Monday, April 03, 2006

The age factor (blogged on 18/10/2005)

At times I do wonder if people thought things through BEFORE saying things out loud... Recently there's this "scenario" at my work place where I've made a comment about how people from different places celebrate their come of age birthdays. Now correct me if I'm wrong, back home (Malaysia) we celebrate our 21st birthdays rather than 18th. Now why 21st you may ask? Its because we register as voters at 21, allowed into discos/watering holes/casinos etc at 21 (well if all night spots follow this rule!) and we're treated as adults at 21 (well young adult anyways).

Now this colleague of mine from China said that well why not 18 to go to karaoke pubs/discos? Her "logic" is that teenagers at age has started working and they have the buying power. Well buying power doesn't make your age legal right? And then started this thing about religion; that's coz Malaysia is a Muslim country, they said. Well apparently in most countries legal drinking age is 18 (16 for Switzerland), consensual sex (gay or hetero) at 18 (16 in most countries e.g. UK), going into pubs etc is 18 (in all countries), joining the army at 17/18 (all countries), pornography at 18 (all countries). That makes 18 in most countries to do almost all adult stuff.

But then again we're bound to the laws of the country that we're currently living right? Personally I don't think the question of religion has any thing to do with legal age at all. Plus I don't really think that at age 16, we're rational enough to think about having sex or even to drink alcohol. Its really wayyyyyy to young. And with teenage pregnancies, drunk/drugged up teenagers, drinking to death hazards on the rise in most countries, I really think that even though there are law stating what are the legal age, what really boils down is really the way that kids are brought up that really matters. It is the parents who are responsible for the upbringing of their children. How their child approach these things/topic will really reflect on the teachings of their parents.

And buying power really have nothing to do with legal age! I may be a rich kid at 14 but its still not legal for me to get a beer then right? As far as I'm concern, religion is not on the list when they thought of legal age during the drafting of the laws.... Really, I think this age factor is a long debate...

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