This is a corrosive trend, but would make a bit more sense if there were consistency to it. The argument that adolescence extends to 26 is highly selective — it offers to delay the pains of adulthood while granting all the pleasures.
If we are going to take seriously that young adults’ “emotional maturity, self-image and judgment” are not formed until age 26, then why in the name of public safety would we allow them behind the wheel of a car? Why should they be allowed to drink alcohol at age 21, or even 24, and cloud their undeveloped judgment even further? And why should they be allowed to participate in deciding who gets elected to public office at any level if they are not ready to live independently and pay their own bills?
That, if the psychologists are even willing to discuss it, exposes the sham of the whole thing. They never say young twentysomethings are too immature for the privileges — only the responsibilities.
Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org