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Teen Drinking - Essay Example

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We live in a century where teenagers are maturing far faster than their previous counterparts due to the influence of the new media on their way of thinking and actions. It is important to understand that these teens have a far more adult outlook regarding their lives due to their life experiences, duties, and responsibilities. …
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Teen Drinking
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Download file to see previous pages However, our society has not caught up with the evolution of the teenager. They are still viewed as members of our society who need to be constantly policed and told what to do and when. This is the situation that applies to the drinking laws in relation to American teenagers. The rest of the world though, have come to acknowledge that it is better to recognize that teenagers will drink alcohol due to exterior influences and, therefore, society must learn to adapt and ensure that they drink responsibly instead. That is the focus of the T.R. Reid essay “Let My Children Drink”, while Joseph Califano Jr. chooses to oppose the view of Reid in his own essay titled “Don't Make Teen Drinking Easier”. Although I see the point of Mr. Califano, I must agree with the benefits as described in Mr. Reid's essay. That is because teenage drinking does happen and it cannot be ignored. The three points that I will be raising in this paper are that: 1. Teenagers who know their parents trust them to drink responsibly make for more mature adults. 2. Anything done illegally is more likely to draw teenagers to try the activity and go overboard in the process. Teens will also commit crimes regardless of being drunk or not. 3. Lowering the drinking age will make teenagers mature faster in terms of personal responsibility and logical thinking. The worst age that a human being can be stuck in would have to be the wild, wonderful, and sometimes wacky teenage years. It is during this time in a teenagers life that he learns to experiment and differentiate for ourselves what, as adults, shall be the right and wrong actions for him. This is the time when releasing the parental restraints slowly reaps its benefits most specially in terms of teenage drinking. As Mr. Reid put it so effectively in his essay (Reid): As a wandering Post correspondent, I have raised teenagers in three places: Tokyo, London and Colorado. No parent will be surprised to read that high school and college students had easy access to alcohol in all three places. In all three countries, kids sometimes got drunk. But overseas, they did their drinking at a bar, a concert or a party. There were adults -- and, often, police -- around to supervise. As a result, most teenagers learned to use alcohol socially and responsibly. And they didn't have to hide it from their parents. By allowing teenagers to drink in a supervised situation, they are forced to take responsibility for their actions stemming from alcohol consumption. The presence of adults and other persons of authority is a clear indication to them that they will be allowed to have fun but not go overboard about it. This is the kind of situation that directly appeals to teenagers. It is obvious that the lower drinking age works for the teens mentioned in Reid's article because they are given full responsibility for their actions. You choose to drink, you take responsibility for whatever happens if you get drunk. End of story. That is the kind of maturing life lesson that teenagers so badly need in their lives. It is probably a stand that, if presented to most underage teenagers in America today, they would gladly agree to in order to prove that they can actually be as responsible as their adult counterparts if not more. However, Mr. Califano strongly disagrees with Mr. Reid simply because he is overprotective and unable to trust that a teenager, when given the freedom to choose, will choose to do the right thing. His data that explains that (Califano); “British fifteen and sixteen year olds were more than twice as likely as Americans to binge drink (50% vs. 24%) and to have been intoxicated within the past thirty days (48% vs. 21%).” ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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