Topics: Law, Civil and political rights, Youth rights Pages: 2 (786 words) Published: June 23, 2013
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “majority” means the age at which full civil rights are accorded, or the status of one who has attained this age. Legally, it is the phase of adulthood of an individual that is conceptualized and acknowledged by the law. In our society, this age may range from 18 to 21 and this status often serves as a declaration of both physical and emotional maturity. However, this is not the case for all people. Since “age of majority” is only coined as a legal term, it does not necessarily indicate physical or mental maturity in people. It just means that they have reached an age perceived as the proper age of adulthood, and that parental control ceases to restrict them from their full civil rights as human beings. Physical maturity is something that is easily measurable and identified because it can be assessed by the naked eye in a group of people, but not mental readiness, for the reason that in order to assess emotional maturity, an individual need to be tested with different environments and situations that simulates the serendipities and achievements, as well as misfortunes and difficulties that we encounter in our daily lives. The age of majority does not necessarily echo with a similar concept called “age of license”, which is basically implicates that a certain set of actions are a legally enforceable right or privilege, such as our drinking age, driving age, and voting age. This brings us to a commonly debated question in our society. Why are there certain age restrictions with higher minimum age requirements than the legally accepted age of majority, for some privileges such as the drinking age? As pointed out by the definition of the word “majority” itself, it is the age, which in our case is 18, at which full civil rights are accorded. At this age, we are legally acknowledged to possess sufficient maturity and judgment to operate a motor vehicle, perform jury duty and we are even allowed to enlist...
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