PJ Media

Are teens more ethically-challenged now than in the past?

I have to wonder after reading two different articles sent in by readers (thanks!) about the types of ethics that teens are learning these days. The first link was to a study showing that teens are cheating and lying a href=”http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=081201214432.rjut4n2ushow_article=1″more than ever these days:/abr /blockquoteAmerican teenagers lie, steal and cheat more at “alarming rates,” a study of nearly 30,000 high school students concluded Monday. The attitudes and conduct of some 29,760 high school students across the United States “doesn’t bode well for the future when these youngsters become the next generation’s politicians and parents, cops and corporate executives, and journalists and generals,” the non-profit Josephson Institute said. /blockquotebr /br /As if the current crop isn’t bad enough! br /br /Blogger Cheryl, who sent me the study a href=”http://shoemoneymom.blogspot.com/2008/12/teenagers-and-ethics.html”points out this troubling /a statistic from the study:br /br /blockquoteThe end of the article tells the rest of the story: Some 93 percent of students indicated satisfaction with their own character and ethics, with 77 percent saying that “when it comes to doing what is right, I am better than most people I know.”/blockquotebr /br /Perhaps the kids are telling the truth. The other people they know may be even more sleazy than they are themselves. But is it okay just to be better than the other sleaze balls you’re hanging around with?br /br /The a href=”http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/1202081minn1.html”other article/a about teen depravity is from the Smoking Gun blog entitled, “Teens Charged In Nursing Home Abuse.” It seems that a group of teen girls spat on, spanked and humiliated infirm elderly according to cops:br /br /blockquoteA group of teenagers working at a Minnesota nursing home abused and sexually humiliated elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, prosecutors allege. The six young female caregivers were named yesterday in criminal complaints charging them with a variety of cruel behavior at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home in Albert Lea, a city in southern Minnesota./blockquote br /br /The first article stated that boys were more likely to steal or lie according to a survey but my guess is, they are more willing to admit antisocial behavior and girls are more likely to hide any type of antisocial behavior. Girls, like the ones mentioned above however, are turning to more unethical and troubling behaviors, just like the boys. br /br /Here is my two cents. Unethical behavior is often overlooked in our society today–there are few consequences for acts of lying, cheating or even stealing. I have worked with teens who got away with all three until finally, they comitted some atrocious act that no one could overlook. And what should we expect when we do not hold certain people and groups accountable when they mess up? If one lies to the public, they can go on to earn six figure speaking gigs rather than suffer for it. If companies fail, they are bailed out by our government. The public is enthralled with aberrant behavior as evidenced by the fascination with shows that portray the a href=”http://www.cnbc.com/id/28016106″bad guy as the hero /aand the good guy? He’s now a chump. With ethics like these, what can we really expect from our kids?