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View Poll Results: At what age does one become an adult, responsible for their own actions?
Puberty 1 1.67%
16 4 6.67%
18 24 40.00%
21 6 10.00%
20-something college grad 7 11.67%
30-something 6 10.00%
40-something 1 1.67%
Never 1 1.67%
I made it to adulthood once, but then I regressed back to childhood 10 16.67%
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Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 11:43 AM   #1
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Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Here's a question I've been asking myself for a lonnnng time.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 11:51 AM   #2
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Adulthood:

Do children in their childhood have as much fun as adults do in adultery ?
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Here's a question I've been asking myself for a lonnnng time.
Wish I had an answer for you.

On one hand being an adult has nothing to do with chronological age and everything to do with maturity. But societies have to make decisions about when people, as collectives, should be mature enough to handle certain responsibilities. But there are lots of quirks and catches to it all.

I remember when I was first working in my present career. I could carry a pistol and had the training and authority to use it when necessary, but I couldn't legally buy a pistol or pistol ammunition. I also remember how weird it felt to be 20 years old with only a couple of semi-serious relationships under my belt, being thrust into situations where I was giving marriage and relationship advice to 40 year olds.

Weird.

It will be interesting to see what others have to say.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 12:45 PM   #4
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Obviously, evolution prepared us to become adults at the age of puberty. And Jews celebrate the "coming of age" at 13, so I looked up a bit about Bar Mitzvah:

Jew FAQ

Is 13 an Adult?

Many people mock the idea that a 12 or 13 year old child is an adult, claiming that it is an outdated notion based on the needs of an agricultural society. This criticism comes from a misunderstanding of the significance of becoming a bar mitzvah.

Bar mitzvah is not about being a full adult in every sense of the word, ready to marry, go out on your own, earn a living and raise children. The Talmud makes this abundantly clear. In Pirkei Avot, it is said that while 13 is the proper age for fulfillment of the Commandments, 18 is the proper age for marriage and 20 is the proper age for earning a livelihood. Elsewhere in the Talmud, the proper age for marriage is said to be 16-24.

Bar mitzvah is simply the age when a person is held responsible for his actions and minimally qualified to marry. If you compare this to secular law, you will find that it is not so very far from our modern notions of a child's maturity. In Anglo-American common law, a child of the age of 14 is old enough to assume many of the responsibilities of an adult, including minimal criminal liability. Under United States law, 14 is the minimum age of employment for most occupations (though working hours are limited so as not to interfere with school). In many states, a fourteen year old can marry with parental consent. Children of any age are permitted to testify in court, and children over the age of 14 are permitted to have significant input into custody decisions in cases of divorce. Certainly, a 13-year-old child is capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong and of being held responsible for his actions, and that is all it really means to become a bar mitvah.


Personally, I was still doing stupid testosterone-driven things well into my 20's. I think I finally grew up at around 35....
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 12:54 PM   #5
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Adulthood begins when you start to worry about money.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 01:54 PM   #6
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Interesting question. I think I am one. Then all it takes is to sit and listen to a WW2 vet stories of how he grew up and served in the war.Makes me feel like a snot nosed punked
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 02:41 PM   #7
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

I voted 18 because that is the age in my state that one is considered an adult (i.e. can be held to contract, etc).

IMO adulthood begins when an individual stands on his/her own two feet, supports him/herself without outside assistance, and is/takes responsibility for his/her actions. Some people make it at 15, some never do.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 02:46 PM   #8
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

I was expected to be responsible for my own actions somewhere between puberty and 16. I started to act responsibly somewhere between 25 and 30 and I still regret doing it.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 04:44 PM   #9
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

My Father's Eyes

There are lot of good ways to look at the adulthood question. Legal age, physical maturity, emotional maturity. But I remember when people started to see me as an adult, well not just people, my father in particular. I was about 30, had been working about 7 years. Now up to then I had been a student, and a poorly paid worker. People sort of covered for me, I left minimum tips. Then about 30 I had enough that I had a cousin stay a summer with me, sent some money off to my very poor aunt, joined Big Brothers and the United Way. It was just a natural move for me, a series of small steps. I just started to think more of others and was more generous when I could be.When I visited my father and talked about our recent activities I could just see that he saw me as an adult.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 05:47 PM   #10
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Even though I subscribe to the "when I grow up I'll tell you" theory, I have to go with 18. Once again we have 18 year olds getting blown up overseas. Back in the 60s it seemed outrageous that we could be drafted but not vote. Now it seems like whatever age we let kids decide to enter the military has to be adulthood.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 06:01 PM   #11
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

My eyes were drawn to the "responsible for their own actions" and I instinctively chose 16, figuring that's the age at which we allow people to steer 6,000 pound objects down our crowded highways, so they'd darn well better be responsible for their own actions.

After reading yakers' post I thought more about what adulthood means. It's not just taking responsibility for your own actions, but also feeling a sense of responsibility to do the right thing, with consideration for the greater good.

Unfortunately, some people never reach that level of maturity.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 07:39 PM   #12
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

i expect it doesn't come in one fell swoop, but likely with milestones which vary from individual to individual. two such milestones which come to mind include the birth of a child and the death of a parent.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 08:12 PM   #13
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Obviously, evolution prepared us to become adults at the age of puberty. And Jews celebrate the "coming of age" at 13, so I looked up a bit about Bar Mitzvah:
My wife's apartment complex has a fairly large number of Orthodox families. I really enjoy seeing them all out together coming from services down the street. Young parents and big families; the adults look and act adult and the children look and act polite and interested in what their parents are saying. Same goes with the Indian families-plenty of kids, and parents who obviously are taking good care of them.

Ha
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 09:17 PM   #14
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

In the USA, the age of adulthood seems to be getting later and later.

And what is it with that ridiculous age of 21 for drinking, and 18 (or under) for everything else.

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My sister had a top-secret security clearance at the age of 19 (worked in the office of the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet), but would not have been able to rent a car.

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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 09:33 PM   #15
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

I think when you hit the age when you no longer feel the need to post to the thread about high school reunions (running concurrently with this thread) you've finally grown up!
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 09:37 PM   #16
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
I think when you hit the age when you no longer feel the need to post to the thread about high school reunions (running concurrently with this thread) you've finally grown up!
What does growing up have to do with reaching adulthood? Youbet, if you think they are one and the same, then you need to grow up.

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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 10:26 PM   #17
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo!
What does growing up have to do with reaching adulthood? Youbet, if you think they are one and the same, then you need to grow up.

Yeah.....good point. I guess being "grown up" and adulthood have more or less parted ways over the past few years.......
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-23-2006, 10:41 PM   #18
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

After considerable thought on the subject, I think you're an adult when you stop wishing that you were treated like an adult or could behave like an adult... and when you start wishing that you didn't have to be the adult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khan
My sister had a top-secret security clearance at the age of 19 (worked in the office of the Commander of the Atlantic Fleet), but would not have been able to rent a car.
From the 19-year-olds I've seen with that level of clearance, I'd say that Thrifty Car Rental displays more prudence. But from what I know of LANTFLT that doesn't surprise me either.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-24-2006, 05:20 AM   #19
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

Well I said 18 but I don't consider a person an Adult unless they are supporting themselves or could. I guess when you accept responsibility for yourself, you are an Adult.
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?
Old 10-24-2006, 06:50 AM   #20
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Re: Poll: when does adulthood begin?

I could answer this question in several different ways, from the snarky (girls mature in their 20s, guys in their 30s!) to the sublime (I've seen 12-yr-olds as mature as adults). But here's a personla anecdote instead. I didn't see my son as entirely adult (partly because he my youngest) until I visited him for a long weekend for his 27th birthday a few weeks ago. His apartment was clean and orderly (and my daughter tells me it always was when she was able to visit him often), he cooked several complex and delicious meals with no fuss, he drove me to Maine for leaf-peeping and a seaside meal (his 10-yr-oold car was obvioously well cared for, too), he gave up his double bed and slept on his living room futon, and most of all, he was simply comfortable with his life, work, hobbies, finances, and relationship with his mother. I couldn't have been more proud!
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