We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
... most adolescents do not develop anxiety disorders, but acquire the skill to modulate their fear as their prefrontal cortex matures in young adulthood, at around age 25. But up to 20 percent of adolescents in the United States experience a diagnosable anxiety disorder, like generalized anxiety or panic attacks, probably resulting from a mix of genetic factors and environmental influences. The prevalence of anxiety disorders and risky behavior (both of which reflect this developmental disjunction in the brain) have been relatively steady, which suggests to me that the biological contribution is very significant.
Let's not forget that "teenage" as a concept is very recent, an indulgence made possible by affluence and cultural softness. This column would not have made sense until 80 or so years ago. The great Neil Postman covers this brilliantly in "The Disappearance of Childhood."
I believe it is simply the perfect storm of boys at that age suddenly having the strength of a man, the life experience and common sense of a child and a build up of resentment to authority (it begins when they learn to say "no" at two years old). For girls it is the same except they have the body of a woman which suddenly empowers them while at the same time bringing them the attention they have been seeking since they were born. The power of our human sexuality and the freedom from restraint is the root of the problem. I suspect that if any of us were suddenly 16 again even knowng all we know we would over indulge in the pleasure and freedom of youth.