From the Stack

New 18-34 age demographic group portends that adults won’t grow up

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Joshua Gibbs, writing at the Circe Institute, penned a column describing an emerging age demographic group of 18- to 34-year-old adults who refuse to grow up.

Society has been kowtowing to youngsters for a generation now with participation trophies, failure to use red ink to correct a paper, and doing everything possible to protect a child’s “fragile” self-esteem. We are now harvesting a generation of adults who simply desire to remain stuck in late adolescence.

What demographers used to describe as separate 18-24 and 25-34 age groups is now morphing into an all-inclusive 18-34 group.

“Allowing children to do things which have ‘no effect’ on them has incentivized children to adopt a dull, impenetrable attitude toward life — even the moments of life that formerly ranked among the most significant and beautiful. This dull approach to life has prolonged childhood well into adult years,” Gibbs wrote.

He’s right. A number of my high school friends who had children later in life report the kids have virtually no interest in learning to drive, let alone buying a first car — something that was a significant right of passage for younger generations. Why bother driving when mom or dad will cart them wherever they need to go?

“What does it mean that most billion dollar corporations no longer need to distinguish between 18-year-olds and 34-year-olds?” Gibbs asked.

“For starters, it means that once Americans hits the age of 18, their tastes are not expected (or required) to change all that much for the next sixteen years. Between 18 and 34, a person will likely leave home, go to college, graduate college, and enter a career,” he explained.

In the article, Gibbs offers an interesting perspective on exactly what an 18- to 34-year-old really is.

He concludes that “twentysomethings and thirtysomethings are not expected to develop and refine their tastes. They are simply expected to spend more money on the same things they enjoyed during adolescence.”

In fact, the creation of the “18-34” year-old is aimed at getting 34-year-olds to act 18, not getting 18-year-olds to act 34. As a result, we offer children very little incentive to grow up, he wrote.

“The pleasures and freedoms of adulthood are given to children earlier and earlier, while ‘stress’ is regarded as a debilitating, deadly disease from which everyone — but especially the young — needs immediate deliverance,” he added, noting that it may soon be considered psychological abuse to tell any young person to “hurry up.”

Gibbs wrote a very thought-provoking article and one that deserves the attention of anyone concerned about the direction America is heading today.

You can find it at

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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