de-invention of adolescence

I want to make some remarks on a controversiaal subject. I do this because I want to post fragments of a novel in which remarkable behaviour is seen and tolerated. In this book quite young teenagers have sex with one another. This is not a case of adults abusing children, not at all, it is young people having sex with other young people of approximately the same age. The idea horrifies many adults, but I don’t think it should.

What is adolesence and why is it so horrible, both for the kids and their parents? Why are the teenage years so bad for everyone, the teenagers and the adults who come in contact with them, parents and teenagers.

Fundamentally, the answer is that for almost all of the million years over which human beings evolved there was no adolesence. A soon as people were old enough for sex, they did it. Even for the last 100, 000 years that our own species of human being existed, adolescence was unknown. It did not become invented until the neolithic period when agriculture was invented, when parents needed to keep their children around as unpaid labour. Sexual behaviour interfered with that so it was strongly discouraged. Later, much later, education became important, and sexual activity interfered with that, too. So to this day people physically capable of sex are not allowed to do it.

It has been true that sexual feelings and activity interferes with work and education, but why is this? I believe it is because of the extreme emotional states it induces. Sexual behaviour interferes with the work and education of adults as well, but the feelings are not so strong and adults are able to control them better.

But all the emotional turmoil ultimately stems from one thing. People have an urgent need for sex, their bodies insist on it. But it is almost impossible to find compatible partners, either for emotional relationships or for sexual relationships. People who are comfortable, happy, regularly relieved of their sexual pressures with the most compatible of people will not suffer the emotional turmoils we so often see.

If that can be the case, if it always very easy to find compatible sex partners, and society permits it, then there can be no adolescence as we know it. The young people will never experience sexual frustration and the
strong emotions of love and desire will be reciprocated, leaving nobody out in the cold.

In this way, through reliable methods of finding compatibles, adolesence can be de-invented, and all the turmoil associated with it will vanish. Teenagers will work and learn without all the pressures which frustrate them today. This is not only possible, it must happen, it will happen.

dpw

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