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While aging is an established biological process, the attainment of adulthood is social in its criteria.
In contrast to other perspectives that conceptualize aging and the attainment of adulthood as a largely universal development, regardless of context, nation, generation, gender, race, or social class.
According to Jewish tradition, adulthood is reached at age 13 (the minimum age of the Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah) for Jewish boys and girls; they are expected to demonstrate preparation for adulthood by learning the Torah and other Jewish practices.
The Christian Bible and Jewish scripture contain no age requirement for adulthood or marrying, which includes engaging in sexual activity The 1983 Code of Canon Law states, "A man before he has completed his sixteenth year of age, and likewise a woman before she has completed her fourteenth year of age, cannot enter a valid marriage".
According to The Disappearance of Childhood by Neil Postman, the Christian Church of the Middle Ages considered the age of accountability, when a person could be tried and even executed as an adult, to be age 7.
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After the social construct of adolescence was created, adulthood split into two forms: biological adulthood and social adulthood.
In human context, the term adult additionally has meanings associated with social and legal concepts.Depending on one's jurisdiction, the age of majority may or may not be set independently of and should not be confused with the minimum ages applicable to other activities, such as engaging in a contract, marriage, voting, having a job, serving in the military, buying/possessing firearms, driving, traveling abroad, involvement with alcoholic beverages, smoking, sexual activity, gambling, being a model or actor in pornography, running for President, etc.Admission of a young person to a place may be restricted because of danger for that person, concern that the place may lead the person to immoral behavior or because of the risk that the young person causes damage (for example, at an exhibition of fragile items).Sometimes there is the requirement of supervision by a legal guardian, or just by an adult.Sometimes there is no requirement, but rather a recommendation.