Teenagers get a bad rap as rude, unruly, and violent cretins, but data shows that today’s teens are actually more restrained and well-behaved than before. In Britain and the United States, teenage murder rates and binge-drinking are on the decline. Teens are waiting longer to have sex (teenage pregnancy rates are half of what they were 20 years ago). In the European Union, teenagers are the only age group to have seen a decline in diagnoses of sexually transmitted diseases in recent years. Even cigarette smoking among teenagers has become rare: More teenagers now smoke pot than tobacco (and even marijuana’s prevalence is far lower now than it was in the 1970s).
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