Free Minds & Free Markets

Sex, Jobs, and Smoking: What's Legal for Teens in Your State?

A state-by-state look at America's paternalistic patchwork of laws

Photo Credit: Joanna Andreasson

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  • sarcasmic||

    Not ENB?

  • sarcasmic||


  • gaoxiaen||

    -2 front teeth

  • sharmota4zeb||

    It's a good thing you weren't on the NAMBLA float at a Gay Pride Parade when I was a teenager. LGBT activists don't like people who look to the Bible for guidance.

  • Hugh Akston||

    First Michigan claims the upper peninsula, now they've annexed the land between Louisiana and Alabama. When will President Trump do something about the Wolverine State's aggressive expansionism?

  • ||

    Those MISIS bastards!

  • dantheserene||

    Tedious. I hope this isn't going to be a recurring character. If so, that's what the Chrome extension is for.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Getting crowded out by all the other second rate trolls at the Federalist?

  • sharmota4zeb||


    I stumbled upon some internet porn at around age 12 when I was on a Bulletin Board System trying to get to the Risk board game. I found the story annoying at the time. Should the owner of the BBS spend a lifetime in jail?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The newer prohibition laws set older and older ages of consent because of politicians getting involved in trying to regulate victimless behavior.

    You left out taxes. You have to pay taxes on any earned income from birth no matter what your age.

  • mortiscrum||

    Doesn't minimum age laws for work make that kind of a moot point?

    Also, only certain libertarians and anarchists still trot out the "taxation is theft" meme. Everyone else has matured beyond that.

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    taxation is theft forced expropriation of earnings by a government without consent of the individual.

    Feel better now?

  • mortiscrum||

    Not really. The individual gives implicit consent by staying in the country and making use of the variety of benefits provided, both direct and indirect.

    I'm not saying anyone should be thankful - it's a helpful arrangement useful to everyone - but a little bit of recognition that taxes is the price of admission to a society. I'm extremely skeptical that anyone but the most extreme individual would voluntarily choose to not make that payment if it meant losing the benefits.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    So ... it's like visiting a neighborhood with graffiti indicating that it is gang territory. Being there means you consent to have people take all the money in your wallet.

  • mortiscrum||

    I think it's much more accurate to compare a particular society/nation as an exclusive club with yearly membership fees. It's perhaps natural to declare the fees unfair because most of us were born in the club and thus we feel entitled to the benefits, but that's just not possible...the club needs funds.

  • Glenn Ammons||

    Where's the interactive version and the full data set (as referenced in the bottom right of this image)?

  • Eidde||

    IIRC, the minimum age for marriage includes a requirement for parental consent for minors.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Left out Pennsyltuckey.

  • TGoodchild||

    You take that back!

  • Jerryskids||

    Hell, I'm trying to figure out which states sex jobs are legal in, I'm pretty sure smoking on the job has been outlawed about everywhere even if it's a sex job.

  • Lawn Darts||

    Several counties in Nevada have legal brothels. How that interfaces with the ability of 14 year-olds to "work full time" is anyone's guess.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Someone stole ENB's homework.

  • Lester224||

    The sexting stuff is ridiculous. N.H. law is 100 years out of date and encourages forced marriages.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Just to be pedantic, please explain the rational behind raising the age of consent during the past 100 years.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    India's Supreme Court recently set the age of consent for sex to 18 for females. They did this to combat child marriages. India sets the age of marriage at 18 for females and 21 for males. The percentage of women in their early 20's who were married before 18 decreased from 47 percent in 2005/2006 to 27 per cent in 2015/2016.

    Social norms change with time. As life expectancy increases, the age of marriage increases. From a biological perspective, I think one's 20's are the best time to get married, because teen pregnancies are risky. Setting the age of marriage at 18 leaves room for early bloomers and puts marriage in the same boat as all the other things we can do at age 18.

  • retiredfire||

    Why are any of these laws about "marriage" in place?
    Didn't St. Anthony rule that it was all a bout "love" and that no state was allowed to keep two people from not having to worry about who they wake up next to, in the middle of the night, regardless of what those silly Ninth and Tenth Amendments say?

  • ohdelilah||

    A fourth-grader in Arizona was just charged with a felony for bringing a BB gun to school. Funny how kids are kids when it comes to punishing adults, but magically become adults when it's convenient.

  • Bob Armstrong||

    The fact that the potentially powerful 3 year 18-20 cohort don't vote themselves full adult rights shows that they are too immature to exercise the privilege .

  • Jayburd||

    Please represent Alaska to scale. Size does matter.


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