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An adult can mean different things. In the law and social norms, an adult is a human who has reached the age of majority (for example, in most countries, an adult is a person who is 18 years old or older). Once someone reaches the age of majority, that person typically no longer has to take directions from a parent or guardian but rather can make decisions for themselves and be held responsible for their own actions. By opposite, a person who has not yet reached the age of majority is a minor.

There are many additional laws that determine from what age a person is allowed to do something; for example, vote, drink alcohol, and have sexual intercourse. For example, in the United States, a person becomes an adult on their 18th birthday, but they cannot buy alcoholic beverages until they turn 21.

In biology, a person is considered an adult physically when they are sexually mature. This means that they have begun or passed through the physical puberty, and are able to sexually reproduce.[1][2]

There are also some cultures that says a person is an adult from an age of 13 years on, for example see Bar Mitzi, which usually corresponds to puberty.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. International Dictionary of Medicine and Biology (1986)
  2. Churchill’s Medical Dictionary (1989)
  3. Rew, Martin. "Religion and development I: Anthropology, Islam, transnationalism and emerging analyses of violence against women." Progress in Development Studies 11.1 (2011): 69-76.

Related pages[change | change source]