The nation's outstanding teen-agers "are keen on religion and maintain traditional moral values," according to results of the Ninth National Opinion Survey of Who's Who Among American High School Students.
The survey showd that 92 percent of students leaders believe there is a personal God of "vital force" in the world, 90 percent said religion plays a significant role in their own moral standards and actions, 81 percent belong to an organized religion, and 62 percent attend services weekly.
Of the 318,000 "high achievers" featured in the 1978 edition of Who's Who 50,000 students whose biographies were received by July 1, 1978, were sent survey forms and some 21,500 returned the questionaires. These 21,500 responses formed the basis of the Ninth National Opinion Survey.
The questionnaire covered the general topics of national issues, the media, use of alcohol and drugs, racial issues, education, student activities, future plans, views on marriage and sexual mores, views on male/female roles-goals-opportunities, career goals, and religious beliefs and practices.
Among the findings:
76 percent said they have not had sexual intercourse.
62 percent said they abstain from sex because of their own moral standards.
82 percent prefer a traditional marriage.
54 percent wouldn't live with someone prior to marriage.
60 percent intend to be virgins when they marry.
60 percent feel that a teacher's sexual preference has nothing to do with job performance.
77 percent said they don't feel racial prejudice toward others.
52 percent favor the Equal Rights Amendment.
89 percent have not smoked marijuna but 54 percent socialize with young people who use it; 50 percent have never had an alcoholic drink.
In the section on religion, 49 percent said religion has become "more relevant" to them over the past three or four years. It remained "about the same" for 34 percent, "less relevant" for 13 percent, and "has never been relevant" for 4 percent.
Students in the South and Southwest teded to respond most positively toward religion. Students in suburbs showed a grateter tendency to find religion less relevant or had never found religion relevant. Religion was "less relevant" for more Northeast students (18 percent) than any other subgroup, followed by 13 percent of students in the West and Midwest.