Girl Scouts’ good intentions

Seventy-nine percent of today’s youth say that would express an opinion even if it weren’t popular.
That’s according to a new report, Good Intentions: The Beliefs and Values of Teens and Tweens Today, by the Girl Scout Research Institute. They surveyed over 3,000 3rd through 12th grade boys and girls, painting a picture of a generation that, contrary to the media doomsday hype, is “civic minded and responsible to themselves and others, and even more committed to these values than their predecessors were 20 years ago.”
Other interesting findings:

  • 72% feel pushed “a lot” to prepare for the future (compared to 63% in 1989)
  • 13% of youth do what God or scripture tells them to do
  • 27% would lie to a principal
  • 7% of girls and 20% of boys would end a friendship with a gay/lesbian friend
  • fewer youth today (25%) than in 1989 (33%) believe that “abortion is all right if having a baby will change you life plans in away you find hard to live with
  • Boys are more likely than girls to agree that abortion is all right (29% compared to 20%)

Get your own copy of the report or read more about it here.

Join the Conversation

  • Brittany

    Maybe I’m misunderstanding the article, but the study by “Good Intentions” when it comes to youth being “civic-minded”, is asking about abortion.
    Does having an abortion mean that you don’t have values? Or you’re not responsible to yourself and others?
    This doesn’t sit right with me, and neither does the percentage of people that think abortion is all right going DOWN 20 years later.

  • jstein

    I agree with Brittany that the presence of a question about abortion in a poll about being “civic minded” made me pull a bit of a Scooby-Doo.
    That said, I’m honestly not surprised at all that boys are more likely to agree that abortion is “alright” (though I’m not sure what “alright” means; that word is definitely a weird choice).
    Of course, most of my experience now is with college students, but it seems to me that there are a number of arguments against having an abortion (not legally, but against the practice) that men (and this is, admittedly, a generalization) have a hard time wrapping their heads around, because the conventional understanding of motherhood is (for better or for worse) radically different than the conventional understanding of fatherhood, and because there’s something (maybe conditioned, but I’m not sure) that leads many of the women I’ve talked to to regard the issue differently than men do, certainly than I (as a man) do.
    I’m still trying to wrap my head around exactly how that works, and maybe my pursuit of a functional understanding of an argument is a stupid way of attempting to understand the decision, but (honestly) it’s pretty much all I’ve got.

  • Comrade Kevin

    Good signs and a few troubling signs, but regardless of the outcomes, the conventional wisdom and fear that the children of tomorrow are sociopaths seems not to be particularly well founded.

  • KatieinNewYork


  • bradley

    Boys are more likely than girls to agree that abortion is all right (29% compared to 20%)

    This just shows the reach of the patriarchy.

  • squirrely

    I lurv the Girl Scouts for even asking these questions. And not just ’cause I recently ate an entire package of Thin Mints in one sitting.

  • Toongrrl