Although “Bye Bye Birdie” is set in the 1950s it depicts a kind of anti- youth bias that has plagued teenagers for generations. Even In our society today, teenagers have become a face for many of America’s problems; crime, drugs the quality of education and values. President Clinton has been quick to endorse anti-truancy programs, child curfews and school uniforms. Politicians say they are out to protect children not just blame them.
Many youth experts however, say that todays youth are being scapegoated for adult problems. In a survey taken by the Ronald McDonald House adults said teenagers are, “rude irresponsible and wild”. CURRENT STATUS OF ISSUEMany peoples perceptions about kids today are exaggerated and simply wrong. Todays youth are actually better off than our parents were a quarter of a century ago. We’re less likely to smoke, drink, or do drugs, less likely to die at an early age, less likely to drive drunk, or die from a drug over dose and more likely to finish high school and go on to college.
And we do every bit as well as our parents generation, if not somewhat better on aptitude and achievement tests. Yet, in a poll taken by “U. S. News and World Report” 83% of Americans said they thought that it was harder to be a kid today then it was a generation ago. In the book, It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton, she writes, “Everywhere we look children are under assault from violence and neglect, from the break up of families, from the temptations of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and sex. ” Most of the problems the first lady spouts off are far from sky rocketing in fact they have actually diminished.
For example teens today are less likely to smoke. In 1994 1 in 5 high school seniors smoked by 1996 the ratio had fallen to 1 in 8. The 1996 presidential campaign was filled with stories identifying a terrifying upsurge of drug use by high school students during Clintons first term. Most stories though failed to mention that teen drug use today is still much lower, than it was in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
In 1992 coroners reports of 8,500 drug related accidents suicides and over doses only 1. 1% involved children and teenagers. As for the morality of are country’s youth the 1996 class of college freshman reported doing more volunteer work then any other class in the 31 years that freshman have been surveyed. As for spiritual emptiness, todays youth are no less religious than generations before us. 95% of teens believe n God and 7 out of ten believe that god actively participates in ones life. So if teens today are generally better off than our parents were a quarter century ago why does society continue to think of teenagers as rude, irresponsible and wild? Some of what teens are perceiving is anti youth bias.
If you keep shouting that kids today “Dont know anything” your bashing kids and we dont deserve it. Many people form opinions about a whole generation of teenagers with out ever really getting to know one. Teens have been portrayed as godless, jobless, violent and fatherless. It is this kind of image that raises a wave of anxiety and fear about the young.
But the perception of teen crime is actually larger than the problem a 19994 Gallup Poll found that the average adult believes teenagers commit three times the number of crimes that they actually do. But this is not surprising because the negative activities of youth is what is often emphasized on television and in the newspaper. You never hear about the youth earns who good grades wins first place at the 4-H fair or .