Lock Up Your Daughters

I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Today, we’re still discussing pet peeves, and I’m still on my pet peeves with certain parts of the judicial system.  If you have a daughter under the age of 18, you might want to consider locking her up or perhaps moving to an otherwise deserted island after you read this.

In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (otherwise known as HIPAA) guarantees a patient’s right to privacy.  If the patient is a minor child and they go to the doctor with their parent, even using the parent’s healthcare insurance to pay for the visit, the doctor is still obligated not to tell the parent the diagnosis, especially if the condition is the result of consensual sexual contact.

In other words, your 15-year old daughter can have a sexually transmitted disease, including HIV or AIDS, or she can be pregnant, and the doctor is not allowed to violate her confidence and tell you.  However, even though you’re not allowed to know of your daughter’s condition, if you fail to provide her with appropriate medical treatment or prenatal care for said condition that you don’t know about, you will likely be arrested and charged with child neglect.*

Have you ever watched a movie where two kids have sex and the parents of the girl get the guy arrested for statutory rape?  Not true.  A 16-year old girl can consent to be with an up to 22-year old man with no consequences, and there’s not a thing you can do about it.  Worse yet, she can consent to engage in sadomasochism and be covered in bruises brought on by her sexual encounter, and there is still nothing you can do about it.  However, if you confront her and she gets so belligerent that you slap her ever so lightly, you, my friend, can be arrested and charged with assault as well as child abuse!*

It gets worse.  In the United States, a child has to be 17-years old to go to a Rated R movie where some profanity or some slight nudity is shown.  However, in Rhode Island, a girl can be a professional stripper at only 16-years old.  (However, if she were here in Florida and  took a photo of herself and emailed it to her own 16-year old boyfriend, they would both be  arrested for distribution of child porn, and both would be required to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives!)  Too bad she can’t use the money she makes taking off her clothes to go to the movies with her friends.

Of course, the underage children don’t have to wait until their seventeenth birthday to go to a Rated R movie to see some nudity, because in New York City, it’s perfectly legal for women to walk around topless because they have the same rights as men.  Of course as the parent of young children who might see the topless women on your way home from church or while you’re out purchasing a bag of apples, you do not have the right not to have to see her bare breasts.  Go figure.

(*These are true at least in Florida.  I have no idea how the other forty-nine states may view these same laws.)

Talk to me:  If you caught your 16-year old daughter in bed with a 22-year old man, what would you do?  Would you ever risk going to jail by protecting your child from someone you felt was a danger to them, even if the law didn’t agree with you?

36 thoughts on “Lock Up Your Daughters

  1. As ever Rachel an interesting and educational post to one who sits the other side of the pond. The diversity of laws between each state that forms your nation surprises me. In answer to you question at the end my reaction would depend upon whether or not the specific girl in question was – and every person is different – mature enough to conduct a relationship (subjective I know). If she was in my considered opinion not mature enough I would probably beat the living shit out of the boy and end up behind bars.

  2. This is great and true for sure! I have a now 21 year old and we have run into a few of these! Funny how hospitals still expect you to pay their bills but you can’t know their condition upon paying! This is a loaded one with me since my girl has been chronically I’ll since the age of 2. Odd how we allow these things in America!

  3. Deserted island sounds good right about now. I don’t know about the laws, but here in Michigan my doctor wouldn’t see my daughter alone until she was 18. I had to be there and give consent to treatment. That might have been his own personal opinion and maybe he wasn’t following the law.

  4. I thought you might like this story. When I was 17, I was 6′ 2″ and 225#. I was an honorable mention all-state nose-guard. My mother was 5′ 6″ and 110#. She had just had a double mastectomy. She found out that I was dating a 26 year old stripper from Atlanta and wasn’t happy. She faded me with a right and landed a left hook that put me on the kitchen floor . . . and I never seen the stripper again. She could have beat me to death if she wanted to because it would never have accrued to me to block her punches. I have often wondered if my old man knew about that mean left hook.

  5. Obviously in the UK we are slightly different, just as confusing,, if I found my daughter I would feel let down, especially with our open relationship we have…

  6. U.S. laws are forever maddeningly inconsistent regarding minors.

    On one hand, they are handed adult decision-making in many realms. On the other, they had better not let a beer pass their lips before age 21.

    No wonder so many teens are at a loss about where they stand in life. Adults’ erratic approach to law as applied to under 21s is the fundamental problem.

  7. I just try to picture the political dirty old men sitting around a table trying to install laws that in the end will allow them to be with a 16 year old girl. Shameful to all those that put these laws in place.

  8. Oh it is ridiculous to the highest degree that these laws are formed by those who are in power over far too much- those who are not qualified to make decisions involving life and death. There need to be health care people making laws regarding health care- and a wide smattering of those. (In other words not a slue of retired doctors. There needs to be a representation from an array of the health care needs, pediatricians, NURSES, and at that needs to be certain there is parental representation. It was a ridiculous situation when my daughter (16 at the time) was involved in an MVA as a passenger, had head injury among other injuries. Nearly all of those caring for her in the initial phase were fantastic with the information we needed- with understanding she was NOT an adult. Following a period of post hospitalization there came a time when she was seen at hospitals and doctors closer to home. These people were morons. They would not give me results- as not only to maintain HIPPA but because the insurance was in her father’s name through his work (we no longer were at same address- either separated or already divorced). EVen though she lived with me, I could not receive the info. Now the father was not given the info as he wasn’t listed under next of kin or the responsible adult/parent or guardian with whom she resided. Talk about nonsense. Now flash ahead a few months and the insurance company would not exchange information with me about testing ON MYSELF when I was trying to figure out why coverage on a testing was denied. As I was also still on his insurance- we had no court ordered anything as we were trying to be reasonable people. Again he was not given info as he did not live with me and was not my primary contact in case of emergency. (That person was not privy to details in this regard as they only were given the information necessary given an emergency.) This woman then informed me we were in violation of the law as we could not be on his policy unless court ordered or approved by those in the company for which he worked. WTH? It was a friggin nightmare.
    As to how far I would go to protect my child…I would go to the ends of the galaxy and back. However I would also realize, much to my chagrin, that at 16 yrs old keeping your child safe from the choices they make for themselves becomes more difficult. WHen my 16 year old told me that she was seeing a man with that age span, we had a serious discussion. I insisted not only on meeting with him ,but with his parents. (You’d be surprised how effective this was.) His father came to meet me. As we talked getting to know eachother and about eachother’s children, I could see that clearly this young man had little respect for his mother (as he spoke of her in her absence) nor did he act and talk with respect to his father. He came off as an ungrateful brat who had no real direction in life. When they left my daughter and I talked. While she was annoyed and irritated at my observation (SHe pulled the “But you’re being judgemental”card on me. To which I countered, “Of course I am. How he respects his parents who love him more than life, tells me how he will respect you who he is infatuated with and does not know well. Besides one of us needs to be and since you had a lot of shrugs and I don’t know when we talked about him, it seemed we should find out those answers.) She did see him as I had noticed and tried to remain friends but did not go on dating him. WHat I had learned is that forbidding a teenager to see someone is often a sure way to push them together. However in a nonthreatening environment to have discussions with someone, your child will likely observe much of what you do in terms of attitude. They hadn’t slept together. That does complicate much. I may have left my kids with baggage but I did try to make sure they understood that nothing is ever 100% so if they were to be intimate then they needed to know they were not only trusting their sexual health (even in “protected sex”) to this person but they better know that they could be forming a rope that connects them for all of life. That they were inviting someone to tell them how they wanted things in their lives- whether they wanted their opinion, whether they agreed. I also made certain they saw that they were opening themselves up to never living their lives with the freedom of choices they have as single nonparents. They learned from seeing in my life that what a parent would like to do or to be, gets put aside when the needs of a child are involved. I’d not have traded that for anything- but I also was an adult who made those choices intentionally. Kids definitely did strain the boundaries, create challenges, and strife at times. But they taught me more about myself, about human relationships than any others. I prayed- ALOT. I laughed ALOT. I cried ALOT at times. But in the end I had to help my kids find the reason they developed as they grew up having been taught as they were. It’s a hell of a leap in trust- but it’s one you teach both of you to trust in as trust is earned.

    • Yes, I totally agree that forbidding a teenager usually only ends up in cementing that they’ll do exactly what you don’t want them to. Sadly, I only know some of the facts I stated above because I went through them with my daughter. UGH!

  9. It’s another little step to breaking up the sanctity of the family.
    The state wants to become the parent. It’s best to educate the kids about this plan. If we don’t teach them right and wrong, somebody else will.

  10. These laws are so inconsistent it seems. I think it is best to protect/guide your child however you can and don’t leave it up to these “rules” to guide them. Another good post

  11. Forgive me! I meant to type ‘Rachel’ – I am working on a story about a young girl named Margaret, and I am afraid I have her and her name on the brain. I am so sorry!

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