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Opening Arguments

Boy, these kids today, eh?

When people say things like "40 is the new 30" or "60 is the new 40," I know it's to make us feel better about getting older (and to reflect the fact that people are living longer, healthier lives these days). But when they say "25 is the new 18," is that a way to make people feel better about trying to avoid adulthood?

Adolescence no longer ends when people hit 18, according to updated guidelines being given to child psychologists.

The new directive is designed to extend the age range that child psychologists can work with from 18 years old up to 25.

It is hoped the initiative will stop children being 'rushed' through their childhood and feeling pressured to achieve key milestones quickly, reports the BBC.

To answer my own question, yes, I think it is, and, of course, a way to give child psychologists more patients and bigger fees. The article says there are now three stages of adolescence -- early adolesence ranging from 12 to 14 years old, middle adolescence from 15 to 17 and late adolescence from 18 to 25 -- which seems way too complicated to me.

The trouble with practicioners of the "soft sciences" is that they don't need empirical research in service to hard data to decide if something is true. They can just decide it is and turn their beliefs into self-fulfilling prophecies. We already have far too many can't-face-the-world slackers in their 20s living in Mom and Dad's basement. They've already started to feel pretty good about that -- hey, everybody tells them that's the kind of world we live in, with the lousy economy and all -- and this will lessen the guilt they feel even more and keep them in the basement even longer.