Lower voting age to 16? How about raising it to 30?

by WorldTribune Staff, March 21, 2019

People do not become fully “adult” until they’re in their 30s, according to scientists who study the brain.

Scientists say that our brains are not fully grown-up in our 20s.

“There isn’t a childhood and then an adulthood. People are on a pathway, they’re on a trajectory,” said Peter Jones, a professor at Cambridge University.

“What we’re really saying is that to have a definition of when you move from childhood to adulthood looks increasingly absurd. It’s a much more nuanced transition that takes place over three decades.”

Children legally become adults at age 18 in the United States and can then vote and join the military (without parental consent – 17 with parental consent). The drinking age is 21.

Several Democratic politicians support dropping the voting age to 16. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said “I think it’s really important to capture kids when they are in high school when they are interested in all of this, when they are learning about government, to be able to vote.”

Writing for the Washington Examiner, columnist Madeline Fry noted: “Some students don’t take government classes until their senior year of high school, and we expect them to stop eating tide pods long enough to cast a ballot for president?”

According to the University of Rochester Medial Center, “It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet.

The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so.”

Scientists who study the brain and nervous system say the age at which you become an adult is different for everyone.

“I guess systems like the education system, the health system and the legal system make it convenient for themselves by having definitions,” Jones said.

“I think the system is adapting to what’s hiding in plain sight, that people don’t like (the idea of) a caterpillar turning into a butterfly,” he said.

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