Supplemental: The kids are all right, the Post reports!

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2014

One key improvement omitted:
In last Sunday’s Outlook section, the Washington Post ran an upbeat report about these kids today.

Professor Finkelhor wrote the report.
This is the way he started, hard-copy headline included:
FINKLEHOR (11/30/14): The kids are all right after all

The news media likes to characterize today’s young people as risk averse, narcissistic, app-dependent, over-scheduled, entitled and “pornified.”
Among the culprits are too much praise, not enough challenge, helicopter parents, cellphones and of course, the Internet.

But by many measures, young people are actually showing virtues their elders lacked. They have brought delinquency, truancy, promiscuity, alcohol abuse and suicide down to levels unseen in many cases since the 1950s. Rather than coming up with ever more old-fogey complaints, we should be celebrating young people’s good judgment and self-control—and extolling their parents and teachers.

You’ve probably heard that crime is down. But most of the remarkable facts about crime and delinquency among young people have not been trumpeted enough in a country just 20 years removed from fears that it was facing a generation of young “super-predators.”
Good for Finkelhor! That said, we were struck by several aspects of his report. That includes one major improvement he completely failed to discuss.

Finkelhor discussed the various ways in which today’s kids are better. General crime is down; rape and other sex crimes are down; suicide is less common; school safety has been improving dramatically.

That said, we thought the professor showed a tin ear on one or two occasions. Did he realize the way the highlighted passages might sound to adult ears?
FINKELHOR: Every generation of parents is alarmed by the sexual behavior of the young. But the accusations are more misplaced now than ever. Not only is the rate of teenage pregnancy down to record lows in the United States, but the percentage of ninth-graders who say they have had sexual intercourse has declined from 54 percent in 1991 to 47 percent in 2013. The percentage of high schoolers who say they have had four or more sexual partners also has declined.

Young people are showing a lot more self-control when it comes to substances as well. Binge drinking by 12th-graders is lower than at any time since surveys were started in 1976. The number of teenagers who have been drunk in the past year is at a record low and the drop for eighth-graders is particularly remarkable.
Only 47 percent of ninth-graders say they’ve had intercourse! Fewer eighth-graders got drunk last year!

We’re going to guess that claims like those won’t sound that great to many readers. But as Finkelhor rattled the many improvements, we were struck by the one big improvement he skipped.

Truly, it’s against the law to report the fact that test scores are up on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the gold standard of domestic testing! Finkelhor listed many improvements, but took a pass on that.

It’s just as we have always told you. Every researcher and journalist swears by the NAEP, but no one reports what the NAEP scores show! Never has this principle seemed more striking to us.

Finkelhor didn’t report the gain in national test scores. When he listed possible reason for the other improvements, we thought of Kevin Drum:
FINKELHOR: Why these improvements? Social scientists are mostly guessing. For example, over the past generation we have unleashed many new prevention and intervention programs for parents, families and children that use more effective strategies. We also have given psychiatric medication to many children and their parents. Although controversial, such drugs reduce aggression, depression and hyperactivity—which all contribute to conflict and risk-taking. Then there is the Internet, electronic games and related technology that have combined to relieve boredom, one of the chief drivers of adolescent mischief. Cellphones keep kids in touch with their parents and their friends, making it easier to summon help or get advice when they’re in trouble.
It might be the meds or the video games. Or maybe it’s the cellphones! Finkelhor didn’t speculate about the possible role of lead abatement in the many improvements he named.

An array of unpleasant comments were found beneath the article. Meanwhile, the Post proved it was still the Post through an accompanying graphic which we can’t find on line.

This was the headline on the graphic. We’re leaving the typo in:
Youth gone mild
Despite perceptions, today’s young people are less prone to bad behavior than there [sic] elders. For example, take these declines in crime statistics between 2002 and 2011.
Alas! The Post went with “there” instead of “their.” More strikingly, none of the statistics in the graphic spoke to the issue in question!

Are young people less prone to bad behavior than their elders? Probably yes. But none of the data in the graphic spoke to that actual issue.

When these kids today take over the Post, errors like that will cease.

41 comments:

  1. During the McMartin preschool trial, Simon David Finkelhor staked his reputation on promoting the charges against day-care providers of several forms of child abuse, including Satanic ritual abuse. The kids may be alright, but is David?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
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      dan terima kasih banyak kepada AKI atas nomor togel.nya yang AKI
      berikan 4 angka 0390 alhamdulillah ternyata itu benar2 tembus AKI.
      dan alhamdulillah sekarang saya bisa melunasi semua utan2 saya yang
      ada sama tetangga.dan juga BANK BRI dan bukan hanya itu AKI. insya
      allah saya akan coba untuk membuka usaha sendiri demi mencukupi
      kebutuhan keluarga saya sehari-hari itu semua berkat bantuan AKI..
      sekali lagi makasih banyak ya AKI… bagi saudara yang suka main togel
      yang ingin merubah nasib seperti saya silahkan hubungi AKI SOLEH,,di no (((082-313-336-747)))
      insya allah anda bisa seperti saya…menang togel 275
      juta, wassalam.


      dijamin 100% jebol saya sudah buktikan...sendiri....







      Apakah anda termasuk dalam kategori di bawah ini !!!!


      1"Dikejar-kejar hutang

      2"Selaluh kalah dalam bermain togel

      3"Barang berharga anda udah habis terjual Buat judi togel


      4"Anda udah kemana-mana tapi tidak menghasilkan solusi yg tepat


      5"Udah banyak Dukun togel yang kamu tempati minta angka jitunya
      tapi tidak ada satupun yang berhasil..







      Solusi yang tepat jangan anda putus asah....AKI SOLEH akan membantu
      anda semua dengan Angka ritwal/GHOIB:
      butuh angka togel 2D 3D 4D SGP / HKG / MALAYSIA / TOTO MAGNUM / dijamin
      100% jebol
      Apabila ada waktu
      silahkan Hub: AKI SOLEH DI NO: (((082-313-336-747)))




      atau klik langsung di KLIK DSINI BOCORAN TOGEL



      angka GHOIB: singapur 2D/3D/4D/



      angka GHOIB: hongkong 2D/3D/4D/



      angka GHOIB; malaysia



      angka GHOIB; toto magnum 4D/5D/6D/



      angka GHOIB; laos


      Delete
  2. I wasn't aware of that. Mr. Finkelhor has a lot to answer for. If he has not at least apologized for his role then he remains an awful man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. (above meant to be a reply to cicero at 4:08)

      Delete
    2. Harvard (68). A Contemporary of Somerby?

      Delete
    3. No, Somerby was class of 65.

      Delete
    4. Gee, Al Gore was (69). Guess something or somebody is off here. Is Somerby really over 70?

      Delete
    5. Somerby graduated from San Mateo's Aragon H.S. in 1965 and Harvard in 1969. He is 67 and today he can be found defending Megyn Kelly to the death at Kevin Drum's blog.

      Delete
    6. Thank you for clarifying that.

      Delete
    7. I found one comment by Somerby to the effect that Sullivan misrepresented what Kelly said. That is pretty typical Somerby and it is defending accuracy in reporting, not Kelly, since he expressed no agreement or disagreement with her.

      Delete
    8. Oh, come on! He's saying Kelly was "misrepresented" when she said the "Hands up Don't shoot" guesture was a lie.

      If you don't believe that Somerby is a slobbering fanboy of Kelly's, put her name in the Incomparable Archives and see what comes up.

      Delete
    9. He has certainly never described her as "dour."
      But I am glad he has time to participate in Drum's thread but never even reads his own (according to his most knowledgeable and supportive readers).

      Delete
  3. As far as the underlying causes of "Youth Gone Mild," while lead atabement may be a contributing factor a la Kevin Drum, I'm skeptical.

    I put more stock in the change in parenting culture that occurred beginning in the late '80s. My generation (X) was the latchkey one -- in contrast, Gens Y and Z were raised by helicopter parents. More direct attention and care by parents equals more compliant, conscientious, risk-averse, and less violent offspring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Remember that the changes are occurring across strata. The helicopter parents are largely a middle class phenomenon.

      Delete
    2. Across which strata are these changes occurring?

      Delete
    3. SES, race, geography

      Delete
    4. It would be hard to "remember" since neither Somerby or Finkelhor made such a representation.

      Delete
    5. Somerby has made that assertion with respect to educational progress repeatedly. Sorry -- I forgot that people don't necessarily read about these topics in other places.

      Delete
    6. I also found in interesting that Somerby was called away yesterday, but found time to post on Drum's blog.

      I also find it equally interesting that his lone comment generated NO discussion. It's as if Drum's readers have learned to roll their eyes when Somerby throws his two cents in.

      Delete
    7. I found it interesting that there were almost 600 comments. I guess that is where all Bob's commenters went after KZ scared them away here.

      Delete
  4. The Cult of the Child while protecting children from harm has done much harm. They don't understand that hardship builds character, because they have been overly protected. It also has nurtured their native narcissism with overly generous gifts leading to self-invloved focus unparalleled in history. Accountability has to wait until they have established an independent lifestyle and when that rubber hits the road they are unprepared for the sacrifices they must make, like making their car payment or rent, before they spend it on a resort in Cancun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How is this interpretation consistent with the statistics reported in the article?

      Delete
    2. The same as with the strata?

      Delete
    3. "There are lies, damned lies and statistics"
      Cue the studies that coffee is bad today, good tomorrow, bad again on the week-end.

      Delete
  5. Based on commentary volume I'd say TDH readers don't care about kids.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be wrong.

      Delete
    2. 4 or 5 commenters is hardly indicative of care or concern.

      Delete
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