Today’s youth are not losing their values. In the first place, because losing the values would be equivalent to being emptied of values until there are none or almost none left. What happens is that the values, in young people, change . And that has always happened. For that reason, all the elders, of all the ages of history, have bitterly repeated that the young people of before were better.
However, a society with values is one that continually assesses which aspects of a culture’s norms are worth adhering to and which are already obsolete.
Now, perhaps, there is more sexual disinhibition, the students are more shameless with the teachers than before, the rules in general are not followed so strictly, but that probably happened because of the fear of punishment, not because people were better. But even now that there is less fear of punishment, we are generally more empathic with others .
This is what maintains, since 1981, a worldwide network of social scientists and political scientists has carried out this research, carrying out representative national surveys in almost 100 countries. This monumental investigation is called the World Values Survey . As explained by the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker in his book In Defense of the Enlightenment , which abounds in the results of this study:
The data show that the most liberal countries are also, on average, more educated, more urban, less fertile, less endogamous (with fewer marriages between cousins), more peaceful, more democratic, less corrupt, and less punished by crime and violence. coups d’état.
So no. Values are not being lost. Even the youth of today are not worse than those of before. They are just different . And last but not least, another counterintuitive idea: these changes are not even likely to be due to parent or teacher education.
People attach great importance to education, to the values that parents transmit to their children, to good teachers … however, we are not the way we are due to these factors . Or rather: these factors are only part of a complex constellation of factors that is nothing like the popular story of how we ended up being as we ended up being, as you can see below: