Why is it that adults generally assume that teenagers are less mature than themselves?

Different people mature at different rates. Some teens can be just as mature as an adult. So why is it thought of as wrong if a 15 or 16 year old girl dates an adult that's say 19 or older, if their maturity is level? If there was actual love and it wasn't just about sex? Why do adults immediately assume its wrong and that some girls just cannot take care of themselves? Why do they immediately think of teens as children? I'm quite curious.

Updates:
Great. Haters because of asking this. I just don't like being looked down upon by adults who act so superior...that's all. I never intended any offense or anything...

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Most Helpful Girl

  • The popular belief is that older age equals greater maturity just because of the amount of years spend on Earth and the more lessons learned.

    However, I think that's a fallacy. I know 40+ year old people who act like 3 year olds who can't take care of themselves and throw tantrums every time they don't get their way. I also know 17 year olds who have maturity and wisdom beyond their years.

    If the relationship works for you, to hell with everyone else.

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What Guys Said 11

  • There are a few reasons. For one, a teenager who is genuinely friendly and eager to learn will probably be better respected than someone who thinks they know it all. A lot of times adults (I speak as one) are quick to assume that a teenager is a disrespectful know-it-all when that is not necessarily the case. Likewise, it's easy for an intelligent teenager to think that adults look down on them when in reality they are trying to offer suggestions learned from years of (mostly painful) experience. There are a lot of areas for potential misunderstandings on both sides.

    Concerning the specific question you ask about dating, most people feel a little awkward about age differences. There is an assumption with an older man and a younger woman that the man is taking advantage of her. Acknowledging the concerns of others and choosing wisely in one's partners can help avoid that problem as people see your partner treat you with love and respect, and recognize the genuineness of your relationship. You still won't be able to convince everyone, but those who matter won't mind and those who mind won't matter, as long as you do your part and your partner does his (or her).

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  • maturity comes from having life experiences and learning from them. the sooner you start, the better I would think. if you wait till you are 19, for example, to start learning about life, you will end up an immature adult for sure.

    on the other hand, young people like yourselve can make big mistakes if placed in a situation too early, so the law is just trying to help I suppose.

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  • well so many teenagers falsely believe they are mature when very few of them actually are, so its safer to assume that every teenager is immature :P also maturity comes from experience usually comes with age. its not always true tho, there are a lot of immature adults, but there are definitely more immature teenagers

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    • Yeah. That's what I'm thinking. Maybe I'm not as mature as I think. I'll just have to wait and see haha. :)

  • The general idea is that since they have gone through so many more years than you have and they claim to have experienced mroe than you, that they think they are more mature and I would say rightfully so.

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    • No hate here, you simply have a question. I don't know why everybody elses panties are in a wad.

  • Because teenagers are often less mature than adults. Lol, I'm sorry but this question is ridiculous. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are plenty of immature adults, but people mature through life experience, so naturally there will be more immature kids.

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    • how might you know that during a shorter period of time, a teen hadn't experienced more?

    • Where in my answer did I say all teenagers are more immature than all adults?

    • I'm sorry. My bad, I was skimming.

  • Well probably because I wasn't very mature at that age lol. might be the same with others too. But then again that just sets me up to be amazed for when they actually prove they are more mature for their age. :-)

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  • Because its true, at that age your brain is still developing

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  • do you expect a 10 years old to be taller than 15yo? I do, though there are some 10 years old taller than the 15yo ones. Same goes with maturity, an older person has been around longer hence more likely to be more mature. It's a matter of statistic, I expect the average 15yo to be less mature than say the average 25yo. But average does not mean all, yet, the majority.

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    • also consider this, the 15 yo who's today more mature than people older than him, in 10 years from now will be even more mature than today. So when he is 25, he will probably be more mature than another 15 yo who's mature as much as he was at that age.

  • 'Cause it's true.

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  • because they have been around much longer have more life experience hence have more knowledge about everything. also arguing about being mature is very immature

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    • It's more arguing why adults shouldn't assume things.

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    • Haha. I never intend on dating a 19 year old. I was just shocked at the way some adults react to hearing about it. :P And yes, that's not all that's on my mind. But it differs among every person. Some, I just fall in love with, some I feel like doing more with. :)

    • if you do that, they will just rebel. And do things secretly or by manipulating you. I don't date right now but I will in future.

  • uhhhh, it's called dating a minor

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    • @update: terrible grammar

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    • no

    • Is that all you've got?

What Girls Said 3

  • Well they technically are children, and they generally are less mature...Don't think just because you hit puberty and you grew a little bit your a mature. It takes more than that to be considered an adult. I'm 17 and I think a lot of girls really don't know what's best for themselves. All teens think they know everything when they really don't, myself included. >.>

    I also agree with UnoriginalUsername on the whole experience thing.

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  • Some people tend to assume the older you are the more mature you are, when really age doesn't define maturity, it comes from experience. I don't know it happens though, there are quite a lot of immature teens out there anyways.. giving us a bad wrap. :p

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  • "why is it thought of as wrong if a 15 or 16 year old girl dates an adult that's say 19 or older, if their maturity is level?"

    Because that's rare. Before the statutory rape laws, your teen daughter was most to be impregnated by an adult.

    "Why do adults immediately assume its wrong and that some girls just cannot take care of themselves?"

    That's most girls. That's why you can't drive until you're 16 and Stautory Rape is illegal for that reason. They couldn't take care of themselves.

    "Why do they immediately think of teens as children? "

    Because you still rely on your parents for many things.

    "Some teens can be just as mature as an adult. "

    I've known many teenagers, maybe 50, and only three are mature enough to be adults. And 10 of them who still act like 9th graders. I'm mature and immature in many areas.

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