I have not seen an advance copy of a new book about adolescence. The title, Wildhood: The Epic Journey from Adolescence to Adulthood in Humans and Other Animals,” is off-putting only because I consider humans to be an entirely different creation, not simply another breed of animal. Nevertheless, judging by an article I read that was adapted from the book, the book will present fascinating nuggets.
The piece I read explored how different animals, ranging from sea otters to gazelles, put themselves in danger during adolescence. The paradox is that they may not survive. However, if they do, they are better equipped for being successful adults. The parallels to human adolescence provide much food for thought.
What captivated me about the article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal was the complete absence of the words “male” and “female.” I do not know if this is because authors Dr. Natterson-Horowitz and Ms. Kathryn Bowers don’t discuss any distinctions between the sexes in the book or if this was a function of newspaper editing. Somehow I think that mentioning that certain behaviors are unique or more prominent among males or that all behaviors cross gender lines seems to me to be…how shall I say it—Scientific?