28 Child. Legal Rts. J. 13 (2008)
A New Twist on the Birds and the Bees: Adolescent Female Sexuality and the Debates Surrounding Access to Birth Control, Comprehensive Sex Education, and the HPV Vaccine

handle is hein.journals/clrj28 and id is 87 raw text is: A New Twist on the Birds and the Bees:
Adolescent Female Sexuality and the Debates
Surrounding Access to Birth Control,
Comprehensive Sex Education, and the
HPV Vaccine
by Kelly Keefe and Amber Oleson*

I. Introduction
With recent headlines and media frenzy over the
pregnancy of Jamie Lynn Spears and other young
female role models, American society has once
again revealed that the idea of the sexually active
adolescent female is at odds with traditional family
and societal values.' Over the course of history, the
sexually active young female has been at the heart of
a battle between what is morally acceptable for little
girls and the reality of adolescent life.2 Indeed,
throughout time, adults have viewed adolescent
sexuality . . . as problematic.3 As early as 1900,
Progressive Era activists began to acknowledge that
young women might have and actually act on sexual
desire outside of the traditional marriage context.4
Activists began to view such behavior as female
misconduct,5 which was considered delinquent and
dangerous to the adolescent girl.6 It was at this time
that the State took affirmative steps to control such
deviant behavior, whereby females who appeared
to be swayed by sexual temptation were often
removed    from    communities    with   these
environmental stresses, and placed in reformatories
until they reached a marriageable age.7 Further, in
regard to family life, female sexual activity was seen
as a direct challenge to the authority of parents, who
were deemed to have the responsibility to keep their
daughters innocent, chaste, and dependent until
marriageable age.8 What was lost in this mix, of
course, was consideration over the rights of the
young female herself in choices concerning her body
and her own behavior. While some may argue that
modem times should bring with them modern
perspectives and new levels of res Pect for adolescent
female autonomy and sexuality, these traditional
views of reforming the deviant girl and maintaining
chastity still lie at the heart of today's parental and
government approaches to raising America's younger
female generations.
Legislatures,  courts,  and  parents   have
consistently struggled to recognize when America's
little girl is not such a little girl anymore and have

often confused the ideas of protection and control in
dealing with adolescent female sexuality.' In this
regard, confusion over the status of the little girl
has generally revolved around females between
middle (ages thirteen to sixteen) and late adolescence
(ages   sixteen   and    older). ' IAccording  to
developmental psychologists, middle adolescence is
when youths begin experimentation with sexual
relationships  and  sexual behaviors, and  late
adolescence is where sexual orientation is secured

and  the   transition  to
Consequently, at the core
teenage sexual activity
specifically including the
control, comprehensive sex
papillomavirus (HPV)
between the State's power
minor's health, parental

adult roles  begins.12
of modem concern over
for these age groups,
issues of access to birth
education, and the human
vaccine, is the  clash
to regulate and protect a
rights to  direct the

upbringing of their children, and the young female's
own rights.'3
This Article seeks to address the tensions that
exist regarding female adolescent sexuality in regard
to the controversies surrounding an adolescent's
access to birth control, comprehensive sex education,
and the HPV vaccination. First, this Article will
provide a broad overview of constitutional issues
regarding the competing rights of parents, the State,
and minor females themselves. It will explore the
constitutional rights that the State has in regulating
and protecting adolescent female sexual activity, and
how the State must balance its right with those of
parents to decide how to raise their child, while also
considering the adolescent's own rights. Second, this
Article will raise the issues concerning a minor
female's right to access reproductive health care,
including birth control and other contraception,
without parental consent. The debate revolves around
the parents' right to know or consent to their
daughter's use of contraception and a minor female's
right to privacy in regard to her own behavioral
choices. Third, this Article explores the clash
between the State, parent, and adolescent regarding
access to a comprehensive sex education curriculum.

Vol. 28 * No. 2 * Summer 2008

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