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Author Topic: Should Parents Decide for me?
Irishgrrlie911
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My boyfriend of almost a year and I have been seriously discussing having sex for about a month now. I told my parents that I wanted to go on the pill (since I want to be totally responsible and protected in more ways than one- the condom's a given), and they basically FLIPPED! They said that I'm too young (15) and that if I did, I would be making the wrong decision. My boyfriend and I are very much in love, and he is my closest friend in the world. I know he wouldn't pressure me at all. He's a good kid, and my parents say they like him a lot. I don't understand why they won't allow me to make my own decisions. I'm trying to be responsible by getting my own birth control (I would pay for it myself, as well as any following medical needs), but they don't want to let me. Actually, my doctor said that I should go on the pill because my periods have been weird lately, but my parents refused that too, saying that "he doesn't know what he's talking about." Should I listen to what my parents are saying about me being too young, when I still fee like I could handle sex and everything that comes along with it? I don't want to completely defy them or something, but I'd like someone else's opinion. Do you think that they're too afraid of me having sex to see anything else? Or I am doing something that might seriously affect me?
Posts: 3 | From: Scotch Plains, NJ USA | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KittenGoddess
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Well sweetie, like it or not, you are only 15. That makes you a minor, and right or wrong, as long as you live under your parents roof, and they pay for your life, you're under their rules! It's good that you want to be responsible, but they make the rules. When you can pay for you housing and food and other needs, then you can do whatever you want. But until then, they make the rules!

~KittenGoddess

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"You have to walk carefully in the beginning of love; the running across fields into your lover's arms can only come later when you're sure they won't laugh if you trip."
~Jonathan Carroll


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Hanne
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I think that before you jump to any conclusions, you should go to http://www.scarleteen.com/pink and click on the "sex basics" section.

If you read through ALL the articles in that section, you will have a MUCH better idea about what you are getting into with regard to having sex of any kind with a partner. You will also know a lot more about birth control, pregnancy risks, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and what you need to know before you start having sexual activity with anyone else.

I suggest you go read through those articles, then give it a little thought -- some of the concerns your parents have are issues that will come up in the articles, too. You'll want to think about them yourself, and it'd be a good idea to have your boyfriend read the articles and talk about them with you, too.

Honestly, I think that the only way to make your own decision and have it be a good one is to make an INFORMED decision. So go inform yourself. We're here to help answer any questions you might have after you've done some reading and thinking, but you need to go do that first.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sheelanagig
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1. Hats off to you for being Real enough to talk seriously with your BF before having sex -- including talking about birth control AND condom use.

2. Hats off to you for attempting to talk with your folks about the fact that you and BF are thinking about having sex and want to get yourselves some healthcare before you start (if he's had sex before, he's gonna go get a checkup too, yes?).

3. Your parents sound like they love you a lot, and parents who love their kids a lot frequently flip out when their 15-year-olds come to them saying "Hey, BF and I want to have sex, so let's go to the clinic to get me some BC pills!". They don't want you to get hurt emotionally, take on something big that may become overwhelming, get pregnant, or get an infection. They love you, and they're also probably pretty blown away by the fact that the kid they've known from a baby (you!) is now old enough to want to have sex.

They're going through some big changes is how they see you, and that's hard for them too -- especially when they care about you adn want you to have the best and most pain-free life possible.

It's not a matter of them "deciding for you" -- they can't lock you up in a closet and restrict every activity to assure that you never have a chance to have sex if oyu're bound and determined to do so (even though they may want to). At the end of the day, whatever decision you make about this will be YOUR decision... for better or for worse.

You sound like a person who lives in reality and wants to make good decisions for herself, so my suggestion is to do a lot of thinking about the pros and cons of having intercourse. Intercourse CAN be something that brings people closer, but it can also make a change a relationship in ways we can't anticipate beforehand. It can also make a break-up more painful. And to be honest, sometimes intercourse simply isn't as FUN as non-intercourse sex -- intercourse can be really boring, believe it or not! Y'all can do plenty of other things besides that... fun, exciting things that carry less physical and emotional risk. Since you and your BF seem to be able to talk well with each other, maybe now's the time to figure out exactly WHY you want to have intercourse.

Whatever you decide, please make sure it's a decision that good for YOU and your BF -- please don't decide to have intercourse just 'cause your folks told you not to, or something rebellion-rooted like that. They're freaking out 'cause they care, and it's not real healthy to start off having intercourse in order to prove your independence.... know what I'm saying?


Posts: 8 | From: Chicago, IL, USA | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
lemming
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I'd like to point out that if you are 15 and live in New Jersey, you are beneath that state's age of consent (16).

Therefore we cannot legally counsel you on whether you should have sex.

That's just my gut feeling.

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~lemming, Scarleteen Advocate

want to know the inner lemming? read her diary at http://innerlemming.diaryland.com/.
"Is love like the sweet, bitter taste of marmalade on burnt toast?"


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mamaalli
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sheelanagig! Fancy meeting you here! It's me, AlliC, from HipMama! And sage advice, as always!
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india
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hehehe .. yah it s kinda funy but its okey i think no wory
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mamaalli
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what was funny India? Sorry to be dense, you lost me
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morganlh85
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quote:

Originally posted by lemming
I'd like to point out that if you are 15 and live in New Jersey, you are beneath that state's age of consent (16).

Not true: You are only under the age of consent if your boyfriend is four years or more older than you.

Take the others' advice on thinking about whether you really want to have sex in the first place. If you feel you have made the right decision for yourself, only YOU can decide what you are going to do with your body. Of course, you should take what your parents said to mind, sometimes parents are right. But ultimately it's up to you. They are just trying to protect you from being hurt or getting sick, or pregnant, which is normal.

I would suggest that you talk with your parents and say that you know they are trying to do what's best for you, but you are old enough now to start making your own decisions, and they should let you. You have been more than responsible by trying to get birth control and talking to them about it, and you deserve a chance to make decisions on your own.

Second of all, you don't need your parents' permission to get birth control. You can go to your local Planned Parenthood and get it confidentially, for free or at a lower cost. I have used Planned Parenthood, and it was great.

Feel free to email me if you need to talk morganlh85@yahoo.com

[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 02-22-2001).]

[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 02-22-2001).]

[This message has been edited by morganlh85 (edited 02-22-2001).]


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Heather
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Morgan.
I'm afraid that is grossly incorrect.

Each state in the US and other countries have an age of consent by YEAR, not by how much older or younger someone is than you. If you are NOT above the age of consent, you cannot LEGALLY be sexually active for whatever activities your state or countries laws stipulate. In the United States that general includes anal, vaginal, oral and manual sex, and even general fondling.

Those AOC laws are compounded, and carry larger penalties when the person someone under the AOC is involved with is over the AOC, and even higher penalties when that person over the AOC is a legal adult (read: statutory rape child molestation).

It is not altogether sensible, but it IS the law.

You can look at a sound chart for AOC laws here: http://www.ageofconsent.com

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein

[This message has been edited by Miz Scarlet (edited 02-22-2001).]


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morganlh85
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I just looked at the site and read the NJ laws...it says something to the effect that a person is guilty of sexual assault, or whatever term they gave it, if the victim is under 13 years old, or the victim is between 13-16 years old and the accused is at least four years older. That's just what I read; I may have misunderstood...
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Hanne
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Age of consent legislation is changing rapidly in some states, with age range and age difference issues coming into play.

This is because many people have argued successfully that there is a big difference, for instance, in sex between a fifteen year old and an 18 year old and sex between a 15 year old and a 22 year old. Technically, if the age of consent in the state in which this happens is 16, both cases are considered statutory rape.... but possibly not, if the state has age difference wording as part of the legislation on age of consent.

However, this does not mean that if you are having sex with someone within that "safe age range," you are in the clear. If you are a minor (under 18), and you are having sex with someone older than you are, it is STILL POSSIBLE that that person could be prosecuted for contributing to the delinquency of a minor, sexual harassment, and all sorts of other things if someone decided to do so. These things have nothing to do with age of consent and everything to do with someone feeling that a given relationship is inappropriate.

Complete legal freedom to choose your partners and your sexual practices is something you only have once you are over the age of legal majority -- 18. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it's just the way the law works.

Needless to say, it is up to each individual to determine what the law is in his or her state. However, if you do NOT know what the specifics are in your state but DO know what the legal age of consent is, it is generally safest to assume that if you are UNDER the age of consent you cannot, in terms of the letter of the law, give consent to sex.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


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morganlh85
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Okay. Well, I looked at my state's laws (PA) and I'm trying to make sure I understood what I read so I'm in the clear...It says the statutory rape law was repealed, but there is a statutory sexual assault law which is a felony that applies to sex with someone 16 years old or less with someone four or more years older than them, and they are not married. So does that mean that if you are under under 16 and the other person is too, it is ok? It doesn't list any of the other laws you said...but even so, it's not very likely I would get caught or anything...
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unhappykoger
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well being a 19 year old with two kids i can understand EXACTLY where they are coming from. they for one think that you are growing up to fast. what if you get pregnant? what if you get an std? what if the guy is using you? do you really care about each other? are you doing it because everyone else is doing it? there are alot of reasons why they would feel that way. you are only 15!!! although i understand what you are going through think about how you would feel if you were the parent and they were the child. although i still think that they should let you get put on birth control because you will do it anyway. tell them that it is better to be safe than sorry and have a long discussion with them.

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frozendream1026@aol.com

http://www.angelfire.com/oh2/koger


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Hanne
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In answer to the question about PA state law:

In general, the age specified in any age of consent legislation is considered the age of consent, period. It sounds like in PA, this is 16.

That means, legally speaking, in the eyes of the court, that you must be 16 or older to give consent to sex. Period. End of discussion, good night.

No, it would not be legal to have sex if you were under the age of 16, because you cannot legally consent to sex in the eyes of the courts, no matter how old your partner was.

There is, however, usually a weird gray area in the law here: if you are under the legal age of consent you are more likely (in the interpretation of laws) to be considered a child, and children are treated very differently in the courts than are adults or semi-adults. So sex between two legal children would likely be treated very differently, in a court situation, than sex between a child and a legal adult, a person over the age of consent and a person under the age of consent, or a person over the age of consent and a legal adult.

Gray areas abound, and honestly, the only opinions that really matter in these kinds of cases when they go to court are the jury's and the judge's. And that can vary a lot depending on the judge and the case. These are not cut-and-dried issues.

For a more specific answer you would have to consult a lawyer who specialized in this kind of law (which neither Miz Scarlet or I are). But generally speaking, age of consent means exactly that: the age at which you are LEGALLY able to consent meaningfully to sex.

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Hanne Blank
Co-Editor, Scarleteen

Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


Posts: 1538 | From: boston, ma, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loveable me
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Sex and love are too different things. Having sex because you are in love is not a better reason for doing it than falling in love because you are having sex.

Parents are wise in some ways, but they also want to protect their children and this often interferes. We are often not as wise as our parents because we have not experienced so much of life. But we think we are a lot smarter than we really are.

Listen to your parents. Listen to yourself. Do what you think is best, but remember this is your decision if you do it. You can't blame anyone else.


Posts: 28 | From: København, Denamrk | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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