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Old July 26th, 2013 (2:42 PM).
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Here on PC we have people who are adults and who are not yet adults. Those of us who are adults have the legal right (usually) to do what we decide, but minors don't often have that protection. How much freedom should minors have to make important decisions, and what kind of decisions?

Some things to keep in mind or consider:
▪ Parents' or legal guardians' rights to make decisions for minors
▪ Maturity, either social or physiological, and how or if it should affect one's right to make choices
▪ How we feel about people of any age making "bad" or harmful decisions for themselves
▪ What the laws are like where you live, your experiences with them (or lack thereof), and any other experiences that you know relating to the topic such as how you feel as an adult (if you're an adult) vs. when you were a minor
I was inspired to make this thread after reading some comments in the thread about contraception. So maybe that could be a starting point to jump into this discussion: sexuality

Let's all be respectful of each other's views and have fun discussing and debating.
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Old July 26th, 2013 (3:16 PM).
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When it came to sexuality, I personally felt I was ready at 16 or 17 and most U.S. states and many countries think that way, so that's my take on the matter. I really don't think it's something that can be played up to age alone, though...I've met plenty of adults who've made stupid or irresponsible sexual decisions and ended up paying for it badly. Being an adult doesn't automatically make you impervious to making terrible decisions.

As for contraceptions, I'll have to get back to you on that. I wanna see other's opinions on the matter.
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Old July 26th, 2013 (3:56 PM).
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Hehehe. This is a good one, also a toughie.

How much freedom should minors have to make important decisions, and what kind of decisions?

Um, I don't know, everything? Freedom isn't the most important factor to me, it's a degree or two away from "surviving and thriving". Some some can do better with more, some do better with less. So I guess as much as they need But not so much that they overwhelm themselves.

As for contraception, I do feel that it sends out the wrong message - but so does any other vice or crutch. At the end of the day safety is more important and so they should all have access to that. I think everybody has the right to be sexually free though, it's still their body at the end of the day. And because I find it hard to force someone not to have sex - you can always say "i wouldn't do that if i were you" but saying that doesn't really impact someone's freedom imo. So realistically people are free to sex who they wish, and I think the system we have in society works.
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Old July 26th, 2013 (5:11 PM).
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    There are some rights denied to minors because of their immaturity. The age to get a driver's permit or license, being unable to vote until a certain age, and a legal age of alcohol consumption are just a few of them. I believe minors should have the right to speak freely, to date who they wish, and to explore their sexuality. They should be able to make decisions about personal religion or a lack thereof, and should be able to decide what schools they go to and what people they associate themselves with. They should not be pressured to pursue one career when they wish to pursue another. They should be intellectually, spiritually, religiously and sexually free, as adults should be.
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    Old July 26th, 2013 (5:24 PM). Edited July 26th, 2013 by droomph.
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    They should be able to do anything they want as long as they first discuss it with a parent or someone over 18/21.

    I mean, there are some things that they are most definitely ready to decide for themselves (I got raped and I really don't want a baby), and then there are the ones which are just on-the-spot and teenager decisions (heroin can't be that bad) that should be talked over. And talking it over first and getting parental consent is over every major decision is a good way to weed the bad out of the good.

    How you'll get parental consent effectively and accurately is something I don't know how to, but you have to admit that's a pretty good system if we could get it to work.

    IDEA #1: Kids do illegal things simply because they're illegal (hey man look I'm smoking weed I'm cool now) so make it a softer offense or simply legalize it because then it won't be as "cool". I mean, it won't be "nerdy" all of a sudden, but most of the "rad" factor is that it's rebelling against the rules of society. Because you know what? Smelling like a hot stinky summer or being drunk isn't really that "cool" on its own.
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    Old July 26th, 2013 (5:39 PM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by droomph View Post
      IDEA #1: Kids do illegal things simply because they're illegal (hey man look I'm smoking weed I'm cool now) so make it a softer offense or simply legalize it because then it won't be as "cool". I mean, it won't be "nerdy" all of a sudden, but most of the "rad" factor is that it's rebelling against the rules of society. Because you know what? Smelling like a hot stinky summer or being drunk isn't really that "cool" on its own.
      This is a really good point. Children and young adults are so impressionable and taking the positive stigma off of something normally negative can reduce illegal behavior.
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      Old July 26th, 2013 (6:55 PM).
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        I think this is an issue mostly because we as humans don't deal with it well. Left to its own devices, it wouldn't be as much of an issue.

        People, at whatever age, should have exactly as much freedom as:
        1. They desire
        2. They are willing and able to take responsibility for.
        That's pretty much it, really. At whatever point they wish to exercise freedom (which is different for everyone), they should simply exercise it - there's shouldn't even be any question of whether or not they're "allowed" to do so - as humans, they should be allowed to do anything that doesn't directly bring harm to other people. BUT (and this is key) they are then entirely and solely responsible for the consequences. If that gets them into trouble (as it likely will), then they should learn a lesson from it, and be more willing to give up some portion of their freedom for the time being in order to avoid some portion of responsibility from poorly-considered exercises of that freedom. Or not, as the case might be.

        Given enough time, and enough attempts, they'll sort it out, and in the long run, they'll have a FAR better grasp on the whole thing than most do under our current system of refusing to allow them to do much of anything until some arbitrary date, then granting them full control over and responsibility for their own lives literally overnight.

        "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment." - unknown
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        Old July 26th, 2013 (7:45 PM).
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        I know some adults who aren't mature enough to make life-changing decisions. At some point we have to draw the line and let people have a bit of freedom, even if they choke themselves with it. I think if you can demonstrate a reasonable awareness of the consequences of your actions and are willing to take responsibility for them, you should be allowed to make such decisions anytime.
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        Old July 27th, 2013 (8:27 AM).
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        Quote:
        Originally Posted by Arlo View Post
        That's pretty much it, really. At whatever point they wish to exercise freedom (which is different for everyone), they should simply exercise it - there's shouldn't even be any question of whether or not they're "allowed" to do so - as humans, they should be allowed to do anything that doesn't directly bring harm to other people. BUT (and this is key) they are then entirely and solely responsible for the consequences. If that gets them into trouble (as it likely will), then they should learn a lesson from it, and be more willing to give up some portion of their freedom for the time being in order to avoid some portion of responsibility from poorly-considered exercises of that freedom. Or not, as the case might be.
        What about if a young person decides to go to a bar and gets their drink drugged? Or if they decide to drive on the freeway before getting a good grasp of how to drive? The first is likely to have serious consequences, ones I'd say are too harsh, and the second is likely to harm others.

        I'm just putting out the argument that there may be things that people are not ready to experience and/or have consequences beyond what they can pay for.

        Of course one could say that we should prepare and educate minors about these things, but that opens another discussion of how young is too young to learn about date rape. Should minors (or children) be burdened with all the problems they could face or should they be allowed some amount of innocence?
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        Old July 27th, 2013 (8:45 AM).
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        Innocence might not really be that big of a deal. You end up losing it sooner or later, so all that matters is if the child is able to deal with the information. I only see it as a burden if they cannot understand it. Otherwise, they're just prepared.
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        Old July 27th, 2013 (8:51 AM).
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          Quote:
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          What about if a young person decides to go to a bar and gets their drink drugged? Or if they decide to drive on the freeway before getting a good grasp of how to drive? The first is likely to have serious consequences, ones I'd say are too harsh, and the second is likely to harm others.
          I think this can apply to adults too. Adults who go to bars can also have their drinks drugged without their knowing. I'm an adult at a university and almost all of my friends have not gotten their licenses yet, even at 19-20 years of age; they'd be just as lost on the freeway as a 16-year-old driving on a main road for their first time. Dangers can apply to all ages, not just minors.
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          Old July 27th, 2013 (9:23 AM).
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          I think this can apply to adults too. Adults who go to bars can also have their drinks drugged without their knowing. I'm an adult at a university and almost all of my friends have not gotten their licenses yet, even at 19-20 years of age; they'd be just as lost on the freeway as a 16-year-old driving on a main road for their first time. Dangers can apply to all ages, not just minors.
          But at university you have a lot more exposure to, for lack of a better term, "adult" things and people with experience who can advise you or at least give you some exposure, right? That seems to me like a legitimate difference.
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          Old July 27th, 2013 (1:32 PM).
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            Quote:
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            Of course one could say that we should prepare and educate minors about these things,
            And that's exactly what I would say.

            I'd also point out that, although we fall far short on preparation and education, even if we did all we could, it still wouldn't be enough to ensure the safety of children. That's just the way life is.

            Watch a child learning to walk. There are three absolutely predictable steps that you'll see every single time - first they struggle to pull themselves to their feet, then they take a shaky step, then they fall down.

            We are not going to stop them from falling down, and luckily enough, most people understand that.

            But you know... if a toddler falling down was more dangerous - if there was a serious risk of injury or death - I can guarantee you that some do-gooder somewhere would be arguing that it should be illegal for any child under the age of ___ to be allowed to try to walk.

            Would that make things better or worse?
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            Old July 27th, 2013 (2:07 PM).
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              Let's face it, kids are always gonna do what they want whether or not it's legal, morally correct, or disgusting no matter how much freedom they have. Parents are really the only people who can change that, and even then kids probably won't listen.

              I feel like the role of parents is really just to teach their kids what not to do and attempt to enforce it. A parent could say "weed is bad and it'll kill you" (unrealistic, I know) and the kid could easily say, "Well my parents don't want me to do weed and it sounds dangerous so I won't do weed" but could also just as easily say, "I want to piss my parents off so I'm gonna do weed and spite them despite the dangers ha ha parents and their lack of competency." and then end up dying. Parents can be as strict as they want, but whatever a kid wants to do, a kid will try.

              Me? I was raised by a great mother who set good examples for me to follow, which has helped me a lot because I'm a caring person who is nice enough but not a pushover, and I have a definite goal in my life. However, my view on her has definitely changed from when I was 10, a time when I thought she was the most perfect, kindest human being to live. Obviously now I know that's not right, but she's still a great mother, although some examples she sets aren't the best, so I don't really follow her as much as I used to because I just don't think it's right.

              It's really the kids decision about how they want to live their life, they just get influence from parents (and other people, like friends and random people who do dumb stuff and the media and etc. etc.) If a kid wants to screw over their life and do drugs, they're gonna do that. If a kid wants to be President, be damned if they don't try.

              tl;dr Be on top of your kids' actions and behaviors and don't be a **** parent.
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              Old August 12th, 2013 (4:20 PM).
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                I'm gonna keep this short and to the point.

                Personally, as a very young guy myself my first thought is that minors should be given more freedom and choice. I consider myself to be very mature, and I know plenty of smart, rational young people. However, this thought quickly began to change when I realized that there are so many dumb kids. I am by no means proud of my generation. Most of it consists of utterly stupid people who can't make a single good decision.

                In conclusion, I'm sure many younger people can handle themselves but there are too many drooling idiots to account for. We'll just have to wait it out and try to make up for them for now.
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                Old August 12th, 2013 (5:39 PM).
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                Age 17 as of 2 months ago (Thus my opinion can be considered rather biased, additionally this is an american PoV)
                First thing I want to say: Anybody that says kids these days are utterly stupid are judgmental and elitist. I have yet to see a single thing that makes kids any worse than 10/20 years ago. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see how anybody could possibly say this.
                1. Kids today are actually fairly smart (albeit spoiled) and actually are more tolerant than before. I will not take into account the lazy kids who exist at all ages (there are freakin lazy adults)

                2. I feel this notion comes from how kids today react to culture. Just because they like Lady Gaga, or Kanye West, it doesn't mean they are somehow uterly stupid. (Personally, I listen to rap music for the beats, and I find Kanye/Jayz/Wayne and others to be good at times.) You also can't compare T.V shows of this generation, because before TV and video games were fairly uncommon, and as such there wasn't too much to watch.

                3. The kids who get pregnant at 15, or do drugs are not in any way unique to this time. Its been done for ages (and in certain centuries rather recent was both common and legal.) Additionally, they usually do these things because of domestic issues in their home.

                4. "Yolo" "Swag" and other words don't at all signify the intelligence of a person, neither does what they wear. "Man that guy has baggy pants and a shirt two sizes to large, he must be one of those druggie idiot teens!" -Condescending Person.

                5. Every person I've previously presumed to be a "dumb kid" has been fairly intelligent, and only acts as such for social reasons.

                6. Dumb people exist, but don't say you hate this generation because all kids are dumb.

                Sincerly,
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                Old August 13th, 2013 (5:45 AM).
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                  So I like the idea of having legal guardians making decisions for minors because they are generally more knowledgable and have a better understanding of long terms consequences. That and teenagers are ignorant little brats.
                  In saying that, mental maturity is far too difficult to calculate and therefore the same rule applied can't be variable.
                  On the other hand, making bad decisions builds character and intelligence.

                  I definitely think the problem with minors in Melbourne is that children aren't taught to not be stupid little ****s, and so they become rebellious because it's "cool" and if you're too cool to respect people who genuinely know better I think you deserve to make the bad decisions.
                  I did, and I've grown as a human being.
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