Fact Check: NO Evidence That Anyone Is Trying to Lower The Legal Age Of Consent To 4 Years Old

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: NO Evidence That Anyone Is Trying to Lower The Legal Age Of Consent To 4 Years Old Not 4

Are people trying to lower the legal age of consent to just four years old? No, that's not true: There is zero evidence that there is an effort to lower the legal age of consent is to four years old anywhere in the U.S.

The claim appeared in a Facebook meme (archived here) where it was published on September 3, 2020. The meme read:

We can't buy alcohol or cigarettes until we are 21, but there are people trying to make legal age of consent 4 years old. Let that sink in. #SaveOurChildren

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Sep 11 13:09:37 2020 UTC)

The definition of age of consent, according to the Federal government's Health and Human Services website, is:

This is the age at which an individual can legally consent to sexual intercourse under any circumstances;

States set their own age of consent, with 16 being the young and 18 the oldest, according to the HHS site:

... the age of consent varies by state. In the majority of states (34), it is 16 years of age. In the remaining states, the age of consent is either 17 or 18 years old (6 and 11 states, respectively).

The claim that the age of consent is being lowered to four is closely tied to one of QAnon's hallmark conspiracy theories, #SaveTheChildren. The #SaveTheChildren conspiracy claims that there is a ring of prominent Democratic politicians and celebrities trafficking and molesting children. Although this tweet does not include the save the children hashtag, it does include #SaveOurChildren, another hashtag that often accompanies false claims about pedophilia in the U.S.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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