Now, this is currently a point of interest of mine. Intelligence, as in raw intelligence, is lower today than it was 20 years ago and lower than it was 100 years ago, at least statistically. Some of this can be accounted for in the lack of funding our public schools receive. However, it can also be accounted to us relying on technology so much that we forget to use our own brains for the most basic of problems. Ask anyone in Accounting (my profession) what's on their desk and they'll answer: phone, pens and a calculator. Ask them to add 56 and 119 and watch what they reach for first - my money's on the calculator rather than the pen. We're not smarter than we were, and neither are our children. We just have technology to hide this fact. The 15 year old in your example may know more about sex, drugs, crime, etc. than the 18 year old in your example, but from a general intelligence point of view they're lacking significantly. And I haven't touched on items such as common sense and general manners.
I think I have to disagree here in part at least. You are right in the fact technology can and often does make people stupid and lazy. When it comes to the time difference between now and 20 years ago though, our schools do have the upper hand in some fields. Back in my day we learned how not to get kidnapped from a talking puppet and a 15 minute "after school special" between cartoon shows in the afternoon. Today however our kids have programs like D.A.R.E. and organizations like M.A.D. and sex ed classes and seminars on sexual harassment and...etc etc. Our kids are taught a lot more early on then kids 20 years ago were. I think it's safe to say kids today learn at a faster rate as well. Your example does happen, but for just as often as it makes someone lazy and stupid it makes someone else smarter and wiser. We'll probably have to agree to disagree on this one.
Now, this is exactly what I was referring to. Saying you were mentally mature enough to have sex, but not mature enough for the consequences is a contradiction of itself because they are one in the same. Now, as you pointed out, let's not be naive and think it's just boys wanting sex - of course teenage girls want sex, they're teenagers and their bodies hormone levels bounce around like a pinball. However, they're only physically mature enough for sex - the issues of disease, emotional impact, children, etc. don't enter the picture. Ask any mature adult, and they'll tell you about safe sex. This is part of being mentally prepared for sex, and this is why schools have sex education as apart of the mandatory curriculum; they're not ready for it, but they're going to do it anyway. The repercussions of sex, such as emotional impact - and we all know how emotionally irrational teenagers are anyway without adding sex to the mix - are outside of the average teenager's ability to comprehend because - as you yourself said - they don't care as long as they're getting some. Is that really being ready for sex? It's about applying an average. The average 15 year old isn't mentally mature enough for sex, while the average 15 year old is physically mature for sex. The average 18 year old is mature enough for both (although this could be debated )
It is a contradiction, yes, but it's also true. Aside from fatherhood I was ready for sex at 15. Emotional attachment? LoL what emotional attachment? I went from girl to girl to girl just as they went from boy to boy to boy. Some girls would get emotionally attached, true, but some didn't and just wanted the sex because their girlfriend said it was good. In todays world, sadly, there are plenty of girls that don't get emotionally attached over sex. Many of our younger girls even think that sex is a required part of a relationship many years before I feel they should think that way. I think being ready for sex mentally is different from being ready for sex as in responsibility. Responsibility and Maturity more often then not go hand in hand, but there are some cases when that isn't so. 15 year old girls can be ready both mentally and physically for sex, but financially they can't take care of a child and aren't ready for parenthood. Either way at that age we all "think we know everything" and a lot of us did things just because someone else told us not to, including having sex. In the mid teenage years some people are ready for sex, some aren't. It could probably even be based on a person to person case.
As for the rest, you're right. The laws need changed but won't be because they're too profitable and there are too many parent activists that would flip out if the laws were lessened in any way. No State, especially Florida, wants to look like it's soft on pedophiles or not protecting our children adequately no matter how many people's lives it ruins.