Here on GaG, there appears to be a war between the older and younger users. A few older users (18+) believe anyone under 16 shouldn't be allowed on this website and that they have nothing of value to say because they've had no life experience. Younger users (13-15) are starting to feel this austerity, making them feel undervalued and affecting the enjoyment they receive from GaG.
Many questions have been put to users to ask how they feel about younger users being allowed to use this site. The opinions vary but there are still many older users who appreciate young users and welcome them with open arms.
This question poll was asked by @Prof_Don concerning younger users and 51% of respondants believed that the minimum age should've remained at 16. However, the Most Helpful Opinion, eloquently written by @Stacyzee, showed her support of young users and for good reason.
I think it's great.
When I was that age I was very curious about sex and other adult topics.
The older generation spends so much time trying to shelter the up and coming instead of showing them what's really out there.
We can use this to our advantage and educate the younger people on how to properly go about things such as sex, relationships etc.
A lot of younger people wish they had older siblings or an adult figure to speak to.
I see it has an opportunity for some younger people to get the mentoring they really need.
Shaming themselves, and hiding in the background where they can speak to no one about certain topics causes more destruction if any.
Right now, all topics seem to be available to users of any age. A large number of users who think that people under 16 shouldn't be on GaG are only looking out for the younger users because GaG contains a lot of sexually explicit content which can occasionally shock an older user, let alone a young one. Younger users should consider this fact and not be disheartened at the statistics if they come across questions like this; we're looking out for you!
Alternatively, there are those who don't want younger users here purely because they feel they have nothing of value to say and don't believe they could provide useful information to most users, because they don't have much life experience. It could be argued that this is an understandable point of view and I don't entirely disagree with those who have this opinion but, someone's experiences and abilities should not be undermined because of their age.
Have you ever been told "you're wiser beyond your years" or that you're an "old soul", even when you were quite young? I have and it's incredibly frustrating to not be listened to or considered, purely because of your age. Others assume you have nothing of importance to contribute to a discussion because you haven't had as much life experience. However, some people have difficult upbringings, very mature social surroundings, have had to take care of a family member from a young age etc which all influences a person's maturity level. Age does become just a number in those cases. I'm sure others have been in this position and I know of GaG users who are currently in this situation, dealing with prejudice because of their age alone.
I've been told by younger users how they've been treated by some older users; they recieve a lot of ridicule on the opinions they post. It's one thing to to dislike having younger users on this site but it's another to alienate and mistreat young users when they've gone out of their way to help you.
The young need help from the older generation to avoid the big mistakes we made and to learn about adult life when they're at their vulnerable, curious age that we all once were. GaG is a great place for them to get the advice and information they need/want. We can all benefit each other. Age shouldn't mean anything here on GaG and it certainly doesn't tell you much about the person's character. You can be in your 30's and feel like a 16 year old at heart, you can also be an old soul like I was, thinking and behaving wiser than your years. I've seen 18 year olds acting like the stereotypical 12 year old and vice versa. People don't always act their age and this includes the young who behave older than they are.
I ask the older users of GaG to be more considerate towards the younger users. If a young person gives you advice on your question but you feel it's of no help or you assume they don't understand where you're coming from because they're young, don't express your disdain. Instead, don't say anything or politely thank them for their time. Treat them like you would other users. Let's try to stop younger users feeling alienated and make sure all users enjoy their time on GaG!