Despite the hippie-trippy peace and love thing, the Baby Boomers were decidedly not the non violence generation. Indeed they were the opposite of that. In their time of youth, roughly when they were about 18-30, was the prime time for muggings. Remember muggings? They were a regular thing in the 70s. Muggings are a physical assault or a threatened physical assault for the purpose of robbing someone. Peace and love? The irony is pretty heavy.
Statistics all over North America show that violent crime was at its peak during the Baby Boomers’ youth. Then there was a long decline in violence that continued from the end of the Baby Boomers’ youth all the way until a handful of years ago when violent crime began to escalate again.
So which generation was responsible for the dropping numbers? The numbers dropped during Gen X’s youth. Of course there should have been a drop anyway as there were fewer Gen Xers. But the continued decline is more than the scant numbers of Gen X youth would attest. Gen Xers as it turns out were less violent than the preceding generation.
I’ve been racking my brain for reasons but I only have come up with one that makes sense. The Baby Boomers had fewer adults per each youth. Adults over 30 who could help put the Boomers on the right path. Gen X, in North America was also known as the Baby Bust. There were more adults over 30 for each Gen X youth. Supervising the youth over this time was easier.
Why Millennials kept up the non violence of Gen X, I don’t know. Maybe it was the complete eradication of violence as a punishment in schools. Or the gradual disappearance of corporal punishment at homes in favour of the famous time out. Maybe participation trophies actually do help society at large.
Why violence has started to increase in Gen Z, I don’t know. Maybe it’s the thought that they might be the last generation ever. (As noted by their end of the alphabet moniker.) But honestly, Gen Z, it just started with Gen X being the unknown generation. X stands for unknown. Millennials were very early on known as Gen Y. Thus you were known as Gen Z. Don’t ask me what they will tag the next generation with.
Anyhow Generation Non Violence could be Gen X’s new moniker. As a Gen X member, I would love to see an agreed upon name for my generation instead of the placeholder Gen X. Gen Z start suggesting names now for your generation or you will be stuck with a placeholder name for most of your lives.