If you read the Daily Mail, or listen to our politicians, this is what you might think young people today look like.
In 2011, a poll by Barnardos, a children’s charity, found that 49% of people thought that “children [were] beginning to behave like animals”, while 47% “thought youngsters were angry, violent and abusive”.
Apparently, we live in a Clockwork Orange world where young people go around stabbing each other on every street corner in between binge drinking and shooting up mephedrone.
But the reality is that they are actually incredibly well-behaved.
The same applies to women. As you prepare to disappear off to yet another Christmas party, this may not seem entirely plausible – but it is true.
Cannabis in particular has fallen out of fashion. In 2001, nearly half of young people had tried cannabis – today, the figure is less than a third. Perhaps because it is such a rubbish drug.
4. Amazingly, today’s teenagers are actually more polite than previous generations.
What this shows is that people born between 1992 and 1996 were less noisy and rude in public places than children born earlier were at the same age.
Contrast the teenagers on your bus to work with the drunken adults on any London night bus at the weekend and it is clear this is true.
Well if you’re not smoking, drinking, or taking drugs, why would you?
The teenage pregnancy rate is the lowest is has been since the 1960s, when women used to marry at an average age of 22.
Politicians worry a great deal about the sexualisation of our children. On the basis of these figures, they’d do better worrying about their own generation.
8. Indeed, young people have swapped with old in more ways than one.
According to extensive polling by Ipsos Mori, “generation Y” – those born in the 1980s and 1990s – have become more likely to vote Conservative since 2010. Remarkably, they are now more Tory than their parents.
9. On some issues, they seem to genuinely be more right-wing.
They’re more worried about benefit scroungers, but less worried about immigrants. And they’re not flocking to Nigel Farage just yet.
Well, one explanation is that more young people are living at home – where it is hard to be too badly-behaved.
Which means less money to spend on booze, drugs and cigarettes.
12. More than ever are going to university.
Even though fees have soared over the past decade, more and more young people are flocking to get degrees. One of the results of fees is that students have started complaining that they aren’t given enough classes to go to.
So in conclusion, today’s young people are the most boring generation in recent history.
The truth is that in contrast to the fears of politicians, religious leaders, journalists and so on, the lesson that today’s youth seem to have learnt is that youthful rebellion is a bit passé.
Which is hardly all that surprising, given that their parents are credited with inventing it in the 1960s. Now can everyone stop going on about our broken, dysfunctional society please?