A great deal has changed in the last one hundred years. The nuclear family has disintegrated with the advent of two working parents and/or divorce. Young people spend a great deal more time together with friends and peers, but seem to have less time with parents to help them navigate the troubled waters of middle school. Technology while an amazing tool, allows kids to remain connected almost twenty-four hours a day. This gives them little rest from a world of gossip, complaining, bullying, and criticism (given or received). America has seen several wars since that time, and most frightening, learned of American vulnerability in the face of 9-11.
It seems that insecurity becomes a more horrific problem for young people to face as parents are not present or caring enough to educate them to be concerned for the feelings of others, kinder to each other and strong in their own sense of self—insecurity is more prevalent than ever. As the brunt of criticism and outright hostility, young people learn to become more aggressive in order to fit and and defend themselves.
Poverty exists and always will, it would seem. In this economy, people who never believed they would lose jobs and not be able to support themselves or their family members are finding the need to adjust to living on less, with less. This is especially hard on children.
It's hard to know if children are safer. Things took place many years ago that children never spoke about. Today, they speak out, but the destruction at the hands of adults is just as hard to reverse. Life seems to be less precious to people who harm children, women and the elderly. Crimes often do not seem to be punished commensurate with the wrong-doing committed. And with technology, young people are more easily targeted. Husbands murder wives, children murder parents: in this kind of environment, it is impossible to say with certainty that children are safer. However, looking at the world from a wider perspective would indicate that a lack of concern for the value of life means that our children (in fact perhaps everyone) are not safe.