Lesbians, Vegetarians, Atheists, and Feminists. If you're not scared off by now, stay and read a few more things I have to say.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Let's Raise the Age of Adulthood to 21

I was seventeen when the first pornographic image of me was taken. The man who took the photos was twice my age. We were dating. I wouldn't say at the time that there was coercion, but looking back, there certainly was a teenage willingness-to-please and an older man's knowledge and advantage.

From that time on, it slowly became fairly normal to be photographed nude or during sex. And, by nineteen, I was the one suggesting we upload the images on to the internet. They were featured on some amateur porn sites, and, for a while, we contemplated the idea of creating a pay-site. (I was too busy with school work

I stopped creating new images at twenty two.

It's been two and a half years. My pictures are still out there, somewhere, in cyber space, if you look for them. But, more pictures are being uploaded every day. Since mine were nothing special, I think they are lost in the crowd. And, I am very comforted by that.

But, what it makes me think is that an eighteen year old is not old enough to give knowing consent. At eighteen, we make decisions that we are held legally responsible for, but without the development and knowledge to fully comprehend the decisions we are making. I know what you're thinking, that I'm just advocating for the shirking of responsibility. It's not true. I just think that teenagers need to have different consequences than adults; ones that are less punitive and more educational. In my case, there was no punishment, my delinquency was legal. But, maybe I just lucked out.

I'd propose we raise the age of 'adulthood' to twenty one. That's it. No great fix. But, it'd be something, anyhow.


  1. I sometimes joke that the age of adulthood for an American is about 40. But in all seriousness, psychologists tell us the human brain does not finish "wiring" itself until sometime around 21. Moreover, the last areas of the brain to complete their development are those concerned with foresight. Consequently, I think you might have something with your call for an older age for legal adulthood.

  2. I think it might even be closer to 25 when we finally finish developing the foresight part of our brain. So, I'm still not even there, yet. ;)

    So, there doesn't seem to be any rational reason for why we still have 18 as the legal age.

  3. I think 18 was made the legal age, Astasia, in order to make it more plausible that kids can sign up to be soldiers at that age.

    By the way, in the old days, 21 was the legal age. When I was growing up, there was a big debate about whether it should be reduced. One of the points that kept getting made was how kids didn't need to be 21 to sign up for the military.