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An article published in the scientific journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health by scientists claims that adolescence goes to age 24.

 An article published in the scientific journal Lancet Child & Adolescent Health by scientists claims that adolescence goes to age 24.

For them, redefining the duration of adolescence would be essential to ensure that the laws relating to such young people continue to be provided.

Biological factors

Puberty begins when a portion of the brain, the hypothalamus, activates the pituitary glands and gonads. They, among other functions, release sex hormones. This phase used to start at age 14 but, with the evolution in the last decades, gradually fell to 10 years.

One of the consequences, especially in industrialized countries, is that the average age for first menstruation fell about 48 months in the last 150 years. Half of the women now have their first menstruation around the age of 12 or 13.

Another argument used by proponents of postponing adolescence is the biological factor. According to them, the brain continues to develop after the age of 20, and works with more speed and efficiency. And for many, healthy teeth are not born until they turn 25.

Social Factors

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of the United Kingdom, the average age for a man's first marriage was 32.5 years in 2013 and 30.6 for women in England and Wales. That means an 8-year increase since 1973.

In the article explaining the reasons for increasing teenage years, Susan Sawyer, director of the Center for Adolescent Health at Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, writes: "Although many legal privileges of adulthood begin at age 18, adoption of responsibilities and the role of an adult usually happens later."

She says postponing marriage, parenting, and financial independence mean " "

In addition, Sawyer points out that this change needs to be taken into account by politicians, so that the laws and benefits aimed at that audience are changed.

Counterpoint

To the sociologist of the University of Kent, Jan Macvarish, says that there is danger in extending the concept of adolescence. In an interview with the BBC, he said that there is nothing childish about starting the 20 years in higher education or gaining experience in the world of work. In addition to stressing that we should not turn the young people's desire for independence into a pathology, society should keep up with the next generation.

Sources

The Lancet Child Adolescent Health

BBC


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