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Thread: Teen on trial for goading and urging her boyfriend to commit suicide

  1. #226
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by debergerac View Post
    For me, this girl is not some unknowable evil. And I think it's a mistake to view her thus. When the case was first reported, it was horrifying, shocking. What on earth could move someone to such callous disregard for the life of a loved one?

    It was really easy to think of her as a monster until I still doing the math. Fifteen when they met, 18 months of dating a suicidal teen. I don't know whether this girl is a psychopath or just troubled. I don't know whether or not jail will benefit her. I've no particular opinion on the verdict. What I do believe most strongly, is that this case demonstrates the importance of remembering that children are not capable of adult relationships and that they need to be monitored.
    Teens may not be as mature as people in their twenties or older, and they certainly should be monitored by their parents until they are "of age," but they're not exactly children either (the term adolescent, teen or young adult are more commonly used for a reason). During many times and places in history, teens were considered old enough to marry, or to be sent off to war, and to assume many adult responsibilities before the age of 18.

    It's complicated, of course, because in the old days, the age of majority was even older (21, sometimes later) than it is now. But teens were treated like people who had many of the risks and responsibilities of adulthood without all the rights (well, teenage girls wouldn't have adult rights, even when they were fully adult).

    This may not have always been in their best interest, and many probably messed up, but the overwhelming majority of teens who are in romantic relationships do not do what this girl did. And even if teens are kept on a very short leash and not allowed to ever be alone with friends or romantic interests (which is, I think, pretty extreme parenting, even by current standards), they can do a lot of harassing, bullying, threatening and so on via the internet and texting.

    I do agree that teens shouldn't be tried as adults (though the legal systems in most states seem to disagree with me), because their brains aren't fully mature and they still have poorer impulse control and socialization than they will in a few years, and they tend to lack the perspective to deal with toxic experiences or environments. I know some people who had rough adolescences, where they did some very questionable things, and some who were really unpleasant people (to put it mildly), who turned out to be decent, empathetic and law-abiding adults.

    Still, this girl's behavior does not strike me as a variation of normal. Should she go to an adult prison and spend years behind bars with hardened criminals? I don't think so, because this would destroy any chance she might have of being rehabilitated. But there should still be consequences and treatment for whatever it is that led her to want her boyfriend to commit suicide so badly.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 06-19-2017 at 10:00 AM.
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  2. #227
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Iguana View Post
    @cornflake. I'm not sure if it's exactly what you're expressing interest in, but the "disinhibition effect" of online/not-in-person interactions is pretty well-studied and google-able. (It comes up in two topics I tend to read about, suicide prevention and online harassment.)
    Sorry, I know that's been studied, but as far as I know, the actual relationship to parallels hasn't, like pen pals. People attribute it to online interaction, as it's removed, but so were other forms of communication. We're studying it now because it's known now -- but I don't know that it's necessarily that much more prevalent than before under similar, or even differing circumstances, if you see what I mean.

    Quote Originally Posted by debergerac View Post
    Whoops, you're right. I jumped ahead of myself I intended to write, "my friend of mine told me about the biochemical (or do I mean bioneural?) comparisons researchers have made when it comes to the amount of changes occurring in the body, during both stages of life. I didn't find that particular study. Though I did find some articles which either drew direct comparisons between the two stages of life (on a social level) or detailed the challenges of each stage individually. You might do some digging around as I did and draw your own conclusions."
    Yeah, I was trying to write too fast earlier.
    There are life changes at many stages. Doesn't mean we need to watch teens like toddlers. The kids in question were what, 16, 17? That's not an age that needs constant parental oversight, imo; I don't think that's helpful or healthy, though obviously ymmv. The entire idea that that age is one needing anything like the kind of parental oversight we indulge in in the U.S. is very, very new.

  3. #228
    reading all the things Anna Iguana's Avatar
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    I don't know, cornflake. I'm not sure how well your impression meshes with existing data. For example, written vs. voice communications, long-distance, have been measured to have quite different levels of disinhibition (see, e.g., Lester & Rogers, Crisis Intervention and Counseling by Telephone and the Internet).
    Last edited by Anna Iguana; 06-19-2017 at 11:03 AM.

  4. #229
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anna Iguana View Post
    Cornflake, it would help me if you could cite a source for what you've called true "as far as you know." It doesn't fit with data I've seen. For example, written vs. voice communications, long-distance, have been measured to have quite different levels of disinhibition (see, e.g., Lester & Rogers, Crisis Intervention and Counseling by Telephone and the Internet).
    As far as I know, and I just looked around and couldn't find a study, though it wasn't the most thorough search goodness knows, there hasn't been research into the same types of things done by, say, letter. Pen pal catfishing, that sort of thing. I looked at the reference, but it's a book discussing counseling techniques, so I don't quite know what the takeaway I'm meant to get there is. That there's different disinhibition in studies over the phone or Internet doesn't mean people didn't do the same things before. If there's increased disinhibition from, say, face to voice, and from voice to online, that doesn't mean, necessarily, that the number of actions would increase, as opposed to any distress decreasing. I don't know.

    Same as I don't know if there was a ton of pen pal catfishing. Catfishing, bullying, much more visible now, same as shark attacks and child abduction. Doesn't mean it's more prevalent. Because people in studies show increased disinhibition online doesn't either -- could, but I don't know, because I don't know what happened before. If a difference in disinhibition is responsible for an increase now, would it not have been from face to letter to telephone or whatever? There were fewer other things to do. I don't know, nor do I know if anyone has done any study looking into it.

  5. #230
    Heckuva good sport frimble3's Avatar
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    No other form of interaction is as easy to hide, and as immediate.
    A person can sit in plain sight at home, or in public, and tap away, texting or sending e-mails to others. Whether it's casual chatting, death-threats or vicious insults is hard to tell unless someone actually looks at the little screen.
    As for snail-mail, well, there's the 'snail' factor.
    It's hard to impulsively send threats or insults when it'll take a few days, at least, to get there. Nonsensical to write, address, stamp and mail half-a-dozen a day, while social media can harass someone with near constant updates. And, with luck, they will be driven to reply, which will give the sender even more personalized material to work with. A half-way competent bully will home in on what their victim seems most sensitive about.
    Yet, unlike telephones or Skype or such, they can polish their venom, work each word for maximum effect, while reducing the chance that their victim can discover anything about them.

  6. #231
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    There are life changes at many stages. Doesn't mean we need to watch teens like toddlers. The kids in question were what, 16, 17? That's not an age that needs constant parental oversight, imo; I don't think that's helpful or healthy, though obviously ymmv. The entire idea that that age is one needing anything like the kind of parental oversight we indulge in in the U.S. is very, very new.
    Well, not for women from "nice" families so much, and not for couples who are "courting." Chaperoning was the norm. Overall, young women in western cultures had very little social freedom before marriage until the later part of the 20th century (though there have been differences across times and places, of course). Even women's college dorms were locked up like vaults and the women had to check out to go on dates before the 70s. My mom had to get special permission to live off campus when she went to UC Berkeley in the late 50s, and she was 20-21 at the time! Young men, of course, were often allowed to "experiment" with women who weren't considered "nice," and were allowed to whoop it up and engage in risky behavior with their friends.

    I think the idea that adolescence is a completely modern concept is a bit overstated. "Teenager" is a relatively new word, but terms like "stripling" and "youth" have been around for a while. And while the idea of teens as a special marketing niche is only as old as our modern advertising-driven culture, the concept of young people rebelling against their parents or embracing behaviors and fashions that older people disapprove of is not new.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...ins/dobbs-text

    Working-class teens were expected to work and were sometimes even married young, but they didn't tend to have a lot of autonomy and weren't always setting up their own households. They often lived with extended family and didn't become heads of their houses until their elders died. And through much of history, the age of majority (for men--the concept didn't apply so much to women until fairly recently) was later than it is today.

    The notion that most or all girls were married by their mid teens (and teen mothers) before modern times is also not accurate. Boys who were apprenticed often couldn't marry until they were journeymen, at least, and this took them into their twenties as well. Their lives tended to be very supervised and proscribed. Education (for the classes that benefited from it), often took boys into their late teens or early 20s as well.

    I think most people knew that teenagers weren't completely mature, physically or socially, or capable of making the kinds of judgements that older adults did, and they knew that it takes a while to learn skills and a profession.

    However, I agree that teenagers aren't children in the sense that the word is used legalistically. They're generally sexual beings who experience deep emotional attachments to their peers and romantic partners, even if their impulse control is erratic and they lack the experience or perspective to always make the best decisions (though there's a huge amount of variation there as well and some young adults are amazingly wise and mature).

    The time spent being educated and socializing with their peers, including their first romantic attachments, are very important, imo. Keeping teens under lock and key will only push the period of clueless floundering back a few years. The difference between a 17-year-old "legal child" and 18-year-old (legal adult in most respects) is not that great, and launching a bunch of sheltered and inexperienced young adults into the world isn't a great thing either. I think modern parents tend to err too much in the direction of sheltering, actually.

    It would be nice if parents, teachers and counselors always spotted the signs of serious depression or toxic relationships, but I think the behavior of this young woman was very much outside of the teenage norm.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 06-19-2017 at 11:53 PM.
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  7. #232
    Rewriting My Destiny Cyia's Avatar
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    The entire idea that that age is one needing anything like the kind of parental oversight we indulge in in the U.S. is very, very new.
    Hardly. Until the last century or so, couples were never allowed to be alone until after they were married. Look up "bundling," which was a kind of courtship "cuddling" allowed in cold weather. They'd literally put the guy and girl into bed, cover them in a quilt, then SEW IT SHUT, WITH A LINE STITCHED BETWEEN THEM. Or, if they were progressive, they could make do with a board or sack of grain between them. There's also the idea of "keep one foot on the floor" while making out.

  8. #233
    All about that action, boss. ElaineA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    It would be nice if parents spotted the signs of serious depression or toxic relationships, but I think the behavior of this young woman was very much outside of the teenage norm.
    Just to be crystal clear for people maybe new to this case or the thread (not implying your statement is in error, Roxxsmom), Conrad's parents were WELL aware of his fight with depression and had been actively doing what they could to help him. Carter targeted that in a text exchange in the final days leading up to his suicide, to assuage Conrad's worry about how they would feel:

    Roy: I'm just to sensitive. I want my family to know there was nothing they could do. I am entrapped in my own thoughts

    Roy: like no I would be happy if they had no guilt about it. because I have a bad feeling tht this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents/sisters"

    Carter: I think your parents know you're in a really bad place. Im not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can accept it. They know there's nothing they can do, they've tried helping, everyone's tried. But there's a point that comes where there isn't anything anyone can do to save you, not even yourself, and you've hit that point and I think your parents know you've hit that point. You said you're mom saw a suicide thing on your computer and she didn't say anything. I think she knows it's on your mind and she's prepared for it

    Carter:Everyone will be sad for a while, but they will get over it and move on. They won't be in depression I won't let that happen. They know how sad you are and they know that you're doing this to be happy, and I think they will understand and accept it. They'll always carry u in their hearts
    Last edited by ElaineA; 06-20-2017 at 12:03 AM.
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  9. #234
    No, you're the grease monkey. Fruitbat's Avatar
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    This girl obviously knew exactly what she was doing when she repeatedly prodded her boyfriend to kill himself until he did so. She then checked with his family to see if she was in the clear, and tried to get public sympathy over his death. I doubt this is a way of thinking that someone would likely grow out of. I think she's just a sociopath. It would be interesting to know if she showed signs of it at an earlier age.
    Last edited by Fruitbat; 06-20-2017 at 05:27 AM.
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  10. #235
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fruitbat View Post
    This girl obviously knew exactly what she was doing when she repeatedly prodded her boyfriend to kill himself until he did so. She then checked with his family to see if she was in the clear, and tried to get public sympathy over his death. I doubt this is a way of thinking that someone would likely grow out of. I think she's just a sociopath. It would be interesting to know if she showed signs of it at an earlier age.
    I am not really clear what her motivation was, but it almost seems like she wanted him to kill himself so that she could get public sympathy. Some sort of weird variation of Munchausen by proxy. And I agree, this is not normal for her age and not something she would grow out of. If she hadn't been caught, she might have gone on to hurt more people for attention.
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  11. #236
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  12. #237
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roxxsmom View Post
    Well, not for women from "nice" families so much, and not for couples who are "courting." Chaperoning was the norm. Overall, young women in western cultures had very little social freedom before marriage until the later part of the 20th century (though there have been differences across times and places, of course). Even women's college dorms were locked up like vaults and the women had to check out to go on dates before the 70s. My mom had to get special permission to live off campus when she went to UC Berkeley in the late 50s, and she was 20-21 at the time! Young men, of course, were often allowed to "experiment" with women who weren't considered "nice," and were allowed to whoop it up and engage in risky behavior with their friends.

    I think the idea that adolescence is a completely modern concept is a bit overstated. "Teenager" is a relatively new word, but terms like "stripling" and "youth" have been around for a while. And while the idea of teens as a special marketing niche is only as old as our modern advertising-driven culture, the concept of young people rebelling against their parents or embracing behaviors and fashions that older people disapprove of is not new.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/20...ins/dobbs-text

    Working-class teens were expected to work and were sometimes even married young, but they didn't tend to have a lot of autonomy and weren't always setting up their own households. They often lived with extended family and didn't become heads of their houses until their elders died. And through much of history, the age of majority (for men--the concept didn't apply so much to women until fairly recently) was later than it is today.

    The notion that most or all girls were married by their mid teens (and teen mothers) before modern times is also not accurate. Boys who were apprenticed often couldn't marry until they were journeymen, at least, and this took them into their twenties as well. Their lives tended to be very supervised and proscribed. Education (for the classes that benefited from it), often took boys into their late teens or early 20s as well.

    I think most people knew that teenagers weren't completely mature, physically or socially, or capable of making the kinds of judgements that older adults did, and they knew that it takes a while to learn skills and a profession.

    However, I agree that teenagers aren't children in the sense that the word is used legalistically. They're generally sexual beings who experience deep emotional attachments to their peers and romantic partners, even if their impulse control is erratic and they lack the experience or perspective to always make the best decisions (though there's a huge amount of variation there as well and some young adults are amazingly wise and mature).

    The time spent being educated and socializing with their peers, including their first romantic attachments, are very important, imo. Keeping teens under lock and key will only push the period of clueless floundering back a few years. The difference between a 17-year-old "legal child" and 18-year-old (legal adult in most respects) is not that great, and launching a bunch of sheltered and inexperienced young adults into the world isn't a great thing either. I think modern parents tend to err too much in the direction of sheltering, actually.

    It would be nice if parents, teachers and counselors always spotted the signs of serious depression or toxic relationships, but I think the behavior of this young woman was very much outside of the teenage norm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyia View Post
    Hardly. Until the last century or so, couples were never allowed to be alone until after they were married. Look up "bundling," which was a kind of courtship "cuddling" allowed in cold weather. They'd literally put the guy and girl into bed, cover them in a quilt, then SEW IT SHUT, WITH A LINE STITCHED BETWEEN THEM. Or, if they were progressive, they could make do with a board or sack of grain between them. There's also the idea of "keep one foot on the floor" while making out.
    So the bundling thing is disturbing, hadn't heard of that. Yikes.

    I was referring to that teens were married -- not young teens but like 18-year-olds, regularly, before the modern era, and that the new helicopter parenting thing, in which people don't let 14-year-olds walk the streets alone for fear of abduction, or let 12-year-olds use knives or stoves to cook, is a new thing.

    I looked at the chart of marriage ages and the median for women from 1860 through 1960ish seemed to hover around 20-21, which is older than I'd thought by a couple of years, especially given the life expectancy even at the turn of the previous century. It is the median though... but men were even higher, for the reasons Roxx mentions I gather. Interesting.

    While I'm not disputing the courtship stuff, I do think in general teens have had more freedom/responsibility in a general sense, than they do now in many households/areas. In an Amish community today, which I'm just using as vaguely similar to more general lifestyle of more of the country 150 years ago, there's little romantic involvement and there is oversight there, but teens have plenty of individual, serious responsibility, over siblings, chores (involving real things like large animals, tools, things that keep the farm and business running, etc.). There's not constant monitoring of 'did you do X? Let me help you with Y/Let me arrange Z for you/I'll talk to your boss at the fast food restaurant about your schedule/text me when you get there!' That's what I was thinking of when I said not healthy, though yeah, I'd extend it to oversight of relationships, which, you're right, were overseen more.

  13. #238
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