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Adultcentrism is the exaggerated egocentrism of adults, including the belief that an adult perspective is inherently better. It is used to describe the conditions facing children and youth in schools, homes, and community settings; however, adultcentrism is not always based on a notion of being good or bad, in contrast to adultism.


Age of consent

The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts. Consequently, an adult who engages in sexual activity with a person younger than the age of consent cannot claim that the sexual activity was consensual, and such sexual activity may be considered child sexual abuse or statutory rape. The person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim and their sex partner is regarded as the offender, unless both are underage. The purpose of setting an age of consent is to protect an underage person from sexual advances. The term age of consent rarely appears in legal statutes. Generally, a law will instead establish the age below which it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with that person. It has sometimes been used with other meanings, such as the age at which a person becomes competent to consent to marriage, but the meaning given above is the one now generally understood. It should not be confused with other laws regarding age minimums including, but not limited to, the age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, voting age, drinking age, and driving age. Age of consent laws vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18. The laws may also vary by the type of sexual act, the gender of the participants or other considerations, such as involving a position of trust; some jurisdictions may also make allowances for minors engaged in sexual acts with each other, rather than a single age. Charges and penalties resulting from a breach of these laws may range from a misdemeanor, such as corruption of a minor, to what is popularly called statutory rape. There are many "grey areas" in this area of law, some regarding unspecific and untried legislation, others brought about by debates regarding changing societal attitudes, and others due to conflicts between federal and state laws. These factors all make age of consent an often confusing subject, and a topic of highly charged debates.


Age segregation

Age segregation is the separation of people based on their age, and may be observed in many aspects of some societies. Examples of institutionalized age segregation include age segregation in schools, and age-segregated housing. There are studies of informal age segregation among adolescents. Age segregation in schools, age grading, or graded education is the separation of students into years of education by approximately the same age. In the United States, graded education was introduced during 1848 to 1870. Age segregation in the U.S. was a product of industrialization, Western formal schooling, child labor laws, social services agencies, and the rise of disciplines such as psychology and education. A combination of these caused a shift from family working as a unit to separation of economic activities and childcare emerged. Some communities have different cultural practices and integrate children into mature activities of the family and community. This is common among Indigenous American communities. Age segregation is seen by some like Peter Uhlenberg and Jenny Gierveld to benefit individuals by bringing like-minded individuals together to share similar facilities, network and information. The elderly are however disadvantaged by segregation in that they risk being excluded from economic and social developments.


Amethyst Initiative

The Amethyst Initiative is an organization made up of U.S. college presidents and chancellors that in July 2008 launched a movement calling for the reconsideration of U.S. legal drinking age, particularly the minimum age of 21. The National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984 requires all US states to raise their minimum age for purchase and public possession of alcohol to 21 or face a reduction in highway funds under the Federal-Aid Highway Act. The Amethyst Initiative was initiated by John McCardell, founder of Choose Responsibility, a former professor of history at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont and current Vice-Chancellor of Sewanee: The University of the South, and is currently supported by 136 college presidents who signed a statement proclaiming, "It’s time to rethink the drinking age". According to Greek and Roman legend, amethysts protected their owners from drunkenness.


Children in the military

Children in the military are children who are associated with military organisations, such as state armed forces and non-state armed groups. Throughout history and in many cultures, children have been involved in military campaigns. For example, thousands of children participated on all sides of the First World War and the Second World War. Children may be trained and used for combat, assigned to support roles such as porters or messengers, or used for tactical advantage as human shields for political advantage in propaganda. Children are easy targets for military recruitment due to their greater susceptibility to influence compared to adults. Some are recruited by force while others choose to join up, often to escape poverty or because they expect military life to offer a rite of passage to maturity. Child recruits who survive armed conflict frequently suffer psychiatric illness, poor literacy and numeracy, and behavioral problems such as heightened aggression, leading to a high risk of poverty and unemployment in adulthood. Research in the UK and US has also found that the enlistment of adolescent children, even when they are not sent to war, is accompanied by a higher risk of attempted suicide, stress-related mental disorders, alcohol abuse, and violent behavior. A number of treaties have sought to curb the participation of children in armed conflicts. According to Child Soldiers International these agreements have helped to reduce child recruitment, but the practice remains widespread and children continue to participate in hostilities around the world. Some economically powerful nations continue to rely on military recruits aged 16 or 17, and the use of younger children in armed conflict has increased in recent years as militant Islamist movements and the groups fighting them recruited children in large numbers.


Disconnected youth

Disconnected youth is a label in United States public policy debate for NEETs, young people "Not in Education, Employment, or Training". Measure of Americas March 2017 report says disconnected youth number 4.9 million in the United States, about one in eight of the age cohort. Disconnected youth are sometimes referred to as Opportunity Youth. Emphasis is placed upon this group because the years between the late teens and the mid-twenties are believed to be a critical period during which young people form adult identities and move toward independence. The effects of youth disconnection - limited education, social exclusion, lack of work experience, and fewer opportunities to develop mentors and valuable work connections - can have long-term consequences that snowball across the life course, eventually influencing everything from earnings and self-sufficiency to physical and mental health and marital prospects. Much discussion has been focused on how to reach these young people and connect them with broader social institutions in order to prevent these negative consequences. Analysis has also examined the economic impact of youth disconnection. According to the Measure of America report, the average disconnected youth costs $37.450 a year in government services.

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