Ethics and the College Student

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Decision making Pages: 4 (953 words) Published: April 20, 2014

Ethics and the College Student
Jane Doe
American Public University
Professor Richmond

ETHICS AND THE COLLEGE STUDENT 2 Ethics of a College Student

What is ethics? Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines ethics as morals or principles that Govern a person’s or a group’s behaviors or the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. In college students face many ethical dilemmas. This paper will explain the factors that affect a student’s ethical decision making as well as the ethical decision making process.

The socialization process is a major influencing factor in our ethical decision making. While we are children, we absorb behaviors and develop our morals and values. Our family is the biggest influence in developing our morals. For instance, proper use of grammar, the importance of education, and strong work ethic are all values that family members help us to develop. Negative influences such as alcohol and drug abuse, poverty, and physical abuse can also shape our behaviors and attitudes. Peer pressure is also an important factor college students face when making ethical choices. In a study done by UCLA, 52% of students said that peer pressure affected ethical choices they made (Yeung and Keup 2009). In addition, the same survey showed how students’ perceptions of peer beliefs and behaviors were the best predictors of their own ethical behavior.

Under age drinking, illegal drug use, and casual sex are some dilemmas that students must make choices about when they are attending college. In a review by Harris (1916), he states that underage age drinking had all but disappeared and drug use was unheard of in the early 1900s. But in a survey taken by UCLA students in 2009 78% of students under the age of 21 admitted to drinking alcohol and 57% of all students admitted to using some type...

References: Bruce, B.D. (2013). Philosophy for the Masses: Ethics. Available from
Harris, G. (1916). Ethics of a College Student. The Harvard Theological Review, 9, (2), 190- 200.
Yeung, P.F., & Keup, J.R. (2009). Ethical Decision Making in College: Choosing Between Right, Wrong, and the Space Between. Retrieved from
Montana State University. (2013). Frame Work for Ethical Decision-Making. Retrieved from
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