Adolescence Isn't a Life Stage Anymore, It's a Lifestyle

John Stonestreet | BreakPoint | Updated: Apr 15, 2014

Adolescence Isn't a Life Stage Anymore, It's a Lifestyle


Each march, thousands of college students embark on spring break migrations to hot-spots like Miami and Cancun. They hit the beaches looking to relax and soak up the sun. But according to A recent disturbing article in the New York Post, a new trend involves predatory older single men following along, to feast their eyes and bed younger women.


These guys, many in their thirties and forties, dress up like frat boys and spend their make-believe spring breaks patrolling the sands for girls barely out of high school. Even more disturbing—they say it works!


“It’s all about the spring break mentality,” explains a 31-year-old vacationing from New York City who claims it’s easier to get young women into bed when they’re on vacation.


“[College girls] actually like older guys,” says another. “We bring more to the table.”

It’s pathetic, and as the dad of three little girls, it’s infuriating. And it represents the worst of our flourishing man-child subculture.


We’ve all heard about the guys who refuse to grow up—we remember the stereotypical Ferris Buellers of the eighties who spent high school partying.


Now the idea of teenage knuckleheads evokes nostalgia, because in 2014, the knuckleheads are balding thirty-somethings, as portrayed in movies like the Hangover series. Male adolescence now extends decades past the teen years. It’s become, as one blogger put it, “a lifestyle instead of a life stage.”


And a collapsing marriage culture is providing the incentive. As a powerful video from the Austin Institute for the Study of Family and Culture shows, extended adolescence, delayed marriage and even the hookup scene are largely the result of simple economics—sexual economics, that is.


In this video, based on the work of University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus, we learn how sex, in an important way, works like an economy. And as with all economies, it’s subject to the laws of supply and demand. Men haven’t always flown down to Miami to prowl the beaches for college girls. But they have (shocker!) always wanted sex. Once upon a time, a strong marriage culture allowed women to control the supply and set the price of sex at lifetime commitment of marriage and family.


But then along came “the pill,” abortion, and the sexual revolution, all of which helped normalize sex outside of marriage by promising to eliminate its negative consequences. Of course, these promises came with unforeseen costs. Out-of-wedlock pregnancies, divorce and sexually-transmitted diseases skyrocketed.


But maybe the biggest downside was how it changed the rules and prices in our sexual economy. Now, men can find sex without ponying up for a ring. And with the tsunami of internet pornography in recent years, women—most of whom still say they want marriage rather than casual sex—were left selling themselves short in a saturated economy.


I can’t recommend the video enough—especially for high school and college students. It’s eye-opening. And it’ll help you understand why our only hope of recovering a family-centered culture is to start from the ground up—to rebuild an economy where marriage is at a premium, and guys can’t afford to be middle-aged beach bums.


There’s no better way to do that than to join me on May 6th for the launch of Focus on the Family’s new project, “Irreplaceable.” It starts with a one-day film event designed to reintroduce our culture to the idea of family. Order tickets now, or even better, encourage your church to buy out a theater.


I’ve seen the film, and it’s so well done and so important. And it powerfully shows why marriage matters to healthy lives and a healthy society.


For more, come to And if you click on the “This Week” tab, you can listen to my interview with Focus President, Jim Daly, as he describes their tremendous effort to begin a marriage movement in America. For BreakPoint, I’m John Stonestreet.


BreakPoint is a Christian worldview ministry that seeks to build and resource a movement of Christians committed to living and defending Christian worldview in all areas of life. Begun by Chuck Colson in 1991 as a daily radio broadcast, BreakPoint provides a Christian perspective on today’s news and trends via radio, interactive media, and print. Today BreakPoint commentaries, co-hosted by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet, air daily on more than 1,200 outlets with an estimated weekly listening audience of eight million people. Feel free to contact us at where you can read and search answers to common questions.

John Stonestreet, the host of The Point, a daily national radio program, provides thought-provoking commentaries on current events and life issues from a biblical worldview. John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN), and is the co-author of Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview.

Publication date: April 15, 2014

Adolescence Isn't a Life Stage Anymore, It's a Lifestyle