A recently-released survey carried out by the World Health Organization in cooperation with the local authorities points to some changes in regards to Hungarian youth, smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex and other things largely unknown to previous generations of youngsters. As with many such reports, the study, which is repeated every four years and this time included 8,000 participants, included data both reassuring and alarming. First the alarming: smoking among elementary school students was found to be significantly less common than previously, while these same kids are in general happier with their lives.
Now for the reassuring bits.
Despite the drop-off in childhood smoking rates, Hungarian youth are actually more likely to try smoking, as well as alcohol, drugs and sex, and to spend far more time using computers – at least two hours a day – no doubt mostly for bad reasons.
As for how the increase in bad behavior by Hungarian youth breaks down by gender, the data suggest that boys are more likely to use cannabis, drink alcohol and abuse medical drugs than girls.
But both girls and boys are converging when it comes to sex, with the report indicating more and more of both having their first first sexual encounters at age 13 or under – and a growing number deciding not to bother with protection against unwanted pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases, which in turn may have to do with the fact that amphetamine use among teens and pre-teens increased by 50% just since 2005. [index.hu]