General Strain Theory Essay

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Every day we are bombarded with ideas of how the human body should look- men need to be muscular and women should be fit and toned. In fact, these norms are taught at a very early age, and through various social institutions. It is especially evident in Disney movies, just take a look a Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, or Ariel in the Little Mermaid, children are constantly being subjected to these masculine and feminine ideals and it will continue throughout their life. Magazines will place photo-shopped models on their front covers, while radio stations promote testosterone boosters for men. Although these ideal body types are impossible to achieve, society still has the expectation that we should strive to be as physically attractive as possible…show more content…
In Lupe’s case, her father left the family when she was five, an example of one of Agnew’s three major types of negative relations: the removal of positive stimuli. Her father’s departure hurt, angered Lupe, leading her to seek comfort through excessive eating, the only way she knew how to handle her emotions, which ultimately led her to become 400 pounds by the 9th grade. However, according to Agnew, not all people would have responded to this strain the same way, it just turned out that her mother had a nervous breakdown after her husband left and turned to drugs and eventually ended up in prison. This suggests that Lupe didn’t have any resources or social support available such that she couldn’t turn to her mother for help. Additionally, her sister was younger than her and couldn’t provide any support, as she didn’t know what to say to her, meaning that Lupe couldn’t cope in conforming ways. As she got bigger and bigger, she eventually had to drop out of school, so she had no friends or teachers to turn to for help either; she was confined to her home with just food by her
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