What about friendships and interaction with same gender youth? What about interactions with siblings of both gender especially in large families? All of these maturation issues are in play with them. I think learning how to have appropriate friendships and relationships with people of the opposite sex is a crucial part of growing up. If "many adolescents do not have the cognitive skills and resources to competently deal with the challenging aspects of relationships," then it is a great opportunity to acquire these skills and resources. I think there is a mistaken tendency to try and keep youth from facing these challenges until they are older when the challenges are even greater. The scriptures say: "Bridle your passions." They don't say keep the horse in the barn.
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