extremely detrimental when the thought of how performance without the medication begins to taunt the user. This thought that they need it to perform is the problem with the drug. Without the medication, the prescribed individual will be forced to deal with reality in what they are equipped with. Having gone through life using this pill as their crutch does not show someone what they are naturally equipped with. Basically, this everyday routine of living with the benefits of the prescription blinds the individual of the fact that they need the medicine in order to act to their adapted fullest (adapted fullest being what they could have naturally achieved without medical influence). With all of this being said, the prescription of Adderall, and other ADHD medications should not even be considered. Giving someone this false home, and self reliance on a drug will lead to so many problems that can easily be avoided. Regardless of the short term benefit, this sort of showing someone the easier life by performance enhancing should not be acceptable.


Is Adderall Safe? | Safe for Adults and Children? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Adderall vs. Ritalin: What’s the Difference? (n.d.). Retrieved from

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McCarthy, L. F. (2018, March 08). Top 10 Questions About ADHD Medications for Children… Answered! Retrieved March 20, 2018, from

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I propose that black culture is becoming too mainstream resulting African Americans in losing their culture. Fashion trends from black culture and hip-hop culture has become a common influence in what all celebrities wear today.

Black culture started out first and foremost as a political argument. From the top of the head to the bottom of the feet everything was an expression of resistance and black culture. However, this culture was barely noticed in mainstream until late 1973, otherwise known as, the birth of hip hop. The hip hop era took to the youth like a moth take to a flame. It shocked many around the world and is still a major source of influence today. With the new success and spotlight, black culture was at its prime. Fast forward 17 years later and Brandy, Tyra Banks, Tupac, and The Notorious B.I.G bless the 1990’s with unapologetic culture. This is the era that is currently referred to when looking for the “new” look.

The more black fashion appears in mainstream the less black, black people become. When black fashion is pictured we start to imagine black men and women in gold jewelry, wearing Air Jordan’s, and braids. These are just three things that make black people black and give representation to the black community. However somewhere along the line the public—mostly white celebrities—started to notice the stylish ideas that were being created. Although it is uncertain when this phenomenon started to occur, it was visible when white rappers felt comfortable wearing oversized clothing and when white women decided it was a good idea to wear braids and hoop earring. This was not a big problem until they wore it and it was branded as their own to sell and distribute with no acknowledgment of where it really originated.  This lead to widespread cultural appropriation and people believing that they could be more socially acceptable and grab the media’s attention if they dressed like a black person. For example, Huffington Post article “On Miley Cyrus, Hip-hop, And The Objectification Of Black Women” by DeAsia Paige suggests that Miley Cyrus’ new style and attitude that was influenced by hip hop culture was the sole reason why she is considered to be demeaning and appropriating of black women.

Black fashion has always been a political statement of freedom and fighting against oppression. According to Buzzfeed’s video, “100 Years of Black Fashion,” natural hair, Afros, and African cloth became symbols of African heritage and pride and were further popularized throughout the 1960s.” From the 1960’s and 1970’s black fashion depicted the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. Members of the Black Panther movement popularized afros and dark sunglasses. In the 1973 the greatest contribution to music was created, otherwise known as the birth of hip hop. Hip hop music influenced many teens to sport bright athletic track suits and loose-fitting clothes. Black icons such as Michael Jackson, Salt and Pepa, and Whitney Houston brought their unapologetic style and grace to the 80’s with flaming red leather jackets and matching outfits for couples. Finally, we come to the most inspirational era of black culture the 90’s. During the 1990’s, black women were going back into their roots and wearing a multitude of fashionable braids. Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Erykah Badu influenced generations to come that it was okay to be natural and take care of black hair. In today’s era some aspects of black culture are flourishing while others are being taken advantage of completely. According to “Money flowing into the natural hair industry is a blessing and curse for those who built it up” an article on LA Times written by Makeda Easter in 2016, 2.5 billion dollars was spent on black hair care product by black consumers. While natural hair goes up hair relaxers are taking a 36 percent dive in prices from 2012 to 2017, stated by the article “USA: Relaxer sales fall but Black hair care market is booming, thanks to natural hair movement” from the website Brazil Beauty News. Unfortunately, the more black women wear their natural hair out the more attention it grabs as with all black fashion.

“An Illustrative Identity of Fashion and Style Throughout African-American History and Movements” an article written by Danielle James at Huffington Post believes fashion to be a true identity of the black community. Fashion and style has always been the shining beacon of pride in the black community. The black community started to really express themselves by going to church since it allowed them the time to be themselves in an environment which was not subjected to the racism and  hatred of society. Many would dress in elegant suits with matching hats and purses because black people often had to wear uniforms during the work days. In the 1960’s black people started to use African fabric to announce their heritage proudly. The merging of fashion with media was born during the Trayvon Martin case. A plain simple hoodie was then turned into a political outcry for help during this injustice against an unarmed and innocent black teenager. The way black people present themselves to the outside world is not a trend but an identity of who they are and the battles they deal with.

“The Double Standards of Cultural Appropriation” an article on The Bottom Line written by Morgan Bubman explains why cultural appropriation is unjust. Black people have to constantly deal with the “edgy” and “alternative” trends that the majority population find favorable for only them. When white people borrow from culture they only take the thing they believe are fashion forward or could be of monetary value. This is the concern that many black people face because when they wear these same styles, on them it is responded with only black slurs. Examples of this daily occurrence is Kylie Jenner being praised for her surgically induced lips when black women are vehemently badgered for having naturally plump lips. Not only does the public love Jenner’s lips, she made a hefty profit off of them by creating her own cosmetic line. But yet their was backlash on MAC’s Instagram page for having a black model sport purple lipstick.

Last September, the Daily Show criticized how fashion week had appropriated black culture. Dulce Sloan, a guest on the show, said that when white people appropriate culture they do not get any of the negative effects that has to come with the Fashion and styles they steal. She goes on to say that people like the Kardashians, Katy Perry, and Taylor Swift do not “Get pulled over for no reason. Get followed through a store.”

Author of Zeba Blay at Huffington Post believes white women should not be able to wear black hairstyles. Her article “Its a slap in the face when white women wear black hair styles” points out that even though the world knows what is and is not racist they have become unbearable insensitive. To support her claim she uses the fashion magazine Allure to prove her point. In the magazine there is a section that is entitled to create the perfect Afro even if your hair type is straight. Blay believes this was a specific article to white people since the picture tagged to the article is of a woman with curls. Blay then goes on to defend that when black women do straighten their hair or dye it blonde that this is a form of assimilation not appropriation. Black women assimilate to survive since so many are attacked for wearing their natural hair out because is it not seen as professional or classy.

Black fashion has always been a major factor in how black people and the world view themselves.  The black community has always suffered from the ignorance, oppression, and racism of others who saw them as less. With that being said, black people remember their history through appearances first. The issue of black fashion becoming more mainstream is that a community of people become muffled and silenced by the others wanting to be like them but not like them. To be truly black means to experience the hatred the world has for them and wait for everything that is considered yours to be stolen from underneath your feet. To be truly black is to feel numb every time the news reports of another innocent black victim dead at the hands of the police. Being black means being told countless times in a lifetime that the world was made to be against you. Being truly black means to be called “urban”, “hood”, “ghetto”, and “scary”. These attributes may also find their way into other minorities, but they can never truly understand the pain and the hardships. The styles the black communities wear is a message all on its own that says to the world, “I have a history and it will be recognized.”

In no way am I saying that cultures should stick to their own culture since that would be a terrible world. I am saying that if a person does take ideas or use aspects from a culture they should definitely refer back to their cultural influence.  Many celebrities have stolen from different cultures in the past and have gotten away with it countless times. Even though the black community show strong disapproval towards these celebrities’ actions with no apology. Then the media surrounding these famous celebrities increase the exposure of these “trends”. Cultural appropriation happens when a culture, different then the culture a person is in, is worn and is not acknowledge or is demeaning for others outside that community to wear.

The major contributors to the loss off black identity is famous white women and the media. The media is responsible in showing the public what celebrities wear. However, they also set the tone for how the public should respond using catchy words or phrases. Famous white women find inspiration in black fashion from the hairstyles and clothing we wear then incorporating it into their daily lives. Their mistake is not correcting the media on where they got their style sense. When white women say nothing, a culture is silenced because they are allowing this type of injustice to continue. In stead of black culture being credited the white women are accounted instead.

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes cultural appropriation. The best thing about diversity is being surrounded by people and cultures that can be similar and very different from our own. The world is becoming more and more diverse and unfortunately things like cultural appropriation do occur. Cultural appropriation is when a race steals elements from a culture in an opposing race and uses it for financial gain or re-branded ownership. Usually the race being pillaged holds little to no power. During this time, black women and men are embracing their culture in a most positive way. Black fashion is one of the ways the black community speaks to the world without saying anything and will continue to inspire people. Although, this type of fashion is only acceptable when worn by someone not black. For example, in 2015 Zendaya, a famous celebrity teenager, graced the Oscars with her hair styled in faux dreads. Zendaya was then criticized for looking like she smelled of weed. Kylie Jenner also wore faux dreads for a Teen Vogue story and was labeled “edgy”, “beautiful”, and “raw.” These two examples show that even though one of these women are mixed she is still less than the white women. The more black fashion is exposed in the mainstream the more likely it is that the black community will lose black fashion and with it part of their identity.

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes black people to lose their identity. Since cultural appropriation effects how black people are first perceived it is hard for the black community to recognize what their identity is. A big majority of black culture is black fashion. Black fashion was and is still a major approach used by the black community to fight back against oppression and the conformity of society. The black community has to live with knowing that they exist only because of the 246 years slavery existed. They must also learn that after slavery the black community continued to feel pain because of segregation which lasted about 89 years. Through these years the black community has fought wars and forced laws all to make living a little easier for the next generations. Black fashion is what makes black people happy as well as surviving subjugation and racism. This explains why black people are so passionate and interested in incidents regarding cultural appropriation towards their culture. Knowing that black people would become just like everyone else is what pushes this group of people forward to stop this from happening. If the barrier between mainstream “trends” and black fashion was to be removed many black youths would grow up confused at how to define their style and where their sense of style actually originates.

Popular white celebrities and black fashion causes cultural appropriation. These trends in mainstream fashion do not come out of nowhere. Most of the trends in fashion are determined by popular celebrities who are seen by the media.  They are also more likely to set a “trend” if they are white. The Kardashian family is infamous for cultural appropriation since they draw inspiration from black culture and profit from it or rename a fashion in black history. A recent example would be Kim Kardashian’s “boxer braids” show in Teen Vogue’s article “This Hairstyle Is Not Called “Boxer Braids” and Kim Kardashian Didn’t Make It Popular.” The author Britni Danielle writes that “girls have worn cornrows before, or that most of the early 2000s were filled with celebs like Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Ludacris, Bow Wow, and even Justin Timberlake rocking the style” but the reason it received attention “is because white women have finally caught on.”

Popular white female celebrities wearing black fashion causes cultural appropriation which also causes black people to lose their identity in society. White women wearing black fashion does not cause them to be a victim in the negative side effects of being black. Since there is an imbalance in power white women are less likely to be ridiculed or treated unfairly if they wore box braids in the workplace or fashioned an athletic suit on Instagram. This same imbalance in power makes it harder for black women to wear their natural hair at work without “causing a scene” or having offensive demeaning labels attached to them. White women need to understand that society holds them on a higher pedestal than minorities. For this reason, they should be more aware of the message they are putting out into the world to work together to bring growth instead of tearing women apart.

As said previously, black people lose their ‘blackness’ when black fashion is worn by someone more socially acceptable. Contrary to this belief, black people cannot lose their blackness because there are many other factors that make them black. In addition, the cycle of black fashion trends is more beneficial to black people as well as the world. Darcel Rockett’s article “’How to Slay’: Black fashion has made its mark on world culture” in the Chicago Tribune interviewed fashion expert, Constance C.R. White, who had this to say “This moment is very individualistic — it’s very much about expressing your personality, it’s a mashup and melding of different times. It’s more acceptable than ever, and there’s a hundred trends happening at once. We haven’t seen that in fashion — ever.” What White is trying to say is that fashion is about expressing individuality by choosing from the many time periods of fashion while it is still socially acceptable.

When someone more socially acceptable wear trends that are from black fashion it is not cultural appropriation it is cultural appreciation. When people style their hair in dreadlocks or wear earrings with their name on them it is to show that people who are not black can show how much they like the culture. White people capitalize on black fashion because they understand that black people are not appealing towards society, so it becomes their responsibility. When different people come together and wear black fashion they are essentially expanding and spreading black culture.

It should also be addressed that this argument is based off of black privilege. In John Blake’s article “It’s time to talk about ‘black privilege’” on CNN it writes that “white commentators describe how blackness has become such a “tremendous asset” that some whites are now trying to “pass” as black.” This means that white people believe it a societal necessity to wear clothes influenced by black people and enhanced body parts to be accepted. This may be the reason why people like the Kardashians feel comfortable getting plastic surgery but uncomfortable telling the world the reason why.

Black fashion is worn by everyone so by default black culture becomes a natural trendsetter. As soon as society begins to wear the hairstyles and clothing of black people they immediately know it is time to find something else to standout. This pattern is the reason why most trends are born, why some trends go out of style, and why some become revamped. As a result of this phenomena, black people influence the world only by the way they look. If anything, this should be seen as a privilege to black people since not many cultures can say the same. Black fashion has not always been a source of happiness for the black community. In many ways black fashion can hold black people back since it reinforces that black people are “dirty and poor criminals with no intelligence” just by attire. However, this way of thinking is curbed when everyone starts to dress in mainstream black fashion trends. Know people are targeted equally since they are all dressed the same. This also allows for black people to be discreet since society dresses like them and it is harder to be noticed if everyone is following the same trends.


Research- jdormann

Can Serious Head Injuries be Prevented in American Football?

Many athletes and their families lives have been altered forever or ended because of concussions or spinal injuries due to playing football. When a person plays a high impact sport, their chances of a life-changing injury dramatically increases. Repetitive head injuries have been proven to cause CTE, chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Football is a popular sport across America, and research on brain damage from playing continues to prove the dangers it has to a player’s health.

When watching a football game, at any level, spectators can expect to see powerful hits that radiate through the athlete’s head and spine. The high energy hits are thrilling for both the fans and athletes, but cumulative hits cause serious damage to the player’s health. NFL players are the highest level football players in the world, and they are the ones that receive the highest number of head injuries causing the most damage. CTE is a disease that slowly kills brain cells and will completely alter someone’s mental state and thought process. It causes increased aggression, susceptibility to dementia, anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses. Studies have proven that playing football at a young age increases the risk of brain damage tremendously. Boston University conducted research on the damage that football has on developing players. In an article by the Washington Post, they wrote, “Those who started playing contact football before the age of 12 suffered more behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems than those who started playing after they turned 12.” This is hard evidence of the detrimental issues football can have on young players. Society needs to be careful about allowing young athletes to participate in football. Children do not fully understand how playing a sport can affect them in the long term. All football players are susceptible to serious brain injuries, but children are much more vulnerable to these life-altering injuries. As more people become aware of the dangers, they are less likely to support the game or allow their developing children to play. If there is a way to prevent or entirely eliminate concussions, people would feel more comfortable with allowing their children to play football.

The risk of concussions and serious injury are prevalent in full contact sports, but other sports do not have the same life-altering injury rate as football.Rugby does have concussions, but it is typically from improper tackling technique. Safety of the player being tackled is also of high importance. There are rules in the game that do not allow unsafe tackles. If a tackler is to spear, tackle above the runner’s shoulders, tackle a player without the ball, or lift the player from the ground, the result will be at least a yellow card removing them from the game and possibly a multiple game suspension.

Certain teams and players have adopted techniques that reduce the chances of serious head injuries. The professional football league has worked towards implementing new rules that keep players safer.Teams like the Seattle Seahawks have adopted this rugby style of tackling and it has improved player safety and tackling efficiency. The different tackling technique may not be accepted by all teams, but the game will eventually have to do something about the head injury epidemic. An article published by The Telegraph states:

Several American colleges have studied this way of tackling. The Seattle Seahawks have worked with Fijian rugby sevens star Waisale Serevi on “taking the head out of the game”. Rugby techniques have subsequently been introduced at Washington, Florida and Michigan State – whose head coach Mark Dantonio extols the benefits of rugby–style tackling.

This type of tackling emphasizes player safety and not allowing the head to be put in danger during contact. Rugby players do not wear padding or helmets, so tackling must be controlled and properly executed. The players must be cognizant of their body position and in complete control of the tackling movement. When using proper technique, athletes executing a tackle will make contact with the shoulder and drive through the opponent.

The way that football players tackle is careless and does not usually follow any specific technique. Players will throw their body into a tackle because their padding gives them a false sense of security. The head is not protected and there is not enough absorption of energy to protect the athlete’s brain. Young athletes are taught some techniques, but proper technique often gets thrown out the window during play.

Intense impact on the shoulder and neck area can cause a stinger. A stinger occurs when the neck is pushed to the side and the main nerve from the brain to the arm is pinched. This can cause the sensation of an electric shock or burning/stinging. Although a majority of the time this injury resolves between hours to days, it can become frequently occurring and could become a lifelong injury. In an article about stingers and the possible health hazards by Alexa Royston and Lindsay Ramey, it reads,”Terminal stingers/burners are characterized by severe neurotmetic injuries, where incomplete reinnervation may lead to permanent weakness and atrophy.” Motor weakness, loss of muscle, and paresthesia occur in extreme stinger cases. There is a number of rugby players that have had stingers, but the statistics are far less than football. The probability of stingers and nerve damage increase when the tackler and runner are playing with the false sense of security that padding gives them. When players continue to participate despite their injuries, they put themselves and others at higher risk because their technique deteriorates.

Athletes put themselves at higher risk of injury when they are involved in full contact sports. The seriousness of their injuries is not always known until it is too late to help them. The players that are affected may not be aware of the complications until it is too late for them to recover or get help. Diseases and debilitating injuries can lay dormant in the athlete for years with little to no symptoms. Studies in the past ten years have begun uncovering numerous diseases and injuries football players suffer. Athletes and families lives are negatively affected and even ended by terrible injuries that could have been prevented.

Rugby players do not suffer as many concussions as football players because of their body awareness on the field of play, use of safe techniques, and the strict enforcement of safety rules. They are taught to tackle differently and not use their heads as a device to bring down the opponent. Players need to be keen on their body awareness and careful of their position when going into contact. There are rules in rugby to protect the players from being exposed to serious injury. High tackles, dangerous tackles, unnecessary contact, and many other penalties are in place to keep players safe. Chris Bodenner wrote an article for The Atlantic that states, “An equal one is the ‘culture of respect’ that’s one of the game’s foundations and most carefully guarded traditions. Players rarely deliberately hurt one another; when they do, they are banned for months on end.” The culture of respect between rugby players is a known agreement to leave the fighting and differences on the field. It is a rough sport and has a sense of brotherhood for all players, regardless of the team or skill. Safety is of the utmost importance for the referee. When a player commits a dangerous penalty, they are sent off of the field and must stay off for a time range of two to ten minutes. If the official overseeing the match deems the action seriously dangerous, the athlete in the wrong will be suspended anywhere from one week to indefinitely. Participants understand the results of their actions and take extra precaution to keep themselves and their opponents safe.

Naturally, football has a lot of contact and physicality involved. The problem is not the physical nature of it, but the unnecessary and unsafe techniques players use. The basic contact in football is blocking and tackling. Football players risk career-ending, even life-threatening injury every time they slam into an opponent. Even worse, recent studies have shown that injuries to the brain may lie dormant and symptomless for years. Cumulative injuries that could have been prevented if detected in time result in mental illnesses ranging from depression to dementia and even suicide.

Football players can receive “mini” concussions over one-hundred times throughout a game when they slam into an opponent. These mini-concussions are small, unnoticeable concussions are caused by repetitive blows to the head causing the brain to slam into the skull, but without any symptoms of a concussion. Players that are blocking and tackling often have more of these mini-concussions. The complications that come from cumulative mini-concussions do not show up for years. Down the line, a person may begin to have symptoms of dementia, aggression, and personality changes. They will not be aware that they are changing, but their family will notice. This is CTE. CTE is caused by repetitive head trauma that cumulates and slowly destroys the brain. It may not show any symptoms for ten or more years. Doctors have no real cure for CTE, and it can result in life-ending consequences.

Elite level football athletes are more likely to end up with horrific complications from concussions compared to any other elite level athlete. For example, NFL players, like Junior Seau, have taken their own lives because of CTE complications. Junior Seau was a linebacker in the NFL that was recognized for his passionate play and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. He received countless blows to the head throughout his football career and was found to have suffered CTE. CTE does not show a person’s true emotions and personality, but it distorts their thinking and turns them into someone they never would have become. According to Mary Pilon and Ken Benson, “Researchers at Boston University, who pioneered the study of C.T.E., have found it in 33 of the 34 brains of former N.F.L. players they have examined.” The disease can only be identified after death with the close eye of a trained doctor and a microscope. The NFL has turned a blind eye for too long and left these traumatic injuries and complications to the wayside. The techniques used in football must change, or future and current players will follow the footsteps of those that suffered before them.

People that participate in football and other high-impact sports are accepting of life-changing injuries when they agree to play the sport, but they do not expect it to be life ending. Football players are padded, and they do not receive as much of an immediate effect from high-impact head injuries. The small amount of pain or “ringing” is brushed off as a good hit. The player then goes on to receive countless of these impacts which eventually manifest into permanent brain damage and at the worst, CTE. Football fans and players can be ignorant of the facts, but outsiders do not desire to stop them from participating. The conversation about football and life-altering injuries only pushes to make it safer, not eliminate it.

When good techniques are used, it is not always good enough. Bringing down an opponent at full speed is not easy and can be extremely unsafe. Rugby players also receive head injuries, but it happens less than football players. The pure inertia of stopping someone running full speed can compress the spine and cause havoc on the skull. The symptoms are not always immediate but can cause future, unforeseen complications. Overall, contact sports display numerous possible injuries, and the players are not always able to avoid them. The decisions players make on the field, and the techniques they employ are a deciding factor in most injuries. No athlete is safe, but every athlete should think about themselves and their health before pushing too far and engaging in dangerous play.

American football players have been plagued with concussions, unknown to them for years. Typically, these concussions occur during tackles. The padding that players wear gives them a false sense of security and some players use their head as a tackling device. Rugby also gets a lot of criticism because of injuries players receive, but the concussion rate of rugby players is far lower than football. They wear no padding or head protection, yet there are fewer concussions. The difference comes down to the technique. The tackling technique rugby players use is safer for the head and spine. There are some football coaches and teams that have adopted the rugby-style of tackling, but not all coaches believe it is practical for their team to follow suit.

Football requires a team to move the ball a minimum of 10 yards for a first down and they have four tries to do this. Each and every yard in a football game matters. Stopping an opponent from getting one more yard can make or break a game. Football players will dive head first into opponents crushing their neck, compressing their spine, and smashing their brain against the inside of their skull just to stop them from getting one yard. There is no first down in rugby, so there is nothing bad about giving up a couple yards. Rugby players can sacrifice yards and it will not affect the game. Not all rugby tackles involve tackler stopping the runner immediately. The runner will normally get another one to five yards during the tackle. The goal between the two games is to score at the end of the field, but it should not require players to destroy their brains in order to win the game.

In a rugby match, the attacking player will not try to squeeze every last inch out of a run because it will not greatly affect the game, and they do not want to risk getting injured. Football players need to push for the extra inches and get the most out of every play. The battle for that extra little bit can cause injuries and unsafe play. Although it may be dangerous at times, football players must hold the attacking team to the minimum amount of yards on every play. The tackling technique football players employ is to stop the runner as soon as possible, with them gaining the least amount of yards. This requires tremendous force to be output by the defender and does not always result in safe play. The risk of personal safety is a price that football players pay to be good athletes. If a player is giving up the slightest amount of yardage, they are not doing their job to the best of their ability. The Seattle Seahawks have adopted the rugby style of tackling, and they are one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Ohio State University Buckeyes have also adopted the rugby-style technique. Jeanna Thompson wrote an article on that reads, “Ohio State’s defense jumped from No. 47 in the country in 2013 to No. 19 the next year. In 2015, the Buckeyes boasted a top-10 defense, surrendering just 311.3 yards per game.” For any college football team to move up twenty-eight spots for defense is very difficult. The team attributed their success to the newly adopted tackling technique. A safer and more effective tackling method did not lose a collegiate football team any games.

When rugby players attempt to make a tackle, they are risking their body without padding, and are careful and follow the proper technique. Players risk gruesome injuries in a tackle that could be prevented by using proper technique. The rugby tackle is a wrap technique that is not aimed at stopping the attacker immediately but by safely stopping the attacker and keeping the defender in a safe position. It eliminates the use of the head in the tackle and does not force excessive pressure on the spine. Living With Sports Injuries, a book written by Elizabeth Shimer Bowers and Clifford D. Stark, reads, “Players frequently experience concussions, as well as neck and shoulder injuries, usually as a result of open field tackling.” Open field tackling typically results in high-speed collisions and poor technique. When an attacker is running full speed and the defender must make the stop, they will do it by any means necessary and not pay attention to technique. The lack of a safe technique often leads to injuries. The injuries that football players suffer from include fractured bones, dislocations, concussions, and “stingers”, the loss of feeling and inability to move the arm.

USA Rugby is the national governing body for rugby in the United States. They oversee national, collegiate, and high school teams. The organization is always working towards educating themselves and athletes to make the game more competitive and safe. A study done by USA Rugby compared concussions in collegiate rugby and collegiate football. Out of one thousand players in the study, an average of two percent of rugby players received concussions and four and a half percent of football players received concussions. Based on USA Rugby’s study, football’s concussion rate is more than double that of rugby’s. The rugby tackling technique is effective for tackling the player and keeping them safe.

Although the fate of a football game may be decided from a few yards, the impact of how players tackle can leave a mark on them forever. Football has a major concussion problem because of how the athletes tackle, and the false sense of security equipment gives them. Every inch matters to them, but not every brain cell. If careless tackling techniques continue to be utilized by football players, the sport may not exist due to the health hazards it poses.

People that do not support football could argue that players accept the risk of serious injury upon participating in football, but walking away with a life debilitating injury is not a thought for any of players. A high contact, high impact sport that risks permanent injury to the brain, spine, and skeletal muscle system needs to support safer rules and techniques instead of pushing players to create bigger and harder hits.

The rugby style of tackling is much safer for the brain. Rugby players suffer from concussions and will continue to do so, but it is the fault of the tackler and the improper use of safe techniques. Players can be taught and encouraged to use the safest method of tackling, but they may continue to resort to easier approaches. Safe technique starts with the coaches not accepting laziness and dangerous tackling at practices, then it continues to the referees game-time decision to remove players or penalize a team. If football adopts the rugby-style tackling technique, it may result in the loss of a couple yards, or even the loss of a game. The sacrifice of losing one game can save a player the sacrifice of destroying their brain.


Bodenner, C. (2016, October 14). Which Is More Dangerous, Rugby or Football? Retrieved April 1, 2018, from

Pilon, M., & Belson, K. (2013, January 10). Seau Suffered From Brain Disease. Retrieved April 1, 2018, from

Royston, A., & Ramey, L. (2013, September 20). Stingers and Burners. Retrieved March 20, 2018, from

Stark, C. D., & Bowers, E. S. (2010). Living with sports injuries. New York: Facts On File.

Thomas, J. (2016, September 06). Rugby-style tackling could be the future of a safer NFL. Retrieved April 5, 2018, from

Tmg. “Is Rugby or American Football More Dangerous?” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 25 Jan. 2016,

“USA Rugby Injuries” [One slide in a presentation received by email]. (n.d.). Referred to a study purported to have been conducted by USA Rugby. Origin unknown.

Wilkerson, R. (n.d.). Our knowledge of orthopedics. Your best health. (S. J. Fischer, Ed.). Retrieved March 20, 2018, from–conditions/burners-and-stingers/

Research Position Paper- AmongOthers13

Unequal Education: Yearning for Change

Education is the most vital part of a fulfilled life. Without education, we do not have the sturdy ground base to start building up towards all of the dreams we have ever wanted to reach. With a quality education, we have the power to make our own lives, become who we want to be, and do what we want to do. Everyone is entitled to an education, for it benefits our lives in many ways. As quoted from DW Made for Minds, in an article titled “Knowledge is Power: Why Education Matters”, written by Ute Shaeffer, states that “Education empowers, and education promotes greater participation.” There is no greater truth than this- that education gives us the tools we did not know we needed. However, some students are less successful than others, and it is in no way their fault. “Children in rural areas and in conflict regions have even fewer opportunities to become educated, while girls around the world continue to face disadvantages in education. There is still much to do.” Students today are still trying to overpower those who believe girls do not have the right to an education, or that lower-income places have less-qualified schools. There is, in fact, much to do, as Schaeffer states. Students all over the world are struggling to learn and grow due to the alarming deficit of student success in schools. The main problem is that the impact of the property tax unequal funding of schools is causing an achievement gap. An achievement gap refers to a persistent difference in academic performance or reaching educational goals between different groups of students (in this case, poor and rich). This achievement gap is influencing a decrease in student success all over the world, and even leads to difficulties obtaining a career in the future.

A journal from Stanford Cepa titled “The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations”, written by Sean F. Reardon, states that “The achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families is roughly 30 to 40 percent larger among children born in 2001 than among those born twenty-five years earlier.” This means that the achievement gap is growing each and every day, simply because nobody has made any action on the issue. The journal also states that the achievement gap based off of high-income and low-income students today is nearly twice the size of the black-white achievement gap. This is astonishing news, for about fifty years ago, the black-white achievement gap was two times larger than the high-income and low-income students gap. The tables have turned in a dangerous, menacing way. Why has this happened? There are many possible explanations as to why such a detrimental gap has been formed. “The gap appears to have grown at least partly because of an increase in the association between family income and children’s academic achievement for families above the median income level: a given difference in family incomes now corresponds to a 30 to 60 percent larger difference in achievement than it did for children born in the 1970s.” Nowadays, money and where we live determine everything for our futures, even our education. Also, the gap could be so large because of parental investments in cognitive development, as said by the journal. The gap size has nothing to do with the student’s parents and their education, but more so, how much money their parents have. This is a sickening phase of education that children are struggling to grow through.

When students are not taught at high levels of quality, they have no other choice but to be given a difficult time when testing. An article from Brookings titled “Income and Education as Predictors of Children’s School Readiness”, written by Julia B. Isaacs and Katherine A. Magnuson, claims that children from low-income families “perform less well on standardized tests compared with more advantaged youth and are less likely to graduate high school and complete college.” Children that are struggling through this grow up to be financially unstable because they can not land a decent paying job, for employers often look at school records to track success.  The article states that “Children born into families at the bottom fifth of the income distribution are twice as likely as middle-class children to remain in that bottom bracket as adults.” Even if these children are capable of so much more, their education is holding them back from achieving tremendous things. The visible problem here is that education is now doing the opposite for students as what it is supposed to do- which is to ensure success while obtaining knowledge and everyday skills from attending school.

This lack of efficient schooling often leads children down troubled paths for the rest of their lives. An article from ChildFund International titled “Poverty and Education”states that “Poverty and education are inextricably linked, because people living in poverty may stop going to school so they can work, which leaves them without literacy and numeracy skills they need to further their careers.”  Without these skills necessary to work, children notice from a young age that school is just a waste of time. Students dropout of school because if they are not gaining anything from attending, they could be searching for jobs to start making money to support themselves. Students need to be properly educated, but that can only happen if their schools are properly, equally funded. Poverty does not wait for anyone to “catch up”. In other words, poverty is occuring in various places all around the world, and it will not wait for families to overcome it, even if their education, and then their success for the rest of their lives, is in jeopardy. The very least we should be able to offer these children and these families is a place where they can go to get a high-quality education. Property taxes, however, are restricting them from obtaining that well-deserved education.

An article from LSU Online titled “How Does Poverty Affect Education?” states that low-income areas interferes with a child’s physical readiness, cognitive readiness, and social-emotional readiness. When a student is raised in a low-income neighborhood, odds are, their parents are struggling to provide for them. No matter how hard they work, they do not have surplus money to buy extra amounts of food, clothing, or body care products. They may even be struggling to pay the gas and water bill. If a student’s parents are constantly working, the student probably eats fast, greasy, fattening meals for dinner. This, in turn, leads to poor health, which makes their bodies prone to illnesses that are left untreated, causing more school absences. When students live in these areas, violence and crime rates are extremely high, causing children to stay indoors in fear of getting put into risky situations at parks or playgrounds. Because of this lack of exercise, students gain even more weight, becoming more unhealthy every day. So, it is vital that a student’s school provides time at recess to play or provides extra-curricular activities like sports after school. However, in low-income areas, the schools do not have enough money for after school activities. But, the high-income neighborhoods have sports teams, clubs, dance teams, choir, and much more than the low-income schools because they have more money coming into their schools. These low-income students also may face situations at home that could interfere with how they think about life. If they watch their loved one being abused, is struggling due to stress, do not have enough money, and often do not sleep well at night, they are going to remember that feeling for a long time. When they go to school, they will still have those memories and feelings in the back of their minds. The school atmosphere does not make them forget because it is not at a high level of education. The school does not have enough tools, papers, technology, or exercises to keep the children’s minds off of what could be happening at home. Due to the lack of focus, the students also perform poorly in school. They will isolate themselves from teachers and other students and will be hesitant to make relationships. On top of this, if students are not being taught an adequate amount of vocabulary per day, or if their mind is somewhere else, their cognitive development decreases. The article states, “Many students who cannot understand the words in their texts will resist reading altogether. In addition, students will refuse to participate in discussions they do not understand simply because they do not want to ask for clarification.” Children now think that because they do not understand, that they are simply unintelligent. They are afraid to look silly in front of other classmates, so they do not ask for any further explanations about lessons, which leads to poor results when testing does come. Lower-income schools has many more effects than just learning, it affects the community, the household, the children, the students, the families, and the well being of others.These ideas listed above are directly related to the achievement gap and the reasons why it has grown so vast over the last couple of decades. The achievement gap has been the ultimate division between success and failure for children all around the world.

Children from low-income areas are left to “make-do” with what they have, which is undeniably inadequate. Why are these children suffering?

An article from The Atlantic titled “How Ineffective Government Funding Can Hurt Poor Students”, claims that 14 states are currently providing less money to poor community schools with a lot of students coming from poor areas. It also states that 19 states have a funding system that does just enough to meet the standards in schools that lack valuable resources and are unable ensure a quality education. There are over 11 million poor students in the United States that are not receiving the education they deserve. Schools struggle to purchase enough textbooks, calculators, rulers, papers, etc due to the property taxes and low income.

In another article from Hechinger Report titled “How does underfunding actually affect schools? Four Questions With Greene County Superintendent Richard Fleming” written by Kayleigh Skinner, Fleming speaks out on the effects of low-income property taxes on the school itself. He claims the school had to cut positions and end jobs for some employees of the school because they did not have enough money to pay them. He says his district is in “survival mode”, meaning they are struggling just to provide the basic needs for the children. The school is behind on technology, cannot provide the arts, sports, or a choir. The students are simply missing out on what they should be more than capable of having.

An article from The Odyssey titled “Lack of Materials Hinders Student Success” written by Julia Taboh explains that the absence of necessary materials takes a large toll on student success, for without them, students inevitably perform at lower rates than the highly funded school students do. Teachers often have to pay for classroom resources from their own money, or are forced to use old books from other schools that do not even cover what is in their plans or the school’s curriculum. They also have no clear way to track data of what schools need what textbooks and what curriculum would best fit.  This data is essential for It allows the school to see what they already have and what they need more of to be successful. Without this data, it is clear that the needs are not met, for they have no way how to reach them.

Not only do these children endure difficult lives at home, for low-income areas often lack resources, they are being sent to school to suffer even more difficulty with developing and learning.The middle class seems to dissipating as the gap between the rich and the poor grows wider and wider. Funding has been cut a tremendous amount and in some states, pre-K education has been cut entirely and some schools had to deny some kids from attending school due to population. The states have not hesitated to cut funding, yet they haven’t made any true effort to gain money to support the schools.  Most of the children from poor areas come to school without have had eaten breakfast yet, or have just encountered secondhand smoke on the way to school, abuse, neglect, are dressed in light, tattered clothing and torn shoes. The bottom line is that their lives are difficult enough- why should they suffer even more in the place they are supposed to succeed? In the place they have a right to succeed? Everybody talks about the gap, but nobody does anything to fix the gap, or even attempt to do so. Children from these areas are dropping out of high school before they graduate.  In an article from The Huffington Post titled “High School Dropout Rates for Minority and Poor Students Disproportionately High” written by Emmeline Zhau, it states that there were about 3 million teens in 2009 that did not have a high school diploma or were not enrolled in school at all. The drop out rate for low-income students is five times greater than the dropout rates of high-income schools- 7.4%. High school dropouts are not able to apply for 90% of the worlds jobs. This means that children from low-income areas are denied a job that pays enough to support them before they even get a chance to get an interview for the job; they are turned down on the spot, and it is all starts from the lack of funding in low-income communities. The problem does not stop here, however. 

In an article from Huffington Post titled “Why Aren’t Low-Income Students Succeeding in School?” written by Carol J. Carter states that the low-income students that do attend college, they often have to take remedial courses to learn the skills necessary for college. So, even when they are eligible to attend, they are not educationally prepared. Due to the lack of exposure to books and textbooks when they were younger takes a toll on them. For every 300 low-income students, there is only one book. “Children from low-income families hear as many as 30 million fewer words by the age of 4 than their higher-income peers,” Carter claims. They also suffer from language barriers, as 8% of students attending U.S schools are English Language Learners. “Research shows that ELL students are much less likely to score at or above proficient levels in both math and reading/language arts,” Carter continues. This lack of experience from a young age influences their scores and performance by a large amount, and it is devastating to see. Students that have lived a tough life at home also find themselves encountering a lack of stability. These effects of the events at home might differ the student from learning, from doing smart things after school, and ultimately creates immense challenges for the student. Most of these students go home to parents who do not have a high school diploma, and have not made the best choices, therefore creating a lack of role models. They have no one to look up to, so it makes it difficult them for them to take on the responsibility to make a path for themselves. Because they are first generation college students, they often find themselves to be a bit confused, or feel out of place. “Within six years, 89 percent of low-income first generation students leave without a degree,” states Carter. This percentage is alarming because it is all due to the lack of education in their earlier years. These students had the opportunity to grasp their future and to graduate college, but the pressure of it all was much too overwhelming to succeed. 

Children are not succeeding simply because of the area they were born in, and this fact alone is why things need to be changed.. The effect the low-funded schooling has on them is tremendous. If they cannot use the tools they need, if they do not learn what is on the curriculum, they are going to be unprepared and undereducated when it comes time to go to college if they choose to do so or to apply for jobs. These children are “doomed” from birth, as they are not guaranteed the right to the education they are entitled to. And the worst thing is, it all starts with the government funding, the ones who know that low-income areas do not earn enough money to properly fund a school. Therefore, we are trapping these children’s potentials into a confined box, leaving them no other option but to be stuck in this constant cycle of inadequacy.

Some people seem to still believe, after all of the aforementioned details of how property tax funding of schools has damaged the youth, that property tax is the best form of payment to fund schools. Although counterintuitive, with property tax funding for public schools emerges a large problem; people want schools to have inequality. It all comes down to this- rich homeowners want to pay for their schools in their neighborhoods, merely because it makes the value of their community increase and makes their area look better than the surrounding regions. The rich families know that they pay a higher property tax rate than the next town, but if this money is going towards a better reputation for them and for their surrounding schools, they are more than happy to give that money up. They know that their schools are better funded, that their students have a higher chance of success, and because of these statements, the homes in the area hold their value. People will want to move to areas where the community’s are elegant, with financially stable schools that acquire more than necessary to implement their children’s success. This is why homeowner’s support the property tax funding of schools. They disregard the condition of the schools in areas of poverty or low-income. These places don’t seem to matter to them at all. They want their schools to be superior, but what they do not realize is that this unequal expenses on schools create the achievement gap as aforementioned. Homeowners want to control the local government and its taxes because it directly benefits their homes, their neighborhoods,and their schools.

An article taken from JSTOR titled “Homevoters, Municipal Corporate Governance, and The Benefit View of The Property Tax,” states that “ The more general issue that homevoting addresses is why school quality has fallen in California and, apparently, in other states that have traveled down a similar path away from local control of school finances.” This shows that states are recognizing this immense gap between student success in contrasting areas, but no one has yet to make an action on this issue. People are hesitant to believe such a gap exists because the test scores are seemingly close in comparison, but what the people do not know is that this is because the highly-funded schools are actually being “dumbed-down” and taught less efficiently than they are supposed to be taught. This makes the people think that the difference between schools in poor and rich areas is simply just the location. But, these rich families are sending their childrens to schools that they think are top of the line, when really, their children are learning at lower, slower levels than they should. The article states, “This is consistent with the findings by several studies that show that greater state fiscal involvement results in less efficient schooling.” Due to these reasons, the quality of schooling is not just decreasing in poor areas, but also in the rich areas as well.

So, what do we do now? Do we add more teachers to the school? The article states that if we do this, the more qualified teachers will be chosen, increasing school quality and the homes around the school. But, what about the extra money the school now needs to pay these teachers? This, in turn, would raise property taxes, which decreases home value. In turn, local voters now have to decide to choose cost-effective schools. The state legislature, however, cannot do the same for the following reasons. States are too large to see the differences between the quality of schools compared to other states. Also, adults that do not have children in school do not want to spend as much as school funding for state level than local level. People that own homes that they can one day sell to another family that does have kids are still interested in the quality of schools and the condition of the surrounding community. The third and final reason centralization causes poor results in schooling is because teacher’s unions replaces homeowners as being the most important group at state level. Although unions raise average spending per student, they make those earnings less sufficient by putting it towards work rules that they cannot acquire at the local level.

An article from The Harvard Gazette written by Christina Pazzanese states that “Your ZIP code and the exact characteristics of your parents seem to matter more,” said Lawrence Katz in an interview discussing the damaging effects of the growing achievement gap. What he means by this is that nowadays it does matter where you are raised and by whom,one parent or two, in a rich community or poor, for these aspects determine your fate. This is an appalling way to look at the achievement gap, but it is sadly true. Katz calls the diversion “The rich and the rest”, implying that it seems to be that if you are not rich, you do not deserve a category, or a name. If you are not rich, you are the “rest”, the people who struggle to get by, who don’t have high quality schools or neighborhoods. Being rich doesn’t necessarily mean who can buy the most expensive things, for it now means being rich determines whether or not you are successful in your future career path or not. This has changed the way young children think, which is perhaps the saddest part of it all. We no longer consider ourselves successful if we are not rich, from high income places, and land a job making over a hundred thousand per year. Our actual intelligence doesn’t even determine our success because of property tax and the achievement gap.

Katz continues to say, “Smart poor kids are less likely to graduate from college now than dumb rich kids. That’s not because of the schools, that’s because of all the advantages that are available to rich kids.” Something has to change if we want to give the youth, the future of America an equal education. Their fates are decided before they can even speak, before they can crawl.

The United States education system is truly at its lowest point, and it all derives directly from the way schools are funded. Our youth deserves an education that will be able to support them throughout their entire lives. Students should be able to wake up every morning with confidence that they are going to do something amazing that day, that they can learn, and grow, and feel safe inside of a school building. They should not have to feel like they are settling for the very minimal requirements of education. We have to push, we have to recognize the faults within the system, and we have to shrink that education achievement gap before it becomes too massive to compromise with.




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Isaacs, J. B., & Magnuson, K. A. (2016, July 29). Income and Education as Predictors of Children’s School Readiness. Retrieved from

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Reardon, S. F. (2017, July 24). The widening academic achievement gap between the rich and the poor: New evidence and possible explanations. Retrieved from

Richmond, E. (2015, June 08). How Ineffective Government Funding Can Hurt Poor Students. Retrieved from

Skinner, K. (2015, April 13). How does underfunding actually affect schools? Four questions with Greene County Superintendent Richard Fleming. Retrieved from

Taboh, J. (2017, August 27). Lack Of Materials Hinders Student Success. Retrieved from

Zhao, E. (2012, February 14). Dropout Rates For Minority And Poor Students Disproportionately High. Retrieved from


Research- Nreina34

Cops now feel as if they are the victim.

In today’s society, almost everything is driven by the media promoting it.  Whether it be on television, the radio or on a mobile device, people use the media to collect daily information and headlines throughout the country.  This influence is having a negative impact on the law enforcement field and their relationship with the public because of the way the media misjudges and accurately portrays incidents on the news.  Those primetime stories that inaccurately portray a police officer’s actions just for a “juicy headline” is the reason why the media is an antagonizing factor within the police and community relations.

The media has a lot more influence than a lot of people think, everyone believes what they read on the internet and other news outlets.  Social media acts as a driving factor of the crime between the public and law enforcement by not getting the right message across to its viewers which in turn can cause major controversy.  In the article “Retaliatory violence between police and citizens is primed by social media” it unfolds the results of a new study that was published in the scientific journal in January of 2018 named PLOS ONE.  This study was conducted to understand the ties between police officers that were killed in the line of duty, situations where fatal use of force was used, and all the buzz on social media regarding the Black Lives Movement.  Veronica Pozo, who works at Utah State University and helped publish this study, stated that,

“Black Lives Matter-related tweets were associated with increases in both the numbers of minorities and law enforcement officers killed. This implies that that social media can rapidly spread a negative message and act as a contagion.”

This study shows a first-hand account of how people actions on social media really can influence crime in society.  If these issues continue to be publicized in the manner they are today, there may never be a resolve with this conflict.  But that is why we must stress that news outlets not stretch the truth for a better headline, the headlines clearly can have an important influence on individuals.  This happened during the media coverage of George Zimmerman and his call to 911 before the incident with Trayvon Martin occurred. In an article posted by USA Today called “Media got Zimmerman story wrong from start” it says,

NBC News edited Zimmerman’s comments during a phone call to inaccurately suggest that he volunteered that Trayvon seemed suspicious because he was black.  In fact, Zimmerman was responding to a question (from the dispatcher) when he mentioned the teenager’s race.  The network apologized for the error”.

This case was the result of hundreds of protests that swept throughout the country in what almost seemed overnight.  This incident sparked a flame and police were afraid that it was going to be the start of more acts of violence against the police.  By the news outlets changing Zimmerman’s comments to sound racist, all it does it just anger more people and cause unnecessary mayhem.  Overall, the media should be very cautious about what they do due to the fact that their audience is so grand, telling untrue things to the majority creates uncertainty and at the end of the day gives law enforcement a bad name.  

When signing up to be a police officer, you are signing a contract taking the risk that you can lose your life anytime on the job.  Police officers pursue a job in law enforcement to protect communities so that the places they live in and the people around them are safe.  At the same time, they are regular people just like everyone and they wish to go home at the end of their shift, they don’t want to cause harm on someone for no reason.  In certain situations, things can escalate when a police officer gives an order, some people do not like being told what to do and then can lead to altercations. The number of crimes against the police have been rising compared and the numbers don’t like.  In an article named “Why are ambush killings of police on the rise?, it released the results of a mid-year report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and stated,

“That 67, federal, state, and local law enforcement officers were killed as of July 20th, 2016, up 8 percent over last year; more alarmingly, some 14 officers were fatally targeted in ambush killings, a 300 percent increase”

This report was recorded starting at the beginning of the year and already 67 officers were killed halfway through the year.  On the other hand, what is really concerning police officers is the dramatic rise in police ambush killings, a 300% percent increase will definitely get some people’s attention.  Unfortunately, line of duty deaths are something that a law enforcement agency is always going to have to deal with, it is just part of the job. All of these factors are really something we should take into consideration because it can potentially affect the future of law enforcement.  These rising numbers can potentially deter people from starting a career in law enforcement. In fact, there has been a recent drop in applicants in the United States and there are a couple reasons for this. An ABC News article called “Police face severe shortage of recruits” said that people are not attracted to “the job’s low pay, tarnished image, increasingly tougher standards for new recruits and limited job flexibility.”  Their tarnished image can only be blamed on one source, which is the media because they create the image the public sees. With all the disregard for authority nowadays, at this rate nobody is going to want to be a police officer, it only makes sense.  Therefore, as you can see by media broadcasting “lies” it sort of has a trickle down effect with crime and law enforcement. If these type of antics continue there will definitely be a major problem for law enforcement in the future.

A common misconception among the public is that the police are not allowed to make mistakes but the reality is that they are human too.  Not everyone is going to be perfect at their profession and it is normal to mess up sometimes. In fact, there are rules that back policemen and the people for mistakes made by law enforcement.  The Exclusionary Rule is a legal rule tied to the Fourth Amendment in the Constitution. In an article published by the Legal Information Institute it states,

The decision in Mapp v. Ohio established that the exclusionary rule applies to evidence gained from an unreasonable search or seizure in violation of the Fourth Amendment”.

This both protects the officer and the defendant by freeing of them of their mistakes from this situation.  The officer would probably be disciplined accordingly for violating a constitutional right and at the end of the day the officer made a mistake and they’ll learn from it. This also protects the person because they are freed of the possible charges that would have been brought upon them, the law enforcement violated their rights and they were compensated for it.  Policemen know that their mistakes can be costly but again, it’s just another thing that comes along with a career in law enforcement. When a police officer makes a mistake, it is very common in today’s society that everyone will pop out their mobile devices and start taking a video. The media tends to blow these things out of proportion and that is when things get out of hand and there is potential retaliation.   We need the media, including social media, to spread more positive things about law enforcement officers rather than the slanders that are thrown all around the internet or else there may never be a resolve in the horizon.

To conclude, there is clear evidence that the media negatively portrays to the point where they can be named as an antagonizing factor within the police and community relations. The anti-police groups that spread through social media and news companies changing information for the better headline are two prime examples of how these media outlets can negatively portray law enforcement.  There must be a stop and resolve between these two or else there is a lot of potential for things to get out of hand. At the end of the day it is clear to see who is the real “bad guy” in this situation and hopefully the right will be done and police officers can have the image they once held before.




(n.d.). Retrieved from

Adams, J. C., Belin, C., Toucas, B., Roberts, J., Brattberg, E., & Corre, P. L. (n.d.). Forget Criminals, Police Now Fear Activists and the Media. Retrieved from

Bejan, V., Hickman, M., Parkin, W. S., & Pozo, V. F. (n.d.). Primed for death: Law enforcement-citizen homicides, social media, and retaliatory violence. Retrieved from

Carlson, D. (2017, June 22). Exclusionary Rule. Retrieved from

Gramlich, J., & Parker, K. (2017, January 25). Most officers say the media treat police unfairly. Retrieved from

Libaw, O. Y. (n.d.). Police Face Severe Shortage of Recruits. Retrieved from

McLaughlin, E. C. (2015, April 21). There aren’t more police shootings, just more coverage. Retrieved from


The Real Reasons Nobody Wants To Be A Police Officer In America. (2016, June 01). Retrieved from

Retaliatory violence between police and citizens is primed by social media. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Rieder, R. (2013, July 15). Column: Media got Zimmerman story wrong from start. Retrieved from

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[. (n.d.). How Social Media Is Changing Law Enforcement. Retrieved from


Research Paper – summergirl1999

Student Debt: Success or Scam

In American society, having a college degree holds weight. Working towards a college degree shows employers that graduates are motivated to succeed. A college degree can determine many things such as, raises, well-paying careers, and most importantly success. Attending college is highly encouraged by teachers, parents, friends and other mentors that students come across on a daily basis. ‘Successful’ is a word that everyone wants to describe themselves as, and American society says that a college education is one of the steps that can help graduates move in the right direction towards success. Every person is distinct, which means personal and finical issues vary. Depending on the person, college can either be worth the time and money or not. College can benefit or draw back students, depending on the specific student. (Student A and Student C. Every student has the choice to attend college. Getting asked the question “Are you going to college?” can be challenging to face for some students. College is a consequential decision that comes with many components. College can either benefit or draw back graduates, depending on the specific student. (Student A and Student C.) A career and well-paying stable jobs in the student’s field of study is not guaranteed a college degree.

Student A, is an example of the positive benefits from attending college. Student C, is an example of the negative effects that can occur from attending college. College tuition alone is expensive, if the student wants the full ‘college experience’ which requires living on campus the tuition rises in price. Public university tuition is averaged at $25,290, and private university tuition is averaged at $50,900. Student A, went to a prestigious high school and received a great education, which resulted in scholarships. Student A, has a finically stable background and money saved, so the remainder of the tuition is not a struggle. Student C, went to an average public high school and received a decent education which resulted in no scholarships. Student C, does not have a stable finical background and a limited amount of money saved, so the price of tuition is a challenge. Student C, has to take out student loans to pay for their entire college education. Students choose to go to college so they have greater opportunity to pursue their career. Student A, chose the career that they have been fascinated with, they enjoy the career and its salary. Student C, also wants to choose the career that they have been fascinated with, but studying that specific career raises the tuition, so Student C selected another career that they do not enjoy as much but offers a suitable salary. In an article called College Data they did a study on the fluctuation of tuition depending on majors:

Students in the sciences, engineering, computing, premed programs, and the fine arts often pay more. For example, at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, students enrolled in the College of Engineering pay up to $5,000 more in tuition than students pursuing other majors.

Depending on the major the student decides to study can determine the price of tuition. Students who choose majors related to the sciences and engineering most often pay more considering the complexity of the degree.

The question “Is college worth it?” is becoming a relevant topic in today’s society. Many people believe that having a college degree is one hundred percent worth everything that is put into it. But many people also believe that the money and time that is put into a college degree is not worth it. There are many factors that go into college itself, and there are many debates on college. Students will make more money and higher salaries from attending college. Students attend college so they can make themselves more marketable to the career field, and to also make a good and stable amount of income. A member from the CBD College community states

Studies have shown that there is an average of $25,000 earnings difference between grads and non-grads… The bottom line is that pursuing a degree increases the ability to find work in the same field, increasing experience and earning potential.

Having a college degree can give a graduate the opportunity to receive higher paying salaries and stable incomes. A college degree can also give a student the potential to receive higher raises. Not every student who receives a degree gets a stable income. Student A attended college, received a degree, and found a career that had a stable salary. Student C attended college, received a degree, and found a job that offered salaries that do not pay enough to pay off student’s expenses. The push to try to make students attend college is leaving many students optioning out the “build your own business” or entrepreneurship idea, which is the idea many of the billionaires in today’s society had. An article from Seed Time, a website that focuses on education states,

25 of the top-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree and their average salaries… It is important to note that some of these jobs DO require some kind of a degree, just not a 4-year degree. As many have commented below many of the jobs do require formal training of some kind or even a two-year degree.

Many business companies seek employers that have college degree or training in the specific field.

College graduates can potentially have better employment opportunities. Students go to college so they have a high chance of getting a career in their field of study. Many college graduates (Student A), take-out loans or pay the expensive college tuition because the money they can potentially make from their careers after college is worth it. Pro Con is a website that focuses their attention on students that are indecisive about their college decision. They stated, “In Jan. 2017, the unemployment rate for college graduates aged 25 and over with a bachelor’s degree was 2.5% compared to 3.8% for those with some college or associate’s degrees, 5.3% for high school graduates, and 7.7% for high school dropouts.”

After college, graduates use their degree to get a career in their field of study that they potentially could not get if they did not go to college. Although many people get to use their degree for their benefit by obtaining their “perfect” or/and “dream” career after college (Student A), not all students get to use their degree for their benefit. Even with a college degree, after college not all graduates are able to get a career (Student C.) Many employers compare applicants to find the best fit for the job position. The work place is very competitive, potentially thousands of people can be applying for the same position. Cyrus Williams a counselor and professor at the University Virginia and featured on the news station CNBC to speak about college states,

This is a real issue unique to this generation called ‘a quarter-life crisis, struggling in terms of milestones, getting jobs, parenting, finding jobs, having too many choices, and having debt coming right out of college.

College tuition is very expensive, most college students take out student loans which they are obligated to pay back approximately six months after graduation, so not being able to get a stable, well-paying job after college can lead to major set-backs for college graduates. Graduates who do not get jobs after college are required to pay for necessities such as rent, utilities, and food. Even if graduates are not using their degree they are still obligated to pay back their student loans as soon as six months after graduation.

Student loans are not as bad as they seem. Since college tuition is outrageously expensive, most students do not have the money to pay for it. But there is a solution to that problem, to take out student loans. Students who do not have the money for college, take out loans from banks so they can attend college. Banks loan student’s money in return for the students to pay them bank monthly after the student graduates. An article from Student Loan Hero states “Monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $351. Median monthly student loan payment (for borrower aged 20 to 30 years): $203.” The goal after college is to acquire a stable career that comes with a stable salary, so the monthly student loans will become manageable for the graduate (Student A). That scenario makes attending college worth it and beneficial. On the other hand (Student C), students take out student loans from a bank for a four-year university. After college, many students cannot find a job in their field of study but they still have to pay for necessities so they are forced to get minimum wage job which pays approximately $7.25. Students attend college so they can get a career where they can earn raises and move up in the company, not a regular job. People have their own personal and finical problems, so without a steady paying career can lead graduates to make certain decisions they potentially would not make if they had stable income.

Taking out student loans are a vast factor of attending college. Students take out student loans if they do not have the money to pay for their entire college education. The process is usually simple, students calculate the full cost of their tuition, students find loaners who lend them the money to attend the college of their choice, in return after the student has graduated they are required to pay back the loans monthly with interest. Interest rates vary by the loaner, undergraduate interest rates vary are estimated at 4.45% and graduate interest rates vary around 6.00%. Students tend to find lenders with the lowest interest rates because interest rates can be a burden. An article from CNBC about millennials facing their lives after college states,

The longer you hold the loan, the more it will cost. Although the five-year plan comes with much higher monthly payments, following the 25-year plan will cost you $17,402 extra in the end. In all cases, the interest on your student loans means you’ll be paying more than what you borrowed to go to school. Even on the shortest payment plan, you’d be forking over $3,704 more than you originally received.

Student A, has scholarships and money saved so they only borrow a small amount of money in loans. Student C is not finically stable, they have to borrow almost their full college tuition in student loans to pay off their education.

Student debt is a huge matter in America, it is one of the top leading and most popular debts that America encounters. An article from Money Watch states, “For the 2013-14 school year, the government sank $126 billion into undergraduate student aid.” Education is important, many students and graduates are finding it challenging to call the college tuition prices reasonable. An article from Student Debt: Lives on Hold is focused on the recent studies of college they state, “Fewer know that growing alongside 42 million indebted students is a formidable private industry that has been enriched by those very loans.” Steele is sarcastically stating the large population of Americans that have student loans. Depending on the university attended and the money granted, the amount of student debt per-person fluctuates. Leaving some graduates in more challenging situations than others. Jackie Krowen is a nurse from Portland, Oregon who encountered a student loan balance of $152,000. “I feel I kind of ruined my life by going to college, a nurse with a student loan balance of $152,000. I can’t plan for an actual future.” Krowen encountered such a massive amount of debt, her student loan debt is causing her to be hesitant about her future.

The enormous amount of student debt is delaying American society, and affecting personal lives. An article from Forbes magazine about student debt affecting today’s society states,

More student loan debt means some kids are starting households later and moving from renting to ownership later than their parents did, which ripples throughout the economy—so when you don’t form a household, you delay when would purchase a car, furniture, appliances and utilities.

Many graduates are postponing or limiting purchases on common expenses and utilities, because they need to save enough to have the monthly payment. Students attend college to struggle less and be finically free. A report from “Life Delayed” by the American Student Assistance, did research and conducted surveys on graduates that encountered student debt. “According to the survey, 62 percent of respondents said their student debt posed a hardship on their personal budget when combined with all other household spending.” Having a college diploma should come with great honor and relief, for all of the hard work and time. College loans were originally put into place so more people would have the opportunity to farther their education. But now low and middle-income students are reconsidering college due to the loans. Along with college, loans were put into place to help students no matter their financial background have the opportunity to attend college.

When college graduates apply for careers, most careers look at what college the graduate attended, college recognition. Student A graduated from Harvard University as a chemistry and physics major. Harvard University is one of the most prestigious colleges in America, and has recognition. Harvard Universities tuition is $63,025. Student C graduated from South Texas College also as a chemistry and physics major. The tuition at South Texas College is $11,892. Although South Texas College has good reviews and is a college it does not have the same recognition as Harvard University. If Student A and Student C both applied for a job for chemistry and physics, Student A would most likely get the job. The Atlantic magazine wrote an article about types of schools and wages. They stated,

The rankings, it turned out, mattered a great deal. The more elite a school, the better its alums’ paychecks. The effect also increased over time. Among students who had graduated high school in 1980, those who had gone on to a top private university eventually made 20 percent more than their counterparts from bottom tier public school. For the class of 1972, the wage boost was just 9 percent.

Graduates that come out of college with a degree are still not guaranteed a job in the field that they studied nor guaranteed a high paying career right away. Although students attend college so they can have a higher chance – or even a chance at all at pursuing a career, the career is not always guaranteed. After college, it is almost essential for graduates that go out in the real world to have a steady career to pay for all of their expenses, beyond what they owe on their student loans. A reading from The Boston Globe gives insight about the education system, “If we tell our young people that more education leads to higher earnings, we are not telling the whole truth. Higher education will increase the chances of a well-paying job, but there is no guarantee.” Loan companies usually give graduates a six-month courtesy period to get themselves organized and ready to pay back their student loans. It is not the universities nor the degrees fault for not being able to seek a job, there are just more college graduates than there are careers. Another quote from The Boston Globe states, “The number of jobs paying what college graduates expect depends on the needs of employers. That number will not increase because there are more graduates.” Loan companies do not have high concern about the personal or financial situations that graduates may be in after they finish college, loan companies main concern is getting their money returned to them. A website titled “Money Crashers” was featured on CNN, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. The website gives useful tips and helpful advice for graduates that cannot find a steady career. “Stay positive, reduce your cost of living, move back home, and put yourself on a budget.” One of the main reasons students attend college is for the reassurance that they will be finically stable. Job popularity can have an effect on graduates not being able to find careers. A reading from The Washington Post speaks about many students going to college and earning a degree but cannot find a job. They state, “At a median wage of $83,580 a year, the occupation with the fastest projected job growth, industrial-organizational psychologists, pays well. But, there’s not much demand for this type of psychologist.” Graduates may have degrees in professions that are not so popular anymore which also means less jobs.

Student A went to a prestigious college, got a career in their trained field, paid off their little amount in student debt and just bought a house. Student C went to an average college and could not find a job right after gradation so they had to get a job at a Target so they can pay off their necessities (rent, food, utilities, and personal purchases.)  Six months after Student C graduated college, they needed to start paying off their student loans, which can be a huge inconvenience and challenge because Student C is making an average of $9.33 an hour.

It is hard enough for graduates to deal with the amount of debt they are in themselves, but people have personal problems that can make it more challenging. The Denver Post states,

Millions of college graduates who saw a degree as their ticket to a good-paying career and a secure life are working in jobs that do not require their education or even a high school diploma, sometimes leaving them with small wages to pay thousands in student debt, according to a new study.

For Student A, college was worth it because, they had enough financial stability to choose a prestigious college that cost $63,025. Also, because Student A got a career in their field with a steady salary right after college which helped pay off their student loans. For Student C, college was not worth it because although they have a college degree they could not find a stable job. Since Student C took out student loans they are still obligated to pay back their student loans.

Education is what makes the world go around. It holds so much complexity and value and can structure a person’s life. The choice to attend college is a decision that most students have to face. College Attending college is a choice that is given to everyone. Attending college and having a college degree has its benefits and values. The choice to not go to college also has its benefits and values, it gives a person the opportunity to think outside the box. Both decisions take believing, motivation, and effort. The rise of college tuition and student debt is affecting the personal and finical lives of college graduates and the United States economy. Student debt is impacting many lives of college graduates.

Reference Page

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Ha, L. (2017, September 15). For some freshly minted college graduates, a reckoning with a ‘quarter-life crisis’. Retrieved March 17, 2018, from

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Nykiel, T. (2018, April 02). Student Loan Interest Rates: Federal, Private, Refinancing. Retrieved January 18, 2018, from

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Peterson-Withorn, C. (2014, July 30). How Today’s Student Loan Debt Is Failing Future Generations. Retrieved February 17, 2018, from

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9 BENEFITS OF EARNING A COLLEGE DEGREE. (2016, December 09). Retrieved February 17, 2018, from


In America alone, another instance of sexual violence occurs every few minutes. Astonishingly, as reported by The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS), which was conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Approximately 1 in 5 women in the U.S. (19.1% or an estimated 22,992,000 women) experienced rape at some point in life.” This stems from, among other things, a lack of understanding as to what rape is, because no one knows what it is.

In the article, “The Latest: Cosby jury ends Day 1 without a verdict” by the Associated Press, the jury asks the judge what consent is:

The jury returned to a suburban Philadelphia courtroom less than two hours into its deliberations to ask for the legal definition of consent. Judge Steve O’Neill said he wasn’t able to answer it, telling jurors they’ve already been given the definitions of the charges they are considering.

It’s frightening to consider that even judges, the people we put in charge of determining criminal charges, don’t know what consent is. Although rape has existed since the beginning of humanity, and continues to exist worldwide, it does not have a standard, universal definition. Even within one country, and within the same system of government, the definition varies.

The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape as,

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

The FBI’s definition of rape as defined by the Department of Justice is,

Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website defines “sexual violence,”

 Sexual violence is defined as a sexual act committed against someone without that person’s freely given consent.

These are only a few of the myriad of existing definitions, but they illustrate just how different rape is based on the agency that is considering it. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients.  It would be difficult to argue that any one of these definitions is wrong, because there is no proof of a “right” definition. It is not the responsibility of simple observers of this phenomenon to provide the “right” definition.

Governments have struggled with the question of how to define rape since their beginning. In around 1780 B.C., laws stated that rape of a virgin was property damage against her father. In 1290, women who became pregnant from rape were not raped. In the 1300s, whether or not a woman was raped was affected by how promiscuous the woman was; a sexually active woman’s charges were less legitimate. After the 1300s, girls younger than 12 could not consent. In 1670, it was concluded that a man can legally rape his wife, because the marriage contract forfeited his wife’s right to consent. In 1814, it was decided once again that rape could be determined by pregnancy. In the 19th century, it was agreed that if the woman did not actively resist her rapist, she was not raped.

More inclusive definitions of rape have been created over time; the FBI’s definition listed above, for example, is an update from a older and less encompassing definition. Yet despite having a number of more inclusive definitions, we are still far from perfect in determining what sexual contexts can be characterized by these definitions. This is clear in the case of Bill Cosby’s retrial for the alleged sexual assault of Andrea Constand. The article, “Bill Cosby’s Defense and Its Twisted Argument About Consent,” by Jia Tolentino, states,

Everyone agrees that, on the night in question, Cosby invited Constand over to his home; that he gave her three pills; that he digitally penetrated her without obtaining any sort of affirmative consent; that he left her passed-out body on the couch and went to bed.

This case is demonstrative of the power of terminology; according to the FBI’s definition, this situation is clearly rape: “Penetration, no matter how slight…without the consent of the victim.” Yet the entire argument of Cosby’s defense is not that he did not commit this act, but rather that it was in a “romantic” context, that Constand was lying as to the nature of her and Cosby’s relationship, that there was full consent given in the situation in question. However, regardless of whether or not the relationship was romantic, Constand was unconscious at the time of the penetration and therefore could not give consent, which is rape by all three aforementioned definitions above. The refusal to call the situation what it was according to the definitions of several reputable sources-rape-has allowed Cosby’s defense to formulate an argument that is at best absurd and at worst completely wrong. However, the nature of the definition of rape is that it will always be different based on who is defining it. If the legal system rules that in romantic contexts, penetration of an unconscious partner is in fact consensual, the system has merely created another definition of rape, which cannot be considered wrong, only different. In such a case, if Cosby could prove that his relationship with Constand was “romantic,” he would be innocent of that definition of rape.

Another case, that of former NFL cheerleader Kristan Ware, illustrates this same confusion of terminology that leads to ambiguity in consent. It is never specifically outlined that to be an NFL cheerleader, a girl must be open to sexual objectification, sexual harassment and molestation. Yet the situation of Kristan Ware conveys that our culture expects just that; the article “Another Former N.F.L. Cheerleader Files a Complaint,” by John Branch, states,

Ware said some Dolphins cheerleading coaches mocked her after other cheerleaders learned that she was a virgin, planning to wait for marriage to have sex. At a 2016 rehearsal for a fashion show at which cheerleaders modeled bikinis, Ware claims, she was dressed with angel wings — something Ware believes was a poke at her virginity — and then physically grabbed and verbally harangued by Grogan as she exited the runway.

If this response is expected, accepted even, then the NFL should create its own definition of consent. This new definition would state something similar to, “In accepting the job of cheerleader in the NFL, a female consents to the receipt of all forms of sexual language and sexual touching.”

Granted, the definitions created in this paper would likely never be adopted by any institution, but they serve to demonstrate how even the most clear situations can be skewed with unclear language. Because the legal system has not altered the definition of rape to exclude “romantic contexts,” it should be clear that by the existing scholarly definitions, Cosby has committed rape, yet actors in the criminal justice system still struggle with their determinations. It should also be clear that because the NFL has no contract explicitly stating that cheerleaders consent to “sexual language and sexual touching,” Ware’s case was one of illegal sexual harassment. Unfortunately, the number of definitions of consent and rape in existence serve to further confuse an already difficult concept.

If we start with radically different premises of what the definition of rape is, then we end up with radically different data. Wikipedia itself admits, “Data on the prevalence of rape vary greatly depending on what definition of rape is used.” This is why the number of reported rape cases varies so greatly between the different sources.

As a result of disparate definitions for rape, data are dissimilar. In the same year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence,” while the FBI accounted for only 85,593 incidents of “rape.” If the two had used the same terminology, or if the words, “sexual violence,” and “rape,” shared the same definition, they may have attained very similar numbers. But despite such an enormous difference in number between the two agencies, it can’t be said that either count is wrong.

Until a definition of rape is standardized and universalized, this trend will continue, and none of the statistics across the board will agree with each other. As it stands, few conclusions can be drawn from data, unless we choose to use only one source, with one definition, for our conclusions. Unless we achieve the universal definition, we will never come close to knowing just how many cases of rape truly exist in any given year. However, it is unlikely that such a definition of rape would ever come about, because of the differences in all of the institutions that define rape. The Bureau of Justice Statistics defines rape to provide a count for the number of instances a crime has occurred. The FBI defines rape to explain under what circumstances a crime has been committed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define rape to provide better assistance to their patients. Each agency has entirely different interests in its definition for rape, and a universal definition may not best serve the needs of each agency. Take, for example, if the FBI’s definition of “penetration, no matter how slight,” was used for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A person seeking mental health services for “attempted forced penetration,” which would be included in the CDC’s definition, is excluded from the FBI’s definition. The FBI’s definition would therefore be ineffective for the CDC to accommodate all of its patients.

The unreported nature of rape furthers the preexisting disparity in statistics. Some victims are more likely to report the crime than others. This is clear in an article that cites the Department of Justice’s statistics- “New DOJ Data On Sexual Assaults: College Students Are Actually Less Likely To Be Victimized,” by the Federalist Staff, compares the numbers from DOJ statistics and attempts to prove that non-students are more likely to be raped than students. It states,

The full study, which was published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, a division within DOJ, found that rather than one in five female college students becoming victims of sexual assault, the actual rate is 6.1 per 1,000 students, or 0.61 percent (instead of 1-in-5, the real number is 0.03-in-5). For non-students, the rate of sexual assault is 7.6 per 1,000 people.

However, within the article itself, it admits that, “Unfortunately, according to data from the BJS study, a huge percentage of sexual assaults — upwards of 80 percent for female college students — go unreported, and students who are victimized are far less likely to report the crime than are non-student victims.” It even goes so far as to list that 80% of students do not report rape, compared to 67% of non-students that do not report rape. If students are so much less likely than non-students to report rape, than how can it possibly be determined that non-students are more frequently victims of the crime? The data can be trusted to prove neither that students are more often victims of rape nor that non-students are. In addition, the accuracy of the percentages must be called into question as well; the rapes that are not reported can only be counted through surveys, which may include a greater number of circumstances than police reports. This contributes to increasingly skewed data.

The article, “This Rape Infographic Is Going Viral. Too Bad It’s Wrong.” by Amanda Marcotte seeks to point out the shortcomings of an infograph displaying rape data. Dylan Matthews at the Washington Post published the infographic, created by the Enliven Project, that Marcotte’s article analyzes:

The article notes, “The graphic assumes one-rape-per-rapist,” “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” and “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” The impact of unintentionally misinterpreting the data is that it may be further misinterpreted; as the article points out,

Nearly one in five women have been raped, according to the latest substantive government numbers, and infographics like this might make people conclude therefore that one in five men is a rapist. In reality, a much smaller (though still troubling) number—an estimated 6 percent of men—are rapists. Your average rapist stacks up six victims. That’s hard to capture in an infographic, but could be clearer by just labeling the little dudes ‘rapes’ instead of ‘rapists.’

The second stated error with this particular graphic, that “The graphic overestimates the number of unreported rapes,” explains that, “It’s hard to measure how many rapes go unreported, because, duh, unreported.” The article suggests that we use “government numbers” to make the number of unreported rapes more accurate; the only problem with this suggestion is that even the government numbers cannot be trusted because they immensely disagree with each other. Finally, the article mentions, “The graphic overestimates the number of false accusations.” It explains that combining data and assuming that it can be summarized accurately is another way to horribly misinterpret data; the article states,

The problem is that the Enliven Project conflates ‘false reports,’ which only require the claim that a crime has happened, with ‘false accusations,’ which require fingering a supposed perpetrator.

These seemingly minor misrepresentations can result in incredibly inaccurate data; if the original numbers cannot even be trusted, the conclusions drawn from a combination of those numbers, which are not counting the same definition to begin with, are even more inaccurate.

Not only do these differing definitions produce different statistics, but also, the data can only measure rapes that are reported; they can say nothing about the rapes that aren’t reported. Even with the standardized and universalized definition of rape previously mentioned, we would still be unable to achieve completely accurate statistics. To do so, we would need to ensure that every case of rape is reported, and the data would start there, not accounting for previous years where this was not the case. If this was somehow possible, the data could then be trusted.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would argue that it can accurately and reliably account for 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website even outlines a number of specific circumstances that fall under its definition of “sexual violence,” namely:

Completed or attempted forced penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated penetration of a victim, Completed or attempted forced acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Completed or attempted alcohol/drug-facilitated acts in which a victim is made to penetrate a perpetrator or someone else, Non-physically forced penetration which occurs after a person is pressured verbally or through intimidation or misuse of authority to consent or acquiesce, Unwanted sexual contact, Non-contact unwanted sexual experiences.

This definition is clear and indisputable; instances of sexual violence can easily be determined on its basis. Statistics can be generated based on the rape counted by this definition.

But the clarity of the definition isn’t the problem; the problem is that there are many more definitions than this one by the CDC. Each definition is just as likely to be reliable when compared to itself, but equally unreliable when compared to others. Any data that sums up rape and draws conclusions using a variety of different sources is inaccurate, because the different sources are not even counting the same thing. CDC’s “sexual violence” is different than the FBI’s “forcible rape,” or simply “rape,” which is also different from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ “Forced sexual intercourse.” An additional problem arises when people attempt to count the CDC’s 1.3 million incidents of “sexual violence” as rape and compare it as such; the CDC includes in its definition instances of “unwanted sexual contact” that may not require penetration, which makes it astronomically different from the BJS’s and the FBI’s definitions. Wikipedia explains the problem in its own terms even as it reports rape data in its article titled “Rape Statistics,”

Inconsistent definitions of rape, different rates of reporting, recording, prosecution and conviction for rape create controversial statistical disparities, and lead to accusations that many rape statistics are unreliable or misleading. In some jurisdictions, male-female rape is the only form of rape counted in the statistics. Countries may not define forced sex on a spouse as “rape.”

The disparity in definitions often results from differences among agencies. The CDC is concerned with defining rape as it relates to public health, while the FBI is concerned with defining rape in relation to crime. If patients report rape to the CDC seeking medical attention, the CDC is unlikely to discount the patients’ claims of rape. Thus, the number of counted instances of sexual violence may be higher simply because the patients may consider a broader definition of rape, which the CDC inadvertently adopts by accepting patients’ claims. The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) asks very specific questions related to rape that suggest a narrower consideration of circumstances that constitute rape. The BJS’s National Crime Victimization Survey 1 asks its participants,

Have you been forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity by:

(a) Someone you didn’t know before
(b) A casual acquaintance
(c) Someone you know well

The survey does not include the BJS’s definition of rape, or any examples of situations that would fall under its category of “forced or coerced,” “unwanted sexual activity.” Participants may underreport their instances of rape simply because they do not understand which situations fall under this category. The BJS is concerned with counting rape only to understand how many instances of crime are unreported, not to charge a person with the crime or to improve the victim’s health. This led to the simplified, “forced or coerced to engage in unwanted sexual activity” definition in its survey. This is radically different from its specific, official definition on its website:

Forced sexual intercourse including both psychological coercion and physical force. Forced sexual intercourse means vaginal, anal, or oral penetration by the offender(s). This category also includes incidents where the penetration is from a foreign object, such as a bottle. Includes attempted rape, male and female victims, and both heterosexual and same sex rape. Attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape.

Because agencies that define rape have entirely different considerations in their definitions, they utilize different terminology, account for different numbers, and come up with different statistics. Attempting to summarize data from several different agencies will only result in inaccurate data.



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