Thursday, May 04, 2006

National Geographic Boobs

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After more than three years of U.S. combat in Iraq, nearly two-thirds of Americans aged 18 to 24 still cannot find Iraq on a map, a study released Tuesday showed.

The study found that less than six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 33 percent could not point out Louisiana on a U.S. map.

The National Geographic-Roper Public Affairs 2006 Geographic Literacy Study paints a dismal picture of the geographic knowledge of the most recent graduates of the U.S. education system.

When asked to point out Italy on a world map, 19 year old Trevor Trainor said, “Dude, WTF?”

"Taken together, these results suggest that young people in the United States ... are unprepared for an increasingly global future," said the study's final report.

Reilly O’Bill, prayer ministry leader of Campus Neo-Conservative Crusade for Christ at Ohio State, said “It’s winning the lost that counts. I wanna be a missionary. You know, somewhere over there in a country that’s got some of those Muslim people. Hopefully with warm weather and flush toilets.”

The study’s authors added, "Far too many lack even the most basic skills for navigating the international economy or understanding the relationships among people and places that provide critical context for world events."

Heather Lovey, fashion design trainee at the University of Phoenix, wants to bring designer bras to the women of Africa so she can “do well by doing good.”

“All of ‘em go topless,” she said. “Let’s face it, gravity takes its toll. Who wants to look at natural saggy boobs? It takes away all the mystery.”

The study, which surveyed 510 young Americans from December 17 to January 20, showed that 88 percent of those questioned could not find Afghanistan on a map of Asia despite widespread coverage of the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 and the political rebirth of the country.

In the Middle East, 63 percent could not find Iraq or Saudi Arabia on a map, and 75 percent could not point out Iran or Israel. Forty-four percent couldn't find any one of those four countries.

On the positive side, the study noted, seven in 10 young Americans correctly located China on a map, even though they had a number of misconceptions about that country.

Forty-five percent thought Jackie Chan was the Emperor of China.

When the poll was conducted in 2002, "Americans scored second to last on overall geographic knowledge," the report said.

“The ‘No Child Left Behind’ initiative has raised our current 2006 scores above teens from the Republic of the Congo into third to last,” one of the authors of the report added.

The release of the 2006 study coincides with the launch of the National Geographic-led campaign called "Beyond My Own Private Idaho." A statement on the program said it was designed to "inspire parents and educators to give their kids the power of global knowledge."


Blogger 3wishes said...

The dumbing down continues.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Wordcat said...

The sad thing is, I'm not sure it really is a dumbing down. I don't know if these scores would have been any higher twenty years ago. But it's cause for pause when you know most folks--even educated folks--in the nation that affects what happens in the world more than any other don't have a clue what's really going on in the rest of the world. If people did I think we'd have a very different approach to the world and foreign policy.

11:54 AM  
Blogger 3wishes said...

Yes and then maybe the world can laugh with us instead of at us. I love living "country" but sometimes the things I hear people say, its like fingernails on the chalkboard. The Prez is a victim of living in Texas, all of a sudden you say things like "fixin to". He must sound like such a bafoon to foreigners :^ Texans couldnt care less about what is going on in the world. I know you have your share of summer Texans in Colorado. Heaven help you :)

12:36 PM  

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