Saturday, September 21, 2019

The ages of adulthood

While the 18to8 campaign might be seen as humorous by some, there are reasons to be giving serious thought to the variety of ages that younger people are allowed to join adulthood.

A few examples:
  • On 1 May 2008, the age of consent in Canada was raised from 14 to 16.
  • In Ontario you can apply for a G drivers license at 16.
  • Voting age is 18
  • Drinking age is 19 in most of Canada, 18 in Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec

There is a huge benefit to society for young people to feel involved and responsible in decisions about their lives, so being involved in politics early seems obvious.  Of all these activities, the age one can vote should be lowest.

I don't understand the logic of increasing the age of consent from 14, and it seems quite arbitrary. At least there are some closeness in age exceptions, but this suggest there are predatory issues against younger people that should be made more general rather than this odd fixation some people have on genital sex. A 20+ year old person scamming a 14 year old out of money should also be considered a more serious offence.

The difference I find the least logical is having the drinking age be higher than the driving age.  While mistakes such as excessive drinking can be harmful to the health of the individual over the long term, mistakes during driving can be harmful (even immediately fatal) to far more people.  The idea that people have a drivers license when they are first learning how to limit themselves with alcohol seems like a very bad idea.  Logically these ages should be reversed.

Of all the ages the oldest should be for driving, so if 16 makes sense for driving then age of consent, voting and drinking age should all be lower (14 or below).  Of course, it is entirely possible that driving at 16 doesn't make sense.

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