Monday, April 18, 2011

Dealing with Modern Adolescence

Modern adolescence presents many great problems for us, problems not faced in earlier conceptions of adulthood and childhood. There are a great many conflicts between conceptions of the child in law and morality, and the actual reality of physically mature young men or women. There are a great many opportunities for sexual perversion and immorality under our current framework. There are several ways of dealing with adolescence. The first must be to make greater demands of young men, and the second must be to give greater power to parents when dealing with younger children and young women.

Young men must be given the choice between good behavior or punishment, and the punishments should be denial of economic support, expulsion from the household, or even lawsuits and imprisonment if it is the law that is being violated. Young men who consent to corporal punishment at school should not have that relation interfered with, but attendance at school should not be the only choice given to young men. Those who become fathers out of wedlock should be encouraged to take care of their children, or pay some penalty for their misbehavior, even if that means they will be forced to feed themselves before they turn 15. We must remember that under common law, the capacity to get married is attained at 14 for men. Many 14 year olds work on farms and battlefields, and many studied at universities and colleges right up until the middle of the 19th century. The creation of the high school is recent, and the universalizing of high school an even more recent innovation. Men over the age of 14 can be expected or even required to work.

Parental authority can be strengthened when dealing with smaller children, or young women. Parents who wish to spank their children under the age of 14 should have free range to spank however much they see fit. Abuse should be restricted to only those situation where a parent was obviously acting with rage, and screaming at or cursing the child. Bruises should not be considered evidence of abuse. A boy of 12 can easily be a handful for a parent, and if he is bruised that is understandable. Many parents use paddles, belts or switches, as is their right, and they can sometimes leave a bruise. If a bruise is left after a normal run of the mill spanking, that should simply be considered evidence of parental love. A normal loving parent can still see it as their duty to spank their child, and many parents can not easily find different ways of punishing their child. If they are not actively yelling, screaming or cursing, it is debatable whether any abusive intent can be determined. Caring and loving parents should be allowed to punish their children without government interference.

For young women, the situation is a bit different from that of men. Although they are physically adults, they should still be required to respect parental authority, and receive more protection. They are physically weaker, and can not perpetrate physical crimes as easily as men can. They should have the same requirements imposed upon them as men if they are unwilling to follow the rules their parents set upon them, but I do not think it would do them any great injury if they are spanked or paddled by their parents. It should not be considered immoral to punish them with a paddling or whipping for misbehavior. Young women should be taught the importance of the domestic virtues, because the majority will need to become mothers some day. A good introduction should be from their own mother and father, helping them to understand what their work will be if they follow that path in life.

These guidelines can form a good first step on a road towards restoring a more functional society, one that rejects sexual perversion and embraces the values of motherhood, manliness, and responsibility.

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