Let see how many -1 down votes per second this will get:
In the early 1970's most people still liked been middle class or liked to keep good values. Good old values from the past still carried some hold on good people in the wider population on average.
People got married and had mortgages or saved for a home, faced economic down turns, the Vietnam war, draft issues and work was a worry. Jet transport was not for all. Not many got a passport. University needed real skills, money. A full scholarship based on tested merit over a good academic life ensured poor gifted students stayed good. The wealthy stayed with the wealthy and poor would not risk a scholarship with actions that would remove that limited funding. University was for study and only for the very, very best or as a given rite of passage for the wealthy.
To get good work you had to present well and have no local issues. If better work was found a background investigation would show any issues and uncover local gossip or police reports. Reputation in a middle class community was everything and the pathway to much better pay.
Happy more local, isolated, productive people who stayed together. Life and fun stayed in the same local area and with people of the same social strata and wealth. Been seen with a wealthy or very poor person risked gossip.
The WW2 values still had a hold on culture decades later, people had faith and enjoyed been part of their nice, clean, happy local communities. Most of that can be seen in data collected over the decades. Movies and music would have presented a wild, counter culture side to sell but that took time to really change everything.
Over later years norms changed and the results can be seen in universities and places of work around the USA in later decades.
Re "and the media has never reported it that way? "
Big national media in the US reported to a few well controlled brands with a lot of local media staying very local. Ad revenue was everything. Who wanted a respected brand worth decades of ads next to a story about health? If the national media did not report it, a science or health issue did not get much traction.
Science was positive, good, happy and productive. Getting a cancer cure was the health news. Massive new US gov funding was going to finally help after decades of limited charity work. Space or military was the tech news. Escapist fantasy the fiction.
Local media, talk back radio stayed local and fun. Vietnam war reporting was the big test early in the 1970's and did change things, but that was political/war/funding/upper middle class draft, not health.
No vast internet to share with, some smarter local reporters with good medical contacts would have picked up on something, but with small readerships.