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Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children.Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.” For most of us, the cultural habitat of pre-adulthood no longer seems noteworthy.After all, popular culture has been crowded with pre-adults for almost two decades.Those who don’t get a four-year college degree are not in a position to compete for the more satisfying jobs of the knowledge economy.But pre-adults differ in one major respect from adolescents.Marketers and culture creators help to promote pre-adulthood as a lifestyle.And like adolescence, pre-adulthood is a class-based social phenomenon, reserved for the relatively well-to-do.
They expect their careers to give shape to their identity.But their numbers and their money supply were always relatively small. As most professors tell it, they also have more confidence and drive.These strengths carry women through their 20s, when they are more likely than men to be in grad school and making strides in the workplace.They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.” One female reviewer of Ms.Kausner’s book wrote, “I had to stop several times while reading and think: Wait, did I date this same guy?
Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers—a gender gap neatly crystallized by the director Judd Apatow in his hit 2007 movie “Knocked Up.” The story’s hero is 23-year-old Ben Stone (Seth Rogen), who has a drunken fling with Allison Scott (Katherine Heigl) and gets her pregnant.