Is it time to redefine "adult" or raise the age of adulthood?
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Thread: Is it time to redefine "adult" or raise the age of adulthood?

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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    Default Is it time to redefine "adult" or raise the age of adulthood?

    Spinning off the "Free Kate" thread, is it time to redefine what an "adult" is? Should someone who is still in high school full-time and living at home with their parents supporting them, be held to the same legal standards as other adults? Or should we raise the age of legal adulthood? I think in some countries it's 19 rather than 18. I don't have time to research anything (downside of summer: kids not cooperating with bedtime!) but wanted to start the discussion.
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    Default Reference to Birth Control

    So 12 is old enough to buy birth control without parental consent, but 18 is too young to be charged with Statutory rape? I do not think so. 18 is old enough to vote, enlist, drive a car, have a job. 18 is very much old enough to be responsible for your own actions.
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    Posting Addict Rivergallery's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    So 12 is old enough to buy birth control without parental consent, but 18 is too young to be charged with Statutory rape? I do not think so. 18 is old enough to vote, enlist, drive a car, have a job. 18 is very much old enough to be responsible for your own actions.
    Alyssa - I do not think there is an age limit.. in my state OR .. for sexual healthcare without a parent. I think if you are 18 and can serve the country you should be allowed to drink alcohol also.
    14yo is the age we get work permits here..
    I just think the whole thing is a bit screwy and we should as a country pick an age.
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    I'm confused by this topic.

    What would being declared an adult entail? I'm not sure what it entails now, to be honest.
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    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
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    Once you turn 18 as far as the school system is concerned you are considered an adult and can sign all your own permission slips and even have to give permission for your parents to see your grades.
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    Quote Originally Posted by freddieflounder101 View Post
    I'm confused by this topic.

    What would being declared an adult entail? I'm not sure what it entails now, to be honest.
    My understanding (Of course I could be wrong), was that the OP was saying that in the same sex rape debate that an 18 yo was too young to be charged for Statutory Rape (or to be considered an adult) because they were still in high school and still living with their parents. I disagree. I think that 18 is plenty old enough to be charged as an adult in a crime. Regardless if it is murder, rape, or anything else.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlyssaEimers View Post
    My understanding (Of course I could be wrong), was that the OP was saying that in the same sex rape debate that an 18 yo was too young to be charged for Statutory Rape (or to be considered an adult) because they were still in high school and still living with their parents. I disagree. I think that 18 is plenty old enough to be charged as an adult in a crime. Regardless if it is murder, rape, or anything else.
    I think some things should be conditional. It's such a tough one. I agree with Kim (from the other debate), that nothing magical happens on your 18th birthday that changes things. And yet they have to draw a line somewhere.
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    Posting Addict Spacers's Avatar
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    In the U.S. at the age of 18 you can enter into a legally-binding contract, you can drop out of school, you can get married, you can enlist in the armed forces, you can get a driver's license, you can vote, you can buy cigarettes & pornography & guns & lottery tickets, you can get a job, you can ignore everything your parents say and you can move out of their home. When you are under 18, you can't do some of those things at all, and others require parental consent or a court order. When you are under 18, you are also protected from virtually all lawsuits, certain types of criminal prosecution, and the death penalty.

    Other countries have different ages of legal adulthood, ranging from 14 to 25. There is substantial scientific evidence that shows that teenagers' brains are still developing; decision-making and impulse control are still a long way from maturity, and teenagers live in a world of now, rather than being able to plan for a future. Here's a pretty article about the teenaged brain: HowStuffWorks "Teenage Brain Development"

    Of course, turning 18 doesn't mean you *need* to do all those those things. Most 18-year-olds in the U.S. choose not to exercise their legal rights to do all those things, and instead choose to remain under their parents' care and control for another year or two. And it seems most parents are willing to have their 18-year-olds under their care and control. So there is a dichotomy between the legal adults who are, essentially, acting like and being treated like children, and the legal responsibilities those 18yos have attained simply by passing that birthday. Children who are developmentally disabled are still considered to be legal minors even after they turn 18, but science is telling us that almost all 18-year-olds are not as developmentally able as we used to think they were.

    So, what do we do with this information? Do we keep the status quo where we have a high school student being prosecuted because her victim's parents chose to not bring her parents or the school into the discussion? Do we acknowledge that our prior thoughts about the maturity level of most 18yos is flat-out wrong and adjust the age of legal adulthood to match it? Do we change the definition of legal adulthood to include leaving high school and/or home? Something else? Remember that a minor can always become emancipated from his or her parents by court order and by getting married, which requires parental consent or a court order.
    Last edited by Spacers; 06-03-2013 at 01:01 PM.
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    Mega Poster mom3girls's Avatar
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    I dont think changing the age is the right thing to do. I think parents need to help children make that transition of them being responsible to the child being responsible, and it needs to start way before 18. The parents that completely turn over the power on one day, the 18th birthday are asking for trouble.
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    Default Reference to Birth Control

    If you were going to change the legal adult age for this, you would need to change the age for all those other things you listed as well. I do not believe this is necessary. I believe the age of 18 is fine. An 18 year old is old enough to know better than sleeping with a 14 year old, and is old enough to be punished for doing so.

    In debates referencing Birth Control, there were so many people saying that a 12 or 14 year old should be old enough to go buy birth control without talking to their parents before hand. If they are old enough to buy birth control and engage in sexual activity, they are old enough to take responsibility for those actions. Including being prosecuted for sleeping with a minor.

    ~Bonita~

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