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The Case Against Adolescence

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Old June 4th 07, 01:37 PM posted to misc.kids
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Posts: 453
Default The Case Against Adolescence

In other threads, I have advocated letting teenagers start work or
enter college earlier than they now do, depending on their abilities
and interests. A recent book "The Case Against Adolescence" by
psychologist Robert Epstein seems (I've only read an interview of him
at http://psychologytoday.com/articles/...=pto-4311.html )
to agree. In the interview, Epstein says

"I believe that young people should have more options-the option to
work, marry, own property, sign contracts, start businesses, make
decisions about health care and abortions, live on their own-every
right, privilege, or responsibility an adult has. I advocate a
competency-based system that focuses on the abilities of the
individual. For some it will mean more time in school combined with
work, for others it will mean that at age 13 or 15 they can set up an
Internet business. Others will enter the workforce and become some
sort of apprentice. The exploitative factories are long gone;
competent young people deserve the chance to compete where it counts,
and many will surprise us.

It's a simple matter to develop competency tests to determine what
rights a young person should be given, just as we now have competency
tests for driving. When you offer significant rights for passing such
a test, it's highly motivating; people who can't pass a high-school
history test will never give up trying to pass the written test at the
DMV, and they'll virtually always succeed. We need to offer a variety
of tests, including a comprehensive test to allow someone to become
emancipated without the need for court action. When we dangle
significant rewards in front of our young people-including the right
to be treated like an adult-many will set aside the trivia of teen
culture and work hard to join the adult world."

Old June 4th 07, 02:37 PM posted to misc.kids
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Posts: 784
Default The Case Against Adolescence

On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 05:37:16 -0700, Beliavsky

It's a simple matter to develop competency tests to determine what
rights a young person should be given, just as we now have competency
tests for driving.

Yeah, that works! Teenagers pass the test, then drive drunk, have
more accidents and are not responsible drivers.


Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens,
accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group (CDC 2006).
However, research suggests that the most strict and comprehensive
graduated drivers licensing programs are associated with reductions of
38% and 40% in fatal and injury crashes, respectively, of 16-year-old
drivers (Baker et al. 2007).


* Teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate
hazardous situations or dangerous situations or not be able to
recognize hazardous situations (Jonah 1987).

* Teens are more likely than older drivers to speed and allow
shorter headways (the distance from the front of one vehicle to the
front of the next). The presence of male teenage passengers increases
the likelihood of these risky driving behaviors among teen male
drivers. (Simons-Morton 2005).

* Among male drivers between 15 and 20 years of age who were
involved in fatal crashes in 2005, 38% were speeding at the time of
the crash and 24% had been drinking (NHTSA 2006a, NHTSA 2006b).

* Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of
seat belt use. In 2005, 10% of high school students reported they
rarely or never wear seat belts when riding with someone else (CDC

o Male high school students (12.5%) were more likely than
female students (7.8%) to rarely or never wear seat belts (CDC 2006b).

o African-American students (13.4%) and Hispanic students
(10.6%) were more likely than white students (9.4%) to rarely or never
wear seat belts (CDC 2006b).
* At all levels of blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the risk of
involvement in a motor vehicle crash is greater for teens than for
older drivers (IIHS 2006).

o In 2005, 23% of drivers ages 15 to 20 who died in motor vehicle
crashes had a BAC of 0.08 g/dl or higher (NHTSA 2006b).

o In a national survey conducted in 2005, nearly 30% of teens
reported that within the previous month, they had ridden with a driver
who had been drinking alcohol. One in ten reported having driven after
drinking alcohol within the same one-month period (CDC 2006b).

o In 2005, among teen drivers who were killed in motor vehicle
crashes after drinking and driving, 74% were unrestrained (NHTSA

* In 2005, half of teen deaths from motor vehicle crashes occurred
between 3 p.m. and midnight and 54% occurred on Friday, Saturday, or
Sunday (IIHS 2006).


There is no sound, no cry in all the world
that can be heard unless someone listens ..

The Outer Limits

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