A portion of these young men and women are in many ways more like old boys and girls.
Included in these numbers there’s an emergent population of young adults living a sort of extended adolescence. A portion of these young men and women are in many ways more like old boys and girls. They remain semi-dependent on their parents, grandparents, older siblings or on public welfare systems. They may or may not be students; may or may not work. They don’t pay significant taxes because they don’t have significant incomes—at least not on the table.
Men in this extended boyhood are inordinately responsible for teenage pregnancies—legally adult but functionally adolescent males making babies with underage girls. The time-honored American high school custom of senior boys dating freshman girls now extends into the decade of those boys’ 20s. The girls are still likely to be 15. One American president called it child abuse and nobody quibbled with that?
What’s worth noting is that many of those men are products of parenting in a larger system that raises children. That’s no excuse. But it may help us interpret otherwise baffling behavior. At the risk of being obvious, how surprised should we be when someone raised without an appreciation for cause and effect—without a sense of responsibility—acts irresponsibly and causes regrettable effects for himself and others?
from Raising Adults by Jim Hancock