The age to be considered legally an adult in America should be twenty-five.
Debate Rounds (3)
The idea that someone can make important choices such as deciding to enlist or vote or have sex or start your career before you're fully capable of understanding and/or doing these things isn't fair to them.
While I agree that developmentally, we do not mature until around age twenty-five or later (can't refute scientific facts), and I agree that some decisions are more sound when made in the late 20's-30's of life, I feel as though it is ridiculous to change the age of legal adulthood. Your argument raises a lot of questions. If the age of adulthood were to be raised, would this change the post-secondary schooling system? How does this affect those who decide to not attend a post-secondary institution? Would ALL of the rights you gain at eighteen be moved to twenty-five? Your instigation also only sites the psychological argument; but what about the effect it would have on society, and the way we view "young adults" today? Eighteen was chosen for a reason, and there are many significant events that revolve around the age. There are multiple reasons why around eighteen has been chosen as the general "age of consent" internationally.
A lot of it has roots in our education system. Age eighteen usually falls during an adolescent's senior year of high school, and the beginning of their college freshman year. Making the age of adulthood twenty five would prohibit much of the choices made in these crucial years. For example, the decision to enlist in the military is traditionally made in one's senior year; if the age of enlisting were to be twenty five, students who may enlist in the military, and then get educational benefits would have to wait seven years to do so, wasting valuable time in a job they may not enjoy, or staying home with parents while they could be out making change in the world.
This leads to another downfall of raising the age of legal adulthood. If the secondary and post-secondary education systems were to remain the same, students would graduate at age eighteen, and then attend college still as a legal minor; not allowing them to live in off-campus housing, making internships more difficult to apply for, and other important life decisions to be put off because they are still technically under the care of their parents. And if they only go to school for their bachelors degree, they return home to wait three more years until they can move out and get the entry-level jobs available now to recent college graduates. The wait is worse for those who cannot/do not attend a post-secondary institution. Seven years of waiting after high school, still living with your parents, while trying to get jobs is not what most parents, and most in their late teens/early twenties want to hear.
Voting is even more important. High school is usually the time when one"s political atmosphere and attitude are developed. Age 18-25 is considered a valuable block of voting demographic for most politicians. In fact, according to Pew Research Center, this year, it is projected that millennial voter turnout will surpass the baby boomers, and Generation X is well on its way to surpassing them as well. While this block of voters typically votes more liberally, and may be seen as "not experienced enough to know about politics", they still have political opinions that should be heard.
Sexual maturation is an entirely different story. With most human males reaching sexual maturity at age 12-14, and females at 12-13 years of age. While I personally disagree in most cases of criminalizing underage sex (minus cases of sexual assault and rape), moving the age of consent, with the rest of the rights gained at eighteen (depending on what state you live in) is unethical and pointless-- Adolescents have been engaging in sexual intercourse before the age of consent for as long as there has been a law about; whether we like it or not.
Psychologists can tout the "age of mental maturity" all they want; the fact of the matter is, there are too many downfalls to making young adults wait until a quarter of the way through their lives to gain adult rights, and make important decisions. If you think sixteen and seventeen-year-olds are impatient to be adults as is, imagine if they had to wait even longer.
I agree with you that there'd be a lot of issues to with schooling to sort out. There'd have to be a serious change with colleges and high schools. But we're already working for a serious change with them, we've become a little wiser to how the elm, middle, and high school systems are flawed and are working to fix that, so now would be a perfect time to work on such a thing. Or maybe add a new school for people these ages that teaches them stuff like how to taxes and understanding how to buy/rent a house.
Assuming by young adult you mean 18-30 and not teenagers who want to make out with vampires, I think society's views would be in favor of this change. We view young adults as idiots who have no idea what they're doing. Going back to my idea of a school to teach you how to be an adult, we could make ages 18-25 be viewed as a time to finish growing rather than a time when everything you do will be a regret.
The decision to enlist in the military should not be taken lightly, as for any decision that could possible lead to death. That's all there is to it. The 18 year olds enlisting tend to have a particular mindset about war that isn't a good thing. To quote my older brother, they're "Excited to go kill some sand niggers and get tattoos."
So, why don't minors as they're defined now get a say in political matters? Because they're usually not mature enough yet to make decisions about politics. The only difference between my view and the current way is the age people are considered mature enough to vote, one being based off a fact and the other being based off, I don't know honestly.
You know why the age of consent is around 18? Because women tend to finish puberty between the ages of 16 and 18 and men between 18 and 20. What you're thinking of is they being puberty around the age of ten. starting puberty does not mean you're physically mature all of a sudden. I'm sorry children, but you're not physically ready for sex before then. And you aren't ready for the mental and emotional side to it even then. You're thinking with your hormones still, not your brain. Honestly to allow children to get themselves into situations where they're forced with deciding between an abortion or raising a child or putting the kid up for adoption, or letting them be faced with dealing with an STD, or deciding whether or not they should say yes to that boy's marriage proposal he made during orgasm just isn't good parenting. There's also the fact people who wait to have sex till a little later in life than their teens tend to be happier in their relationships.
In short, a lot of changes would have to be made, but most of them are for the better.
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