Thursday, August 27th, 2009
7

Are Risky Teens Really Just Horny Little Adults?

What's the matter with them today? A new study suggests that, contrary to popular opinion, the brains of risk-taking teens might be more mature and adult-like than those of teens who are less cool likely to engage in such behavior. It also raises the possibility that we might actually be evaluating risk-taking behavior through the prism of ageism.

If valid, the study has important implications for interpreting risk-taking in teens. It suggests that the brains of many teens who behave dangerously are maturing early: Reckless behavior might in fact be a sign of adultness. Some adults do risky things (speeding, drinking, having unprotected sex) quite commonly without causing great alarm. Automatically considering such behaviors to be more objectionable just because someone is young runs into what the researchers call in their paper "a conundrum of defining risk (or dangerousness) based not on the objective attributes of the activity but on the person engaging in them."

Surely, none of you can relate to that, right?

7 Comments / Post A Comment

Moff (#28)

This isn't entirely germane to the discussion, but Teenage Ladies and Other Ladies: Engaging in sex with me is risky because you will be ruined for other men and I don't trim my fingernails very often.

jfruh (#713)

Re: alt text joke: when I was in grade school, in music class we had to sing the "What's the matter with kids today" song which, as the "why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way" line indicates, is intended to be pretty heavily ironic, which irony our music teacher completely and utterly failed to get, as she stopped our cheerful singalong to launch into a diatribe about how twelve years were getting pregnant and our generation (we were ourselves ten) was JUST SO AWFUL, UNLIKE HERS, GRRAAAH.

"OMG, shut up, Madison! I'm not a slut, my brain is just like way more mature than yours!!"

theDRA (#1,108)

"through the prism of ageism."
I am totally making a concept record now called "The prism of ageism". you know, old school style

KarenUhOh (#19)

Fucking moronic neuropsychologists. I'm going to teepee their house.

HiredGoons (#603)

Well now every time someone says I'm mature, they'll be correct on BOTH counts.

Is it risk taking behavior if you always used birth control? Because I knew even then I did not want any children.

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