The laws regarding sexual conduct vary in several respects. The age of consent -- the age at which a person can legally give consent to a sexual partner -- varies from 14 to All states which place the age of consent younger than 16 years of age have provisions that differentiate between an adult sexual partner and a minor sexual partner. It is not legal anywhere in the U. Some states consider the age difference between rules on dating a minor teen and her sexual partner, both in determining whether a law has been broken and in determining how severe the charges should be.
Limits governing sexual contact between two minors vary from allowing two to four years' difference. Some states, including Michigan and Georgia, set a definite age of consent. In these states, it is a crime for anyone to have sexual contact with someone under the age of consent. Although it rarely happens, two teens who are both under the age of consent could technically both be charged for having consensual sex in these states, even if they rules on dating a minor the same age.
Risks Even if the dating or intimate relationship your teen wants to get involved with is legal, you should consider the risks inherent in allowing your teen to date someone who is more than a year or two older or younger that he or she is. The mental, emotional and physical differences between a year-old and a year-old are much more significant than they are between two adults of similar age differences. Bill Albert of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy claims that research has repeatedly shown that teens who date someone older are more likely to engage in sexual behavior and to become pregnant.
Studies have also shown that teens who date older people are more likely to be the victims of violence within their dating relationships. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: In New Jersey, the age of consent is 16, but individuals who are at least 13 years of age can legally engage in sexual activities if their partner is less than 4 years older than them. In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with someone who is under the age of 16 the age of consent if the defendant is 4 or more years older than the victim.
According to Louisiana law, it is a misdemeanor for someone aged 17 to 19 to have consensual sex with someone aged 15 to 17 if the difference between their ages is more than two years. California law declares it a misdemeanor to have rules on dating a minor with someone younger than 18 if the offender is less than three years older; someone more than three years older could be charged with a felony.
Exceptions and Other Considerations In addition to Romeo and Juliet laws, some states have specific exemptions when both parties to the sexual act are minors, or the person to be charged is legally married to the minor. Rules on dating a minor, there are still restrictions in some states about top dating sites russia type of sexual activity that is permissible, such as oral sex and sodomy, as well as restrictions on relationships involving a minor and a person of authority, including teachers, coaches, or tutors.
All states have special provisions if any physical force was used or serious physical injury resulted. Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male. Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such rules on dating a minor Mary Kay Letourneau, Debra Lafave, Pamela Rogers Turner, and Pamela Smart have been prosecuted for engaging in sexual relationships with younger males.
Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? While many states have strict statutory rape laws on the books, prosecutors have been inconsistent in enforcing them, says Mark Chaffin, a researcher with the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth. One particularly shocking case drew international attention when year-old Georgia resident, Genarlow Wilson, was charged with aggravated child molestation and sentenced to 10 years in prison for having consensual oral sex with a year-old girl.
Georgia law, which has since been changed to classify this act as a misdemeanor carrying a maximum penalty of one year in prison, also required Wilson to register as a sex offender when he was released. Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? Statutory rape laws are based on the premise that although young girls may want to have sex, they may not have enough experience or discernment to make a mature, informed decision. The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts.
For example, minors may be less likely than adults to understand sexually transmitted diseases, have access to contraception, and have the resources to raise a child if they become pregnant. Most people believe there is a clear line rules on dating a minor young people wanting to date and internet dating pick up lines sex, and adults molesting or assaulting a child. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state.
But not all parties agree on how strict the laws should be.
Is it illegal to date a minor? (if your 18+)
Law on dating a minor?
In some cases, disease and running afoul of your state's laws. Teens should be informed rules on dating a minor these risks and of the risk of venereal disease. Limits governing sexual contact between two minors vary from allowing two to four years' difference. Most importantly, two teens who rules on dating a minor both mtv online dating tv series the age of consent could technically both be charged for having consensual sex in these states. The age of consent -- the age at which a person can legally give consent to a sexual partner -- varies from 14 to All states which place the age of consent younger than 16 years of age have provisions that differentiate between an adult sexual partner and a minor sexual partner. Dating rules vary from family to family -- and often, it is better to allow your teen to date someone older or younger as long as they fully understand your state's laws and your family rules, from teen to teen. As long as the parents of minor children don't object and no sexual contact of any sort occurs, you need to be able to come up with enforceable rules and limits that work for your family. Teens should be informed of these risks and of the risk of venereal disease. Enforcement Setting rules and limits is one thing. Set rules that you are willing and able to enforce. It is not legal anywhere in the U. Set rules that you are willing and able to enforce. PARAGRAPHYou and your teen need to be aware of your state's laws and consider the risks inherent in teens rules on dating a minor outside of their age group. Teens should be informed of these risks and of the risk of venereal disease. In some cases, you need to be able to come up with enforceable rules and limits that work for your family. Bill Albert of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy claims that research has repeatedly shown that teens who date someone older are more likely to engage in sexual behavior and to become pregnant.