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?

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