Biology in being an Adult

What does it mean to be an adult? Is it when you can finally sleep without a night light? Or when you’ve watched the hour and a half long film titled Adulthood? Those could be considered accomplishments in a small world but unfortunately none qualify for the real world.

Biologically we are all considered an adult at a younger age than 18 which is, by law, a legal adult. We all go through human development or “the process of growth and change that takes place between birth and maturity” (James M. Tanner, Britannica, 2010). Our entire lives we experience a somatic roller coaster. There are ups and downs, then more ups and once you hit adulthood it just goes down from there on.

Our starting point in when we become sexually mature, or in this case puberty rises over us like the red sun in Lord of the Rings. We experience a swift increase in many things like our physique, shape and composition in our body along with faster development of the gonads or your sex glands (Oh! Trust me, we’ll go over what those do later). The reproduction organs signal one’s sexual maturity.

Adulthood would commonly be ages 20 or 21 years, which to many would be deemed the party years. The middle ages would be around one’s 40’s where the mid-life crisis is passed around like the flu. Though, it is a time to develop generativity, or the desire to expand in one’s societal and family influences and commitments. A time where things can slow down a bit, and that’s very okay. Our older ages of adulthood would be around 60 years or older.

It is all fun and games until you wander into your middle age years, leaving behind your youthful vibrancy of limitless energy and enthusiasm. Know that after you late 20’s or so, is marked by gradual declines in physical and mental functioning. And this will accelerate the older you get. After the age 30, generally, things like muscle and skeletal mass, heart muscles, cholesterol, production of hormones, and sadly even your sexual activity in both male in females is bound to fall.

Adults don’t just physically fall apart, but intellectual and mental, involving the speed of responses and reactions and behavior. Again, the older you get the more you’ll show a tendency towards a dwindle of learning, memory, and other psychological functions in the execution of various but related tasks.

There have been studies on how different the activity in children’s brains are versus adult brains. Steven E. Petersen of the Washington University said, “The workings of children’s neural connections are more governed by proximity to one another than is the case in adult brains.” Your brain is approximately 95 percent of its adult size by the age of seven. In an adult brain involves tight linked connections between several physically distant brain regions, but not so much for children whose brains are a bit the opposite. Most of a child’s tightest brain connections are between regions that are physically close to each other. So a child’s brain is not more disorganized than an adult brain, just organized differently. But is at least as capable as an adult brain.

Though, there most certainly will be some form a biological pressure when on your way to adulthood, other factors will play an imperative role to one’s instructed steps to growing-up. Weather it’d be a social pressure or something more personal, there is more to being an adult than biology.

1) “From the biological side of things to how we’re nurtured, a lot of what goes on in childhood influences how we turn out as adults.”

30 scientific ways your childhood affects your success as an adult

2) “Kay Hymowitz’s assault on men who seem incapable of growing up is well aimed, but her recourse to human biology as the source of adulthood makes for miserable reading.” 

Also look into ” Kay Hymowitz’s work Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys, is the observation that both men and women are experiencing more freedom than ever before.”

As Kay says, “‘financially and sexually independent, both men and women have escaped dating rituals, rules and gender roles. They’re free to do whatever they want, and their opportunities for pursuing happiness on their own terms are like none before in human experience.’”

There’s More to Being an Adult than Biology

3) “…the period in the human lifespan in which full physical and intellectual maturity have been attained. Adulthood is commonly thought of as beginning at age 20 or 21 years. Middle age, commencing at about 40 years, is followed by old age about 60 years.”


4) “Kids’ brains are organized differently than those of adults, scientists have learned through a series of brain scans.”

Child Brains Organized Differently Than Adult Brains


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