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Violence Natural?

by Peter Davison
Published in the Daily News, October 1993

To the Editor,
Your columnist Peter March's claims that, "fighting and killing are a perfectly natural things for young men to do" (October 7, 1993) is a dangerous denial of serious solutions to social problems that cannot go unchallenged. Reducing the complex webs of human interactions and human institutions to be subject solely to biological law is a mockery of our ability to control our lives and our future.
This same narrow thinking would have us believe that famine is caused by "lack of food" or war is caused by the "stresses of overcrowding". Indeed, to extend this theory to its logical conclusion, as Hitler did, then Arayan's could be the "superior race".
For Mr. March to seriously explore biological law on the pages of your paper and propose that young aggressive males be dealt with by using hormonal therapy is offensive.
Teachers like myself, parents or anyone else working with today's youth to teach them about healthy relationships are acutely aware of the intense barrage of violent images and role models generated in our society under the guise of profit or entertainment.
We learn to use violence like we learn sexism or racism. Attitudes are not natural nor genetically determined. Unfortunately, as long as Mr. March's shallow analysis obscures real dialogue on the issue we will not learn to look at the real causes and solutions to societies failure to promote peace or safety.

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