WASHINGTON—Citing the central role the process plays in cognitive development, a study released Thursday by the American Psychological Association found that boys do not reach emotional maturity until avenging the murder of their father. “Our research indicates that a young man’s psyche is not fully formed until he successfully tracks down, confronts, and finally slaughters the man who took his father’s life,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Christina McCauley, who noted that a male’s maturation process typically begins with years of replaying the murder in his mind, spending countless hours studying the one tattered old photo of the killer in his possession, and befriending a hermetic martial arts master who teaches him to control his rage and use it to his advantage. “In addition, we found that the exact moment a boy enters adulthood coincides with the experience of standing above his father’s killer and saying something to the effect of ‘Look at me, you coward,’ or ‘What, you don’t remember?’ before driving a knife into the trembling individual’s chest.” McCauley added that the final stage in a boy’s mental development occurs when he backpedals from the killer’s dead body, looks down at his own hands, and then openly weeps upon realizing he has completed his years-long quest.

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