Teenagers Are So Boring

CSD 2011 021 smoking womanSo what do teens do to be different from their parents these days? Write code? From the New York Times:

Every few years, parents find new reasons to worry about their teenagers. And while there is no question that some kids continue to experiment with sex and substance abuse, the latest data point to something perhaps more surprising: the current generation is, well, a bit boring when it comes to bad behavior.

By several noteworthy measures, today’s teenagers are growing increasingly conservative. While marijuana use has recently had an uptick, teenagers are smoking far less pot than their parents did at the same age. In 1980, about 60 percent of high-school seniors had tried marijuana and 9 percent smoked it daily. Among seniors today, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey, which has tracked teenage risk behaviors since 1975, 45.5 percent have tried the drug and 6.6 percent are smoking it frequently.

Adolescent use of alcohol, tobacco and most illegal drugs is also far lower than it was 30 years ago. In 1980, about a third of 12th graders had smoked in the past month; today that number has dropped to fewer than 1 in 5. Teenage alcohol use has reached historic lows. In 1980, 72 percent of high-school seniors said they had recently consumed alcohol, compared with just 40 percent in 2011. In 1981, about 43 percent of 12th graders had tried an illegal drug other than pot; in 2011 that number fell to 25 percent.

Today’s teenagers are also far less likely to have sex or get pregnant compared with their parent’s generation…

[continues in the New York Times]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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27 Comments on "Teenagers Are So Boring"

  1. Anarchy Pony | Feb 2, 2012 at 5:06 pm |

    Well apart from a wee bit o’ the weed now and again, I don’t do anything. Not even alcohol, I hate the taste.

    • Jin The Ninja | Feb 2, 2012 at 6:34 pm |

      i don’t drink either. beer was so popular among my peer group but to me it tastes rancid.

      although i don’t mind a drop of sake now and again… but as for the greenherb, well let’s just say i’m a fanboy.

  2. MadHierophant | Feb 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |

    After being flooded with reality shows on MTV describing the everyday lives of trainwrecks, maybe some of them got the message. 

    • Or even the celebrity ones too.

    • Monkey See Monkey Do | Feb 3, 2012 at 3:56 am |

      So you think MTV would be able to help teenagers in any way?….

      • MadHierophant | Feb 3, 2012 at 11:05 am |

        Only accidentally. Shit like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore are almost certainly on the air because it’s cheaply produced, lowest common denominator trash. That doesn’t mean it can’t act as a cautionary tale for anyone paying real attention to what they contain.

        • Monkey See Monkey Do | Feb 4, 2012 at 12:53 am |

          I see your point. I just think that it also signifies a death of the arts and culture. And usually when the arts and culture starts declining its followed by science and tech and we’ll enter a dark age again. Even with all the trash being pumped into peoples brains i still have hope we will one day turn against the corporate media.

          Ps. I watch ‘cops’ even though i hate everything the police stand for in that show i watch it to get a better insight into the violation of civil liberties ie: the war on drugs (i am well aware that alot of it must be staged though)

  3. chinagreenelvis | Feb 2, 2012 at 5:08 pm |


  4. Hadrian999 | Feb 2, 2012 at 5:09 pm |

    are they at least still hot?

  5. Redacted | Feb 2, 2012 at 5:46 pm |

    What? I did all of the above in high school and that wasn’t even 10 years ago. Must be all the heavily medicated kids nowadays.

  6. sebjamar | Feb 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm |

    Huh. Maybe they’re looking in the wrong spots? When I was in high school, pills were all the rage. Group sex was reasonably frequent. Lots of parties. We had kids getting arrested for dealing OC and one who had to get his stomach pumped from taking too many pills during the school day. All this at a private school 3 or so years ago. Maybe my school was part of the minority. Either way, I didn’t see anything other than the OC as much of a problem.

  7. Apathesis | Feb 2, 2012 at 6:41 pm |

    I like how right underneath this story there is a link to another Disinfo post about “Marijuana use At 30-Year High Among U.S. Teenagers.”  Just a little contradictory here..

    • Indeed, the datasets on Data.gov contradict most of this articles claims.

      • Hey wank, how are you this afternoon? I know I had you this morning, are you all set for tonight?

  8. Dr Kelly | Feb 2, 2012 at 9:24 pm |

    It’s cos the music is so crap, the drugs that are available are crap, the tv shows are dull, media saturation, it all mixes up to produce watered down people.

  9. madison34 | Feb 2, 2012 at 9:44 pm |

    Are we sure they are just not lying? Oh and seriously on the sex thing? I thought kids were bragging that they have sex parties at 13 now? I don’t trust these new teenagers, they aren’t filling out the surveys properly.

    • we had to fill out  a survey like that sophomore year in high school. i remember i  checked yes for every question about drug use even tho i  had never even seen half the stuff they were talking about like heroin and crack

  10. AMaidenoMisery | Feb 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm |

    I disagree with this article. I am the mother of a few teenagers. 

  11. Die Romper Stomper Die. | Feb 2, 2012 at 11:28 pm |

    I strongly disagree with this. As I just only got out of highschool and let me tell you drugs we’re everywhere… Jock’s, prep, punkrockers, etc. No matter your “cliche”. There were parties weekly and in the Summer months almost daily. This is more and likely another biased attempt to cover up how the war on drugs is failing. 

  12. Their MMORPG characters are much edgier. 

  13. I think teenages are becoming more sly, I use to be a pretty good teen (except when it came to treachers telling me to cut my hair and take my piercings out at school). A shining example to my parents, a bloody deviant to my peers.

  14. Hopefully, teenagers are drinking more fluoridated water, aspartame, and taking anti-depressants!
    I also hope the teen suicide rate skyrockets!

  15. strawberries | Feb 3, 2012 at 10:22 am |

    OK, well, I am a senior and I personally know of 6 drug related deaths within my school last year alone. I think this article’s sources are totally off base, because I have also filled out that survey and NO ONE ever tells the truth on it, we all either pretend we are total BA’s or perfect angles. A survey taken in school is not a reliable resource, we lie too much.

  16. Riky Jazzercise | Feb 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm |

    There is no fucking way kids are smoking less pot these days. No fucking way. Also, yeah, the prescription narcotic epidemic? What about that?

    Years back they did a study on alcohol use in a small town. This was interesting because they could track alcohol sales in that town. What they found was that the town drank more than twice as much as they admitted in the surveys. These are adults we’re talking about, more prone to tell the truth about this kind of thing than teenagers as it’s legal for them to drink. So, it’s kind of known fact that this type of reseach is always insanely inaccurate. You’d think maybe that’d be mentioned here. Also not mentioned – why we spend tons of money doing research we know is inaccurate. Oh yeah, the drug war. It’s not science, it’s propaganda.

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