Canadian teenagers are drinking less, smoking less, and having less sex: an exclusive report in Maclean's



    TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - Parents are used to worrying about their teens,
but an exclusive report in latest issue of Maclean's reveals that today's
teenagers may be behaving better than their parents.
    According to the latest results from Project Teen Canada, an ongoing
survey of more than 4,500 teenagers that dates back to 1984, the timeless
hallmarks of teenage rebellion -booze, cigarettes, drugs and sex- are
officially out of favour.
    Reginald Bibby, the University of Lethbridge sociologist who oversees the
project, says many of the fears we have about our kids are founded on a faulty
assumption, namely, that opportunity would necessarily lead them to indulge.
    But while drugs are as available as ever, the proportion reporting
regular or occasional drug use has fallen by 16 per cent in the last eight
years. And while social advocates warned through the 1990s that the
liberalization of liquor laws would lead to more teenage alcohol abuse,
today's youth are less interested in drinking than their counterparts in the
previous decade. But nothing defied conventional wisdom as much as the
responses to queries on sex and relationships. Today's teenagers actually
report having slightly less sex than youths were 10 or 15 years ago, while
placing a much greater emphasis on old-time romantic conventions like loyalty
and love.

    
    Teenagers (age 15 to 19)                              2000          2008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Per cent who drink alcohol                             78%           71%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Per cent who smoke                                     37%           22%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Per cent who use marijuana or hashish                  37%           31%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Per cent who never have sex                            51%           56%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PLUS:

    -   Teen girls in charge: As a group, teens are having slightly less sex,
        but teen girls are starting to act like boys.
    -   Losing faith: Teens who identify themselves as Christians are
        dwindling, while Islam and atheism are on the rise.
    -   Polite, honest. . . bigoted? Immigrant teens learn that tolerance
        goes both ways.

    ALSO THIS WEEK IN MACLEAN'S, ON NEWSSTANDS APRIL 2:

    OUR SO-CALLED GENIUS BANKS
    
    Canada's bankers look like financial gurus compared with the rest of the
world right now. Or was it just luck? National editor Andrew Coyne offers his
take.

    About Maclean's:

    Maclean's is Canada's only national weekly current affairs magazine.
Maclean's enlightens, engages and entertains 2.8 million readers with strong
investigative reporting and exclusive stories from leading journalists in the
fields of international affairs, social issues, national politics, business
and culture. Visit www.macleans.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Louise Leger, (416) 764-4125,
louise.leger@rci.rogers.com

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