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Author Topic: Is this a bull**** "hypothesis" with respect to adolescents and biology?  (Read 1584 times)

Offline R3d

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I have a "hypothesis" for ONE of the factors involved for why teens act the way they do.

Many parents complain about the suddenly profound rudeness and rebelliousness and lack of desire to be part of the family. When a child starts to behave this way, that is a biological indication that the organism has outgrown living in the nest and is ready to leave, form a herd (human version: be part of a circle of friends), and start mating with the opposite sex (human version: dating, "hooking up", and/or forming other types of romantic/sexual relationships).

In other species, parents simply leave their children once they reach puberty so they can carry out these behaviors. This doesn't mean that contact is forever cut-off. This depends from species to species. Some simply leave their children while others stay connected for life. Regardless, the children are still given the independence to carry out those behaviors (forming herds, mating with the opposite sex, etc). Humans, however, as we know, are usually special and have more sophisticated ways of doing things (but ultimately more or less still follow the same biological principles). Sending one's child off to university is basically the method in which humans execute the act of releasing their child from the pack and into the adult world.

However, human children hit puberty much sooner than when it's time to go off to university. As a result, this imposes an environmental stress on teenagers. This is why most parents experience their teenager wanting to pretend their parents don't exist, and value their social lives more. Also, note the strong correlation between interest in the opposite sex and adolescent rebellion. In most cases, these two conditions go hand-in-hand with each other. Active interest in the opposite sex is a huge indicator that biologically it is time for the child to leave the nest. This is why typically parent-adolescent relationships are notoriously difficult and frustrating for both parties.

The teenager is environmentally inconvenienced by being forced to stay in the nest and the supposed child role for a longer than natural time while the parent, a) feels hurt about their child growing up and soon leaving them and b) because of the the extended time society keeps children in the pack, naturally try to maintain the norms of that status for their teens. As a result, high school often ends up being a tug of war with the child pulling to acquire the status and conditions of having left the nest and the parents pulling the other way trying to maintain their teen's status as a child.

The environmental stress imposed on adolescents as a result of being forced to reside with parents and more significantly therefore being subject to parental limitations which make it more difficult and/or stressful to independently lead a social life and "mate with the opposite sex", causes high-school-age people to feel hindered and induces a strong desire in them wanting to be "free" and "independent" which results in them wanting to pretend our parents "don't exist" and to want to be able to do "whatever [they] want". This is the baseline factor involved with respect to the causes of teenage rebellion and longing for independence.

Is this a fail argument?


 

Offline alancalverd

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"Going to uni" is a very new rite of passage. 50 years ago, even in a prosperous and technologically advanced society such as the UK was at the time, less than 10% of the population had a university education or any need or inclination to acquire one. Since then, universities have become dumping grounds for the unemployable. But teenage angst has been around for as long as human society.

The barmitzvah and its equivalents historically set the transition to adulthood at puberty, and in Elizabethan times, marriage or university entrance at 14 was entirely normal and mirrored by apprenticeship indentures. At times of conflict, any uniform could be occupied by a teenager, from powder monkey at 13 to sergeant at 19, and this is still the case in most of the world. 

The infantilisation of teenagers, increasingly through the use of electronic toys and age-specific music, is society's response to the fact that we simply don't need human muscle power in the West.
 

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