[lit-ideas] Re: Age of Majority by State

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 29 Oct 2006 19:41:02 -0800

> Most are 18, three are 19 and two are 21.

The age of majority is not identical with 'the age of consent.' Sometimes
they're the same but where they differ the age of consent is always lower.
There are Federal laws about this but they're written so that the States still
have some leeway in legislating. Generally, the Federal age of consent is 18.

In some states the age of consent is 16; but it can be lower, and when it is,
what matters is the age discrepancy between the older party and the younger

Eighteen is almost always the age for being able to do anything you
want without your parents' or your guardian's consent--except when it comes to
drinking, and Federal legislation has imposed a nationwide minimum 'drinking
age' of 21.

The 26th Amendment set a voting eligibility limit of 18; i.e., the states can't
make it higher (although they can make it lower).

Robert Paul
Reed College

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