Definitions -- Age of Consent
[Cool Teen Sites]


Ages on Chart:
Ages are shown on the chart in different ways.  For instance

    16 / 17 means that we have documentation to show that the age is 17, but we have unusual reasons for continuing to show 16 on the age chart.

    17 means that we have documentation under the state or country name confirming that the age is the number shown in bold red.

      17 means that we have documentation under the state or country name confirming that the age is the number shown in red but we are concerned about whether our interpretation is accurate.

    16 means that we do not have any documentation but that we believe this to be the valid age.  The age is in black.

    16? means we do not have any support what-so-ever about the age and have located this information through un-supported emails or heresay.   The age is in black and/or a question mark exists.

     illegal means that this is illegal regardless of age


Adolescence starts with the beginning of physiologically normal puberty and it finishes when the identity and behavior of an adult are accepted.  This period of development generally corresponds to the period going on the tenth to the nineteenth year.   (Committee of the medicine of Adolescence).

Age of Consent
The arbitrary age, assigned by legislators, that define the legal time at which a person may consent voluntarily to sexual activity with another person.

I have looked at the chart and seen that the age of consent for MI is 16. I also have read the actual writings of the laws and the degrees of them.  But I did not find on there or anywhere on here anything relating to sex  between adults and minors (those above 18 with those below) or is it that the laws presented apply to all people of that state regardless of age? I saw that the question was asked several times in the "letters received" area, but I could not find you site's answer.  In addition perhaps a FAQ section would be a nice addition to your page to answer such questionsthat arise regularly.  Thank you and I hope you have the time to respond, a site worth its bandwidth.

The age shown in the chart is the age at which one person may legally consent to sexual intercourse with another person who is at least that age or older, provided that there are no ties between them (ie: one is not in a position of trust or responsibility over the other).

The Age of Consent law is    " ... is to protect young girls against themselves ... "
So if you are female, then you should read this as an insult.  According to Judges when instructing juries -- you don't
know how to make up your own mind - and to make your own decisions.  Is that what we really want to communicate
to young girls these days?

Historically, there have been two basic rationales for statutory rape laws. The first rationale is the need for
strict accountability to protect young girls ... Further, "the history of the offense of statutory rape indicates that
from ancient times the law has afforded special protection to those deemed too young to understand their actions."



Carnal Knowledge:
WHAT IS "SEDUCTION" OR "CARNAL KNOWLEDGE"?  Many states consider seduction a felony. Seduction is strictly defined to occur when "a male person induces a female person of previously chaste character to engage in an act of intercourse on promise of marriage", although many states no longer require chastity (or even that the female be unmarried), only that there be a false promise of marriage.

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - Crim. Law. This phrase is used to signify a sexual connexion; as rape is
the carnal knowledge of a woman, etc.

CARNALLY KNEW - Pleadings. This is a technical phrase essential in an indictment to charge the
defendant with the crime of rape; no other word or circumlocution will answer the same purpose as
these words. It has been doubted whether these words were indispensible, but it would be unsafe to
omit them.

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - n. from Latin carnalis for "fleshly:" sexual intercourse between a male and female in which there is at least some slight penetration of the woman's vagina by the man's penis. It is legally significant in that it is a necessary legal characteristic or element of rape, child molestation, or consensual sexual relations with a female below the age of consent ("statutory rape"). Age of consent varies from 14 to 18, depending upon the state.

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - intercourse n 1: communication between individuals [syn: {social intercourse}] 2: the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's penis is inserted into the woman's vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur [syn: {sexual intercourse}, {sex act}, {copulation}, {coitus}, {coition}, {sexual congress}, {congress}, {sexual relation}, {relation}, {carnal knowledge}]

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - At common law, the crime of rape entailed a man having carnal knowledge of a woman or
girl (ie penetration of the vagina by the penis which was in a Biblical fashion regarded as knowledge) who was not his wife without her consent or with her consent, if that consent was obtained by force, threat or intimidation or by misrepresenting the nature of the act or by impersonating the woman's husband (in the case of married women).

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - from interesting case located at:
in which the following was extracted (notice that there is *NO* sexual intercourse or penetration required:

    "If any person carnally knows in any manner any brute animal, or carnally knows any male or female
     person by the anus or by or with the mouth, or voluntarily submits to such carnal knowledge, he or she
     shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony . . . ."

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - from a Canadian court case located at:

    " If any conclusion can be drawn from this short history, it is that carnal knowledge of a victim under age ten,
    and later under age fourteen, with its lesser punishment after 1877 (and until that for rape was changed), was
    regarded as an alternative charge to rape
, unnecessary where there was no consent (since age was not and is
    not a necessary averment in rape) but available where proof of want of consent could not be made or was doubtful."

CARNAL KNOWLEDGE - from another interesting case:

    "Rape is defined to be the having unlawful and carnal knowledge of a woman, by force and against her will. To
    constitute this carnal knowledge, there must be both penetration and emission; both these are necessary elements
    in the crime of rape."

Another interesting article ... from

    "The newspaper distinguishes between rape and carnal knowledge but does not clarify the difference though
    one would assume that "rape" implies force whereas "carnal knowledge" suggests that the child acquiesced."


"When Congress thus enacted the statute as to carnal knowledge in 1889 it gave special attention to the
        age of consent. The House of Representatives fixed the age [327 U.S. 711, 725] at 14 and the Senate
        changed it to 16. 20 Cong.Rec. 997.29"

Definition of CARNAL KNOWLEDGE from Australia:

        "That section 1 of the Criminal Code be amended by repealing the definition of 'carnal knowledge' and
        inserting the definition of 'sexual intercourse', defined as 'the introduction of any extent of penis into another
        person's vagina, anus or mouth or the introduction of any extent of any object or any other part of the body into
        another person's vagina or anus (other than for medical treatment), cunnilingus and fellatio. Accordingly,
        'carnal knowledge' should be replaced by 'sexual intercourse' throughout the Criminal Code."

The army says Carnal Knowledge is any "indecent acts or liberties", but we couldn't find what was indecent:

        "3)  Article 134 - Carnal knowledge is a violation of this article. Indecent acts or liberties with a
                person under the age of 16. The punishment for Carnal knowledge is a dishonorable
                discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, and
                'confinement for 15 years."

          "Sec. 532. CARNAL KNOWLEDGE.   (a) Gender Neutrality: Subsection (b) of section 920 (article
           120) is amended to read as follows:  `(b) Any person subject to this chapter who, under circumstances
            not amounting to rape, commits an act of sexual intercourse with a
            person--  `(1) who is not that person's spouse; and `(2) who has not attained the age of sixteen years;
            is guilty of carnal knowledge and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.'.  
            (b) Mistake of Fact: Such section (article) is further amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:
            `(d) In a prosecution under subsection (b), it is a defense that--
            `(1) the person with whom the accused committed the act of sexual intercourse had at the time of the alleged offense
            attained the age of twelve years; and `(2) the accused reasonably believed that that person had at
            the time of the alleged offense attained the age of sixteen years.'.



Houston Baptist University says that penetration is required for Carnal Knowledge:

       "Rape is the carnal knowledge, to a lesser or greater degree, of a victim without
        consent and by compulsion, through fear, force or fraud, singly or in combination.
        Thus there are three elements of rape: (1) carnal knowledge, (2) nonconsensual
        coitus, and (3) compulsion. Carnal knowledge can consist of anything from
        complete coitus to slight penile penetration of female genitalia irrespective of
        seminal emission
. Non-consent must be an integral p a rt of coitus unless the victim
        is a minor (under statutory age of consent), intoxicated, d rugged, asleep, or
        mentally incompetent. Finally, there should be compulsion or fear of great harm,
        threats with real or alleged weapon, or use of threat of brute force. Any use of
        intimidation invalidates any consent on the victim's part . " In addition to rape, the
        spectrum of sexual assault for both men and women shall include but not be
        limited to the following unwanted acts: inappropriate disrobing and nudity; genital
        exposure; fondling of breasts or genitals; single or mutual masturbation; fellatio,
        cunnilingus and/or sodomy; and digital or object penetration of the anus and/or vagina.

A Religous Perspective:

        'The transcendent perspective is in the relationship itself. In the deepest sense, knowledge is in relationship
        and is relationship. This is why we call a sexual relationship carnal "knowledge"; it is knowledge though it is
        not knowledge of who we are wholly since it is limited to the carne or flesh."

carnal knowledge n : the act of sexual procreation between a man and a woman; the man's penis is inserted into the
woman's vagina and excited until orgasm and ejaculation occur [syn: sexual intercourse, intercourse, sex act, copulation,
coitus, coition, sexual congress, congress, sexual relation, relation] Source: WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton University
6. Sexual intercourse; -- usually preceded by carnal; as, carnal knowledge. (Websters)


Female Circumcision -- Go here:



Contributing to the Delinquency of Minors:
Most every state has such a statute, which can be evoked in cases where the age of consent statute was met, but other circumstances warrant an arrest.  For instance, it may be legal for two people to have sexual relations by law, but the fact that one kept the other (under 18 for example) out too late while having sex might subject the actor to arrest.  This is the catch-all statute.  Often used when parents can't get a boyfriend on age of consent/statutory rape charges, they find a way to use this statute to cause trouble.

Read this Example from Nevada (actual law):


2. Who has no parent or guardian; or who has no parent or guardian willing to exercise or capable of exercising proper parental control; or who has no parent or guardian actually exercising such proper parental control, and who is in need of such control.
7. Who frequents the company of criminals,  (or allows a minor to ...)
9. Who habitually uses intoxicating liquors or   (or allows a minor to ...)

10. Who persistently or habitually refuses to obey the reasonable and proper orders or directions of his parents, guardian or custodian; or who is beyond the control of such person.  (or allows a minor to ...)
  (Read #10 carefully!  Includes orders from parents to NOT be in someone's company for health or safety reasons!)

11. Who is an habitual truant from school.   (or allows a minor to ...)
12. Who is leading, or from any cause is in danger of leading, an idle, dissolute, lewd or immoral life.  (or allows a minor to ...)
    (Read #12.  "Lewd or Immoral" life.  Pre-marital sex is immoral ....?)

13. Who writes or uses vile, obscene, profane or indecent language, or is guilty of indecent, immoral or lascivious conduct.

F.U.C.K. - [EDITOR:  We can document it now, so we include it]
Actually, the word 'fuck' is an abbreviation. In old England, anyone caught in illegal
cohabitation was charged with 'unlawful carnal knowledge'---that was the technical term.
It was a very common offense and, on the blotter, instead of writing out that so-and-so
was being held 'for unlawful carnal knowledge' they would just write, 'F.U.C.K.'

My colleague read on her writer's list a story pertaining to the origin of
the word "FUCK" THe story said it meant For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. It was
used when arresting prostitutes. I had heard the story much differently. I
understood it to mean Forced Unknown Carnal Knowledge. As I understand the
story it was used for women who had been raped. It was sometimes written on
the door of her house so that men would know she was not a virgin. Does
anyone know which story was true. 

Then maybe that is how the same story made its way to my univ. in
the 1960s. My Concise OED says, 16th century, origin unknown;
my old American Heritage Dictionary says:Middle English _fucken_:
a Germanic verb originally meaning "to strike, move quickly
penetrate" (akin to or perhaps borrowed from Middle Dutch
_fokken_, to strike, copulate with); details uncertain owing
to lack of early attestations." Seems to be derived from
the Indo-European root _peig_ or _peik_ (again acc. to
American Heritage) and that means "evil-minded, hostile".  Source:

Claim:   The word 'fuck' derives from an acronymic phrase, either 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge' or 'Fornication Under Consent of the King.'
The Genesis
In ancient England single people could not have sex unless they had consent of the king. When people wanted to have a baby, they had to get the consent of the king, and the king gave them a placard that they hung on their door while they were having sex. The placard had F. U. C. K. (Fornication Under Consent of the King) on it. Hence that's where the word Fuck came from. Now, aren't you glad you learned something new today?

In Christianized Anglo-Saxon Britain, invading kings would require that their troops would rape the women in a common demoralization procedure. Because fornication was against religious law, the rapists needed special
religious permission, from the king.

Have been informed by lawyer friend that acronym stands for "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge," a legal offense of a few centuries back regarding out-of-wedlock, underage, etc. coupling.

The dirty copulatory word back in days of yore was "swive". Supposedly "swive" was excised from texts by the Censors and replaced with the inscription "For Unlawful Carnal (or Cardinal?) Knowledge" -- or at least its initials. At least this is what I learned in college -- or was it the streets?

The explanation I heard as a kid was that it stood for: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.
It was said that this was a British Army charge used when soldiers were caught shagging without permission (I was never sure if it was shagging women or each other). They would be tried and sentenced, hence you're
FUCKed now etc . . .

I thought it stood for what adulterers had written above them in the stocks: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, that being their crime.

The 'acronym' is variously rendered as:
Fornication Under Consent of the King
Fornication Under Charles the King
Fornication Under Crown of the King
Fornication under Christ, King
Forbidden Under Charter of the King (a sign posted on brothels closed by the Crown)
For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
Forced Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
File Under Carnal Knowledge (how Scotland Yard marked rape files).

Origins:   Though a few common English words have grown out of acronyms (words created by taking the first letter(s) of major words in a phrase), 'fuck' isn't one of them. With precious few exceptions, words of acronymic origin date from the 20th century and no earlier. It's almost guaranteed, therefore, any word from before the time of automobiles did not spring to life from a series of initials becoming so common folks began pronouncing it as its own word.
The acronymic explanation of the origin of 'fuck' takes one of two paths: Fornication Under Consent of the King or For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. Dealing with the first of these, though it's pleasing to think couples looking to procreate in those Dark Old Days had to first obtain the sovereign's persmission and then post a notice of what they were up to so all the neighbors could enjoy a good snicker, a moment's thought should set that one to rest. Were the king responsible for handing out such permissions, he wouldn't have time to do anything else (or even to keep up with that one task). Likewise, though there have been times when conquering forces have engaged in rape, it wasn't by royal fiat at the behest of a king looking to further dispirit the conquered.
One last nail in the coffin of the 'fornication under consent of the king' origin comes from the word 'fornication'
itself. Though many reasonably conclude fornication is the old-time word for having sex, the term specifically excludes the physical union of man and wife. One can fornicate premaritally or extramaritally, but not intramaritally. In light of this, any claim wedded couples trying to entice the stork down their chimney were granted fornication permits crashes against the rock of the wrong word being used.

The second path has the word deriving from the short form of 'For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.' Variously, adulterers, rapists, child molesters, and them wot engaged in premarital hanky panky were, as part of their punishment, sentenced to wear a placard announcing their wrongdoing. According to this origin, adulterers locked the stocks in village squares sported 'FUCK' around their necks as did rapists walking around in prison yards.
Here, the word that trips that proposed etymology is the least obvious one -- 'For.' Though displaying miscreants in stocks and public shaming were popular punishments in 18th and 19th century USA, any placards left either on the prisoner or on top of the stock would list the crime succinctly. Thus, someone who'd been caught filtching would have a placard that said 'Thief' or 'Stealing,' maybe even 'Stealing a Cow,' but never one that read 'For Stealing a Cow.' The 'For' would be superfluous. Okay, so the word didn't come to us from an acronym; where did it come from then?

According to the alt.usage.english FAQ:
[Fuck] is a very old word, recorded in English since the 15th century (few acronyms predate the 20th century), with cognates in other Germanic languages. The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (Random House, 1994, ISBN 0-394-54427-7) cites Middle Dutch fokken = "to thrust, copulate with"; Norwegian dialect fukka = "to copulate"; and Swedish dialect focka = "to strike, push, copulate" and fock = "penis". Although German ficken may enter the picture somehow, it is problematic in having e-grade, or umlaut, where all the others have o-grade or zero-grade of the vowel.
AHD1, following Pokorny, derived "feud", "fey", "fickle", "foe", and "fuck" from an Indo-European root peig2 = "hostile"; but AHD2 and AHD3 have dropped this connection for "fuck" and give no pre-Germanic etymon for it. Eric Partridge, in the 7th edition of Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (Macmillan, 1970), said that "fuck" "almost certainly" comes from the Indo-European root *peuk- = "to prick" (which is the source of the English words "compunction", "expunge", "impugn", "poignant", "point", "pounce", "pugilist", "punctuate", "puncture", "pungent", and "pygmy"). Robert Claiborne, in The Roots of English: A Reader's Handbook of Word Origin (Times, 1989) agrees that this is "probably" the etymon. Problems with such theories include a distribution that suggests a North-Sea Germanic areal form rather than an inherited one; the murkiness of the phonetic relations; and the fact that no alleged cognate outside Germanic has sexual connotations.

In plain English, this means the term's origin is likely Germanic, even though no one can as yet point to the precise word it came down to us from out of all the possible candidates. Further, a few scholars hold differing pet theories outside of the Germanic origin one, theories which appear to have some holes in them.
'Fuck' is an old word, even if it's been a almost taboo term for most of its existence. It was around; it just wasn't used in common speech all that much, let alone written down and saved for posterity. Likely its meaning contributed to its precise origin becoming lost in the mists of time -- scholars of old would have been in no hurry to catalogue the growth of this word, and by the time it forced its way into even the most respectable of dictionaries, its parentage was long forgotten.

The earliest cite in The Oxford English Dictionary dates from 1503. John Ayto, in his Dictionary of Word Origins cites a proper name (probably a joke or parody name) of 'John le Fucker' from 1250, quite possibly proof the word we casually toss about today was being similarly tossed about 750 years ago.
Spurious etymologies such as this one satisfy our urge for completion -- we want to believe such a naughty word has a salacious back story, something replete with stocks and adulterers, or fornication permits handed out by a king. How utterly prosaic to find out 'fuck' came to us the way most words sneak into the language -- it jumped the fence from another tongue, was spelled and pronounced a bit differently in its new home, and over time drifted into being a distinct word recognized by everyone. Takes all the fun out of it, it does.

Acronymic explanations catch our fancy due to the "hidden knowledge" factor. Most of us feel a bit of a glow when we think we're in possession of information others aren't privy to, and when a titillating or apt story is thrown in behind the trivia, these things just take off. "Tips" does not come from "To insure prompt service," yet that canard is widely believed. Likewise, "golf" didn't spring to life out of "Gentlemen only; ladies forbidden," and "posh" did not take its place in our vocabulary from a shortening of "Port out; starboard home."
Barbara "port of last call" Mikkelson

Sightings:   The rock group Van Halen put out an album entitled "For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge."

And now, how about "Fornication Under Consent of the King"
Source:   (interesting reading)


Another one just came to me. Back in the day, judges would have before them a list of the day's criminals.
Next to the names, would be the respective charges. Accused rapists would have next to their names,
"For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge", and the abbreviation eventually become just F.U.C.K.

However, it was when people committed fornication that they
would be displayed in public with these signs displayed above their heads
or somewhere around them. I remember discussing this in English class
when I was in high school. As far as I know, you didn't need the King's
permission to be intimate with anyone, but, if you were caught doing the
hanky-panky with someone you shouldn't have been doing it with, then you
got a nice big sign saying: FOR UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDG

>From my American Hertitage Dictionary:
WORD HISTORY: The obscenity fuck is a very old word, first recorded in
English in the 15th century. Age has not dimmed its shock value, even
though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past. Its first
known occurrence, in a poem entitled "Flen flyys" written sometime before
1500, is in code, illustrating the unacceptability of the word even then.
The poem, composed in a mixture of Latin and English, satirizes the
Carmelite friars of Cambridge, England, with the title taken from the first
words of the poem, "Flen, flyys, and freris," that is, "fleas, flies, and
friars." The line that contains fuck reads "Non sunt in coeli, quia gxddbov
xxkxzt pg ifmk." The Latin words "Non sunt in coeli, quia" mean "they [the
friars] are not in heaven, since." The code "gxddbov xxkxzt pg ifmk" is
easily broken by simply writing the preceding letter in the alphabet. As we
decode, we must watch for differences in the alphabet and in spelling
between then and now. For g write f; for x, v (used for u and v); d, c; b,
a; o, n; v, t; xx, vv (which equals w); k, i; x, v; z, y; t, s; p, o; g, f;
i, h; f, e; m, l; and for k, i. This yields "fvccant [a fake Latin form]
vvivys of heli." The whole thus reads in translation: "They are not in
heaven because they fuck wives of Ely [a town near Cambridge]."

Q. What is the origin of the word fuck?
A. It is remotely derived from the Latin futuere and Old German ficken/fucken. Originally, this was a quite acceptable word! It was recorded in a dictionary in 1598 (John Florio's A World of Words). It is remotely derived from the Latin futuere and Old German ficken/fucken meaning 'to strike or penetrate', which had the slang meaning 'to copulate'. Eric Partridge, a famous etymologist, said that the German word was related to the Latin words for pugilist, puncture, and prick. The word, which entered English in the late 15th century, became more rare in print in the 18th century when it became a vulgar term. It was even banned from the Oxford English Dictionary. In 1960, Grove Press (in the US) won a court case permitting it to print the word legally for the first time in centuries -- in D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (written in 1928). One folk etymology, which is incorrect, is that it derives from "[booked] for unlawful carnal knowledge."



Under the common law rape was defined as “unlawful carnal knowledge of a woman forcibly and
against her will.” This archaic language was interpreted in a very narrow manner. The term “unlawful”
was interpreted to mean that the act was not authorized by law, which was held to preclude applying
the law to a husband who had forced sexual intercourse with his wife. Carnal knowledge was
interpreted to require penetration of the penis into the vagina for an act to be considered rape.
Finally, rape under the common law only applied to women.


Intercourse in the various laws is referred to many different things.  One question we were asked often was "is oral sex considered the same as intercourse as it applies to age of consent issues".  We have begun obtaining more definitions from the various states and have found that oral sex does in fact provide the same penalty. 

Tennessee for instance, defines their law as "sexual penetration" of a minor.  They define "Sexual penetration" [as] sexual intercourse, cunnilingus, fellatio, anal intercourse, or any other intrusion, however slight, of any part of a person's body or of any object into the genital or anal openings of the victim's, the defendant's, or any other person's body, but emission of semen is not required;

This clearly means (at least in this example) that the age of consent laws do apply to oral sex as well.

Law Invalidated
This means that the law was struck down by a court of law, making the law "null and void".  It does not mean that the law was removed from the books or repealed by the legislators of the state. 

Law Repealed
This means that the law was removed and changed by the legislators of the state.  It is the most unusual of the cases, because it is rare that any legislator wants to author a motion to REMOVE a current law.  Historically, state law books are ripe with old laws that have no meaning, but no one has the courage to open the motion to remove the law.




Puberty is the period of human development during which physical growth and sexual maturation occurs.

Beginning as early as age eight in girls--and two years later, on average, in boys--the hypothalamus (part of the brain) signals hormonal change that stimulates the pituitary. In turn, the pituitary releases its own hormones called gonadotrophins that stimulate the gonads and adrenals. From these glands comes a flood of sex hormones--androgens and testosterone in the male, estrogens and progestins in the female--that regulate the growth and function of the sex organs. It is interesting to note that the gonadotrophins are the same for males and females, but the sex hormones they induce are different.

In the United States, the first sign of puberty occurs on average at age 11 in girls, with menstruation and fertility following about two years later. Boys lag behind by about two years. Puberty may not begin until age 16 in boys and continue in a desultory fashion on past age 20. In contrast to puberty, adolescence is more of a social/cultural term referring to the interval between childhood and adulthood.

Puberty has been divided into five Sexual Maturity Rating (SMR) stages by two doctors, W. Marshall and J. M. Tanner. These ratings are often referred to as Tanner Stages 1-5. Staging is based on pubic hair growth, on male genital development, and female breast development. Staging helps determine whether development is normal for a given age. Both sexes also grow axillary (arm pit) hair and pimples. Males develop muscle mass, a deeper voice, and facial hair. Females redistribute body fat. Along with the maturing of the sex organs, there is a pronounced growth spurt averaging 3-4 in and culminating in full adult stature. Puberty can be precocious (early) or delayed. It all depends upon the sex hormones.

Puberty falling outside the age limits considered normal for any given population should prompt a search for the cause. As health and nutrition have improved over the past few generations, there has been a gradual decrease in the average age for the normal onset of puberty.

* Excess hormone stimulation is the cause for precocious puberty . It can come from the brain in the form of gonadotrophins or from the gonads and adrenals. Overproduction may be caused by functioning tumors or simple overactivity. Brain overproduction can also be the result of brain infections or injury.
* Likewise, delayed puberty is due to insufficient hormone. If the pituitary output is inadequate, so will be the output from the gonads and adrenals. On the other hand, a normal pituitary will overproduce if it senses there are not enough hormones in the circulation.
* There are several congenital disorders (polyglandular deficiency syndromes ) that include failure of hormone output. These children do not experience normal puberty, but it may be induced by giving them the proper hormones at the proper time.
* Finally, there are in females abnormalities in hormone production that produce male characteristics--so called virilizing syndromes. Should one of these appear during adolescence, it will disturb the normal progress of puberty. Notice that virilizing requires abnormal hormones in the female, while feminizing results from absent hormones in the male. Each embryo starts out life as female. Male hormones transform it if they are present.

Delayed or precocious puberty requires measurement of the several hormones involved to determine which are lacking or which are in excess. There are blood tests for each one. If a tumor is suspected, imaging of the suspect organ needs to be done with x rays, computed tomography scans (CT scans), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Puberty is a period of great stress , both physically and emotionally. The psychological changes and challenges of puberty are made infinitely greater if its timing is off.

If early, the offending gland or tumor may require surgical attention, although there are several drugs now that counteract hormone effects. If delayed, puberty can be stimulated with the correct hormones. Treatment should not be delayed because necessary bone growth is also affected.

Properly administered hormones can restore the normal growth pattern.



More definitions will follow at a later date:

This is from a Virginia Court case located at:

    "Additionally, Code  18.2-361 defines sodomy as "cunnilingus, fellatio, annallingus, or anal intercourse."

Georgia case law on Sodomy:





Statutory Rape

Hello, I was just curious as to how someone gets prosecuted for statutory rape. Do charges have to be pressed by a parent? Or can the state government prosecute on it's own reguardless of parental opinion?  

EDITOR:  In most US jurisdictions, the state may bring charges for statutory rape EVEN when the all parents and children involved are AGAINST such an action.  The parent of the younger child can always being an action -- and it is irrelevant whether the child agrees with the action.

It is any carnal knowledge of a female under the age of consent, whether or not the female was a willing participant. The age of consent varies from state to state, but is generally from 16 - 18 years of age. Again, some states may include in their definition carnal knowledge of a male under the age of consent in that state.




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