/r/YouthRights

Photograph via snooOG

This is a place for discussion of youth rights and ageism issues, for promoting youth rights initiatives, for supporting youth agency, and for organizing youth rights groups.

This is a place for discussion of youth rights and ageism issues, for promoting youth rights initiatives, for supporting youth agency, and for organizing youth rights groups.

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Related Reddits

  • r/KidsRights A progressive reddit designed to discuss ageism and other issues affecting children

  • r/TroubledTeens Is a vibrant and supportive community deeply dedicated to fighting institutionalized child abuse in the troubled teen industry.

  • r/Teenagers A place for teenagers of reddit to be among their own.

  • r/Under18 Reddit's youth forum, for talking about anything youth related.

  • r/Highschool Anything to do with Highschool

  • r/YouthandGovernment Is dedicated to promoting, documenting, and discussing youth involvement in the democratic process.

  • r/YouthShouldKnow Things everyone under 18 would benefit from knowing.

  • r/SSDP Students for Sensible Drug Policy is a youth rights ally organization that focuses on drug and alcohol related issues. SSDP website


The Big List of youth related subreddits


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/r/YouthRights

4,086 Subscribers

15

Homeless ppl under 18 should be allowed at soup kitchens, warming centers, and shelters

Without having the police called ans the kid being thrown in jail or other parts of the cash for kids system

2 Comments
2024/06/26
05:29 UTC

7

Supporting Children's Futures by ignoring them

After hearing from zero current foster kids or any kids at all, the standing committee on social policy and Ontario Legislature is confident that they are supporting children's futures. https://www.ola.org/en/legislative-business/bills/parliament-43/session-1/bill-188.

It could have been worse. Some people wanted the bill to include the handling complaints including those of abuse through Snapchat and Instagram. At least the government was smart enough to turn down that privacy nightmare.

0 Comments
2024/06/25
20:12 UTC

12

Age Crime Curve Collapses

Crimes actually peak between ages 25-40 years these days, not at 15-25 unlike what we commonly believe.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2024/1/30/2220368/-As-teen-crime-plunges-juvenile-justice-interests-resurrect-crude-19th-century-racism

3 Comments
2024/06/25
19:49 UTC

52

I hate how much cognitive dissonance people have with youth rights issues.

If a husband spanked his wife to punish her, very few would argue he's not abusive. If it was his son or daughter instead, you'd get a giant load of "it's just discipline". If McDonald's restricted employee access to toilet facilities, it would be a massive human rights scandal. But that 10 year old complaining that he needs to ask for his master's "teacher's" consent to go potty is just being a brat. Do you think it's a coincidence that "detention" is both the name of the most common punishment given in schools and the word used to describe what you do to a prisoner after arresting them? Are you that stupid? How can you claim to be against child labor while supporting an institution where they work, in many cases, longer hours than their parents, in worse conditions, and without pay? Nothing short of the end of the world is so important it justifies waking up a 6 year old at 5am just so they can get to their slave camp "school" by 7. Any unbiased, neutral observer would tell you that any form of compulsory schooling is an explicit contradiction of "No one may be compelled to belong to an association", yet it's enforced in the same document that was established. And then you have the audacity to demand they come in sick? You put limits on the number of the days they can take off? You expect them to work during their breaks? I hope whatever's beating in your chest does some good for you, because it's not a heart.

6 Comments
2024/06/22
20:14 UTC

27

Trying to debunk another anti-tech narrative

Source

The main "expert" cited in the article is Anna Lembke, basically the female Jon Haidt in terms of her contributions to the anti-tech moral panic. Unlike Haidt, Lembke is a Stanford psychiatrist specializing in addiction medicine. She of all people should know better. Yet, she still tries to equate tech with hard drugs with her argument revolving around dopamine. I see some problems with this beyond the control freak, micromanagy parenting she recommends. First of all, the artificial dopamine spikes from drugs are orders of magnitude larger than those from other activities, something that is greatly downplayed. I say artificial because a drug is an actual foreign substance that directly messes with your nervous system and brain chemistry. Therefore, the resulting dopamine spikes are not something the body is doing on its own. Tech, on the other hand, is not consumed into the body so does not "hijack" anything in the same sense as drugs. And the resulting dopamine spikes are a natural function of the nervous system. I'm skeptical of the pathology of "behavioral addictions" because they're often defined in a way that could also apply to a strong interest in or passion for something. For example, people who are very passionate about/interested in something will spend a lot of time and resources on it and look forward to and think about it a lot. They may also feel annoyed if other stuff gets in the way of that passion. There is also ageism where if the person is a youth and the passion/interest is social media or gaming, they are much more likely to be seen as having an addiction than if it was a different demographic, different passion/interest, but same relationship with it. The DSM doesn't currently recognize any behavioral addiction other than for gambling but the ICD does recognize "Internet Gaming Disorder." See Peter Gray's article on the latter.

I feel like we throw around the word "addiction" way too liberally these days. Whenever someone has an interest or passion that we don't agree with or doesn't make sense to us, we call it an addiction to dismiss it. The problem with that is that if we start looking the lens of addiction, we will interpret behaviors differently than if we look through the lens of passion/interest. If you take something from a child that they value, of course they'll be upset about it, hence why confiscation has been used as a punishment since forever. However, someone looking through the lens of addiction will instead see it as withdrawal like from a drug rather than as a normal reaction having something you love forcibly taken. It makes no difference in this case whether that thing is an electronic or a favorite toy. Lembke defines "high risk" and "low risk" activities based mainly on how compliant or resistant the child is towards parental restriction on said activity. She thinks that a child being resistant to restriction means that that activity is more addictive when it's at least as likely to mean that the child simply values and enjoys that activity more. The point about a child's behavior getting better or worse after an activity leads into my next counterargument.

The is a phenomenon in psychology called confirmation bias, which is where the brain tends to see what it expects to see or what confirms its existing beliefs. For example, if parent believes that their child's behavior will get worse after heavy tech use, they will likely perceive it that way, whether reality or not. And that often leads to an awful self-fulfilling prophecy wherein the parent takes action based on that confirmation bias, leading to behavior in the child that reinforces the bias (see next paragraph on scarcity) and continuing the cycle. The whole sugar making kids hyper myth was a product of parental confirmation bias. There was a study where one group of parents was told that their kids had consumed sugar while the other group was told their kids had consumed an artificial sweetener. Result? The parents who BELIEVED their kids had consumed sugar PERCEIVED their kids as being more hyper. In reality, none of the kids had consumed any sugar. Going back to tech, it could also be that the behavior changes are real but misattributed to tech use. Parents these days blame tech for basically everything wrong with their kids so I can easily see that happening.

There is then the concept of scarcity in social psychology where people put greater value on things that are limited, or scarce. Therefore, limiting a child's access to tech or sweets just makes it more desirable and "special". We all saw how people panic-shopped at the height of the pandemic back in 2020. That was the scarcity principle at work. The argument Lembke attacks: "Oh, well, if I let my kid play as many video games as they want or be on social media as much as they want, they'll get tired of it" is a straw man of this. It's not that they get tired of it, it's that the thing previously limited is now abundant and no longer has a heightened value from artificial scarcity. Lembke argues that sensitization just makes you want the thing more the more you do it. However, I argue that Lembke is taking a tunnel-visioned view of the issue that ignores the complexity of human psychology; human behavior is the result of many more factors than just dopamine. There is an interesting study called the Rat Park study that suggests that a person's environment is a major mediator of addiction. In the study, it was found that rats that were given free range in a "park" with other rats drank less morphine water than rats that were isolated (access to the morphine water was not restricted for either group). There is also some evidence of this in humans where a study found that the vast majority of Vietnam vets who addicted to Heroin at war quit on their own without rehab once they came home.

The last thing I will cover is the paragraph about people feeling bad about shopping online or using social media a lot despite desiring it. My immediate reaction is that it's not the activity itself that makes someone feel bad but their internalization of the messaging from society that doing said activity a lot is bad. For example, you're constantly told that spending a lot of time on social media is bad, therefore you feel guilty if you do it. I'm sure those on this sub are familiar with boomerized young people like the type often found on /r/genz. It's society making you bad about doing the activity, not the activity itself. If you lived in a world where that activity was accepted or encouraged, those negative feelings would be gone. It would be really hard to separate these factors in a study. This is a classic example of "correlation doesn't imply causation." Obviously there is an exception for extreme cases where the activity really is causing significant harm/problems in the person's life but those are rare compared to how frequently we describe things as "addictions." Oh boy this was long. Does anyone have anything else to add?

5 Comments
2024/06/22
14:37 UTC

15

If the infantilization against teens was debunked How can we solve the brutalization problem against adults?

I believe that the infantalization against teens wont stop because of the brutalization against adults when it comes to sexualization, addiction, age discrimination

Everything that we are fighting for the youth will just get adults to be massacred, assasinated, stalked, confronted, framed by radical extremists

2 Comments
2024/06/19
23:18 UTC

37

Things that infuriate me every time I think about them

You can hit your kid for not doing their homework as long as it doesn’t leave a mark. You can’t hit your cheating spouse for having an affair or destroying your family, or for having alcohol problems or for slandering you (all of which you can hit your kids for).

If you open a bank account with a parent or guardian as the overseer, they can take out money as they please without telling you. They can also shut the bank account down without telling you. What does saving your money in a bank have to do with anything???? And if the kind earned the money themselves, how is it a parent’s right to take it? Yet if a kid took their parent’s credit card without asking them everyone would be losing their minds about not having “respect” for their parent’s money.

Just the sheer thought that a parent can shelter, humiliate and deprive their kid of most things but basic needs and not be seen as a bad parent under the law.

We are no one and NOTHING under the law. Zero competence assumed under 18. How long will it be until we are treated as humans?

22 Comments
2024/06/18
00:14 UTC

17

What are your biggest enemies when it comes to youth right in laws, relationship, addiction (Not politics, school, labor)?

16 Comments
2024/06/17
21:45 UTC

20

Calling all High Schoolers who want to be in a political subreddit for HIGH SCHOOLERS ONLY

Hey, guys! I am a sophomore in high school. When I joined Reddit, I couldn't find a subreddit for high schoolers who are passionate about politics like me. So, I started one 2 months ago, but unfortunately, no one has joined yet. I am reaching out to my fellow high schoolers to ask if they would like to join my subreddit called r/Youthforpolitics

Here's what it's about: Welcome to our youth for politics subreddit, where young minds come together to discuss and debate pressing political issues facing our world today. This is a space for sharing views, exchanging ideas, and connecting with fellow passionate individuals who are dedicated to making a difference in the political landscape. Whether you are new to politics or a seasoned activist, everyone is welcome here to engage in meaningful conversations and inspire positive change.

16 Comments
2024/06/17
18:41 UTC

19

Rules for thee, but not for me

I found out that almost every single political party both local around me and national only requires you to be 14 years old to be a member including the conservative parties. There is one with no membership age and another has a voting age of 13. This entitles you to following things: the right to vote for party leader and the right to vote for the representative for your riding, in addition to other rights. To vote in a general election, you have to be 18 years old on election day. So all the politicians accept one set of rules for their party, and another standard for the government.

I don't agree with having a voting age, but I find hypocritical that all the parties agree that people who are at least 14 years old are capable enough to choose their leaders, executive, and rules, but not capable enough to have a meaningful say on the laws and administration of the country.

I'm in Canada btw.

6 Comments
2024/06/17
02:30 UTC

24

A universal refutation of (nearly) all arguments against youth rights

Adults, in most U.S. states, have rights of basic self-determination that can only be taken away by a process that requires a high burden of proof. In order to get a court to declare a person (who has reached the age of majority) incompetent and appoint a guardian against that person's will, experts have to present hard evidence that the person is so incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions that they cannot, even in principle and with help, understand what to do without it being done for them. The result of this is that often even those in the clinically significant stages of Alzheimer's, or those who have psychiatric conditions rendering their decision-making extremely unstable, still retain their legal autonomy. Of course a person can still cede decision-making on a voluntary basis using power of attorney, but the bar for having it done involuntarily (which is comparable to the legal status of a minor) remains high.

The ageists/adultists often argue that youth have incompletely developed brains. However, even if an adult has a deteriorating or damaged brain and it is evident on scans, this is never, by itself, enough to justify having them declared legally incompetent. If damaging or declined brains do not justify a finding of incompetence, why should "incompletely developed" brains justify the legal status of a minor?

Ageists will often argue that young people have a tendency to act impulsively. However, there are a number of psychiatric conditions, such as bipolar or extreme ADHD, that can make an adult far more impulsive than the typical young teen - some even comparable to much younger children. Yet, this diagnosis is never, by itself and without due process, used as sufficient reason for a finding of incompetence in an adult.

Ageists will sometimes argue that the background knowledge or cognitive function of young people is not completely developed. However, the federal Voting Rights Act is actually based upon the idea that anyone who can read and understand written materials at a 6th grade level - comparable to an 11-12 year old - is sufficiently informed to vote. So why the double standard? Similarly, based on both school performance and raw cognition tests, about 20% or 25% of the adult population cannot even perform as well as the average 13-year-old, and obviously it would be absurd to propose that this segment of the population be declared incompetent without due process!

Ageists will often argue that it would be "unfair" if minors, who are not financially self-supporting, had all the rights of an adult. But think this through - if an adult has a disability that makes them unable to work, should they be declared incompetent without due process? If not, why the double standard?

Last but not least, ageists will often argue that young people lack some sort of magical "life experience" that is necessary for a person to make sound decisions. But this raises the question, experience of what, exactly? Surely the mere experience of breathing is not sufficient to impart wisdom or judgment - there must be something else to it. Does one actually gain "experience" by living in a totalitarian regime in which you are deprived of the opportunity of making any meaningful contributions to society, and you are prohibited from taking even the tiniest of risks without your overlords having to sign a liability waiver? No matter what the age is that a person starts doing something, it is logically impossible to be "experienced" when you start. Everyone must be allowed to start with no relevant experience - so what could be gained by delaying the start?

Any others I need to refute?

5 Comments
2024/06/16
09:10 UTC

19

Dealing with trolls

We recently have had problems on this sub with trolls who continue promoting the nonsensical myth that brains mature at 25 and that anyone under 25 is a child or kid.

Not sure why this has been the case.

2 Comments
2024/06/15
23:41 UTC

24

Cop show supports beating children. What a surprise.

6 Comments
2024/06/11
14:22 UTC

14

Why is 18 considered the norm for age gap relationships, even when age of consent is 16/17?

I am done with people thinking 17-30 is creepy and pedophilia but 18-30 is fine because they’re ‘both consenting adults’. Most people nowadays would probably even support 18-30 over 17-20.

Even when the age of consent is 16/17, they still say ‘wait till 18’. WHY IS THIS? Then they should’ve made the damn age of consent 18, not our fault.

I am failing to understand the moral/social difference? People think that as of 18 you are free to date/sleep with whoever you please to. But if you’re 16/17 and it’s legal, it’s not OK.

The law said 16/17 is fine. So why is the line drawn at 18? Who made that line? Someone explain. I fail to understand it.

16 Comments
2024/06/10
13:57 UTC

17

Involuntary commitment - the horrifying legal procedure that makes it easy to send kids away

4 Comments
2024/06/09
21:20 UTC

9

I suppose if I post all news about restrictions on what kids can buy, I should post the opposite too - as proof that change is possible? ["Is it normal for schools to have pubs?"]

0 Comments
2024/06/09
19:19 UTC

12

Further spread of the "can't sell that to under-16s" tendency ["Do Costa not serve to under 18s?"]

3 Comments
2024/06/09
17:47 UTC

21

I feel like this is a very good post to spread awareness of how adults often treat teenagers and children

2 Comments
2024/06/09
16:06 UTC

25

Why do so many minors on the internet openly tell that they are minors and ask for special treatment on this basis.

Back in my days, everyone lied about being older so that they are treated more seriously. I remember playing a browser game that was popular among pre-teens and early teens, and the most common responses to "What is your age" question were 16 and 18 for obvious reasons.

But now, I see a lot of anonymous (as they are anonymous, they can say anything about themselves) internet accounts that explicitly tell "not to be weird/mean/something " to them because they are a minor. Especially on tumblr and to the lesser excent Twitter. This phenomenon also has a political dimension, because most of these accounts are socially progressive.

What happened? Why do minors not want to be in adult online spaces anymore and be seen as adults? Why is this especially prominent for social progressives?

44 Comments
2024/06/09
08:12 UTC

22

Anyone live in a town with a curfew ordinance?

My hometown passed one when I was in high school in the early 90s. With the help of the ACLU, a few of us sued the city over it.*

We won the case but lost on appeal. When the Supreme Court declined to hear us, that was that. The ordinance remains in place now, despite the passage of a state law banning teen curfews and despite substantial evidence that they’re ineffective at protecting youth or reducing crimes committed by those under 17. You can read about it HERE if you want to.

Wondering if any folks on here live in places with curfew laws? If you do, have they had an impact on your life - like your interactions with law enforcement, ability to keep yourself or others safe from abuse, freedom to participate in stuff you care about, etc.?

Asking out of personal interest and concern. Still pissed and worried. (I’ll never forget the way the police argued that the curfew would be a good “tool” bc it would allow them to pick kids up at night that they couldn’t otherwise. Of course, all those kids were Black and Brown :()

*This is me and my friend, Will, another plaintiff in the case, in a photo taken by a reporter: DMN Cover. Note the shoulder pads and hip hop album cover aesthetic ;)

5 Comments
2024/06/09
05:27 UTC

46

Why is it so insanely common for people to think there is a gigantic difference between a 17 year old and an 18 year old?

It's not even CLOSE to people just thinking it's the legal age thing. Not at all. People literally think there is a HUGE difference between someone at 17 and at 18 mentally. Down here, this involves a 17-year-old with a 21-year-old, most of the comments calling the 21 year old a pedophile. There would ironically probably be less people attacking the older partner if it was a 25-year-old with a 13-year-old or something, despite that gap being way, way bigger. The same subreddit had a thread recently about a girl being 18 and not wanting to date a 26 year old, with everyone saying there is nothing wrong because they would be both adults. An 8-year gap at 18 is 100% good, but a 4-year gap at 17 is worse than the absolute worst thing imaginable.
Dating a 21 year old girl as a 17 year old boy : r/teenagers (reddit.com)

Meanwhile, go to a comment thread about Leonardo DiCaprio dating a 19-year-old and almost all the comments are saying it's good and that both are fully grown adults, yet only two years ago she was a "child" and not even a teenager. Clearly none of this is only because of the legal age, at all (many states even have 16/17 as the legal age of consent). It's that people DO literally think there is a sudden mental change the day you turn 18, that is the ONLY possibility there. It doesn't even get addressed, outside of people saying "18 is legal and 17 isn't. DUH" and then being dismissive. Nevermind that the former is usually legal via Romeo and Juliet Laws (which even the mention of that phrase get's people utterly deranged and begin calling you a pedophile - even if it's not even remotely applicable).

People saying the latter is none of anyone's business because it's two consenting adults do not apply that logic to everything, like they won't say that at all when it comes to open relationships or really any type of relationship they don't personally find comfortable.

What does Leonardo Dicaprio even have in common with a 19 year old? : r/WhitePeopleTwitter (reddit.com)

Do people literally think a 17-year-old in a relationship with someone just a few years older would immediately traumatize said 17-year-old irreparably, while just one year later that same person wouldn't be if they dated someone over a decade older? Like take a senior high school class, are they saying the ones who are 17 are literally significantly more mentally fragile than those who are 18? Like it's not even gradual or something? It's even common for someone to claim an 18-year-old shouldn't date a 17-year-old, even if they are both in the same grade, which is lunacy.

I really do try to not think about this all the time, it just keeps going into my brain over and over, like there isn't anything I can do about it at all. Every single time it pops into my brain, I suddenly look up a bunch of Reddit posts, doom scroll, and then suddenly get irrationally irritated, often mass commenting on different comments, shortly deleting them afterwards to avoid getting backlash (claiming a 3 year age gap between an "adult" and a "minor" (I mean "little itty bitty child", like a TODDLER) isn't the worst thing ever seems to be worse than admitting to being a mass murderer by normie redditor standards). I don't even feel comfortable talking to relatives or counselors about this, to avoid them seeing me differently and even shunning me, it makes no sense when I just try to get help lol. The same type of thing has happened with me on other topics (open relationships, Israel/ Palestine)

Also, I literally posted all of this here probably because it's just about the only sub where this type of thing might be slightly related to this and I won't be chewed apart for posting this.

48 Comments
2024/06/04
04:59 UTC

19

How to solve the late bloomer problem?

If we lower or abolish age restrictions that prevent young people from achieving adult goalposts and shorten or abolish school, people will be expected to achieve goalposts earlier.

But there is a problem: late bloomers. Even when the average differences between 15 years olds and 18 or even 20 years olds are small, the younger age group has higher variability, because there is a significant minority of late bloomers who don't reach their full potential until later. They can be significantly disadvantaged if people are expected to achieve goalposts like starting university education or entering the workforce earlier.

8 Comments
2024/06/03
03:37 UTC

45

Why do ppl flip out when a kid tries to leave their abuse situation legally?

I remember a few years back before I ran away me and other teens I knew or met online would get verbally attacked for asking for advice on things like emancipation, how to to get lawyers and start a case abt the abuse, how to go to job corps without parents permission, etc etc. Ppl would flip out and bash us, tell us we needed to stay till 18, tell us we'd never qualify, I had a lady tell me the situation was my fault, all types of insults.

I remember this girl I knew who was 15 and in college and ppl bashed her for wanting advice on emancipation. She eventually gave up on that and tried to k1ll herself month later. Then developed more cognitive dissonance around her mom and m0lester dudes who were abusing her.

I also have seen situation where a teen has 2 jobs, a car, already graduated, etc and still gets bashed. Yet ppl react less bad when you mention having to runaway SOMETIMES. This is just something weird I've noticed. I know that ppl who react like this to abuse victims are adult who have never been abused and ppl who are lying to their selves abt their abuse and probably say "blood is thicker than water". As a side note I accepted years ago that emancipation is honestly made as hard as possible and there was no point in continuing to try to figure out how to get a lawyer. Which reminds me someone once told me "If you can't even afford a lawyer you don't need to get emancipated" 🤣🤣. Either way one of the Keys to fixing your situation is realizing there is no system put in place to help.

7 Comments
2024/06/02
21:27 UTC

22

Oh boy. This post is an absolute doozy.

7 Comments
2024/06/02
20:48 UTC

11

am i legally allowed to go stay with a friend ???

1 Comment
2024/06/02
03:17 UTC

22

Interesting discussion in a police subreddit showing "anti-smacking" legislation in Wales, which "gives children the same rights as adults when it comes to assault", being acted on. (possibly handled incorrectly to begin with)

1 Comment
2024/05/30
17:22 UTC

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