The text notes that adolescence only recently emerged as a developmental stage. Do we really need this stage as part of our development? Societal changes and influences have lengthened the time period of adolescence. An interesting case may be made that adolescence emerged as a result of the industrial revolution and the resulting need to limit the number of people in the workforce. The requirement of more education is a manifestation of the underlying need to delay entry into the workforce. As people’s longevity increases, mandatory retirement will be the corresponding effect on the other end of the life span. Speculate about how our society would change if teenagers were allowed to compete for jobs with adults on an equal basis?

#1: Adolescence is a recently created concept. Adolescents are capable of making their own decisions, accepting responsibility, and thus should have all of the rights and responsibilities of adults.

#2: Adolescents may be mature physically but lack the experiences necessary to lead responsible adult lives.  They need a protected period of development in which to work through the physical changes in their brain, to practice making decisions, gain the skills they need for adult life, and gradually separate from their parents.

Your discussion question is to choose either statement #1 or #2 and support it.  Why?