Cheating in our Society -- By: Kenneth M. Gardoski

Journal: Journal of Ministry and Theology
Volume: JMAT 05:2 (Fall 2001)
Article: Cheating in our Society
Author: Kenneth M. Gardoski

Cheating in our Society

Mr. Ken Gardoski

Assistant Professor Of Systematic Theology
Baptist Bible Seminary, Clarks Summit, PA


The subject of this article is not new; cheating has been around for a long time.1 However, it appears that cheating is reaching epidemic proportions. The subject is broad and I cannot deal with every aspect in this article. What I will do, first, is paint in broad strokes a picture of the problem of cheating in our contemporary American society, focusing on cheating in academia. This in particular has been a “hot topic” in the media as of late. Second, I will then discuss briefly what I and many others see as the root cause of the problem. Third, I will turn our attention to the Scriptures to see what light they shed on the topic of cheating. Fourth and last, I will make some practical suggestions based on the study.

The Prevalence Of Cheating Today

“Cheating is at or near an all-time high,” according to Donald McCabe, president of the Center for Academic Integrity based in Durham, N.C.2 In 1998 the Josephson Institute of Ethics released the results of a survey of 20,829 middle school and high school students. Findings revealed that 70.2 percent of the high school

students and 54 percent of the middle school students admitted to having cheated at least once on an exam within the previous 12 months.3

Stephen Davis, professor of psychology at Emporia State University, who has gathered data on more than 17,000 students, notes that 50 years ago only about 20 percent of high school students admitted to having cheated. Today a range of studies shows that that figure has exploded to anywhere from 75 percent to 98 percent.4

According to the 2000 poll of students honored in Who’s Who Among American High School Students, four out of five teens at the top of their classes say they got there by cheating. A full 80 percent admit to having cheated during their impressive academic careers. This represents a four percent jump from last year’s survey and the highest percentage in the 29-year history of the survey.5 This reveals another trend in cheating. In the past, students who worried about failing were the ones who were most likely to resort to cheating. Now “even the best and brightest are trying to get an edge, like an athlete taking steroids.”You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
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