It reads like a warning for an R-rated movie: lying, cheating,
violence.... But forget the big screen--it's teens' real-life
attitudes. According to the fifth annual Junior Achievement/Deloitte
Teen Ethics Survey, some think future success depends on rule-bending.
Seventy-one percent of teens surveyed feel prepared to make ethical
decisions when entering the work force. Yet 38 percent of that group
believe it may be necessary to cheat, plagiarize, lie or be violent to
succeed. Nearly one-quarter polled think cheating on a test is
acceptable, and more than half of those say it's due to the need to
succeed. Really scary? Almost a quarter think violence is OK as revenge
or to settle an argument. "The percentage of teens who freely admit
unethical behavior can be justified is alarming," says David
Miller, assistant professor of business ethics, Yale. "This way of
thinking will inevitably lead to unethical if not illegal actions that
will damage individual lives and ruin corporate reputations."