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single25-Feb-1999opinionNorth79 by votes69459.0%


Are teenagers today worse behaved than thirty or forty years ago?

21I think teenagers today behave pretty much as they did thirty or forty years ago
10Yes, I think teenagers today generally behave much worse
10Yes, I think teenagers today generally behave somewhat worse
8Not sure
4Other opinion
1No, I think teenagers today behave better

posted 25-Feb-1999 12:08pm  
Though I believe behavior has changed for the worse, I also believe there are behaviors that have always been around that are now more tolerated than before, e.g. teen pregnancy & teen smoking.
posted 25-Feb-1999 12:12pm  
I think nostalgia is a very powerful thing.
posted 25-Feb-1999 12:33pm  
Talking to my father I see little difference from today's teens compared to teens in the last sixty years. It's just that families usually kept things quiet and took care of things internally. Now we hear about things on the news. Just remember back in the thirties the teens used to make one shot pistols (zip guns) for gang fights, today they buy or steal guns.
posted 25-Feb-1999 12:47pm  
I wasn't a teenager 40 years ago.. the only thing I know is what is represented from hollywood... no clue.. I would guess about the same.
posted 25-Feb-1999 1:20pm  
I don't think they behave the same as they did forty years ago, but but I think our standards and expectations are different, so they're not any worse or better.
posted 25-Feb-1999 1:33pm  
I need to go back and find again the verse in one of Paul's letters, (I think it's in one to the folks of Corinth) talking about how teenagers today have no respect for their elders, they do not want to learn, all they want is to drink wine and dance in the street to loud drumming. When my dad complained about me, once, I found that verse to show him that young people are alike through the ages.

I think there are changes in values through the ages, but teenagers are always in the position of flouting their elders' rules, and I don't think that changes, particularly. Also, I think there is wide variation among individuals. Teenagers in general have certain problems that make them irritating to everyone else and unhappy with themselves, but we all survive somehow.
posted 25-Feb-1999 4:55pm  
Well, I was close. Thank you, Mademoiselle Hunter.
posted 25-Feb-1999 5:07pm  
It depends how you define behave (oh oh ;) I did actually chose an option, promise :) ). I'd say for instance that they behave better in that there is less needless shooting of birds, taking of eggs from nests etc. like my father did when he was younger. But general attitude and intelligence is worse. So basic mindless, pointless violence is lowered, general poor attitude etc. has raised, and 'adult' crime (murder, major theft, drug dealing etc.) would have raised considerably.
posted 25-Feb-1999 5:19pm  
Damn. My comment hangs in weird limbo, because I tried to edit an earlier one and wound up deleting it. I "was close" when I cited more or less the quote that Ms. Hunter cited and attributed it to "some ancient Greek or Roman guy."
posted 25-Feb-1999 9:32pm  
I love you, topper, but 30 or 40 years ago would be 1959-1969. (A period during which your point was equally if not more valid.)
romkey Survey Central Gold Subscriber
posted 26-Feb-1999 12:53am  
what was that about math?
posted 26-Feb-1999 9:03am  
Damn! Those young punks! How the hell did they get so conservative all of a sudden! It ain't right!
posted 26-Feb-1999 10:02am  
Not having been alive 30 or 40 years ago, and refusing to go my Leave It to Beaver as a metric for this sort of thing, I don't think I can rightly say. My gut tells me they're worse today, though.
posted 26-Feb-1999 11:32am  
I think there is far less emphasis in society on personal responsibility and accountability today. This is helping to cause their sometimes poor behavior.
posted 26-Feb-1999 12:40pm  
Only because they are more aware of what is outside of their little world, giving them more reason to be discontent, and more ideas about how to express their discontentment.
posted 27-Feb-1999 1:41pm  
I'm not *quite* old enough to remember how teenagers were acting thirty years ago, but ever since the early 70s I've been listening to people say "Kids are so badly behaved nowadays". I thought that rang false as a kid (If it *were* true, why were so many adults jerks?) and as an adult who has a fair amount of interaction with teenagers and very young college-age adults, it *still* rings false. Teens have always had rough edges, have always said "Um, er, whatever" a lot, have always argued with their parents and dressed funny. It's part of the whole becoming-one's-own-self thang.

suplicant, your opinion about lowered intelligence has been widely and authoritatively disproved. Throughout the developed world (including the US) even as we continue to gripe about the state of education (as we should), intelligence tests show that the population as a whole is apparently growing smarter over the course of the last century.

As to the number of kids involved in illegal and violent activities - the 50s were relatively calm, I'm sure, but cast your eyes back to the time between the world wars and you'll find that kids were heavily involved in the rackets, bootlegging, and gang activity of the major cities; and that the murder rate for youths (15 and younger) was almost five times as high as it is today.
posted 28-Feb-1999 8:22pm  
Who are we to say unless we were a teenager then and a teenager now?
I say we behave differently, and this can't be construed as behaving better or worse.
posted 28-Feb-1999 10:57pm  
I'm glad to hear it's been disproved and willing to believe it, I'm not exactly experienced with what youths were like 30 years ago, and I don't have any statistics etc. just experience (and a lack thereof). I know a lot of smart teens, but unfortunately I know a great many more who are ignorant, foul mouthed and immature, which has biased me unreasonably I guess.
posted 1-Mar-1999 7:03am  
I think they have more opportunities to behave worse. More pressure, more opportunity and less supervision.
posted 2-Mar-1999 12:00pm  
Worse. Today there is much more to get into and a lot of parents have become less involved with their children's lives making it easier for them to get into more trouble.
posted 2-Mar-1999 2:18pm  
I'm just leaving my teens and teens were reasonably good when I was younger, but 16 & 17 yr olds now are becoming a lot more violent
posted 4-Mar-1999 1:10pm  
Not sure... and I'm not sure I can lump the late fifties together with the late sixties in this respect, anyway.
posted 7-Mar-1999 12:15pm  
spoken like a true suburbanite.
posted 11-Mar-1999 2:56pm  
I don't have valid comparison data, but it seems to me, some still do one or all of the following: do drugs, get pregnant, quit school, live healthy lives, raise families, make money, and invest their talents.
posted 3-Apr-1999 3:53pm  
Somehow this question is kind of annoying to me. I think there are teenagers who do bad stuff, for sure, but look at how many honor scholars there are, and how many people are donating their time to charity, volunteering, and then there's the whole other thing about activities, student council, sports. I do agree that teenagers could be more dangerous than they were, with the prevalence of drugs and weapons, but there are definitely more teens becoming aware of the world and important causes and the community than there were thirty years ago.

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