Sunday, September 1, 2019

How the National Minimum Drinking Age Act Has Destroyed the Ability of Youth to Learn the Art of Conversation

Here is an interesting and provocative observation by Camille Paglia.

Tunku Varadarajan reports:
So why do young women feel victimized? Ms. Paglia cites the near-extinction of “body language” among the young and its impact on sexual relations on campus. The “loss of body language” starts in middle and high school, “where there’s total absorption in social media and projected images on Instagram, and so on. So they don’t know how to read each other, physically.” When they get to college, this social deficiency is exacerbated by the effects of “that stupid law, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act, that was passed in 1984.” It effected a nationwide ban on alcohol sales to adults under 21.

“When I got to college,” Ms. Paglia says, “you could go out for a beer, you could talk with a drink in a public place, in an adult environment.” That’s how 18-year-olds away from home for the first time learned the “art of conversation, of looking at each other, reading facial expressions and body language.” After the ban on drinking, “instead of a nice group of people conversing and flirting, you got the keg parties at fraternities on campus, this horrible environment where women milled about with men in this huge amount of noise, with people chugging beers down.”

Ms. Paglia is distinctly animated now and—body language!—claps her hands for emphasis. “So almost immediately, by the late 1980s, you get this date-rape extravaganza, and the hysteria, and the victimage.” Ms. Paglia has urged a repeal of the drinking-age law but “cannot get any traction on this. No one will listen to me.”


  1. The other part is the failure of the public school systems to teach anything useful or allow teens to work starting at 14 or so. Too many dumb laws that make teens unemployable in addition to an asinine drinking age law that criminalized what was okay before.

    1. Fortunately the market had the foresight of importing lots of young adults from central America who were not damaged by 12 years of government education and can actually work a job.

    2. My goodness! What a paradise! Where is this place where young human units are not forced to attend at government schools for 12 years? Chile perhaps?