The age of consent in Montana is 16 years old. This means until this age, teens cannot give consent to have any kind of sex.
The age of majority in Montana is 18 years old. This means that teens must have their parent or guardian’s approval to make certain legal choices including many medical and financial decisions. Teens are considered minors until this age.
However, under the Montana Code 41-1-402, minors can consent to treatment and testing of communicable diseases (including STIs) and pregnancy. The code also includes a responsibility for the provider to determine if there is any chance of interpersonal violence or abuse and make the appropriate referrals if needed when treating teens under this code. This is not to act as a barrier to teen testing, but rather to ensure that teens are safe.
Parents, talking to your children about sex can seem daunting. However, not having these critical conversations can leave your child without the information they need to make safe, healthy choices that are in alignment with their beliefs. Below are a few links about how to start this conversation with your children and what conversations are developmentally appropriate.
There is a vaccine that can help prevent 9 strains of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). These strains are those that are most associated with cancer and genital warts. Below is the CDC’s vaccine handout which gives more information about how this vaccine can help prevent your child from developing multiple types of cancer including cervical, anal, and throat!