“The term adult has three distinct meanings:
* Grown man or woman; mature person.
* Plant or animal that has reached full growth.
* One who is legally of age. Opposed to minor.
Adulthood can be defined in terms of biology, psychological adult development, law, personal character, or social status. These different aspects of adulthood are often inconsistent and contradictory. A person may be biologically an adult, and have adult behavioral characteristics but still be treated as a child if they are under the legal age of majority. Conversely one may legally be an adult but possess none of the maturity and responsibility that define adult character.
Coming of age is the event; passing a series of tests to demonstrate the child is prepared for adulthood; or reaching a specified age, sometimes in conjunction with demonstrating preparation. Most modern societies determine legal adulthood based on reaching a legally-specified age without requiring a demonstration of physical maturity or preparation for adulthood.”
Indeed, we are required to allow nobody under 18 in our club, for that is the boundary set by the credit card company and laws. “The legal definition of entering adulthood usually varies between ages 15–21, depending on the region in question. Some cultures in Africa define adult at age 13.
According to Jewish tradition, adulthood is reached at age 13 (the age of the Bar Mitzvah), for Jewish boys, for example, were expected to demonstrate preparation for adulthood by learning the Torah and other Jewish practices. The Christian Bible and Jewish scripture has no age requirement for adulthood or marrying, which includes engaging in sexual activity. According to The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman, the Christian Church of the Middle Ages considered the age of accountability, when a person could be tried and even executed as an adult, to be age 7.
In most of the world, including the United States, the United Kingdom and China, the legal adult age is 18, with some exceptions.”
Culturally speaking, there is no official “coming of age” experience in the modern world, but a series of small indices of maturity. Drinking, driving … sex! These are the primary benchmarks popularized in the twentieth century. But these are simply external activities, events in life rather than actual personal maturity. Anybody can stick their penis in a hole. But does that make them an adult?
Regulation of penis-poking ensues as age restrictions penalize pokers who do not observe calendrical prohibitions. So, regardless of individual adulthood, a year (18) is chosen as a catch-all. If you are not adult yet, too bad. Society says you must be, so here you go. Ready or not!
What, then, if not hormonal capabilities or annual attainment, are the true indices of maturity?
“There are some qualities that symbolize adultness in most cultures. Not always is there a concordance between the qualities and the physical age of the person.
The adult character comprises:
* Self-control – restraint, emotional control.
* Stability – stable personality, strength.
* Independence – ability to self-regulate.
* Seriousness – ability to deal with life in a serious manner.
* Responsibility – accountability, commitment and reliability.
* Method/Tact – ability to think ahead and plan for the future, patience.
* Endurance – ability and willingness to cope with difficulties that present themselves.
* Experience – breadth of mind, understanding.
* Objectivity – perspective and realism.”
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