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The Rising Tide of Teen Dishonesty

crossed-fingersSome claim that the silly gesture of crossing your fingers behind your back to cover up a lie originated with Roman persecution of Christians. To escape death, those who lied about their faith in Christ, just as Peter did, made the sign of the cross behind their back to ask God’s forgiveness.

That sounds more like a fable to me, but it’s a fact that teenagers today seem to be crossing their fingers behind their back more and more. They are cheating and stealing more, too. The latest Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth, by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, shows teens are lying more often and more easily than ever. The report indicates an increase in lying, cheating and stealing among youth since 2006, when the report was first published.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they lied recently for financial gain. Sixty-four percent said they cheated on a test during the past year, and 38% had cheated more than once. Eighty-three percent said they had recently lied to their parents about something significant. Continue reading “The Rising Tide of Teen Dishonesty”