Today's Teens Have Become Disturbingly Responsible

Teens these days may seem like ne'er-do-wells, with all of their sexting and terribly bland pop music, but it turns out, according to a new CDC survey, that they're actually behaving themselves for the most part. For starters, smoking is way down. In 1991, 70 percent of kids had tried a cigarette, but by last year that number was down to 45 percent. Though kids these days are hitting the pot harder than ever. For the first time, more kids reported smoking marijuana than cigarettes. At the moment, about 23 percent of kids smoke marijuana and only 18 percent smoke cigarettes. Dude, could be worse. They could all be doing bath salts.

Binge drinking has also gone down by about 10 percent since 1991. Drinking and driving is down nine percent since 1997. And they're even being slightly less sexually promiscuous. In 1991, 19 percent of kids had had four or more sex partners, in 2011 that was down to 15 percent.

The one front on which teens these days are failing miserably is texting. One in three kids reported texting or emailing while driving at least once in the previous month. This is dangerous for anyone, but especially for teens because they're inexperienced drivers. Still, the good news is that auto deaths have fallen by a whopping 44 percent since 1991—though car accidents remain the biggest cause of death among teens. Still, if texting in the car once in a while is the worst thing a kid does, we're in pretty good shape. What happened to the days when teens were ruining our future with all their free love and rock n' roll?

Teens Improve on Most Risky Behaviors, but 1 in 3 Text While Driving: CDC [Time]

Image via Poulsons Photography/Shutterstock.