However, most states actually set it lower, and in many cases without restriction on age gap between the individuals after that cutoff; the important thing is simply consent.As for a general age most developed countries of the world consider someone an adult, this is usually (somewhat arbitrarily) set at 18.For instance, on a national level, prior to 1971, the voting age was still 21, but then was lowered to age 18 by the 26th Amendment. As for the number, this seemingly was at least partially chosen because that’s the age when most people graduated high school, and the majority of people in the United States attended such a public institution when the switch was made.As for why the age was changed at all, the reasons behind this include massive improvements in public education since the 21 number was originally set, recognition that 18 year olds were able to enter into legally binding contracts, get married, have children, and could even be forcibly drafted.
Why this was the British common law age isn’t fully clear.
In the contemporary words of Senator Edward Kennedy, First, our young people today are far better equipped — intellectually, physically, and emotionally — to make the type of choices involved in voting than were past generations of youth.
Many experts believe that today’s 18 year-old is at least the equal, physically and mentally, of a 21 year-old of his father’s generation, or a 25 year-old of his grandfather’s generation. In 1920, just fifty years ago, only 17% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 were high school graduates. Today, by contrast 79% of Americans in this age group are high school graduates. Because of the enormous impact of modern communications, especially television, our youth are extremely well informed on all the crucial issues of our time, foreign and domestic, national and local, urban and rural…
People continue to mature and grow as individuals throughout our lifetimes (at least ideally). And at what age is a person ready to handle these responsibilities?
So the 45 year old you would probably not only be better equipped to make decisions than the 25 year old version, but also in all likelihood be a very different person, both literally (in the replacing of your body’s physical makeup in that gap) and mentally. These are all difficult questions that don’t lend themselves to easy answers.