Dating in 8th grade
These maladroit transactions are the training wheels of love, explains Bradford Brown, a human development professor at the University of Wisconsin, and one of the few people on earth over the age of 13 who pays serious attention to the childhood crush.
If you think of it that way, what could be more important?
Smoothing the way for someone to be asked out "is a wonderfully protective device," he explains, "because if the emissary gets laughed out of the ballpark, the person can deny ever having sent the person.
It's a great way to protect one's self-esteem at a time when self-esteem is pretty fragile anyway.
A grown man is unlikely to say to a grown woman, "You're my backup if Jessica says no." It's socially acceptable for adults to go without a crush for a week, a month, a year.
“Among adults or older adolescents or young adults, dating is actually a really good thing,” explains Orpinas, “because you’re more stable, happier, and less likely to do drugs.” But the earlier you start, the more likely the opposite results.“Risk-taking behaviors in adolescents cluster,” says Lynn Ponton, professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Sex Lives of Teenagers: Revealing the Secret World of Adolescent Boys and Girls.
And early-onset dating is an important clue as to whether your child might be a high-risk taker, particularly if it is accompanied by poor grade performance.
The 1999 book is one of the few pieces of child development scholarship dwelling more on courtship than on sex.
From the title of one chapter -- "You're Going Out With Who?