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The general definition for peer pressure is, "A feeling that you must do the same things as other people of your age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them"(2013, Merriam-Webster). Peer pressure as well as social pressure plays a significant role in the life of everyone. Focusing on the life of college students peer pressure can take over some of the students’ lives. College students are faced with decisions every single day. They have to make decisions that can be easy such as deciding what to wear or difficult ones deciding whether going out to party the weekend before an exam is what they want to do. The actions and decisions in many cases may be influenced by those around. In a broad sense, students are put through the pressure of figuring out who they want to be and what they want to do with the rest of their lives. It is important for college students to know how to deal with the various types of peer pressure besides the obvious. Sexual aggression or even aspiring to go to graduate school may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of peer pressure nor the idea of choosing a career. With this in mind it is important that college students know of the different ways in which peer pressure affect their lives. It is also important to note that not all peer pressure is bad. The same way peer pressure can affect a person negatively, it can also impact their lives in beneficial ways.

Peer pressure and social pressure are an important topic to me as a college student because I feel like I am faced with decisions that are highly influenced by those around me. I feel like the type of peer pressure one is exposed to in high school or in other occasions is somewhat different from the peer pressure a college student is exposed to. The pressure society puts on us to have our lives all put together by the time we are in college can cause us to make hasty decisions about our future plans. Even more the advice from friends we get regarding classes, parties, outfits etc. can play an even greater role in our lives. I decided to research this topic not only to learn more about the topic, but to learn the different types of pressure and how they affect college students, including myself.


Peer pressure to do drugs

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The first semesters of college are a transitional time for many. The student goes from relaying highly on parents to depending on their peers on campus. According to Josephine M. Palmeri from the department of applied phycology of New York University, an increase in the peer involvement in a student’s everyday life may influence the increase of peer pressure as well. When a peer encourages certain behaviors (e.g., alcohol use, drug use Tabaco use etc.) they promote those behaviors as positive and acceptable. Although all these things may seem or look fun at the moment many don't realize the consequences of falling to these kinds of pressures. For example, "The leading cause of death for adolescents 17 to 20 years old is alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). In addition, about 400,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 have unprotected sex due to drinking. More than one fourth of those students report being too intoxicated to know if they even consented to have sex (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Therefore, it is imperative to understand peer pressure, as well as which groups of college students are more susceptible to it, in order to decrease these negative consequences from occurring."(Josephine M. Palmeria, 2013)
Furthermore, freshmen college students are found to be at a higher risk of falling to peer pressure to drink or do other drugs. This is because they find themselves singled out as the "out-group" because they are not participating in the same activities as the others. As a result freshmen college students feel like they should engage in the activities of their peers falling to the perception "after all that is what everyone is doing, it must be okay" regardless of their own intuition. So how can anyone determine if an individual is being peer pressured to drink or take part in other drug related actions? There are three different kinds of pressure. The first one is the most obvious. It is the active offers to consume alcohol or other drugs. If the individual chooses not to drink the individual becomes part of the out-group. The individual can become an easy target for offers and teasing from peers. The second type is more discrete. An individual can become peer- pressured based on others behaviors. For example, if there is someone who is heavily drinking, the individual may feel pressured to drink as much as that person and so on.
Finally, there is the social pressure. College student have the perception that drinking and doing drugs is the must do thing in college. They have the idea that at least theye are not doing it as much as others. Many don’t realize that they may actually be drinking more than others around them are actually drinking. Peer pressure is a plays an important role when it comes to the lives of college students and their partying habits. (Josephine M. Palmeria, 2013)


Peer pressures role in Sexual Aggression


“The role of sadism and peer pressure in the sexual aggression of male college students” states, based on research, peer pressure were inversely related to repeated aggression; sexual aggressives reported less peer pressure than students who did not have a history of repeated aggression. Sexual aggression commonly occurs at the high school level and on college campuses. One may not think that peer pressure does not have anything to do with sexual aggression yet there is more than enough evidence that supports this idea. The idea that men are peer pressured to attain certain sexual needs is an idea stated in the article. In other words same-sex peers influence the man's actions when it comes to sex. There is a certain pressure to prove their masculinity by obtaining sexual pleasure from women even if it means that it is by force.
By committing the act the male feels more of a man and although it is wrong they feel like they have proved something to their peers.
It is important to recognize that this can happen and to be aware of the dangers for both men and women in college. Individuals should be aware of this because one can become victim of this without even knowing. It is important for male to know because they can make a judgment and not fall to the pressure of having to do something such as rape to prove their masculinity. For women they have to be prepared to be able to acknowledge that rape does happen on college campuses and that they should be careful. (Alfred B. Heilbrun 1986)

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http://www.heart-intl.net/HEART
As the table above shows it is not only males that peer- pressure other males but females do it to each other as well. Although males pressure each other more than the female one can see that there is around a 50% chance that a male would pressure to have intercourse where as on;y about a 20% of females will pressure each other to have intercourse.
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Pressure to choice a career

The Journal Identification of social interactions through overlapping peer groups shows results that one is more likely to choose a major or when peers have already made a choice. It can also happen that one can stray from the major that one was originally set on.

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The article argues that peer groups influence on stating at a high school level by providing advice or comments on whether to go to college, what school to go to and what they should look for. Furthermore peers provide a reference group. In other words the student sees the actions and behavior or his or her peers. The student is then influenced and is given an idea to what he is supposed to be doing. This argument ties back to the previous topics; much of peer pressure has to do with imitating the actions of peers in order to fit in or be in the "in-group". Peer pressured to choose a career is no different. for example one may see friends with their decisions made on what they want to do making it seem like they have their lives all planned out and ready for the future. taking this into consideration one might feel as if one’s life is a mess and feel pressured to pick a major simply to be at the same step as friends. The study in this article Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups show an interesting case in which student start off with a specific major in mind and as time elapses and they befriend others in a different major some of them decide to switch their major. (Giacomo De Giorgi, 2010; Walter L. Wallace 1965)


Roommates and their influence



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Roommates whether it be one, two or three they are the people that a college student must share a common space with. Roommates tend to have some similarities but also have many differences. Differences vary in studying patterns, sleeping patterns, and social values. College students spend a lot of time with their roommate and thus roommate end up impacting each others decisions. Roommates can pressure each other to go out to party, they might peer pressure to have friends over all the time making it hard to have privacy and so on. They can also impact in the way they act, changing customs or routine the individual had before moving in to the dorm.

The study in Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates, shows that roommates impact grade point average. The decisions to join fraternities and so on are also influenced by roommates. They also show that fraternities and sororities also play a huge role in decisions that college student make. (Bruce Sacerdote, 2001)

Following norms, what society wants/expects

Delinquency as a Consequence of Misperception: Overestimation of Friends' Delinquent Behavior and Mechanisms of Social Influence provides an excellent example of peer pressure and the effect on society. This article supports the idea stated in previous sections, peer pressure is plays an important role in the everyday life of college students. Peer pressure makes actions that would normaly be considered dievient, acceptable. Take a look a this article it has great source of information.( Jacob T. N. Young2013)
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sp.2013.60.3.334

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As the diagram displays peer pressure is a loop that goes on and on. This is a great visual representation of what peer pressure looks like regardless of what the subject is. Some examples would be doing drugs, stealing, harming other etc.

Could DNA play a role in peer pressure ?

Although there is no concrete evidence that peer pressure can be related to peer pressure Dna Collection in a Randomized Social Science Study of College Peer Effects conducts a study in which they sample DNA from roommates assigned randomly and notice how they influence achother in completing both parts of the study: providing the DNA sample and completing the survey. Part of there conclusions were, “ We emphasize that studies of joint influences of social environ- ment and genome on human behavior constitute an important and underutilized frontier in research that other social scientists should - and, our results show, can - pursue. Our experiences in these studies demonstrate that high response rates and high quality genetic samples can be collected and analyzed by traditional social science research teams in tandem with widely available genetics laboratories”. (Guang Guo 2009)



Here is a an activity based on a study that shows the influence peers can have on others . One can imitate the actions and methods seen in the video http://youtu.be/sno1TpCLj6A or by reading the study.

peer pressure 7.jpgHere is a visual of what the participant viewed as they were being tested. The test consisted of a group of individuals asked to identify which of the lines on the left matched the line on the right. All, except for one, were told to give the wrong answer. As the test progresses the individual begins to fall into pressure and correspond with the same answers as the others in the room. This is a great example of the power of peer pressure and is very easy to replicate or even put a twist in it.
Conclusion
After reviewing all sources and making my own conclusion I am even more assertive that peer pressure is presented in the everyday life of a college student. As mentioned in many of the articles and journals above peer pressure can be more than just verbal, it can also be discrete and even subliminal. Peer pressure covers all areas of a college students live. We are faced with it in our social life, when we go out to party, in our academics and so on.
I believe there are already certain things colleges are doing to help with this issue. For example the Alcohol Edu module that incoming freshmen must take is a very informative course that allows us to see that what we think happens in college party is not completely true. In addition I believe that colleges should have speakers come in and talk to us about the different types of peer pressure, not just only the peer pressure to do drugs. In the future I believe it would be very beneficial if along with the other informative lectures about sex, privacy etc., they should include a special lecture on peer pressure.
This topic is significant because there is the obvious peer pressure that is expressed verbally but there are others that are more discrete, one can even say subliminal. Before doing this research I knew of peer pressure and I believed that I was not affected by it. But after learning that peer pressure goes beyond verbal was very useful and I believe it will be useful to other college students as well.

Conclusion

After reviewing all sources and making my own conclusion I am even more assertive that peer pressure is presented in the everyday life of a college student. As mentioned in many of the articles and journals above peer pressure can be more than just verbal, it can also be discrete and even subliminal. Peer pressure covers all areas of a college students live. We are faced with it in our social life, when we go out to party, in our academics and so on.
I believe there are already certain things colleges are doing to help with this issue. For example the Alcohol Edu module that incoming freshmen must take is a very informative course that allows us to see that what we think happens in college party is not completely true. In addition I believe that colleges should have speakers come in and talk to us about the different types of peer pressure, not just only the peer pressure to do drugs. In the future I believe it would be very beneficial if along with the other informative lectures about sex, privacy etc., they should include a special lecture on peer pressure.
This topic is significant because there is the obvious peer pressure that is expressed verbally but there are others that are more discrete, one can even say subliminal. Before doing this research I knew of peer pressure and I believed that I was not affected by it. But after learning that peer pressure goes beyond verbal was very useful and I believe it will be useful to other college students as well.
BIbliography

Alfred B. Heilbrun, Jr. and Maura P. Loftus
The Journal of Sex Research , Vol. 22, No. 3 (Aug., 1986), pp. 320-332
Published by: **//Taylor & Francis, Ltd.//**
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3812570

Bruce Sacerdote
The Quarterly Journal of Economics , Vol. 116, No. 2 (May, 2001), pp. 681-704
Published by: **//Oxford University Press//**
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2696476

Giacomo De Giorgi, Michele Pellizzari and Silvia Redaelli
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics , Vol. 2, No. 2 (April 2010), pp. 241-275
Published by: American Economic Association
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25760213

Guang Guo, Jessica Halliday Hardie, Craig Owen, Jonathan K. Daw, Yuan Fu, Hedwig Lee, Amy Lucas, Emily McKendry-Smith and Greg Duncan
Sociological Methodology , Vol. 39, (2009), pp. 1-29
Published by: **//American Sociological Association//**
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40376143

Jacob T. N. Young and Frank M. Weerman
Social Problems , Vol. 60, No. 3 (August 2013), pp. 334-356
Published by: **//University of California Press//** on behalf of the **//Society for the Study of Social Problems//**
Article DOI: 10.1525/sp.2013.60.3.334
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/sp.2013.60.3.334

Robb Willer, Ko Kuwabara, and Michael W. Macy
American Journal of Sociology , Vol. 115, No. 2 (September 2009), pp. 451-490
Published by: **//The University of Chicago Press//**
Article DOI: 10.1086/599250
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/599250

Walter L. Wallace
Sociology of Education , Vol. 38, No. 5 (Autumn, 1965), pp. 375-392
Published by: **//American Sociological Association//**
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2111988

Peer Pressure and Alcohol Use amongst College Students
http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/opus/issues/2011/fall/peer

Pictures:
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