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Elemental
Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

Teenagers

In Elemental. More on Medium.

Research reveals that not everyone is doing it

Illustration: Anne Freier

Harris was 21 years old when he met his first girlfriend.

They sat next to each other in a seminar on global health in college. He hadn’t been looking for a romantic encounter; it just happened. His friends applauded; his family sighed with relief that, finally, their “precious boy” had met a nice girl. “I don’t know what all the fuss was about,” he says. “I just wasn’t interested in dating before.”

Sexual late bloomers are often regarded as odd or even dysfunctional by society. But some emerging research takes the side of young people like Harris: Teenagers who don’t…


Research explains why that isn’t necessarily a bad thing

Activist Greta Thunberg speaking into a microphone as she leads the Youth Climate Strike.
Activist Greta Thunberg speaking into a microphone as she leads the Youth Climate Strike.
Activist Greta Thunberg leads the Youth Climate Strike in an effort to promote awareness and change to current global environmental policies on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Photo: John Lamparski/WireImage/Getty

Some of the biggest social movements today — including protests for climate change and gun regulation — were sparked by teenagers. And while teens are often belittled as vaping TikTok fanatics, recent research suggests the passion and commitment of adolescent activists such as climate activist Greta Thunberg, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and the gun-control crusaders from Parkland, Florida in part reflect the unique nature of the teenage brain.

The idea that human brains don’t fully mature until people are in their early to midtwenties — which has become the consensus belief among scientists over the past 15 years…

Elemental

Your life, sourced by science. A publication from Medium about health and wellness.

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