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New Study Reveals Youth Unprepared to Make Challenging Ethical Choices

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http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=47864

 

Boy Scouts of America: New Study Reveals Youth Unprepared to Make Challenging Ethical Choices

 

5/24/2005 9:32:00 AM

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

To: National Desk

 

Contact: Claire McLarty, 512-478-3335, for Boy Scouts of America, 512-478-3335 or claire.mclarty@edelman.com

 

IRVING, Texas, May 24 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A new Harris Interactive study shows that while many of today's youth are unprepared to make moral and ethical decisions, Americans who participated in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) are more likely to make the most ethical, but not always the easiest choices.

 

The Values of Americans - A Study of Ethics and Character, commissioned by the Boy Scouts of America, highlights the values held by society. The Values of Americans study is a follow-up to the 1995 Harris Interactive research The Values of Men and Boys in America and provides a comparison of current American values with those of ten years ago. The survey results reveal a clear picture of the values of American adults and youth.

 

Several key findings regarding the current state of American youth include:

 

-- Half of youth cheated on homework or a test in the past 12 months with 16 percent saying they have cheated five or more times.

 

-- The use of alcohol is prevalent among youth. One quarter drank a full glass of alcohol or can of beer in the past 12 months with 14 percent saying they have had an alcoholic beverage five times of more in the past year.

 

-- Nearly a quarter of youth took part in a group fight and 10 percent say they hurt someone badly enough to need bandages or a doctor.

 

-- Youth are experimenting with drugs. Sixteen percent say they smoked marijuana in the past year and eight percent indicate they have done so five or more times.

 

-- The incidence of violent or delinquent behaviors increases as youth move into their teenage years.

 

-- Boys are more likely than girls to engage in violent or delinquent behaviors.

 

The study also shows that Scouting continues to make a positive impact in the lives of youth. The Values of Americans Study reinforces the difference that Scouting can make, including:

 

-- Scouts show higher self-confidence, leadership skills, and a greater interest in helping others than youth who are not Scouts.

 

-- More than 80-percent of former Scouts report that Scouting has taught them to be a good team player, to always be honest, to take better care of the environment, and to respect the life and property of others.

 

-- Men who were Scouts five or more years are more likely than those who have never been Scouts to graduate from high school (91 percent versus 87 percent) and graduate from college (35 percent versus 19 percent).

 

-- Two-thirds of former Scouts report there have been real life situation where having been a Scout helped them to be a better leader (83 percent for former Scouts who were in the program five or more years).

 

"While many of the issues youth face have changed in the past ten years, Scouting continues to provide youth with the skills they need to face an evolving society," said Roy Williams, Chief Scout Executive, BSA. "For 95 years Scouting has provided interesting and challenging programs that teach character and leadership to America's youth."

 

Serving nearly 4.1 million youth between 7 and 20 years of age in more than 300 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation's foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. For more information about this study, contact the Youth and Family Research Center at 972-580-2103 or visit Web: http://www.scouting.org

 

---

 

Harris Interactive conducted The Values of American Study from September 2004 through October of 2004. The study is comprised of two interrelated surveys; one of adult men and women and the other of American youth. The youth survey consisted of a paper questionnaire randomly distributed to 1,714 young Americans (868 boys and 846 girls) in grades four through 12 at public, private and parochial schools across the United States. The adult survey was administered via telephone to a random sample of 1,524 adults ages 18 and older.

 

For full survey results, contact Claire McLarty at 512-478-3335, or Email: claire.mclarty@edelman.com .

 

http://www.usnewswire.com/

 

-0-

 

/ 2005 U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/

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I don't think this post belongs in the Issues & Politics section.

 

There's simply no denying the amazing impact of Scouting on the kids that we help mold... the Movement played an amazing role in my life, to help make me the man I am today. And we've all seen first hand the direct impact of Scouting's values with countless thousands of kids influenced just by the Scouters around this forum.

 

I recall the first Harris Research, and how that data shed light on what we all already knew.

 

I can't imagine you will find ANY person who posts on these forums that would challenge the research results that you cite above, nor the role Scouting can play in a kids life in teaching leadership, ethics and common values.

 

No, this research doesn't belong buried away in Issues & Politics, because it is more about the fundamental core of who we are as an organization.

 

The "values and ethics" that are debated so often in this forum don't really have much to do with the things that unite us... the common ground upon which we stand, like the research above.

 

The debate in this forum has more to do with things that really aren't Scouting "values" at the end of the day... the issues and politics debated here are usually because of sectarian and non-secular interpretations and perspectives, none of which is embedded in the research you posted.

 

I wonder how many people will be able to separate the real and good value education we provide from the religious pomposity we've pushed more recently.(This message has been edited by tjhammer)

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Now for the $64 question. Have these questions been asked of members of other youth groups? Girl Scouts 4H Scouts Canada? Not to take away from BSAs good works but the comparison to be true, BSA should be compared with other groups not no group.

 

A study of this kind in Europe with scouting and others would also be interisting.

 

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That's a fair question, but misplaced, I think.

 

The comparison isn't whether ex-Boy Scouts make better decisions than ex-Campfire youth; the question is, do ex-Scouts make better decisions than people who were not Scouts as youths?

 

I think the study does a good job of answering that question.(This message has been edited by fgoodwin)

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Of course, the whole idea is absurd, since the BSA is an unethical organization. For example, why did it take an ACLU threat to get them to stop issuing charters to government organizations? How can their "nondiscriminatory" branch teach ethics to gay and atheist students in their Learning for Life program, when they're a wholly-owned subsidiary of an organization that discriminates against them? It's like a nondiscriminatory branch of the KKK teaching racial tolerance.

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Merlyn's post is a classic example of a poor ethical decision.

 

And no Merlyn, this isn't a lie - it's my opinion.

 

Ed Mori

Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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Well see, Merlyn can't separate the "real and good value education we provide from the religious pomposity we've pushed more recently". He also can't separate "Scouting" from "BSA Inc.".

 

He's right of course, in that "BSA Inc." is acting both dishonestly and unethically. (i.e. the incongruity of the "gay policy" and the Declaration of Religious Principles, for example, or until recently encouraging government to own Scout units. BSA Inc. also has shown ethical lapses in its management procedures and hypocrisy among its leaders.) Perhaps the greatest ethical lapse of BSA Inc. is the divergent path that it's taken from the real Scouting movement over recent years, hijacked by special interests to redefine what it stands for at its core.

 

BSA Inc. didn't "make me the man I am today", and BSA Inc. didn't influence the countless thousands touched by the members of this forum. Scouting did. And there is a difference.

 

Unfortunately, it's not just folks like Merlyn that will find absurdity in the BSA claiming responsibility in helping kids make ethical choices. When the first Harris research came out ten years ago, BSA had not yet isolated itself into a corner. It was able to use that data much to its advantage, in recruiting new parents, kids and money to the organization, and to enhancing its reputation in public.

 

The great unfortunate part today is that more people (most people even?) will read that Harris poll headline differently. How many people (both for and against the BSA's controversial policies) will not first think of those issues when they read this headline, if even for a moment?

 

No, we've allowed the real and good ethics education our movement provides to be drowned out by the irrelevant religious pomposity BSA Inc. has provided.

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Boy, tj,

 

I can't think of any better way to say what you just wrote. Excellent, and something that I agree with completely.

 

Thanks for stating it so well.

 

And now, I'm sure, we'll hear from those who think "differently" :)

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Maybe we are being a little harsch on the BSA, it is the agent that has brought scouting to American boys for decades.

 

No organization is perfect, but in my opinion the BSA is one of the finest organizations in America.

 

Just my thoughts.

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Wow TJ, That was wonderful. I wish all scouters could appreciate the example you set. I think most would.

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I continue to take exception when people call the BSA dishonest and unethical. I will admit to them being somewhat inept sometimes, though, especially when it comes to PR.

 

I think the policy makers in the BSA believe strongly that it is not improper for a school to sponsor a Troop, as do I. They did consider it prudent to sever ties with schools in order to avoid the inevitable expenses of defending their position. That doesn't mean they now believe their original position was wrong or that they are now somehow unethical. They just felt their time and money was better spent elsewhere.

 

I do agree with tjhammer that there is a difference between the BSA and Scouting at the local level. These issues never come up on a local level.

 

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That study is just like so many medical studies that I, as an engineer, have trouble with. It shows no cause and effect, just observations.

 

"Studies have shown that those in the USA who take a multi-vitamin pill on a daily basis are 50% more likely to be in the top 50% of income of the population." Medical conclusion - taking a multi-vitamin pill make one rich.

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Acco40, remember Mark Twain's three great types of lies? 1) Lies, 2) Damn lies, 3) Statistics. You have pointed us to door number 3.;)

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Ah yes, Mr. Twain who stated, "It is agreed, in this country, that if a man can arrange his religion so that it perfectly satisfies his conscience, it is not incumbent on him to care whether the arrangement is satisfactory to anyone else or not."

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