Ages of Consent and Majority [BOOK CHAPTER]

Ages of Consent and Majority [BOOK CHAPTER]
Dana Lee Baker, Raquel Lisette Baker
Neuroethical Policy Design, 1 January 2022; pp 89-100 [Springer]
Abstract
Most contemporary humans distinguish adulthood from childhood. Historical conceptions of these two states have varied across time and place. Understanding past approaches to majority takes in the reality that for much of human history, a large proportion of children did not survive until adulthood. Cultures around the world once created definite transitions into adulthood for children fortunate enough to survive childhood. Once the fragility of children weighed less heavily on the collective human consciousness, consideration of the distinction between child and adult became more nuanced. Many cultural traditions surrounding transition to adulthood remain in contemporary practice. However, as adult life became more complicated, access to adult privileges and assumption of adult responsibilities became more staggered. Furthermore, determining whether or not a particular individual has transitioned to adulthood became less clear and absolute in most contemporary societies.

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