The Kids Today Are Very Nice People

Margot Sanger-Katz and Aaron Carroll write about the kids these days:

You wouldn’t know it from “Euphoria,” but today’s teenagers drink less than their parents’ generation did. They smoke less, and they use fewer hard drugs. They get in fewer car accidents and fewer physical fights. They are less likely to drop out of high school, less likely to have sex, and less likely to become pregnant. They commit fewer crimes. They even wear bike helmets.

Across a wide range of classically risky teenage behaviors, today’s teenagers are getting tamer and more responsible, making better decisions and eschewing the dangerous choices that, for many adults today, defined youth.

That’s true! For example:

Among teenagers, arrest rates have plummeted by 50-70 percent since the “superpredator” era of the early 90s. Generally speaking, teenagers today are nicer, politer, and less likely to get in trouble than at nearly any time in the postwar era. It’s amazing what happens when you halt the practice of poisoning kids with lead fumes and turning them into monsters, isn’t it?

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.