An Era of Immaturity?

by Conor Friedersdorf

That's what worries James Poulos, who says maturity is the real dividing line between the two Americas. He's reacting to that New York Times piece that begins by asking, "Why are so many people in their twenties taking so long to grow up?" My guess is that changing social mores -- that is to say, fear of divorce, higher rates of college attendance, and an ability to have sex before marriage sans stigma -- are causing people to get married later. As a result, they're having kids later, thereby delaying the time when they're forced to reorient their priorities to reflect the fact that they're responsible for a helpless young life. This helps explain why young adults are moving back in with their parents more often. So does the increased cost of education and attendant rise in student debt, the increased cost of housing, family homes that are larger than they were a generation ago, and Baby Boomer parents who are much easier to live with than their WWII Generation parents would've been.

I am skeptical of the idea that kids today are less mature.