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Transition to Adulthood Essay

The entering of a young adult into adulthood is a monumental step in a person’s life thatg requires many major changes in decision-making, responsibilities, and behaviors. It appears there are gender differences between males and females, as females appear to go through the major transitions to adulthood at a younger age and leave home faster than men (Holloway, 2010). My hypothesis is that females have an earlier transition to adulthood and will leave home at a younger age than males because females have a stronger drive for independence and a readiness to leave their sheltered lives at home and have been able to find “who they are” earlier.

Women are able to develop intimacy with someone else without losing their own identity earlier than men. This is because females tend to develop their identities through relationships with others. Erikson suggested that women might develop their intimacy and identity at the same time because having relationships with others is how they develop themselves as a whole (Holloway, 2010. pg. 102). Women also appear to develop fidelity, the ability to live by societies standards, earlier and are able to make decisions as to what society expects. They can do this and develop a relationship at the same time.

Woman use their relationships to help determine who they are; whereas men usually can’t maintain a relationship with others until they are sure of their own identity (102). In Failure to Launch, we see this happening as Tripp is still at home with his parents with no girlfriend and only a boat to show for himself while from the female perspective of Paula one can see she has matured much earlier. Women, like Paula, may transition to adulthood and leave home earlier because they strive for personal freedom from parents that are protective of their daughters.

A lot of times at home females have a bigger restriction from family members as they may be expected to do more such as household chores or babysitting. Another common reason that the females will leave earlier than the males is because of the strictness of a parent member, usually a father figure. It is portrayed through many shows and movies that the fathers do not want to see their daughters out on dates or stay out late. In contrast, it is usually seen that boys have more slack from parents when it comes to having friends over, staying out later, and participating in the upkeep of the house.

The fact that parents supervise sons less than daughters shows that independence has different meaning for young men and women (Fish, 2005). Males seem to be less motivated to succeed in class, take longer to finish school, obtain a satisfying career and cohabit or get married. It has been suggested that one of the reasons for this is their increased playing of video games. Researches have found that playing video games stimulates the region of the brain that is associated with reward and addiction. This occurs for both genders, but male brains show higher levels of stimulation.


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