Are Today’s Millennials a New Victorian Generation?Posted: January 26, 2015 | |
Michael Barone writes: Public policymakers and political pundits tend to focus on problems — understandably, because if things are going right they aren’t thought to need attention. Yet positive developments can teach us things as well, when, for reasons not necessarily clear, great masses of people start to behave more constructively.
“What accounts for this virtuous cycle? …I think what we are seeing is a mass changing of minds.”
One such trend is the better behavior of the young Americans of today compared to those 25 years ago. Almost no one anticipated it, the exception being William Strauss and Neil Howe in their 1991 book Generations, who named Americans born after 1981 the Millennial generation and predicted that “the tiny boys and girls now playing with Lego blocks” — and those then still unborn — would become “the nation’s next great Civic generation.”
The most obvious evidence of the Millennials’ virtuous behavior is the vast decline in violent crime in the last 25 years. The most crime-prone age and gender cohort — 15-to-25-year-old males — are committing far fewer crimes than that cohort did in 1990.
Statistics tell the dramatic story. In two decades the murder rate fell 49 percent, the forcible rape rate 33 percent, the robbery rate 48 percent, the aggravated assault rate 39 percent. Government agencies report that sexual assaults against 12-to-17-year-olds declined by more than half and violent victimization of teenagers at school declined 60 percent.
Binge-drinking by high school seniors is lower than at any time since 1976, sexual intercourse among ninth graders and the percentage of high school seniors with more than three partners has declined.
There has been much ado about rape on college campuses today, with President Obama among others stating that one in five women students will be raped or sexually assaulted. But that statistic is based on a bogus survey, covering just two colleges, with self-selected rather than randomly selected respondents and a laughably broad definition of “sexual assault.” A recent Justice Department report showed that the rate rape on campus was not 20 percent but 0.6 percent.
And today’s young are better behaved despite what blind statistical trends might seem to hint at. Compared to the young Americans of 1990, their ranks include…(read more)
- Governor Cuomo Proposes Codifying Sexual Assault Policy On College Campuses (yonkerstribune.com)
- Are U.S. universities plagued by an epidemic of campus assaults? (cbsnews.com)
- Using White House claim of a 12% reporting rate, only 1 in 37 women at Michigan State are sexually assaulted, not 1 in 5 (aei.org)
- See finished Snowfest sculptures; Man to serve 15 years for sexual assault: Top stories from the weekend, Jan. 23-25 (mlive.com)
- Bill Cosby, His Accusers And The Way We Treat Women Who Say They Are Victims Of Sexual Assault (madamenoire.com)
- Robby Soave: Abolish the Federal Drinking Age (reason.com)