Moral panic Essay

Moral panic is defined as a process wherein the members of the society and the culture become more aggressive to the challenges and changes to their accepted values and ways of life. It can also be defined as treat to the society and values of the people. The persons who are usually responsible for this treat are called folk-devils which are classified as deviants and also stereotyped. There are three proposed theories that can be accounted for outbreaks of moral panics: grassroots, elite-engineered, and interest group theories.

Moral panics are usually energized by the medias and can sometimes lead to exaggerations and misinterpretations by the viewers and can divert into misleading information.

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During the 1980s, incidences of crack cocaine, child sexual abuse, juvenile Satanism, sex and violence in rock lyrics, and serial murder increased. Crack cocaine really emerged especially during mid-80s until the late-80s(Ben-Yehuda, 1994). Many people in this period are really engaged in using this illegal drug. This decade really witnessed a highly increase in public concern regarding drug use and abuse and was then exaggerated because of the news reported by the medias at this period.

During the late 1980s, drug use and abuse emerged and became the major social problem that time. Of course, as cocaine became the major social problem, there are many effects that can bring to the public. The brain is the usually targeted organ of every illegal drug, including cocaine, and if the effect of this drug comes in effect, the person involved can no longer think well. This is the time that he or she has the capacity to make and commit crime like murdering, juvenile Satanism, and child sexual abuse. The mind of the people then is so pre-occupied with all the things happening around them in which they were unable to think well. As a reason, they were just engaged in composing explicit rock music that primarily composed of sex and violent lyrics. Furthermore, laws during this period have not much strength to charge the violators of such acts. That is why, during the 1990s, these cases have been declined, if not totally eradicated, due to a more strict punishments to the perpetuator.

In our society, parents should automatically are the one responsible for proper upbringing of their child. And proper care is important for the development of the child’s physical and emotional state. Child abduction panic simply means these are the children who were not given proper love, care, nurturing, and attention from his parents causing him both physical and emotional trauma. These children that grow up without proper guidance and nurturing usually become less confident about them and since they have no good foundation during their childhood, they easily tend to do bad things when they grow old.

Stalking panic in the other way means creating fear to the person being stalked and sometimes causes harm to her. Women are the usual victims of stalking and this only shows that most stalkers are men. It is believed that stalkers are above average in intelligence; the only problem is that they are usually psychologically immature and socially poor adjusted to the society which means they cannot sometimes think well and can commit crime to the person they stalking.

Child abduction panic and stalking panic is somewhat related to each other in the sense that it is formed due to lack of love and attention from other people which should come first from the family. And these two are also related since they can cause bad effects in the society leading to several cases of crimes and illegal acts.

In contrast, these two were formed in a different reasons, for child abduction panic it is during the growing years of childhood were it can start without the proper support for the child’s development. On the other hand, stalking panic traces its root from admiration of a man to a woman for instance, that become unhealthy because the simple admiration pushes the man to commit crime maybe due to sexual abuse. As a conclusion, society has given us many choices in life; it’s just a matter of using it in a good manner. Panic itself in a long run is not good; it’s matter of overcoming it. Whatever the type of panic it is, either child abduction or stalking, the key is prevent the root that causing it and make a good foundation.

Ben-Yehuda, E. G. N. (1994). The American Drug Panic of the 1980s [Electronic Version]. Retrieved March 12, 2007 from

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