Post # 32
In my opinion this is just so difficult to put one single age on. To me, a 30 or 40 year old having sex with a 13 (or even 16 year old) is someone who is looking for younger specifically and borderline pedophile. However, a 13 year old and a 14 year old is totally different. That being said, I personally do not think it is appropriate for kids that age to be having sex, but that’s not the question. I would say 18 for consenting with anyone over age 22, 16 for up to 21, and then everyone who is “in school together” (4 year age gap I suppose, though this is tricky…). Tough questions!
I also agree with those who posted about making protection available and also that education needs to be tweaked.
Post # 33
Here it is 16, and I think that is about right. The problem with a set in own age is that different people mature at different times.
As PPs have said – people are still going to have sex.
Post # 34
I think the age of consent should be 16 at a minimum. That’s my opinion, of course, but it’s one I’ll stand by. I also think there should never be more than a 2 year age difference until both parties are 18. Meaning: a 17 and 18 year old dating should be totally okay, but a 13 year old and an 18 year old is a different story.
Most children under the age of 18 don’t know how to responsibly handle a sexual relationship. Not all, but definitely most.
There is not going to be a ‘right answer’ that everyone can agree to, because we all have personal experience that may differ and change our opinion.
Post # 35
barbie86 I agree with you on many points. I voted 16 as what I think should be the age of consent. I have a daughter who is 10 and I would be pretty horrified if she began having sex in a couple of years. However, if she was 16 and had someone she really cared about I would take her to get birth control and protection for sure. I don’t want to bury my head in the sand and think my child will never have sex. But I also don’t have to sit by and say- “well some kids may want to have sex at 13 so I guess I better be ok with that and go buy my baby condoms”. I am the parent- I need to at least TRY to raise my child with the values I subscribe to. I am not for my child running amok 🙂
Post # 37
But why does having sex = running amok? And why should your child have to feel the same way about sex that you do? Personally, I find that dangerous; it does not take account of differences, and I think that trying to force your personal beliefs about sex onto your child can be a recipe for disaster.
I’m sure my parents weren’t ecstatic at my having sex when I did. Equally, I’m sure they were glad that I felt able to talk to them, that I was sensible and considered everything, etc. Had they implied that having sex young was akin to ‘running amok’, or had they tried to press their personal views on me, I’d still have had sex; I just would have hid it, and may not have known enough to ensure I stayed safe and protected from STDs and pregnancy.
If I wanted children, I would want them to be aware of the implications of having sex, feel abe to discuss it openly with me, and to only start having sex when they felt ready; whatever that age happened to be. I think that’s all a parent should hope for really. I’ve seen how weird my friend’s parents are about sex and largely blame their lax attitudes to it on them if I’m honest. Implying that sex is somehw ‘bad’ or ‘naughty’ is just not a good thing to do.
ETA: if your daughter did come to you at 13 saying she wanted to have sex with her boyfriend, how would you approach it? I agree that you don’t need to hand her condoms and tell her to crack on with it, but equally, what would you do if after a long, mature discussion where you each gave your point of view, she demonstrated that she fully understood the implications but still wanted to do it? Would you ban her from seeing her boyfriend? Lock her up? Tell her sex is bad? Not being antagonistic, just genuinely curious, because I don’t think it’s possible to stop anyone having sex, and in a case like that, would think that allowing her to, and being supportive, would be better than banning her and risking alienating her.
Post # 38
From what I can find, you can get married in WI as young as 16 with parental consent (for both men and women). Otherwise, you have to be 18. I agree that it’s really bizarre for my state’s marriage provisions to conflict with its own laws on statutory rape.
Post # 39
I think the problem with “age of consent” here, is that a 16 year old girl and a 17 year old boy can be in a relationship and be sexually active, but then he turns 18 and can be charged with statutory rape. I had a friend in Jr High who this happened to. Her parents found out and charged him. It was 100% a consensual relationship, he was not her coach or anything like that. I think there has to be something to prevent teenagers from being taken advantage of, but I don’t think it’s fair for someone in a relationship like I described previously to be labeled criminal. :
Post # 40
I’m kind of shocked to see so many votes for 16 actually. I had moved out of home and was running a household and paying bills at that age (have been independent since), I was well and truly ready at 15. I know others who were ready at 14 and even 13. I was nowhere near ready at 13, but my sister developed very early both mentally and physically and she was ready at that age. I am pretty sure I was one of the last people to have sex out of my friends, most had sex at 14 for the first time (I do know some that weren’t ready at that age but did it anyway which is a shame. It seems that the majority of my friends were ready at around 14-15 though). I sometimes feel like we forget what being that age was like. I was a pretty smart kid and was definitely capable of making responsible choices, but I’m still guilty of thinking a teenager couldn’t handle certain situations until I look back on myself.
Ideally it would be based on the individual, but I know it can’t be. The difference in age makes a lot of sense IMO. I think there’s a huge difference between a 13 year old consenting to sex with a 15 year old and a 13 year old consenting to a 18 year old.
Post # 41
I think quite a few of those votes are because of exceptions based on closeness of age.
Where is ‘here’ for you?
Post # 42
I agree that it’s gross to think about.
Still, no kid who wants to have sex is going to stop because they can’t legally consent. It’s more to protect kids from sexual predators, right?
Post # 43
barbie86 My child does not have to feel the same way as I do about anything. But as a parent I need to teach my children what I believe- that you are honest and fair, that you don’t steal, that you don’t hurt people. That you have sex when you care about someone and are old enough to be responsible about it. Why is teaching my child my values about sex any different than any other value? When I said I don’t want my child running amok- I did not mean just about sex. I meant that children need guidance and rules. That you give your child your expectations (knowing that they will not always meet them) and don’t just let them find their own way through life.
I don’t make a judgement about your life- I am very happy you have no regrets. But if I find out my 13 year old is having sex- then something is wrong and it is going to be addressed. A 13 or 14 year old is a child.
I have been very open with my older daughter and she knows about her body and human reproduction. I told her where babies come from at age 5. But that doesn’t mean because she has the knowledge she is ready to make adults decisions. As you can see from the poll above, most people are trending toward 16.
Post # 44
I am with you. Or calling yourself responsible because abortion is free. WOW just WOW!
Post # 45
barbie86 To answer you question, If my 13 year old came to me and said she wants to have sex I would obviously have a problem with it. We would be speaking to our family therapist about it. I would be speaking to the boys parents about it. And if there is more than a year or 2 age differnce I will contact the police. I don’t buy the “if they want to have sex they will find a way to do it”- yes they MIGHT- but I can make it damn hard to do. At 13 they will have no money or transportation- I will still hold a lot of strings.
Would you really be ok with your 13 year old having sex? Do you think most poeple would be?
Post # 46
I voted 18, but I wouldn’t care if the age of consent is 16. No lower than that though. And yes, with age ranges. 16 up to 21, perhaps. 18 is an adult and can consent to anyone older, even if I think an 18 and 50 year old would be creepy. It’s their choice.
And the US needs to have more readily available contraception.