How might recent research findings on adolescents cognitive and socio-emotional development contribute to the debate on lowering the age of sexual consent? include a critical examination of the research findings and explore how the research might contribute to reshaping our conceptualisations of adolescence, through informing the debate on the contemporary issue of lowering the age of sexual concent which is of relevance to young people.
Recent findings concerning cognitive, social-emotional, moral, political, and religious development in normal adolescents are reviewed. Unlike findings with standardized intelligence tests, Piagetian research supports the hypothesis of cognitive differentiation during development. Recent research on personality development tends to refute the previous consensus that adolescence is nonrutively a time of emotional stress or crisis and thus suggests that adolescent emotional problems be taken more seriously when they do appear. Similarly, considerable diversity exists among adolescents and research findings on cognition, morality, intergenerational relations and ideological development are often inconsistent with generally held, theoretically derived, views of modal adolescent functioning.