Monday, August 08, 2005

Kids grow up to fast these days.

I'm not so sure of that. The idea of extended childhood and adolescence is quite new in the scheme of things.

Think about it. Before the early 20th century, children were looked upon as financial advantages and instruments of labor. They worked the farm, were married off for financial and political gain, were married by 14-15-16, worked in factories and performed as adults from an early age.

Only when children were freed from these needs and customs did they have the protection and leisure time to indulge in extended childhood and adolescence. Purely a product of advanced industrialized societies. Around the world children went through intricate rights of passage in their early teens to officially make them adults. Native Americans, Indians, Africans, Israelites all had very intense transformational ceremonies.

I think that what passes for growing up to fast is rather an over-sexualization and over indulgence in popular culture.