Should the age of maturity be lowered?

Essay by kingtim12314University, Bachelor'sB+, September 2008

download word file, 2 pages 0.0 1 reviews

Should the age of maturity be lowered?Currently, the United States recognizes that a person "matures" when he or she reaches the legal age of 21, but I think the age of maturity ought to be lowered to18 instead. Certainly, we can all agree that 21 is an arbitrary number. Many 18-year-olds are in positions where they must act responsibly: they enlist in the armed forces, work full time, marry and even raise children. Shouldn't we recognize their adult responsibilities with a law that says they are adults?The true test of maturity is being able to accept responsibility for ones actions. In our society, people who commit crimes, but have enough money, hire the best lawyers and get acquitted. Then they go on television or write books about their "ordeal", and make even more money. Are they mature? Are they any more mature for being over the age of 21?Many teenagers, on the other hand, do accept responsibility for their actions.

As a group, teenagers may behave even more responsibly then many adults. For example: in 1993, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, only 7.6 percent of those age 16 to 20 were involved in fatal alcohol-traffic related crashes, as compared to 14.1 percent of those age 21 to 24 and 10.1 percent of those age 25 to 34.

Some might argue that many teenagers are not mature. They would point to the number of teenage unwed pregnancies, to teenage drug use, and to teen crime as examples of the ways in which people under 21 have difficulty handling adult responsibilities. But people over 21 also act irresponsibly with regard to sex, drugs and crime. The solution is not to blame one particular age group, but rather, to hold everyone accountable, legally and morally.

The philosophy behind...