- See Adult. for the duo that composes and remixes retro electro techno.
The term adult describes any mature organism, but normally it refers to a human: one that is no longer a child / minor and is now either a man or a woman. Coming of age is the event of becoming an adult, i.e. of entering adulthood.
Adult also means a status where people tend to think more maturely or more conservatively.
Legally it means that one can engage in a contract. The same or a different minimum age may be applicable for e.g. parents losing parenting rights and duties regarding the person concerned, parents losing financial responsibility, marriage, voting, having a job, being a soldier, buying/possessing firearms (if legal at all), driving, travelling abroad, drinking alcoholic beverages (perhaps different ages for different categories), smoking, sex, being a prostitute (if legal at all), being a client of a prostitute, being a model or actor in pornography, etc. Admission of a young person to a place may be restricted because of danger for that person, and/or because of the risk that the young person causes damage (e.g. at an exhibition of fragile items).
One can distinguish the legality of acts of a young person, and of enabling a young person to carry out that act, by selling, renting out, showing, permitting entrance, participating, etc. There may be distinction between commercially and socially enabling. Sometimes there is the requirement of supervision by a legal guardian, or just by an adult. Sometimes there is no requirement, but just a recommendation.
With regard to drinking one can distinguish:
- being allowed inside of drinking establishments
- being allowed to purchase alcohol
- being allowed to drink
- another person being allowed to sell the young person alcohol
- another person being allowed to give the young person alcohol
See also legal considerations regarding alcoholic beverages.
With regard to pornography one can distinguish:
- being allowed inside an adult establishment
- being allowed to purchase pornography
- being allowed to possess pornography
- another person being allowed to sell, rent out, or show the young person pornography, see disseminating pornography to a minor
- being a model or actor in pornography: rules for the young person, and for other people, regarding production, possession, etc. (see child pornography)
With regard to movies with violence, etc.:
- another person being allowed to sell, rent out, or show the young person the movie, a cinema being allowed to let the young person enter
The legal definition of entering adulthood varies between ages 16-21, depending on the region in question. Some cultures in Africa define adult at age 13, but most other civilizations consider this the teenager stage.
Often the age is 18. Exceptions:
19: South Korea
"Adult" also means "not considered suitable for children", in particular as a euphemism for being related to sexual behaviour, e.g. adult entertainment, adult video, adult magazine, adult bookstore. However, adult education simply means education for adults, not particularly sex education.
Some propose that moving into adulthood involves an emotional structuring of denial. This process becomes necessary to cope with one's own behaviour (especially in uncomfortable situations) and also the behaviour of others.