[GRRN] Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow...

RecycleWorlds (anderson@msn.fullfeed.com)
Wed, 7 Apr 1999 13:45:35 -0500

What's Jerry Rubin's adage again...."you can't trust anyone UNDER


05:01 AM ET 04/06/99
Record Low Support for Casual Sex
Record Low Support for Casual Sex
Associated Press Writer=
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Wendy Shalit's new book is raising eyebrows
for the shocking message it promotes: sexual modesty.
But the 23-year-old writer, who lashes out against random
college hookups and sexual encounters, may not be a generational
anomaly. A comprehensive survey of college freshmen _ taken
annually since 1966 _ finds record low support for casual sex among
the 1998 entering class.
That's not the only area where young adults are taking decidedly
different turns on issues than previous generations of college
students. On law and order, abortion and even their goals in life,
the differences are sometimes wide.
``Their parents are the ones who sort of believed in this
liberation through promiscuity and experience,'' said Shalit, whose
book, ``A Return to Modesty: Discovering the Lost Virtue,'' came
out in January. But some kids today are ``embracing the codes of
conduct that their own parents rejected.''
Not a surprise to some college students, who agree that young
adults are looking for a return to religious or more traditional
moral values after the legacy left by the decadent 1980s and the
baby boomers.
``We have members who are more conservative than their
parents,'' says Chris Gillott, chairman of Pennsylvania State
University's Young Americans for Freedom.
Gillott says some of his peers go home and ``come out of the
conservative closet'' to their families, igniting heated
discussions on topics from Social Security to affirmative action.
A few examples:
_Only 40 percent of freshmen agree that it's OK for two people
who like each other to have sex, even if they have only known each
other a short while. That's down from 42 percent in 1997, and an
all-time high of 52 percent in 1987, according to the study by the
Higher Education Research Institute at the University of
California, Los Angeles.
_In 1970, 56 percent of the freshmen surveyed showed strong
opposition to capital punishment. By 1998, less than a quarter of
them believed the death penalty should be abolished.
Nearly 73 percent of freshmen said there is too much concern for
criminals _ an almost 50 percent increase since the early 1970s
when only about half of those surveyed felt that way.
_Only half of this year's freshmen backed efforts to keep
abortion legal _ a record low figure after six years on the
decline. Support for laws protecting abortion peaked in 1990 at 65
``We have pro-choice students on our campus who still say they
would never have an abortion,'' says Ryan Gruber, a senior at the
University of Wisconsin, Madison, who used to head the school's
college Republicans. ``Even if they don't want to push their
message on others, there is less tolerance on a personal level.''
Even views on the grand scheme of things can shift considerably
in a few generations. Nearly three-quarters of the Class of 2002
consider being well-off financially among their highest objectives.
Their parents had different goals when they were freshmen: in
the late 1960s, more than 80 percent wanted to develop ``a
meaningful philosophy of life.'' Today, only 40 percent of incoming
college students find that objective compelling.
A record low 26 percent of freshmen believe that ``keeping up to
date with political affairs'' is a very important or essential life
goal. In 1966, interest in politics was at its height, with a
record 58 percent of freshmen considering important in their lives.
But some say these results don't necessarily signify apathy
among today's students. Instead, activism and civic-mindedness may
turn up in different forms, like volunteering and community
``These activities are political in the sense that they are
trying to change the system we have,'' says Kendra Fox-Davis, a
1998 UCLA college graduate who now is vice president of the U.S.
Student Association in Washington.
She added that while students today may not be as likely to
demonstrate or march in protest like their parents, young adults
are active on a host of issues from decreasing tuition to raising
attention to sweatshop labor conditions.
The 1998 freshmen norms are based on the responses of 275,811
students at 469 of the nation's two and four year colleges and
universities. UCLA's research institute has conducted the survey
annually since 1966.

Peter Anderson
RecycleWorlds Consulting
4513 Vernon Blvd. Ste. 15
Madison, WI 53705-4964
Phone:(608) 231-1100/Fax: (608) 233-0011