Youth Survey: City vs. Country kids -

Youth Survey: City vs. Country kids

Small-town teens are more likely to have had sex. And honesty and politeness is less important to them.


Parents seeking a safe haven for their kids away from the pressures and pitfalls of the modern world might want to think twice about “simple” small town living. The values of rural teens aren’t that different than their urban counterparts—and their behaviour is sometimes worse.

When it comes to sex, 60 per cent of 15-to 19-year olds from communities with populations less than 10,000 admit to being active, versus just 49 per cent in the country’s largest (400,000-plus) centres. And more small town kids (75 per cent) are accepting of premarital relations than in the big city (70 per cent.)

Youth SurveyBut the Project Teen Canada 2008 survey also uncovered some surprising attitudes and beliefs that seem at odds with society’s traditional view of life away from the bright lights. Youth from smaller communities put slightly less, not more, importance on honesty, concern for others and politeness—as measured by a willingness to flip someone the bird—than both urban kids and the national average. They feel less pressure to do well in school, and report more trouble with the police. And they express more support for having kids out of wedlock, perhaps a reflection of the fact that their own parents are less likely to be married.

THE YOUTH SURVEY AT MACLEANS.CA: 1. Generation Tame 2. City vs. Country Kids 3. Teens lose faith in droves 4. The surprising optimism of Aboriginal teens 5. When it comes to sex, teen girls are acting more like boys 6. Immigrant teens find that tolerance goes both ways in Canada

Reginald Bibby, the University of Lethbridge sociologist who carried out the survey, sees the changes in rural Canada as part of a pattern of homogenization across our society. “Growing access to media in its diverse forms—and particularly television and the Internet—increasingly has eroded geographical boundaries,” he says. “Consequently, young people look pretty much the same, whether one is looking at entertainment choices, acceptance of racial and lifestyle diversity, perception of crime and strangers, values or spirituality.” He points to findings from past Teen Canada surveys suggesting that there has been a general decline in the values of the country’s youth. In 1984, for example 79 per cent of those polled said cleanliness was “very important.” In 2008, the percentage was just 59, with no differences between rural and urban kids. Similarly 62 per cent rated intelligence as important back in the 80s, versus just 54 percent today (tumbling to 45 per cent in the smallest communities.)

In fact, the differences that continue to persist between city and country appear to be mostly negative. A 2007 University of Alberta study, for example, found that 13 and 14 year old boys living in rural areas of the province were the most likely in their age group to access pornography, and the least likely to have received a sex talk from their parents. Dr. Miriam Kaufman, an author and specialist in adolescent sexuality at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, points to other research that shows rural youth are more likely to abuse alcohol and other substances, have unprotected sex and have access to firearms. “People move to rural areas because it’s a better place to raise their children. And that may be true,” she says. “But once you hit adolescence, there’s not much to do in smaller centres beyond drink and have sex.”

One possibility is that it’s not the country that is changing so much as our cities. A massive influx of immigrants from socially conservative societies has undeniably altered the face of urban Canada. Could it be affecting its culture too? Bibby points to findings in the survey suggesting city kids and their families are more religious. (Seventy-one per cent of teens in the largest centres say they believe in a higher power, versus 65 per cent in the smallest communities. And perhaps more revealingly, the figure jumps to 76 per cent for those whose parents were born outside the country, compared to 63 per cent for those with parents born in Canada.) But anecdotally at least, those values may not be that durable. Kaufman says that in her practice, she sees many patients from cultural communities who are struggling to reconcile family and religious values with the pressures of being a Canadian teen. “It’s like abstinence education,” she says. “We know from the U.S. experience that it doesn’t make teens any less likely to be sexually active.”

Another factor that may be at play in the transformation of small towns is the changing economy. Well before the current global downturn, many of Canada’s outlying communities had been experiencing tough times. On the East Coast it was the fishery. In the heartland Free Trade upended the manufacturing model. And the ups and downs of the forestry industry have taken their toll across the country. Tony Winson, a professor of Sociology at the University of Guelph, has studied the hollowing-out of smaller centres. “There are bound to be problems,” he says. “There are feelings of hopeless and that there is no future in the community.” He cites the experience in Newfoundland where many breadwinners have left their families behind to take up jobs in other parts of the country. In Ontario, well-paid manufacturing jobs were replaced with service-sector positions when the local plants closed down. It all contributes to the pressures on youth, says Winson.

Given all the challenges and temptations, perhaps the surprise is that small town kids aren’t worse. If, as Bibby suggests, television and the Internet are shaping how life is perceived—and lived—in both large and small centres, we should be thankful that our reality doesn’t look more like reality television.


Youth Survey: City vs. Country kids

  1. Country vs City Kids

    I had to laugh when I read your aticle. I grew up in a town of 3,000 in Saskatchewan in the 60’s and 70’s, ad I can assure you nothing has changed. I raised my children in Calgary, and was surprised at how good they and their friends were as teenagers. I was expecting the worst, because I was the worst, and so were my friends, at that age.

    Whenever my kids went back to the small town to visit Gramma, they would tell me how shocked they were at how bad the kids in the town were, and it was funny because the small town kids always expected my kids to be really, really bad because they were from the big city.

    I could never figure out what the reasons were, but from my experience, it is much easier to raise a teenager in the city than a small town.

  2. I agree with this article as I moved from a small city to a large city. There were few things to do back home and they got tiring after awhile as it was the same every night. Even at that they destroyed the only worth-while putt-putt and batting cages in the area to build a massive walmart and some outlets. there was enough to entertain children and adults, but not anything close enough to keep the pre-teens and teens busy. When looking back and talking to everyone from home I realize that I need more fingers than I have to count the people I know that have had children before the age of 20. Now that I am in a larger city I know no one in my age range that has children.

  3. I agree with this. I moved to a small town. the scenery gets old fast there’s nothing to do. teens will find away to entertain themselves somehow wether it be sex or marijuana

  4. I belive that if you spend time with your children istead of leaving it to the teachers and talk to them no matter where you live they will be just fine

  5. not true kidswill do there own thing wherever they are if no family togethernes

  6. I left a city at the age of 11 and grew up in a small town from that point on. I have to say it was the best thing my parents did for me. It was then I became more sociable, more interested in sports, and I made friends that have lasted a lifetime. I no longer live in that town, but when I go back, I feel as though I have gone home. No matter where I go, I see familiar faces. There is a real sense of community and helping others out.
    I really have to disagree with the politeness factor. I go to a bigger city and people are afraid to even look at you let alone say “Good Day”. And most people don’t even know the name of their neighbours. Where I live now, we socialize with the neighbours on a daily basis and we are always willing to help each other out.
    Big Cities? I really don’t think that happens!

  7. It’s not WHERE the kids are raised that matters, it’s HOW they are raised. The moral values are the same whether kids live in a large city or in a small town. The temptations are everywhere, cities, towns, villages.

  8. Well you can say what you want about small towns, grew up in one, got married and moved to the city, started a family, and moved back to the same small town. Our son is turning 18 next month and off to college in another small town up north with a population of 3,000. Kids are like an investment, if you dont put anything in then dont expect a return, plain and simple. I certainly would’t do it any different because of a survey, live it and then you’ll know.

  9. I agree big cities are better. The kids in small towns do bad things because they are bored. In the city there is always somewhere to go, or something to do. There are libraries, museums, art galleries, and festivals/events of some kind. There are sports and free programs everywhere.
    People in the city have to be polite to survive with so many neighbors. You have to to get along. I know all my neighbors. I say Hi to people walking down the street all the time. Some of the most polite and most helpful people I ever met were from ” bad” neighborhoods.

    • Have you lived in a small town? What makes you think kids / teens in small towns are bored and thus do bad things?

      • I have lived in both. Grew up in the urban areas as a kid and teenager and had my kids in a small town of less than 5000 people. My brother went to highschool in both environments and he hated the small town highschools. He found it very boring and every chance he got he went into the city to hang out with his friends there.

        As an adult small town living is great and raising your kids before becoming teenager I think is ok too. But the highschool that my children would have gone had the highest teenage pregancy in ontario. The drop out rate was over 40%. My friend who has five daughters the three oldest of his girls that went to that highschool there dropped out before grade ten and two of them already have children before the age of 21. In addition I went to one his daughters weddings and all of her friends were either pregnant or have little ones and all of the are unmarried.

        I think it is tougher for a teenager in a small town community to stay focused on their future and not let the sterotype image take them over. The parants have to be more diligent in the smaller communities to make sure their kids are active and stay focused and not get caught up in negative activities.

        We moved from their because we were concerned about our children and so far it has been a very positive move. My daughter is just becoming a teenager so far so good.

        I am glad that your expereince and your children are doing well but I think that is not the norm based on my experiences and friends I know and their children. They are still good kids but if they had more activities and had a wider group of people they could associate with maybe they would have chosen a different path.

        • “less than 5000 people”
          Not a small town, I’m sorry.
          In my town of just under 750 people, we have a wonderful atmosphere. Highschool is a lot less painful in very small communities, IMO. I left my highschool of 326 kids to go to a gifted program in the school in the county seat. THis school had just over 1000 students. The level of bullying, of drug addiction, and of skipping class, etc. blew my mind. In very smalll communities, people watch out for each other. INpw, if you want to get all up in arms about bush parties…;) but at least nobody has to drive home if the party’s in some guys field. Sleep by the fire pit and don’t piss off the cows, and it’s all good :)

      • Hi, I grew up in a small town and completely relate to the article. I was bored, restless, nowhere to go without relying on a parent with a car,;we all drank a ton and looking back feel we are lucky to have made it through our teens. Sure there were cows in the field, and hockey at the arena, but that doesn't replace the plethora of opportunities available in a city to keep a kid interested. As a teenage girl in a small town in the 70s there was almost nothing to do — only the really good athletes made the rep teams – there were no house league — no girls hockey at all, no girls' soccer, grrrr, thanks heavens I could read.

    • I believe country people are just as polite, whenever I am driving around I always have someone wave to me, in the city people are too busy, in my opinion. 

  10. I would have to dissagree with this article. Generally the ‘facts” may be true, but as also noted, one has to take it with a grain of salt as the study did not go far enough to examine the breakout on demographics, culture, and religion (although mentioned as posssible reasons). I grew up in an urban area of Montreal, lived in urban Toronto, and now live in rural Ontario with a 16 and 18 years old. There is NO comparison to the lives we had in those areas, the stresses or the pressures. I know my kids well, and their extended circle of friends, who are wholsome, honest and caring, all do well in school, and value their community. But alas a teen is a teen, they party and have fun, get drunk, and mess around with one another – we ALL did, decade over decade. Parenting is the key, instill morals and values, help them and teach them to make good choices, and keep an open door – they will find thier way, make mistakes along the way, and have fun. Ehough with the steriotyping, analysis, and labelling.

    • So you disagree with this article, because even though the “facts are true,” your personal anecdotal evidence tells you otherwise. “Ehough with the steriotyping” and analysis, you say? Yes, and while we’re at it, let’s do away with that pesky “reporting” and “writing,” which just gets in the way of folksy storytelling.

      Sigh. Commentary on the internet…

      • As I said, the facts of the article may be true, but that doesn’t mean the facts cover all the neccessary attributes to explain the effects of demographics. Folksy storytelling is not what this is about. The article sheds a poor light on us “country folk” and there are enough folks here speaking out, from personal experience, to say it isn’t always like that. Anyone can write a “report”, and anyone can do a study to pre-determine the results, from behind a desk no doubt.

        So yes, having lived in both world… I stand behind my remarks.

        Commentary on the internet…some offer thoughtful opinion, others are just critics of the opinions of others.

  11. Most small town kids I know (and I say most, but I can think of maybe 5 exceptions), do fit into that stereotype. And the thing with those small town kids, is the only ones who defy the stereotype are the ones who are most like city kids, who go away to university in the city and never go back to that small small town,.

  12. I would have to agree with the article, though keeping in mind it is by necessity a stereotype and hence not completely accurate. Growing up I would spend the school months in Toronto and the summer months in various small towns up north in Ontario. As I’ve grown older, with only a few exceptions, city kids have turned out much better than small towners. There was no difference when we were kids, but once we became teenagers the kids in small towns would very quickly get bored with “having space” and “being with nature” (the traditional selling points of country life) and move on to drugs and ridiculous drinking. The trend continues into college as well. If you were to compare substance abuse in a rural College, I can almost guarantee it would higher than an urban one.

    Another possible reason would be that there are less people to be friends with in a community of, say, 3,000. I know growing up in both city and country there were kids who would slash tires for fun, but in the city I would find it much easier to avoid these people. Inevitably they would all just get marginalized into one group of sociopaths. In the country though, short of turning into a hermit, it was hard to avoid tagging along and following suit.

  13. It also comes from what these city kids and their parents did — most of the city kids have higher aspirations, born and bred from families with university degrees, who told them to aim as high as they did.

    In the country, fewer people have professionanly degrees. For example, you don’t need 100 lawyers, doctors, accountants, excutive managers, in a small town hours away from a big city centre, but in a city you sure need more people like that. The country lifestyle centers around more basic needs, farming, mining, etc, which is important to Canada, yes, but let’s be honest, the money’s not there. You want to make a good living, you go to university, you get an education and then you settle down.

    • OMG, you have got to be kidding, less educated people live in the country, and the kids have lesser aspirations? What an abserd statement. I live a rural area in a village of less that 1000 people and there are many many doctors, executives (me being one of them), work from home professionals, writers, consultants, lawyers that commute, scientists, oh, and farmers with university degrees (where have you been, farming is a technological science now, not what it used to be!). And my unaspired daughter of 18 is in bio-medical science studying to be a doctor and speaks 3 languages….. before commenters stereotype “country folk”, I hope you have lived in both settings…like I have.

      • “OMG, you have got to be kidding, less educated people live in the country, and the kids have lesser aspirations? What an abserd statement.”

        Hoho. Me fail English? That umpossible.

        More seriously, David is generally right. You are much more likely to find someone with a university or college degree living in the city than the country. Just like incomes are also likely higher in the city. You can check the StatsCan numbers if you like. I don’t think he was implying that all country folk are inbreed neanderthals, just the well substantiated observation that cities generally have more opportunities.

        • Very mature… will

          • Yeah Will!!!

  14. this is so true.. i lived with a bunch of ppl in my last year of college, and i am from a big city and they are all from a small town and its all sooo true, they all slept around and the threw parties constantly not worring about the neighbours or anything after being warned and the police coming the house constantly for noise complaints

  15. I must be one of the fewer percent of this article that doesn’t do drugs, sex, smoking, or anything bad like that. The only thing I have is a temper, which I have to say is probably the main downside to a country bumpkin like myself. The same goes for some of my cousins… I have one cousin… And holy cow… Look out if you make him mad (he lives right out in the country). But I find this article highly amusing and great to use as a joke to make fun of myself. :P

    I think, like many of the posts I’ve seen here… With a lot of positive parental involvement, good friends and family, there should be no reason for a child to grow up so… Disruptive. :P Although… I must say… I’m one of the many teenagers who, at 13, was accessing porn… I’ve also never had… “The Talk”. But I’ve also never had sex either. : D

  16. I have to concur with the Sandra, John, Virginia and others’ comments. I have lived in both environments, rural and city. I lived a portion of my life in the Yukon Territory and if that’s is not considered rural, I don’t know what is.

    The opportunities up there were very limiting. The town revolved around the mine and fortunately, my parents had the sense to move back to “the city” when he did. I know that with the GENERAL mentality of his co-workers up there (go to work, go to the bar, sleep in your truck, REPEAT), my life would have been different.

    All this town had a community centre that doubled as their school gym and their library. Yes, there was outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting, which was fun, but not much else.

    As for the pregnancy comments, I wholeheartedly agree. In another small town, some of my cousins come from a small town and you know what – hello! – they ended up on a cocktail of the following: drugs, married, with multiple kids and/or no future. Damn sad.

    In regards to Bruce’s comments, I think small towns are great – for retirement. But, in the end, it really is up to the parents. I think his daughter is the exception to the rule.

  17. It’s not WHERE the kids are raised that matters, it’s HOW they are raised. The moral values are the same whether kids live in a large city or in a small town. The temptations are everywhere, cities, towns, villages..

  18. I grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, right on the edge of the country. I later went to university in a medium-sized city. My POV is this. In a large community (highschool with 1000+ students), no matter what lifestyle YOU choose, good or bad, you will find others like you. So if you come from a good home, with good values, you will be able to find friends like you, and you support eachother. Contrary to pop-culture, in this scenario you are not obsessed with what the cool kids are doing. It’s a lot easier to just be yourself, and do your own thing.
    In a smaller community, you may find yourself an outcast with no friends, and that’s simply not acceptable to a teen. So they’ll desperately feel the need to fit in and conform to whatever the majority is doing.
    And finally, what I saw in the university town were really violent and vicious teen street gangs that I never saw in my larger community. My theory is that they THINK that it’s cool, but have no role models to lay out the rules, so they make them up themselves. As such, their pop-culture inspired imaginations lead to a much worse situation than those of us who lived with “the real thing”. For instance, the pot dealers in Mississauga were basically friendly, and just wanted to do business as smoothly as possible. But in Kitchener, it was all gangs who would go out looking for a fight. I was scared of them in a way I was never scared in Toronto.

  19. maby the fact in a small town you can get away with putting a small kids in a wagon with a sun bonette and bees a fake car horn to make people break hard

  20. It’s interesting that someone conducts a poll, as scientifcally accurate as he can make it, and almost every comment is of the “well I grew up in a city” or “I moved to a small town” variety.

    So, to join in with the rest of the gang … I grew up on Mars, and would like to give you the benefit of my total detachment from the issue: Everyone is believing what they want to believe (including Mars dwellers).

  21. I hate to burst the bubble of the “It’s all about family” folks, but there is strong research that show’s parents only have a small amount of influence on teenagers. Biology is indeed a great determinant of behaviour, but no one wants to believe this because everyone with “good” kids wants to take credit for their awesome parenting skills and wants to blame other parents for “bad” kids.

  22. Also interesting to note that this is a classroom survey so it would ignore kids who have dropped out of school. Seems a pretty big oversight.

  23. I am truly shocked at the unbelievable stupidity of some people. My 16 year old daughter brought this to my attention and was becoming quite upset by it. I am at a loss of words that in the 21st century we are still stereotyping people by where they are from.

    We live not only in a rural area but my girls (13 & 16) attend school in a town of less than 500. We do not have any pregnant teens in this school, no gangs and minimal drug problems. I do not have to worry about them getting shot, beat up, and/or attacked when they walk in their town. They participate in community activities, sports, fundraising and general recreational activities. Everything done in this town is a FAMILY activity.

    I don’t believe where you are raised determines your path in life but how you are raised. I know where they are on a Friday night. I know where they are after school. Perhaps maybe if the yuppy parents had a more down to earth life with their children they would have fewer problems.

    We are not problem free, but I as well know all my neighbors, people in my community and know that in times of need they would be there for my family.

    Perhaps people should be looking deeper than who is better than who. Macleans perhaps you should actually step out of your small minded approach and actually speak to kids who do like their rural life. They have the same opportunities perhaps even more. Our sporting activities are less expensive, clubs are not limited. My kids focus their energies in a different direction than a child in the city, but it doesn’t make them any less educated, important or valuable of a person.

    Both lifestyles have there advantages and disadvantages. It is disheartening to think we are back to prejudices and stereotyping people by where they are from.

    • I really needed to here this! Base on your comment, I will be staying in my small town. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

    • This is a SOCIOLOGICAL study, which means, it looks at behaviour of people based socio-economic factors and one of them being where you come from. This isn't to point fingers, it is to look at how we live our lives and what we can learn from the differences! This isn't to determine who is better than who, you can have your rural life and still be a wonderful human being. This study is to look at the factors that could contribute to teens being more sexually active and their attitudes – one of the things that showed up was the differentiation between where they lives. This is not to sterotype, this is to learn trends and what could cause shifts in behaviours

  24. First I will say, people have a right to their opinion and each to their own. I am speaking mine here.

    I am happy to see that teens are becoming more respectful of their lifestyles. I am quite proud to say, coming from a small town girl, that I do not abuse the usage of drugs, alcohol and smoking. That I also proudly hold my innocence and plan to till I say my vows.

    I am a young teenage girl living in the country, my life revovlves a small town and I will admit that I love it. I do not agree with people bashing teens of small towns and saying that we are bad, our intelligence level is not high and that we’re always bored. Boredom is a choice, same with drugs, alcohol, marijuna and sex. We as teens make our own choices. We should not blame it on boredom or that out in the country the city folk believe we have no life. I live in a town that ranges 500-800 people and we have a very active community. I am in our local Rodeo club, I have the access to libraries, volunteer work, fundraising, sports teams such as hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball, badminton, track etc. So people who do not know what they are talking about when it comes to these small towns should probably either do reasearch and/or keep their mouth shut. I am 16 and I find myself participating in all sports, I have a job, I attend community activities and I even find myself in the library. I have never once lived in a city and yes, that is by choice. I live to have fresh air, to wake up to the birds singing rather then cars honking, go to bed to coyotes howling rather then sirens ringing.

  25. I have to disagree. I was born and raised in assorted towns in rural Ontario, and spent a summer at a relative’s in Mississauga. People in rural areas are friendlier, more polite, and more likely to help you if you need to. I’ve found that, for example, if you trip and fall in a small town, someone will invariably help oyu up, pick up your stuff, make sure you’re okay and if neccesary, call for help. In the meantime, they will have dragged your life story out of you. The same in the city may result in someone helping you up, but more likely 3 or four people will go by before one stops. This, of course, is just my bias, as I am a country girl, and to be perfectly honest, cities scare the crap out of me.

    • I want to share your enthusiasm for small town life, but cannot. I found the people in my small town (Acton, Ont.) quite unfriendly towards exurbanites, even reminding them that they were now country folk and must fit in. They were selective with the people they helped. White, working class “lifers” were given priority over those who moved in from other communities. Also, the lifers felt they had the right to spread lies against anyone who was different. If you are a non-traditional woman, a racialized person, LGBT or from a religious minority, you are better off in a city or larger town. I thrive on fast pace and anonymity.

  26. There are small towns and then there are small towns. I agree with the article as it applies to the real old-boy backwoods rural areas. However, many beautiful country areas within an hour or so of major urban centres offer small town living per the article, but are more accurately described as exurbia, dominated by big city folks who’ve left the cities. I’ll bet the stats in these gentrified rural areas differ greatly from the other more traditional notion of small town living.

    • What do you mean by "There are small towns, and then there are small towns"???

  27. Unbeleivable. Baby boomers refuse to think that maybe their complete lack of brains has instilled sense in those under thirty. And seriously? minute variances in statistics are so dumb when the sample size is so different. Kids don’t smoke because everyone hates it, they don’t drink because their parents are all alcoholics, and they’re not having sex…IN RL!! That’s Real Life Macloosers. Gawd, get in the game. Kids are exactly the same, the WORLD has changed. Nuff sed.

  28. Its interesting to see that apparently country kids live in centres of up to 10,000 people. Out here those would still be called city kids. Hamlets, villages and not even in a settlement would be country kids.

  29. I think people should stop blaming Macleans for simply reporting on statistical findings, although the article's title would be more accurate if it said City vs. Rural kids (but what editor could resist the urge to include a "city vs. country" comparison in a title?) I think John D says it best: nature plays by far more of a role in behavior than nurture does, and any claims to the contrary are a parent's efforts to take credit or place blame. John D, your comment about dropping out elicits a question about drop-out rates in rural vs. urban centres. I would suspect it is higher…

  30. I live in rural Sask. and my husband applied for a job in Kamloops, B.C. He is now being asked to come for an interview and may get this position. We need to make a decision now if we will go….if he gets it? My 14yr . old is very nervous about this…he is shy and does not easily make friends. We have lived in the same little (tiny) rural spot since he was a preschooler…he knows nothing else. My grade 5 boy is fine with "whatever"….he is very outgoing! The city closest to us right now has serious dysfunctional first nation issues and is increasingly a "non friendly" place and is a jail town. My husband wants to get the kids away from this area. Help!!!! I am so confused.

  31. But just to be fair, on the flip side we have a gorgeous National Park a 1/2 north of us and family within 1.5 to 5 hours from us. We also have two little skii hills close by. So there is good as well. My kids both like their school and friends. Some Advice would be great!!! Heath

  32. i dissagree with this report like come on really kids are smart engouge to know better then to have sex

  33. i hate this report so much

  34. I agree with u Calvin they are really annoying!!!!

  35. I know it's annoying but how it is rude?

  36. Well i totally disagree with this article, being a 14yr old country girl myself and having friends that are city kids. i see a huge difference, i myself have lots of stuff to do at home on our property i'm never bored and feel the need to destroy things etc. me and my family all help out with feeding the animals. i have my own horses too look after and ride, i take them to local rodeos and horse sport clubs. my brother (17) helps my dad kill the pigs, cows, sheep etc. to feed the family.
    I am about the only one out of all my friends who has a life, my friends run around chasing boys, sitting on the computer all day long. most of them don't even have hobbies and haven't had a hobby for 2 years egleast.
    none of the boys have any respect, most of them actually punch and kick the girls, but the girls don't mind they think its flirting. i would have to be the only one who can stick up for myself and know when I'm not being treated correctly.
    when it becomes night time my friends walk the streets and steal from peoples bar fridges let alone steal from the shops.

  37. I don't find it hard to believe this article, coming from a town of 20 000, but I do recognize its shortcomings in regard to the demographics of city/country populations. It is natural that people who pursue higher education will migrate to cities, where there are more jobs, whereas small towns are susceptible to stagnance. However (and this is coming from a student with two university-educated parents and one of the highest averages in my high school), I will give my own biased statistic regarding the obnoxious "city folk" who naturally assume that people live in small towns because they have nothing better. Last summer I had a woman say to me, "There's a recession going on, I don't know if you knew that up here." The fact that I had probably read more about the recession than here did not escape me, and nor did the possiblity that many people who visit us suffer from arrogance as another symptom of the differences between country and city life.

  38. I agree with Gerry. What matters is what you teach ur kids. I know many kids in the city and most of them do drugs and etc. In my opinion country kids are more caring and have more manners too. They’re also hard working especially if their parents own farms and etc.

  39. Okay hang on here.Although these statistics do seem about right terrible as they may sound, let me elaborate. I am 13 and have grown up in a small town of 400 people. yes, we do drink at 12. But usually it’ll be a cold beer after a hard day’s work splitting wood, building a deck, etc. Yes, we do get drunk, but doesn’t everyone. Fact is, we’re not terrible teenagers wanting to grow up too quickly. We’ve been fending for ourselves since we were six. We were taught to be mature and grown-up. I remember being five and asking my mother if there was any way at all I could help her. We’re not wannabe adults. We are adults. We’ve been working so hard as long as we remember that we’ve matured quicker.
    Sure, the sex rate is probably higher. But that’s because we’re mostly good people. Would you do it with someone mean and crabby or someone kind and understanding that you’ve probably known since you were six? We’re just ready at that young age because we’ve matured emotionally. I accredit this emotional maturity also to being around our parents so often, learn ing from them.
    And of course we get into trouble occasionally. Doesn’t everyone? Maybe we get away with a little more, get caught with a little more, do bad things a little more, but never anything serious. At least not in my town. Like I said, 400 people. About 30 of them under the age of 20. So really, if something happens you just have to call around and figure out who’s out of bed.
    And the intelligence thing. I can say that intelligence isn’t that important. It’s the personality that matters. I know kids that are dumb as soup and funny as hell at the same time. They’re my best friends. We see personality values before superficial traits. And do you really need a master’s degree to operate a chainsaw?
    It’s not that we’re socially underevolved cavemen, we’ve just got our shit straight. If I can recognize this at 13, then I believe that the article portrays us in the wrong light.

  40. I believe that the kids have their own sense of value regardless where they live. whether it be city or country. and also, depending where in the city or rural. Some areas may be nicer and some are worst. as for smoking and sex. Sex is sex. Smoking is smoking. it doesnt matter whether you live in the ciry or country. My father was born and raised in the country, and so is my boyfriend. they both dont drink, dont smoke. And my father is an old-fashioned one woman man. I grew up in a quiet area, but more so city. It’s okay, I prefer the rural areas more, I like the peace and quiet. I also dont drink and dont smoke. In the city, some or a lot of people drink during social gatherings. As for boredom to drink and smoke, that happens pretty much anywhere. I think every person has the choice to choose to improve themselves, whether they be from the city or rural areas. Back in the day, when war broke out, a lot of lives were ruined, but whether the person affected by this chooses to do good or bad at that time, it’s really up to them. And, sometimes drinking and smoking has to do with peer pressure. Don’t be afraid to refuse that type of substance into your body.

  41. I would never raise my kids in a small town. I was a transplanted city kid in a small town of just over 2000 people in the 1980s. People there were extremely judgmental, petty and rude: on my first day of school, a teacher asked me whether I came from South America – in front of other kids. There was also the generalized notion that city kids, particularly minorities such as myself, were troublemakers who deserved to be bullied. While the other kids started it, I was the one who got suspended. Few kids were college-bound in that community. And becoming a juvenile delinquent and/or a teen mom was more attainable and desirable socially than any degree.

    The stereotype of small town boredom is based on fact. There was nothing to do in that town besides getting plastered, stoned and pregnant. And my small town was a perpetual high school, with kids and adults alike spreading the most vicious gossip about anyone different. Planning to attend college, or not the kind of girl who spreads her legs in front of every guy in town? She’s the crazy one when the real nutcases are the ones who spread lies.