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After the social construct of adolescence was created, adulthood split into two forms: biological adulthood and social adulthood.
Thus, there are now two primary forms of adults: biological adults (people who have attained reproductive ability, are fertile, or who evidence secondary sex characteristics) and social adults (people who are recognized by their culture or law as being adults).
The two-word term biological adult stresses or clarifies that the original definition, based on physical maturity, is being used.
Most modern societies determine legal adulthood based on reaching a legally specified age without requiring a demonstration of physical maturity or preparation for adulthood.
Historically and cross-culturally, adulthood has been determined primarily by the start of puberty (the appearance of secondary sex characteristics such as menstruation in women, ejaculation in men, and pubic hair in both sexes).
According to The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman, the Christian Church of the Middle Ages considered the age of accountability, when a person could be tried and even executed as an adult, to be age 7.
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Girls typically begin the process of puberty at age 10 or 11, and boys at age 11 or 12.
Legally, adulthood typically means that one has reached the age of majority – when parents lose parenting rights and responsibilities regarding the person concerned.
Social scientists regard these aspects as paramount in cultural definitions of adulthood. has rested on completing one's education, moving away from the family of origin, and beginning one's career.
Further evidence of adulthood as a social construction is illustrated by the changing criteria of adulthood over time. Other key historical criteria include entering a marriage and becoming a parent.
In contrast to a "minor", a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible.
The typical age of attaining legal adulthood is 18, although definition may vary by legal rights and country.
Using the example of pornography, one can distinguish between: The age of majority ranges internationally from ages 15 to 21, with 18 being the most common age.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating