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Teenagers becoming 'more aware'

Teenagers are among the most politically and socially aware ever, according to research.

Six out of every 10 value brands highly but 85% said they should be "socially responsible", putting ethical above financial value.

Teens are also having as much underage sex as teenagers 10 years ago, London Future Laboratory suggests.

It quizzed 2,000 teens in Manchester, London, Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow and 11 elsewhere in Europe.

Co-founder Chris Sanderson told BBC News Online the researchers were "very surprised" by how much teenagers seem to have since the mid-1980s.

Blog effect

"Broadly speaking, most of them are optimistic, responsible and forward thinking in their outlooks," he said.

Teenagers had been motivating each other through web contacts and , he said - citing teenager Kierra Box and her Hands Up for Peace team who motivated about 3,000 people to turn up at an anti-war demonstration at Parliament Square last year.

However, such ethical did not mean teenagers were no longer rabid consumers or brand-followers, he warned.

"While they can understand the importance of sourcing goods ethically and not using sweatshops and so on, kids still may want to go out and a pair of Nike trainers."

'Tiny trumps'

Of the teenagers interviewed, 88% said health care should be , and they would happily pay more tax to pay for free and social security.

The report coins the phrase "sunshine teens" for modern teenagers, and divides them into four categories.

"Issue touristas" are the most politically active and socially aware; "tiny trumps" are "label guzzlers" and keen followers of Pop Idol and Fame Academy; "old age teens" are responsible, and concerned about their and their parents' futures; and "Loliteens" are sexually provocative.


(BBC News)