Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Girl Scouts Releases New Study on Youth and Ethics

The Girl Scout Research Institute (GSRI) has just released its latest study, Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and Tweens Today. It’s a fascinating look at how young peoples’ beliefs and values on a range of issues from lying and cheating to drinking and smoking have changed over the last 20 years. The study is nearly identical to one Girl Scouts commissioned in 1989, and a comparison of the two shows a marked shift toward more ethical and responsible beliefs and values among teens and tweens.

Nearly two out of three young people (62 percent) surveyed in 2009, for example, say they would not cheat on a test compared to about half in 1989. Fifty-eight percent say they would refuse an alcoholic drink if offered one at a party. That’s compared to fewer than half (46 percent) in 1989. And only 18 percent say they believe smoking is acceptable if a person finds it enjoyable. In 1989, more than a quarter of those surveyed thought smoking was acceptable.
And teens today appear to be quite tolerant of others and more civic-minded. Compared to 20 years ago, youth today are more likely to say they intend to vote in the future (84 percent vs. 77 percent), as well as give to charity (76 percent vs. 63 percent). Some 79 percent say they will volunteer in their communities. Make sure you check out the full
study, and be sure to share your thoughts with us. Does this study reflect the attitudes and behaviors or girls in your communities?