The Instigator
Svetlana
Pro (for)
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The Contender
TheLadyofTheInternet
Con (against)
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0 Points

The age of majority should be lowered to 16

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,121 times Debate No: 45128
Debate Rounds (3)
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Svetlana

Pro

I will be debating that a 16 year old should be recognized as an adult under the law. By adult, I mean consenting to your own medical care and refusing medical treatment, leaving home without your parents permission, drinking, making your own educational decisions, working without parents permission and not having child labor laws apply, having consensual sex with anyone older then you and being tried in the adult court instead of the juvenile court.

I was living on my own at 16, working full time, looking after myself. I never got into any kind of trouble. I was much more responsible at 19 then my parents were at that age. Now I see kids babied throughout their 20s. I think at 16 most of us are ready to be a part of the "real world", but many 16 year olds are not given responsibility and are convinced they are "children." If we lower the age of majority to 16 then that will give 16 and 17 year olds control over their lives. The higher the age of majority the less power you give to an individual. If we expect 16 year olds to behave like adults then they will behave like adults.
TheLadyofTheInternet

Con


We all age differently but for those sort of laws with have to look at the majority. Teenage brains have not fully matured yet and won't be till around their mid 20s. I shall point out the neurobiological side of the debate and why teenagers still are not very ready to yet join the adult world (I'm 18 and still feel there are things I'm not even ready for)


Prefrontal Cortex
(Reasoning)
Probably the biggest reason it should not be lowered. This part of the brain controls the impulses and reasoning and is not actually fully developed till your 20s. When this part of the brain is not mature it can lead to teenagers acting impulsively. To be a mature adult you need to have this part working well either matured or close to it.

Amygdala
(Emotions)
This part of the brain is very over-reactive. It can lead them to be very passionate and their emotions to be very exaggerated it's like one emotion can be twice as strong which can lead them to relying too much on emotions with their Prefrontal Cortex still under development that can lead to quick tempers (something you can't have as an adult)

Cerebellum

(Physical Coordination)
The Cerebellum is in charge of a persons physical coordination. When it matures it does so at very fast pace the problem with this is the other parts of the brain (Mainly the Prefrontal Cortex) are not exactly as mature as the cerebellum. For a human brain to work perfectly everything must be in equal terms if your racing as a team and one is way ahead that still does not mean your going to win.

Nucleus Acumbens
(Motivation)
When the nucleas is under developed it can horribly mix with the lack of reasoning and emotion filled teens. It is a not a good thing especially without anything to control impulses it can be very worrying for parents and there kids.

Summary:
Teens may seem like an adult on the outside (well sometimes) but that can't compensate for what's going on up there. Some may mature earlier than others but that does not mean the same thing for everyone else. A teenager still has some maturing to do in the end they aren't kids but there still not adults so in the end that's the most important factor. A lack of maturity does not mix well with a lowered drinking age especially with a lack of reasoning. With the age of consent you have to worry about the people who can take advantage of that lack of reasoning but that's the next topic I shall bring up can't wait to hear back.

Links:
http://www.summ.org...
http://teenbrain.drugfree.org...
http://www.npr.org...
Debate Round No. 1
Svetlana

Pro

1. Prefrontal Cortex
When you are a teen, your prefrontal cortex is still developing, that doesn't mean it's defective, and that does not mean you aren't ready for adulthood. For example, the age of majority is currently set at 18, even though the prefrontal cortex doesn't develop till 25. B. J. Casey and Kristina Caudle who did brain research wrote " when no emotional information is present, not only do many adolescents perform as well as adults, some perform even better." [1] During adolescence, we become increasingly sensitive to social cues. Sometimes these social cues are powerful enough to exert an emotional pull.

2. Amygdala
What you described as a "quick temper" can and does happen to adults as well. It is called the "amygdala hijack," a term coined by Daniel Goleman in his book Emotional Intelligence. The amygdala is the emotional part of the brain, which regulates the "fight or flight response". When threatened, it can respond irrationally. [3]

3. Cerebellum
A person's physical coordination has nothing to do with foresight and their ability to make decisions that might affect them for years.

4. Nucleus Accumbens
Not all teens are emotion filled.

5. Competence
Like I said, developing doesn't mean defective. According to a Google book, Health and the Female Adolescent, "since early adolescents cannot yet think abstractly, they cannot conceptualize the future". They said early adolescents, (12-15) not late adolescents.[4]
___________________
[1] http://newsinhealth.nih.gov...
[2] https://www.sacklerinstitute.org...
[3] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
[4] http://books.google.com...
TheLadyofTheInternet

Con

Age Of Consent

Thankyou for your insightful argument. My next topic will be about the age of consent let me ask you this if the adult age goes up wouldn't the the consensual age go down 18 is the actual age of an adult and still the age of consent where I live is 16 still very young. I've posted a trailer of the movie Lolita it's about a 14 year old girl having a sexual relationship with a man in his 40s looking at comments of the movie lots of people were quite uncomfortable with the premise even I admit it's awkward in some scenes. Here are my arguments.

Advantage
When you are the adult you would have the advantage in the relationship because you are much older. Adults listen to other adults not teenagers. If it ends up being a 14 year age of consent let me remind you that girls are still going through puberty and stop at around 16 and 17 with boys they are later these aren't adults they are developing into them but it doesn't make them one. Age of consent will allow adults to have a sexual relationship with kids (teens can still date teens under the age of consent) that's what i'm really against. With age there does come power and respect that is a fact. Teens have much less than adults.

Let Kids Be Kids
We should not even be discussing if children can have sex it's just wrong and I feel horrible writing about it. We should not let it be so available to kids so we can try and let them live the last years of there youth. I remember being 15 and boyfriends and girlfriends were more of an accessory then anything else sometimes guys would date a girl for days none wanted a girlfriend cause they liked a person they did it so they can fit in you won't believe how many questions I pulled up of teens asking about sex and when they should give in cause the answer is when you want to not when everyone else does. But they don't have an identity anymore just the one that society came up with.

Summary
You said it yourself developing which means they aren't adults we shouldn't lower the age to be in an even earlier stage of development. Not all teens are emotional but most of them are you can't base a law on a lower majority it's always the bigger one. Kids should not have pressure put onto them. Kids are still very young and we shouldn't be letting them make such hard decisions.

Link:
http://kidshealth.org...
http://www.express.co.uk...
http://boards.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.theguardian.com...
http://www.3news.co.nz...
Debate Round No. 2
Svetlana

Pro

Age Of Consent
The age of consent being 14 is too young. A person is still strongly influenced by adults. A study found that juveniles under 16 are more prone to giving false confessions. [1] This is because they are used to giving in to adults. Age of consent laws are to protect a minor from being manipulated. [2] In many places the age of consent is 16,

Advantage
Making the age of sexual consent 16 will not rush 16 year olds into having sex. It means an older person will not be arrested for having sex with a 16 year old.
Let kids be kids
Like I said, lowering the age of consent to 16 will not rush 16 year olds into having sex. We were biologically made to have sex at 16.


Summary
I said there was a difference between developing and defective. In fact, the brain constantly rewires itself throughout our life, such as when we learn something new. There is no age where our brain stops rewiring itself.


The picture is of brain development ages 5-20. The 16 year old brain has a purple matter which does not completely bar a 16 year old from functioning like an adult. 16 year olds can express complex emotions and thought.
___________________

[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

[2] http://sexetc.org...

[3] http://www.theguardian.com...

TheLadyofTheInternet

Con

TheLadyofTheInternet forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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