I think it’s time we stopped all the subjective letters on what the voting age should be and look at the science.
Taken off NPR’s website, an interview with neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, she states it is settled science that people’s brains don’t reach full maturity until 25. An 18-year-old is about halfway there.
Salient qualities needing to mature in youth include impulse control, higher risk tolerance, less organized behaviour, susceptible to peer pressure. Deprived childhoods increase these factors and delay development. Also, men are two years behind women and this is especially notable around the age of 15.
I certainly know I look back on my hyper idealism and black and white certainty of those years and shake my head. That said, Aamodt says that the levels of maturity varies greatly among people.
I would still say keep the voting age higher because for all the good qualities that we value in our young people, I don’t particularly trust their political choices from what I see going on in the world. Things like socialism are much too popular among the young.