Age of Consent by State | LegalMatch Law Library
A Hot Topic Among Teens The recent discovery that year-old actress Jamie Lynn Spears, the sister of pop star Britney Spears, became pregnant by her year-old boyfriend has again turned consensual sex among teens into a hotly contested issue. Parents, particularly those with teenage daughters, certainly have cause for concern.
Research shows that teenage girls tend to have their first sexual experience with male partners who are three or more years older.
But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? Romeo and Juliet Make a Comeback Statutory rape is defined by the FBI as non-forcible sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent. The statutory rape laws vary greatly from state to state, with more than half of the states setting the legal age of consent at 16 other states range from 14 to For the most part, there is no single age at which a person can consent to sexual activity.
Only 12 states set a specific age ranging from 16 to 18 , while in the majority of states, the age of consent depends on multiple factors, including the ages of each partner and the number of years between them. The purpose behind most statutory rape laws is to punish grown adults who take sexual advantage of a minor. The following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States:.
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.
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However, there are still restrictions in some states about the 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.
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Today, most laws are gender neutral, and a number of women in authority positions such as 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?
Translated by Michael Lombardi-Nash. Prometheus Books, ; Killias, Martin. Sex with a minor. Request permissions beyond the scope of this license here.
My Son Is Dating a Minor: Should I Be Worried About the Legal Implications?
Can't find a category? If a person has sex with someone who is below the age of consent , they are guilty of statutory rape. Essentially, they have had sex with someone who, according to the law, could not possibly consent to the act. Since rape is sex without consent, they are guilty of a form of rape.
What Is the Age of Consent?
In many states, the age of consent for males and females is different. In some states, there is an exception to the age of consent law if the two partners are close to the same age usually a 2 or 3 year difference , and in most of those states, punishments are harsher if one of the partners is significantly older than the other.
leondumoulin.nl/language/user/1736-talking-with-the.php Note, though, that if both partners are above the age of consent, any age difference between them is irrelevant. Also, some states distinguish between sex between a male and a female, and sex between 2 males or 2 females.