We reported last week about the so-called fight club involving high school students in Calallen, and a local psychologist spoke to us about the effects this kind of behavior can have on young men.
At least one local psychologist says that, when young men particularly take part in that kind of violent behavior, it can lead to a long-term acceptance of violence as a normal part of life.
"Throughout history, males and adolescent males in particular, there's been some degree of acceptance, even at times aggressive behavior is not only accepted, it can be revered," Psychiatrist Troy Martinez said. "At the same time it can also be despised and criminalized."
Martinez has testified in many criminal cases in Nueces County, and says physical aggression at an early age can sometimes lead to criminal behavior in adulthood.
"We're never going to extinguish aggression," Martinez said. "That's part of the human nature. But there must be some type of mechanism in place to develop pro-social, healthy, mature and wise, adults; older adolescent into adulthood. That's got to be present, and to me that's the greatest risk of these types of fight clubs, at least, in the way that I've seen them."
Dr. Martinez said the most effective intervention starts in the home and then is reinforced in the schools.