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Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
DustWolf
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Post: #1
Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
Hello,

Some people may have expressed some concern over what age groups of people are allowed on our forums, so I thought I'd address that. I write this as one of the current site co-owners and that I am the person to authoritatively speak of policy here on TG.

As you know, the primary purpose of the Therian Guide is to educate / Guide people about Therianthropy and how to live with it.

Based on our research, it would appear that most people learn about their Therianthropy around the ages 12 to 15:
[Image: age%20discovering%20therianthropy.png]
(n = 112; Source)

This is the age when Therians discover their Therianthropy. Eventually they wander out to various communities in search of more information about their condition and this includes the Therian Guide.

As the USA, where many of our users are from, requires website operators to obtain parental permission for a member under 13 to join communities, which is impractical (and even though TG doesn't currently fall under US jurisdiction), we have as many other online communities opted to not accept children under the age of 13 to our community.

However, as it is our primary function to offer information on therianthropy to those who seek it, and as most of the people looking for information about therianthropy are likely to be under the age of 18, we will continue to make our community available to people of those age groups.

We also have members of other age groups, with the current co-owners of the site being old enough to be parents. I've always seen our ability to get along as an intergenerational community as a great asset. Sure it gets a bit irritating at times when older members talk of problems our younger members are not familiar with -- or when our mostly teenage crowd starts talking about teenage problems on a massive scale... However so long as we all still have respect for eachother? I am sure there is a lot we can learn from eachother.

And it's not like kids are not exposed to adults in daily life. Tongue

Not to trivialize the issue too much however, as staff we understand the dangers to young people online. We are also very protective of our members and do not take well to them being threatened in any way. As a certain drama-prone therian meme-star will tell you, we discretely monitor things that go down on our site in order to keep our members safe from predators.

But all that being said. We will continue to welcome members under the age of 18 and any suggestions to limit this differently will be ignored, no matter what levels these one-sided demands are taken to.

Take care everybody. Smile

LP,
Dusty

If you think I hold something against you, you probably misunderstood.
The only person I hate is myself.

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(This post was last modified: 2016-07-23 15:48 by DustWolf.)
2016-07-23 15:31
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LycanTheory
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Post: #2
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
As the other site co-owner, I have to say that I agree with Dust whole-heartedly. As it's name implies, we are Therian Guide and the reason we are here is to help and educate therians and kin of all ages. It just so happens that most who come to us seeking guidance are younger people. Being experienced in how the world works on a large scale, this seems on-par to me because most adults have developed their own positions throughout the course of their lives, where as younger people have not and continue to seek guidance and help.

I would like to express a concern, however, with being able to retain our older members and even possibly start appealing to more older therians in the future.

Dust, you, I, Lupa and the others whom are within our age range may not be able to always maintain the ability to meet the needs of these young members, should the ratio continue to trend toward mostly younger members joining. As of now, we dont do a bad job because we are graced with some highly intelligent and responsible staff members who sort of bridge the gap between the pups and our ancient selves. Renata, WereRen, Calico, Wayward and Thorviem are a huge help to us in this endeavor.

I suppose my concern with this issue is not based on the number of pups joining but rather rooted in the ratio of those available to effectively meet their needs.

To second you and kind of reaffirm your point, we do have an adults only section, which is good for those of us who feel the urge to discuss things that aren't necessarily appropriate for our younger members.

I have, at times, considered an adult shout box but I've concluded that this may be counterproductive of our goal to provide guidance.

As far as anyone making demands go, I haven't caught wind of this and if I had, it wouldn't go well. Everyone knows how I am. You can approach me with any concern and I'll do my best to at least try and resolve or find some middle ground but to outright, brazenly demand something from me, it's like "Wait, who are you, again? o.O".

As far as COPPA goes, I'm not sure rather we fall under US jurisdiction or not being that one of our backup servers is now physically located in the US, one of the owners of the site is also physically located in the US and majority of our members. That's kind of a gray area that I'll look more into in the coming days, if not for anything but my own peace of mind. Regardless of legality, I'm sarisfied with limiting pup age to 13+, however.

I'm basically agreeing with everything you've said, Dust but If there's a way we can better appeal ourselves to both younger and older members alike, I think we could at least remain open to discussion and suggestions on how to do so. As far as demands, haha, whoever is making them obviously doesn't know me very well. Wink

I've been scouting and snooping out other online communities and resources lately and I can tell you, from my perspective, we remain the world's best online therian/kin community as far as atmosphere and quality of members go and we will continue to strive in remaining as such.

Have a good day everyone.
Lyc

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2016-07-23 20:06
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Alkura Wintermist
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Post: #3
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
I'm going to say this straight and please forgive me for the possible offence. Regardless of the population of age-groups, There is literally no good reason to have any members below the age of 13 as active members of TG or virtually any online community.

On top being a potential liability, I'm sure we can all agree with many of us possessing firsthand experience:
- Said demographic tend to be the the most susceptible to misinformation which they will blindly defend with increasing unwarranted anger

- Whilst somewhat curious, have no interest in learning and will generally cause drama in this refusal to accept even basic concepts (Identifying As vs Identifying With)

- Are simply attempting to fit into any "weird" community they find

- Are quick to cluelessly state scarily specific details of their place of residence or even school (a major trend I keep seeing on different sites)


Again, I apologize for the offensive bluntness of this post but it's a topic that gets me somewhat passionate.
(This post was last modified: 2016-07-29 14:56 by Alkura Wintermist.)
2016-07-29 14:53
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DustWolf
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Post: #4
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
Hey,

Yeah, children tend to be childish -- this is normal. Smile

Though not all people under 13 years old are immature and not all people over 13 years old are not.

LP,
Dusty

If you think I hold something against you, you probably misunderstood.
The only person I hate is myself.

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2016-07-29 15:11
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Alkura Wintermist
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Post: #5
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
(2016-07-29 15:11)DustWolf Wrote:  Hey,

Yeah, children tend to be childish -- this is normal. Smile

Though not all people under 13 years old are immature and not all people over 13 years old are not.

LP,
Dusty

I felt elaborating on what 'childishness' could be defined as may have helped a bit rather than just blurting out "Immature" Tongue

Whilst generalization isn't good, it's still quite difficult and time consuming to filter out the well behaved minority from the mentally underage majority.

I feel that what I'm saying here was pretty much clear from the getgo anyway, I do apologize for piping up unnecessarily xD
2016-07-29 15:18
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Damien
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Post: #6
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
Since every age can access the internet; what happens if some, IDK, ten year old signs up to TG? Confused

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2016-07-29 15:19
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Calico
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Post: #7
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
(2016-07-29 15:19)Sahkari Wrote:  Since every age can access the internet; what happens if some, IDK, ten year old signs up to TG? Confused

Their account will not be activated until their thirteenth birthday, assuming they return to make a new intro at that time.
2016-07-29 15:20
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coffeebear
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Post: #8
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
(2016-07-29 15:20)Calico Wrote:  
(2016-07-29 15:19)Sahkari Wrote:  Since every age can access the internet; what happens if some, IDK, ten year old signs up to TG? Confused

Their account will not be activated until their thirteenth birthday, assuming they return to make a new intro at that time.

I think the assumption is that a determined ten year old will not be honest with their birthdate.

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2016-07-31 4:29
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Azi_M_Wolf
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Post: #9
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
Hi,

While I too agree there should be a minimum age. There is a divide. Maybe it's not one that happens often.

I originally awoke at 14, however that was in 1998. This site wasn't around, that was probably the alt.horror.werewolves days.

I am always ashamed, saddened, what have you that it took me 18 to awaken, stop suppressing myself. But there is a split to this.

I wasn't even mature at the slightest to begin to grasp Therianthropy at 14, my Aspergers caused a gap in my physical age and mental age of about 5 years. So if I was physically 14, my mental age was about 10 to 11 years old. I don't think I would have had the mental wherewithal to process what I was and what was going on. Now I don't think say in 2005 when things really cranked up, I was 21, I could have at that time. But alas, more fears, suppression, etc...

So for me, where most go through all this and seek it at 14, I began at 30. So most of the people I encounter like myself, in that same stage of learning were 14-18 year Olds.

Because really whether one awakens at 14 and immediately searches or waits, suppresses/denies and doesn't do it til 30, the outcome is the same.

Just like someone who waits to drive til they're 40, they might have more maturity mentally. But they still lack the overall knowledge, experience of most people their age, so in that and this, age doesn't matter. The knowledge, experience is the same, no matter the age.

Even if there is a 18-20 year gap between myself and those in the same place in life.

-Lee

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2016-07-31 5:19
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DustWolf
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Post: #10
RE: Regarding the age groups on the Therian Guide
(2016-07-31 4:29)coffeebear Wrote:  I think the assumption is that a determined ten year old will not be honest with their birthdate.

We can tell anyway.

And given the way our community works, I'm sure you understand that lying is not well accepted here.

LP,
Dusty

If you think I hold something against you, you probably misunderstood.
The only person I hate is myself.

[Image: therapy%20wolf.png]
2016-07-31 9:39
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