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The Legal Drinking Age Should Be 18

683 words - 3 pages

     Did you know that in the year 1980 the legal drinking age was only 18? In 1987 there was a law passed that said in order to drink legally and to buy alcohol a person had to be 21. At the age of 18 people are allowed to buy tobacco, vote, get married without parental consent, and even join the armed forces, so why can’t some one who is 18 by alcohol. This is a question I have; I believe that the legal drinking age should be 18. Dr. Ruth Engs, a professor of Applied Heath Sciences at Indiana University, agrees with me also. She states, “the legal drinking age should be lowered to about 18 or 19 and young adults should be allowed to drink in controlled environments.” (Engs) These controlled places include restaurants, taverns, pubs, and official school and university functions.
College students under the age of 21 are drinking heavily and by some are being called binge drinkers. Binges drinkers are people who have more than five drinks at least once a week. Professor Engs brings up a reason for these actions. She calls it the theory of reactance. “The theory of reactance suggests that, whenever people believe their freedom either has or will be unjustly threatened, they enter into a reactance motivational state and act regain control by not complying.” (Engs and Hanson) This means that the underage students are drinking more so because they are not supposed to. Drinking is traditionally important to college life; many activities are focused around drinking. When the right to drink is taken away from these students then the reactance theory comes into effect. They are not getting the right to drink freely and so they go out and deviate from the laws. Professor Engs has tested this theory by using a student alcohol questionnaire. The questionnaire tested 3,375 students that were both underage and of legal age. The questionnaire showed that 81.2% of the underage students were drinkers, which was compared to the legal...

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