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In recent decades parents have become more restrictive about independent activities, and laws in some states have codified this, banning children from going out in public or staying home without adult accompaniment.(Legislation has also delayed another adult activity: In the 1970s the legal drinking age was as young as 18 in some states; it is now 21 almost universally.)To Daniel Siegel, an adolescent psychiatrist and author of "Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain," it makes sense that adolescents would "remodel" their brains to adapt to a society that has changed since the 19th century."In a culture that says, 'Okay, you're going to go to high school, go to college, go to graduate school, and then get an internship, and you're not going to really be responsible till your late 20s,' well then the brain will respond accordingly," he said.Whether the changes are positive or negative depends on the reasons for delaying adult activities, Siegel said.To him, the idea that earlier generations of teens centered evening activities around procuring and drinking alcohol sounded mystifying."I haven't heard of anyone who goes out and specifically drinks with their friends," he said."It's not something you set out to do, like, 'Oh yeah, I'm going to go out and get drunk.'"In a city where it is easy to bike, take buses, or rideshare, he doesn't see much need to drive.Dating or courting or whatever you want to call it can be a great way to solidify an already super strong friendship if your parents have given their blessing, God is at the center, and you are both ready to step it up.If you want to shoot for a lifelong, God-honoring union with your best friend, then that is when you know it's time to start a romance (Genesis ; Matthew 19:5).Between 19, 86 percent of high school seniors had gone on a date; between 20 only 63 percent had, the study found.During the same period, the portion who had ever earned money from working plunged from 76 to 55 percent.
Musser, who lives in Portland, Oregon, has had summer jobs but he has never drunk alcohol and says he is not curious to try.
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And the portion who had tried alcohol plummeted from 93 percent between 19 to 67 percent between 20.
Teens have also reported a steady decline in sexual activity in recent decades, as the portion of high school students who have had sex fell from 54 percent in 1991 to 41 percent in 2015, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics."People say, 'Oh, it's because teenagers are more responsible, or more lazy, or more boring,' but they're missing the larger trend," said Jean Twenge, lead author of the study, which drew on seven large time-lag surveys of Americans.
And as for dating, "It seems sort of ridiculous to be seriously dating seomeone in high school. Continuing to date through college and then eventually get married?