By Samantha Ptashkin
ROCKFORD (WREX)- You've probably heard someone older than you say "When I was your age things were different". A Girl Scout study actually puts some truth into the popular phrase.
It shows how generations are different, but not in the most flattering way for anyone past their teenage years.
Ace High School juniors Cherrel Holliman and Kelsie Streeter aren't your typical Girl Scouts. Sure they've got leadership, camaraderie and of course the cookies. But they've also got a lot of responsibilities and the study shows they're dealing with everything from sex and smoking to race and religion, better than their predecessors 20 years ago. "Us growing up right now, we've been watching people doing wrong things and making mistakes and when you look at someone who made a big mistake they can't get out of, we look at them and say we don't want to make that same mistake," Cherrel said.
Cherrel and Kelsie said mentors and leadership roles help them be more responsible, a trait that's required these days. "Then it was easier to go through school and succeed, now it's harder. You have more things coming at you, knocking you, so you have to stay on track," Kelsie said.
They said school is harder because there is more college competitiveness and tests. Yet the study finds two out of three young people wouldn't cheat in class, compared to one in three in 1989. "I don't feel they're necessarily more honest, but I think people actually make an effort now to try on tests and study," Kelsie said.
Kids also try harder to accept others. Nearly 60% approve of gay and lesbian relationships. That's double what it was two decades ago. "With so many people being diverse now, there is nothing left to do but accept it," Kelsie said.
Fifty-eight percent of the people surveyed say they would refuse alcohol. That is more than 10 percentage points higher than in 1989.
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