Age difference in dating teenagers

“A 15-year-old girl can look 19, but she’s still 15 inside.

At this age, teens are very impressionable and prone to peer pressure.” Teens who have an older partner are more likely to have sex at an early age compared to those dating someone about the same age, says Mindy Scott, Ph D, deputy program area director of Reproductive Health and Family Formation at Child Trends, the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused on improving the lives of children, youth and their families.

And it can be even harder if the guy she has her eye on is older.

A 14-year-old dating a 17-year-old might be perfectly innocent but those who counsel adolescents warn that an age difference as little as three years can be cause for concern.

“With teenagers, a three-year difference in age is a powerful differential,” says Kairys, who also serves as medical director for the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.In the fading twilight, the headlights of an approaching car reminded Bill to reach for the dashboard and turn on his lights.As the horde of rush-hour cars streamed by, Bill reminisced about the teenage daughter he had just picked up from band practice.But the eyes of law enforcement officials do not see those shades of gray quite as well; the law is black and white.And when those laws are broken — even unknowingly — it stops becoming a parental decision and starts becoming a legal matter. The state has defined an appropriate age of consent, and under Minnesota statute, people cannot have any type of sexual contact with a child under the age of 16 if they are more than 24 months older than them.“Sexual contact is also defined as breasts and inner thigh areas,” said Becker County Investigator Kathy Nguyen, who says the level of charges is determined by how far those teens go.

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