Teens' brains develop different skills along a predictable timeline. These milestones should influence the legal age boundaries for voting, buying guns and being put to death.
Adolescents have important developmental work to do. Despite what worried grownups think, taking needless risks isn't the goal for teens. Being risky is part of exploring and learning about the world.
In recent years, the notion of a structurally imbalanced teenage brain has been faulted for bad choices. A review of studies suggests that a deficit in brain development is not to blame.