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    Kid with torch.jpg
    Natural selection is the gradual process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of the effect of inherited traits on the differential reproductive success of organisms interacting with their environment. By natural selection, children come to be brave and curious enough to participate in activities that will allow them to learn and gain skills, while being cautious enough to avoid activities whose costs outweigh their benefits. Children's suffering horrible consequences of bad decisions, whether from engaging in too much or not enough risk, helps cull bad genes and memes from the population. Natural selection also tends to produce parents who act in ways that are helpful, rather than destructive, to their children's ability to survive and reproduce. People sometimes argue that children should be protected from the consequences of, say, consensual sex, but natural selection will suffice to ensure that children don't consent to harmful sex; much as rabbits have come to instinctively fear hawks, people could come to instinctively fear sex as children and to later become less fearful, when they reach an age at which they can exercise more sophisticated judgment. (more...)

    Children smoking
    Children's right to engage in self-destructive behavior should not be infringed, because it is beneficial from an evolutionary standpoint. It is best if the kids who have a tendency to harm themselves with, say, dangerous activities such as excessive hard drug use, and to not heed warnings of the risks, to get started as soon as possible wrecking their health and appearance, so that they can diminish their prospects of survival and reproduction early on. This way, those genes and memes that cause those behaviors can be weeded out more efficiently. Certain potentially self-destructive behaviors, such as smoking, engaged in by large numbers of children, so early on they are having to hide their behavior from their parents and other "authority" figures. It would be more healthy for parent-child relationships if the parents did not have to worry about the legal consequences of their children engaging in these behaviors. It would be ethically acceptable for parents to threaten to cut off support for a child if he were to continue harming himself, but it might merely compound the problem. (more...)

    Sex is an activity that has a number of benefits for the children who partake of it. The process of orgasm and sexual arousal releases a mesmeric elixir of natural pain killers and relaxers. These include oxytocin, which can lower blood pressure and heart rate. Oxtocin, in turn, produces a rush of endorphins and corticosteroids. Sex, as a form of play, can be expected to have the same benefits that one can expect of other kinds of play. It can also strengthen the pelvic floor, relieve stress, and help children sleep. An illustration of children having sex is unfortunately unavailable. (more...)

    Calvinball is an archetypical example of free play.
    Free play is play that is structured by the participants, rather than by an outside authority. It is sometimes referred to as "unstructured play" but this is a misnomer because all play has structure. Free play gives children an opportunity to design the rules of their games according to their own ideas and learn how to behave in ways that will keep the other participants happy so that they will continue playing. Free playtime has been increasingly replaced by schoolwork and extracurricular activities organized by adults, in which the child's role is merely to obey orders. The decline in children's opportunities for free play has been accompanied by a decrease in empathy and creative thinking. (more...)

    Is medical Cannabis safe for children.jpg
    Children's right to cultivate, distribute, possess, and consume cannabis should not be infringed, since children have a right to do whatever they want with their own bodies and property. Cannabis is a safer alternative for enjoyable recreation than alcohol, and as the enhancement smoker noted on Half Baked, can make good experiences even better. Cultivating cannabis gives children an opportunity to learn horticulture skills. Buying and selling it teaches them about economics, business administration, and the metric system. Cannabis can also make children more peaceful and mellow. It would also be cheaper than other forms of entertainment in a legal market. (more...)

    Children's right to possess and consume alcohol should not be infringed, because the child has sovereignty over his own body and property. Alcohol can make playtime more fun. Also, legalization of children's possession and use of alcohol would take away the risk of their ending up in the juvenile justice system for victimless crimes. The drinking age has the unintended consequence of giving young people who illegally possess alcohol a reason to drink their entire supply in order to avoid being caught with it. It also creates divisions among generations by preventing them from partaking of the same activities together. The drinking age inconveniences those who are of age, and the vendors who serve them, by requiring the drinker to carry and show ID in order to make an alcohol purchase. Although some young people may be inclined to have drinking problems, natural selection will take care of it in the long run by weeding out those who put their chances of survival and reproduction at risk. It might even be beneficial to evolution for children to have the opportunity to begin drinking before puberty, so that potential alcoholics can be destroyed before they mate. The consumption of alcohol by children also potentially makes their initial sexual experiences less awkward by reducing inhibitions. (more...)

    The right to drive should be extended to children since it would tend to further their autonomy and therefore the well-being of all. Since self-driving cars are on the horizon, the issue of children's ability to drive safely will probably largely be mooted eventually. In the meantime, there are many potential advantages to allowing children to drive. These include, for instance, the ability of children to serve as designated drivers to bring drunken parents safely home, which would keep both the family and other motorists safer. Children could also more easily exercise their right to work if they could drive, and driving could help enable them to flee unpleasant situations and migrate to environments more conducive to their development. There are accounts of it being commonplace for Saudi Arabian boys not much older than 10 to drive cars. (more...)

    Lenore Skenazy
    Lenore Skenazy is an American columnist who was described as the "world's worst mom" for letting her nine-year-old son take the subway by himself. Her actions resulted in a flood of reactions ranging from accusations of child abuse to fond memories of first-time subway trips and childhood freedom. The story was covered on The Today Show, Fox News, and MSNBC two days after the column appeared, later becoming worldwide news and being featured on Penn & Teller: Bullshit!. The surrounding fanfare led to the creation of the Free-Range Kids blog and a book, Free-Range Kids, published in 2009 by John Wiley & Sons. On the blog, Lenore proposed May 22, 2010 as the first Take Our Children to the Park & Leave Them There Day as a day for children to learn how to play by themselves without constant supervision. Skenazy also became the host of the reality television show World's Worst Mom on TLC International. (more...)

    Students reciting the pledge.
    The pledge of allegiance, written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy, is a non-binding oath that the government has schoolchildren recite for purposes that are unclear. Perhaps the reason is that there were few other captive audiences of the size of the government school population that could be compelled to participate, or maybe the government wanted to make sure it got people to promise allegiance early in life, before they had the opportunity to do much of significance. The pledge is in seeming contradiction to the government's usual philosophy concerning children, which assumes they are not ready for weighty responsibilities. (more...)

    A child at work.
    Children's right to work for those employers with whom they can make voluntary contracts is one of the cornerstones of children's liberation. It enables those children who prefer to give up some leisure in exchange for the products they can buy with their wages to do so, and thereby gives them at least some freedom relying on the handouts of others. This enhances their independence and mobility and therefore their safety by enabling them to escape from undesirable circumstances. The benefits of child labor for the children involved are not new; classical liberal economist Ludwig von Mises writes of the Industrial Revolution, "It is a distortion of facts to say that the factories carried off the housewives from the nurseries and the kitchens and the children from their play. These women had nothing to cook with and to feed their children. These children were destitute and starving. Their only refuge was the factory. It saved them, in the strict sense of the term, from death by starvation." (more...)

    Amber Kelley.
    Cook with Amber is a cooking show starring 10-year-old chef, TV personality, and 5th grader Amber Kelley. The goal of the show is to teach people with little or no cooking experience, such as children, how to safely cook healthy meals. Cook with Amber has been featured on YouTube, The Today Show, and local TV news programs, as well as The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers. Her "Nummy No-Noodle Lasagna" won the 2013 Healthy Lunchtime Challenge for her state and she was praised by Michelle Obama for her work. According to The Seattle Times, "She does it all with chipper, unforced cheer, plus the occasional goofy take or deadpan aside, and with the kind of genuineness that only a 10-year-old can display when giving in to the irresistible pull to hold a banana-phone to her ear before turning it into a health-friendly 'fronana' dessert." (more...)

    A boy raking leaves
    Comparative advantage is a principle of economics that is significant for children because it proves that even if, because of their lesser quantity or quality of knowledge, skill, experience, physical strength, and other attributes, they are less efficient at every kind of productive activity relative to an adult, they can still make valuable contributions to their households and the larger economy. For example, consider a situation in which an adult is a freelance computer programmer who earns $200/hour at his job. His young son is relatively small, weak and awkward at handling a rake, and therefore requires four hours to rake up all the leaves in the backyard, while his father would only require two hours to do the same job. Furthermore, the boy does not know how to program a computer. Thus, his father is better at every task in this scenario than he is. This is known as an absolute advantage. (more...)

    A properly trained kid
    Gun ownership rights, when exercised by children, can be a source of enjoyment and of protection from aggressors who might otherwise take advantage of children's relatively small size and physical weakness. Laetus-in-Praesens notes that not only adults but also children are citizens and as such have a right and responsibility to help defend life, liberty and property. In modern times, children have only been allowed to possess toy guns, which are inadequate to the task: "Given the recognized importance of educating children for democracy, use of more authentic weaponry by children could be expected to engender and instill a more authentic and responsible understanding of democratic processes and their necessary checks and balances." The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution contains no mention of an age restriction on gun ownership. (more...)

    ASFAR logo
    Americans for a Society Free from Age Restrictions, also known as ASFAR Youth Liberation, is an organization dedicated to increasing the rights of youth under American law. The purpose of ASFAR is to "defend and advance the civil and human rights of young people through promoting the elimination and reform of laws that limit the freedom and self-determination of young people in the United States, and empowering young people to act on their own behalf in defense of their rights and freedoms."'"sociated with the youth rights movement, which advocates more freedom for young people and protection of their rights under law, in order to allow them the greatest degree of self-determination possible. As of November 2003, the organization's website at NearlyFreeSpeech.NET had stopped responding to requests. (more...)