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Survey shows drop in high school student cheating

Sunday - 11/25/2012, 4:06pm  ET

WASHINGTON - A new survey shows that for the first time in a decade, students are cheating, lying and stealing less than in previous years.

The 2012 Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth shows that 51 percent of surveyed students admitted to cheating, while 59 percent admitted to cheating in 2012.

In the new report, 55 percent of students admit to lying, a drop of 6 percent in the past two years.

There was a similar drop in stealing. 20 percent admitted to stealing in the new survey, compared to 27 percent in 2010.

The survey shows that boys are much more likely to engage in dishonest behavior than girls.

For example, boys in the survey were almost twice as likely (19 percent compared to 10 percent) to steal from a friend as girls, and boys were 6 percent more likely to steal from a relative. Boys are also twice as likely (20 percent verses 10 percent) to believe that "it is not cheating if everyone is doing it."

The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics surveyed 23,000 high school students across the country. It releases the Report Card on the Ethics of American Youth every two years.

Read the full report card here (PDF).

WTOP's Max Smith contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)