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Is it time to raise the age of consent?

By Scott Tibbs, March 12, 2018

Liberals have a good point: It is time to raise the age of consent for sexual activity. It is absurd that it is legal for teens to consent at 16 years old, and we should increase the age to at least 18 years old. Ideally, we should raise the age to at least 21. Oh, wait, that is not what liberals are saying? Maybe they are not saying that directly, but it is the logical conclusion of their policy proposals. In fact, it actually makes more sense than some of their favored policies.

Look at two other areas of policy: Buying tobacco and firearms. An effort to raise the age where someone may legally buy cigarettes failed in Indiana, but it has passed in other states. There is renewed interest in raising the age to purchase a gun to 21 years old. It is already illegal for someone to drink alcohol until he is 21, so the firearms and tobacco policies would follow the same trend.

But why not sex?

Here's a little biology lesson for you: Sex leads to babies. Sure, there are things that can be done to reduce the likelihood of pregnancy, but the sexual act is by its nature a procreative act. If someone is too immature to buy cigarettes or responsibly own a firearm, why should they be trusted with the possibility of caring for a newborn? Having cared for two newborns, I can tell you it is an incredibly heavy responsibility. I was much more prepared at 16 to own a gun than I would have been to take care of a baby.

So why not prevent that (or at least reduce teen pregnancy) by making sexual activity illegal until the age of 21? We already have age of consent laws because we assume that a young teenager is too mentally and emotionally immature to consent to sex, even if he or she is as physically sexually mature as a twenty year old. These laws also protect teens from sexual predators who would exploit them sexually - which, even if "consensual" can leave a teenager (especially a girl) emotionally broken.

Here is my point. You cannot have it both ways. You cannot advocate raising the age for buying a gun or buying cigarettes to 21 years old based on the alleged mental and emotional immaturity of legal adults while also buying into propaganda from the likes of Planned Parenthood that we cannot restrict the "sexual freedom" of a 14 year old. There is no logical consistency in taking those diametrically opposed positions.