French youngsters may be rude, but they're only 10 years away from matching Britain's teens
The latest think-tank report on British teenagers behaving badly, so badly they top the league of worst behaving youth in the Western world, makes irresistible reading for the French chauvinist. Irresistible because, by contrast, French teenagers reveal themselves as the best behaved (alongside Italians and Portuguese).
In short, French 15-year-olds fight less (38 per cent compared with 44 per cent of British 15-year-olds), binge-drink far less (3 per cent to 27 per cent), seem less sexually promiscuous (22 per cent to 38 per cent) and when they are, they use condoms more (82 per cent to 70 per cent). They eat more with their parents (89 per cent to 64 per cent) and hardly hang out with friends on weekday evenings (17 per cent to 45 per cent).
The youth of Britain has always been more badly behaved - if that is the word - than the youths of most other countries in Europe. We have had teddy boys, mods and rockers, punk rockers, football hooligans, chavs etc etc. Bad behaviour is a teenage right of passage. It also makes our teenagers among the most individualist and creative in the world. Nothing has changed in Britain, in my exoerience teenagers always drank far too much, puked in the streets, had sex too early and generally behaved obnoxiously. As Agnes points out, the real difference now is that it is beginning to happen in other countries as well.