The Mundanity of Cheating and Unethical Behavior

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Unethical behavior is spread throughout society today. Although the media focuses on extreme cases of deceit, cheating, and deception, fraud can be found in government, schools, sports, business and personal relationships. Cheating is defined as ‘an act of dishonesty in order to gain an advantage,’ according to Merriam Webster (Webster, 2015). There are multiple types of cheating, but one similarity they all have is that it is nothing one should aspire to do. In this essay I will discuss why people cheat in academics, in personal relationships, and in athletics and how myself and others should utilize this knowledge to avoid cheating in the future.

Winning and success has become priority to the general public, encouraging people to do whatever it takes to rise to the top. Academic cheating occurs when students attempt to obtain credit for work that is not theirs and that does not represent their true knowledge of material taught. Students cheat for many reasons but the most common are making up for lack of knowledge, to avoid work, and to raise their GPA. Academic cheating has numerous effects, many being negative and hurting a student’s overall progress in life. Even when one is not caught cheating by an authority figure other students will question the cheaters integrity, often times hurting relationships. Being aware of the prevalence of cheating and how it occurs, leads to preventive steps one can take toward creating a more secure relationship, and a better relationship in general. A common reason people cheat in their personal relationships is emotional needs. Lack of emotional support often times leads to infidelity. Some spouses that feel unloved look outside of their marriage to find comfort and affirmation from another partner. Sports bond teammates together regardless of age, race, and gender. They instill discipline and build character. With competition becoming stronger and fame and fortune becoming harder to achieve athletes are cheating in sports. Often times athletes feel the pressure to win from coaches and sponsors and young athletes feel the pressure to make a sport a career rather than a hobby. When athletes cheat, the way the public perceives an organization hurts the entire industry.

Even though these are three very different circumstances they all involve being deceitful and cheating. Sticking to the moral foundation that has been instilled in me, it is my duty and the duty of other teens to tell an authority figure when we have the suspicion or know that someone is cheating. Teens also need to listen to one another and not be afraid to voice their opinion to peers about any wrong doing that is being done. Communication is the key to all relationships and any change that needs to happen.

Every day we are faced with ethical decisions. Many times people have good intentions but when faced with other temptations it is difficult to stay true to oneself out of fear and weakness. No one goes into the world saying that they are going be a liar, conniving, or an unethical person. Cheating may seem innocent but it is destructive behavior. The credibility of a cheater is always shattered if caught.

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