A 17 year old dating a 20 year old
But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? Or call to speak with a specialist to find a facility. Others add that imprisoning men who are convicted of the crime could have a significant impact on teenage pregnancy and birth rates. 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. Know the Laws in Your State Dating is a normal part of teenage life. 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 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. Parents, particularly those with teenage daughters, certainly have cause for concern. 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.
But do these dangers warrant laws that put young people in prison? 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 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. Are Statutory Rape Laws Outdated? 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. 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. 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. 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. The laws are designed to protect young people who have less information and power than their and-over counterparts. However, because of their age difference, the jury still found Dixon guilty of statutory rape and aggravated child molestation, and sentenced him to a mandatory 10 years in prison under Georgia law. Until recently, statutory rape laws applied only to females, ignoring situations involving sex between an adult female and underage male. But advocates of more diligent enforcement of statutory rape laws believe that the laws help combat the often underreported and hard-to-prove sexual abuse and rape of young girls. 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. Find a Treatment Facility Start your recovery today by searching for treatment centers below. 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. Research shows that teenage girls tend to have their first sexual experience with male partners who are three or more years older. He walked out of prison on May 3, , at age 19, a free man. 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. Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? 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 following are just a few examples of Romeo and Juliet laws currently in place in the United States: 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. And most would agree that the difference between intimacy and abuse should be reflected in the laws of each state. Critics of strict statutory rape laws argue that while sexual relationships between teens relatively close in age may be morally questionable, prosecuting every case would unnecessarily clog up the justice system. She claimed it was rape, he claimed it was consensual, and a jury acquitted him of the charges.
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