Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Magic Age.

Why is 18 the magic age?

All of a sudden, in the US, with the exception of alcohol, all the adult freedoms out there are accessible. Porn, cigarettes, sex with anyone else over 18, voting, getting married...all ours for the taking and doing, once we turn 18.

What's the essential difference between a 17 year old and an 18 year old that makes things so different?

I'm going to speak specifically about nudity for a moment. This blog, in my eyes, is off limits to those under 18- I don't want underage people reading this and looking at the pictures. Why? Simple. Legal reasons- I don't want to get in trouble.

But is there really anything on here that's inappropriate for a 17 year old- or younger? The vast majority of the pictures here are art nudes- although, I've said it before, and I'll say it again- porn is in the eye of the beholder. If you want to see something as porn, you will. I'm of the opinion that my words could be much more corrupting to minors- although, that might just be wishful thinking.

There's such depth and differences between individuals, and how they grow and change- because there's no real way to measure this, there's a set age that hopefully works for everyone. What I find troubling about this is that because there's a set, defined age, it seems as if there's a black and white phenomenon happening.

Why is it that a 17 year old "can't" view pornography on the internet, but at 18 can star in internet pornography?

I understand why a set age is necessary, legally speaking- but I don't think that, culturally, it needs to be applied quite like it is. No, I'm not saying that 17 year olds should star in pornography.

But, I am saying that people have to be looked at as individuals- regardless of their age, and be treated as such.

Photography by Bob Coulter, June 2006.

UPDATE: Right after the posting of this entry, I learned that Plan B has finally been approved as an over-the-counter drug! It's about time!

However, and how appropriate for this post- it's only approved OTC for women 18 and over- despite the fact that there is no medical reason for this restriction. What made 18 the magic age?


ARConn said...

What I just love about the whole legal age(s) thing, is just how arbitrary it can be. At 18, U are legally competent to chose U'r actions: at 17 years and 364 days, U aren't legally competent to chose U'r actions--unless U kill someone, then U might be deemed legally competent to face state execution (actually quite a bit younger than 17 in some states).

All I can say is, I'm glad I'm not an American, and that Canada isn't a whole lot better.

6:36 PM  
Bruno Amato said...

Candy....First time visitor...Love that shot that Al took in D.C(where you're walking down the street)and I find a woman that doesn't shave so much down there, way more sexy than the "shaved" look....

12:14 AM  
Martin said...

If you think it's confused in the US, it's just as bad or worse here in the UK.

You can have sex get married and have babies at 16 the last of which surely requires more maturity than anything else in life. Yet you cannot drive a car until you are 17 and drink until you are 18. Ok and you can smoke at 16 although some are trying to move that 18 - so you could have sex but not have a post coital cigarette.

You cannot buy controlled pornography until you are 18 (yet you can have been performing private one on one sex shows for a lover since you were 16 remember) and cannot appear in pornography until you are 18.

If you are gay it's even more confusing - not that long ago gay male sex had an age of consent of 21 although now that has been brought inline with hetrosexual sex. If you are lesbian there is not actually any age of consent - rumour has it Queen Victoria said "Women don't do that" although I think that is just an urban legend. Two 14 year old girls could quite legally spend all night having sex and if a court was convinced neither was coerced there would be no problem. 2 boys or a boy and girl doing the same thing would be commiting a crime.

Society is just deeply confused over the idea of adulthood and chldhood. On the one hand it tries to juvenalise teenagers and pretend they are children on another it pushes more and more adult marketing and responsibilities at them.

In my opinion, everyone varies but if we are going to have an arbitary age, lets have just one!

6:05 AM  
Bob said...

The previous head of the FDA got his job by promising Congress that he would rule on Plan B....and then he didn't. He was appointed by and worked for the Bush administration, which is pro-life. (or anti-choice depending on your point of view). He didn't keep the job very long. When the current head of the FDA was being considered, this was the primary topic discussed. The rules for Plan B as enacted by the FDA (OTC for adults only) were seen as a compromise between the administration and congress. A political solution, not a medical one.

On the whole, I agree that there isn't any magic age that someone becomes an adult. As you stated, the current age of 18 is a legal definition. Some people are capable at earlier ages - and some people don't ever grow up!

9:11 AM  
BAC said...

I consider the Plan B decision by the FDA only a partial victory, since girls under 18 will not have over-the-counter access. I find this unacceptable, since in most states if a girl under 18 becomes pregnant she is emancipated with regard to her pregnancy -- with the exception in most stated of her ability to choose to have an abortion.

Once pregnant, a 15 year old can decide whether or not to seek pre-natal care, choose to give the baby up for adoption, or a host of other very "adult" decisions. What she CAN'T do is easily seek emergency contraception or abortion. These exceptions seem steeped in moral judgement.

In general I don't have a problem with there being a set age when young people attain adult privileges. I do recognize that people mature according to their own timetable -- and that some people in their 50's (as I am) may not be the most mature individuals on the planet. Having a "magical age" might not always be a bad thing. I just think with regard to certain things -- like reproductive health -- there should be consistency in the law.


10:21 AM  
Candy said...

Well, it's obvious that there has to be some sort of set age- it's just that when it spills over to the point where it's the basis for every single thing, regardless of the individual, that it becomes ridiculous.

1:55 PM  
BAC said...

I agree.


4:47 AM  
Anonymous said...

didn't you delete a post from someone who was 15/16

how interesting that you bring this up

9:56 AM  
Candy said...

This blog, in my eyes, is off limits to those under 18- I don't want underage people reading this and looking at the pictures. Why? Simple. Legal reasons- I don't want to get in trouble.

And that would be why his posts were deleted. That and the fact that he was a jackass.

2:48 PM  

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