Klein says, "We trust 15-year-olds to make decisions all the time. We give them access to credit cards. We let 16- and 17-year-olds drive cars. The idea that somebody who's behind the wheel of a car can't make good sexual decisions, I think, is more about our anxiety about sex than it is about any clear thinking about 17-year-olds."
But the Family Research Council's Sprigg will have none of this. "The focus should be on telling teens that sex should be saved for marriage. The benefits of waiting are enormous."
If they're too young, why did God make them biologically ready? I asked him.
"Well, in some ancient cultures, it would have been perfectly appropriate for young people to marry and start a family as soon as their bodies were biologically ready for reproduction. But we live in a very different culture, and young people today need more time before marriage, but they don't need sex before marriage."
Whatever the law says, there's no proof that age-of-consent laws deter sex before marriage. Many kids don't even know what the age of consent is.
Something is very wrong when young people, doing what hundreds of thousands of other kids do, are condemned for life on sex registries next to rapists and real pedophiles. There's no justice in that.