Posted 25 Jan 2013 by Walaa Idris
Before everyone jumps on me, let’s look at some facts.
First fact boys and girls at the age of 16 are still kids. And although, at that age, some might physically look grownup, psychologically most are still children that need parenting and adult guidance. And, would rather play video games and checkout the opposite sex, hang out with friends and just have fun and enjoy being young and free.
Second fact, when the current age of consent became law, people did not live beyond their forties or fifties. This made sixteen years of age about the midlife point for many. It therefore made perfect sense back then to allow people to begin adulthood at sixteen, so they can lead longer fuller and productive lives. But, that is not the case today. Now, especially in the west, people live on average to their late seventies and even eighties. With healthier life styles, good healthcare and great medical discoveries daily, we are all expected to live beyond our eighties. As a matter of fact, a few weeks ago, studies predicted today’s new-borns are expected to reach a hundred plus. So the urgency we had back then to make the most of our lives is no longer there today.
It is therefore unfair to cut short children’s childhood by burdening them even further, with giving them the vote at 16 – by asking and expecting them to decide who makes our laws and run the country!
I actually, believe instead of giving children the vote at sixteen, we should seriously consider rising the age of consent, of drinking, of gambling and of all adulthood practices from sixteen to eighteen. For the welfare of future generations, we should allow kids more time to enjoy their early years. Childhood and what it teaches us should not be underestimated. Most values and lifelong practices are learned and developed during childhood. Good loving homes create great environments for good solid adulthood foundations. As humans we learn from experiences both personal and shared. It is those experiences that frame the foundations of our families and therefore our societies. So having a longer richer childhood allows for a longer learning and developing time, which in return allows for a stronger adulthood – sort of a longer preparation period.
Voting, marrying, drinking alcohol, gambling, procreating, fighting for Queen and Country, and legally leaving school – even working and paying taxes are all serious decisions that should not saddle children before the age of eighteen. We owe it to future generations to unburden the young from growing up too fast. Particularly, now that we are living longer, to expect a 16 year young to become adults is simply robbing their innocence. They are not adults, yet the society forces them to become adults and that is why I feel it is not just wrong but unfair to them and their society.
It is my belief that the age of consent and adulthood should be raised to eighteen. Any legislator from either house – regardless of what party he/she belongs to – who wants to take on this issue I will be more than happy to help them in anyway possible.