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Thread: Teen on trial for goading and urging her boyfriend to commit suicide

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  1. #23
    Beastly Fido Roxxsmom's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Lost in space. And meaning.
    Quote Originally Posted by cornflake View Post
    There are life changes at many stages. Doesn't mean we need to watch teens like toddlers. The kids in question were what, 16, 17? That's not an age that needs constant parental oversight, imo; I don't think that's helpful or healthy, though obviously ymmv. The entire idea that that age is one needing anything like the kind of parental oversight we indulge in in the U.S. is very, very new.
    Well, not for women from "nice" families so much, and not for couples who are "courting." Chaperoning was the norm. Overall, young women in western cultures had very little social freedom before marriage until the later part of the 20th century (though there have been differences across times and places, of course). Even women's college dorms were locked up like vaults and the women had to check out to go on dates before the 70s. My mom had to get special permission to live off campus when she went to UC Berkeley in the late 50s, and she was 20-21 at the time! Young men, of course, were often allowed to "experiment" with women who weren't considered "nice," and were allowed to whoop it up and engage in risky behavior with their friends.

    I think the idea that adolescence is a completely modern concept is a bit overstated. "Teenager" is a relatively new word, but terms like "stripling" and "youth" have been around for a while. And while the idea of teens as a special marketing niche is only as old as our modern advertising-driven culture, the concept of young people rebelling against their parents or embracing behaviors and fashions that older people disapprove of is not new.

    Working-class teens were expected to work and were sometimes even married young, but they didn't tend to have a lot of autonomy and weren't always setting up their own households. They often lived with extended family and didn't become heads of their houses until their elders died. And through much of history, the age of majority (for men--the concept didn't apply so much to women until fairly recently) was later than it is today.

    The notion that most or all girls were married by their mid teens (and teen mothers) before modern times is also not accurate. Boys who were apprenticed often couldn't marry until they were journeymen, at least, and this took them into their twenties as well. Their lives tended to be very supervised and proscribed. Education (for the classes that benefited from it), often took boys into their late teens or early 20s as well.

    I think most people knew that teenagers weren't completely mature, physically or socially, or capable of making the kinds of judgements that older adults did, and they knew that it takes a while to learn skills and a profession.

    However, I agree that teenagers aren't children in the sense that the word is used legalistically. They're generally sexual beings who experience deep emotional attachments to their peers and romantic partners, even if their impulse control is erratic and they lack the experience or perspective to always make the best decisions (though there's a huge amount of variation there as well and some young adults are amazingly wise and mature).

    The time spent being educated and socializing with their peers, including their first romantic attachments, are very important, imo. Keeping teens under lock and key will only push the period of clueless floundering back a few years. The difference between a 17-year-old "legal child" and 18-year-old (legal adult in most respects) is not that great, and launching a bunch of sheltered and inexperienced young adults into the world isn't a great thing either. I think modern parents tend to err too much in the direction of sheltering, actually.

    It would be nice if parents, teachers and counselors always spotted the signs of serious depression or toxic relationships, but I think the behavior of this young woman was very much outside of the teenage norm.
    Last edited by Roxxsmom; 06-19-2017 at 11:23 PM.
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