And while those crimes are felonies the alleged sex acts are probably not. Is there a way to protect teens from exploitation without making them vulnerable to unnecessary prosecution? These laws allow minors to escape being punished as a sex offender or to receive only minor criminal punishment when both minors are within a few years of each others' ages. Law enforcement agencies around the nation are becoming increasingly alarmed at the growing use of computer networks and other communications by pedophiles. Reproductive health care providers, for example, fear the impact of these laws on their relationships with young people because in some states certain professionals, including educators and providers, must report any act or suspected act of statutory rape. Another bride — aged just eight — wasn't so lucky. Statutory rape does not require any evidence of force or coercion; a person is guilty simply by performing a sexual act with a minor below the age of consent.
But other states like to make it even more complicated by taking into account the age of both parties. Check in with yourself and your partner often to make sure that both of you are comfortable with what is happening, and respect the feelings that each of you have. Back to top Why should you talk to your partner? The only way to be sure is to ask. Here's what you need to know: As educators, everyone I spoke to, wished for a national dialogue on these issues and for programs that would help teens handle consent issues. I found that the only way I could follow them was to look at some specific examples. By Brett Snider, Esq. The result was that an underage girl did not have to show that she had struggled in order to prove that she had not given her consent as her older friends did. The New York State legislature described the justification for enacting laws against dissemination of indecent material to minors as: Well, that law, in addition to making date rape drug GHB a controlled substance , and creating the crime of Forcible Touching , created affirmative defenses to rape laws for consensual sex between minors who are between 13 and 15 and adults who are less than 4 years older than a teen. The HHS report explains: Later laws reduced this age to 10 or So are we supposed to give our teens law books or maybe decoder rings as they head out on a weekend date? In Connecticut, for example, engaging in sexual intercourse with someone who is less than 16 is legal under certain circumstances but sexual contact with someone who is less than 15 is illegal regardless of the age of the perpetrator. You always have the right to say no, and anytime either you or your partner says no, the other person must respect that decision. Mandatory reporting laws are perhaps even more complicated than age of consent laws because this is often covered not in the statutory rape laws but in the child abuse laws and while some states declare statutory rape to be child abuse, others do not. It is also worth noting that certain far right groups have used the reporting of relationships between younger women and older men as a means to attack reproductive health providers, such as Planned Parenthood, that provide abortion. Consenting to one behavior does not obligate you to consent to any other behaviors. As Schwartz put it: Another bride — aged just eight — wasn't so lucky. Does the person want to give consent? In response, states, including New York enacted a raft of laws to deal with the rise of virtual pedophilia. Though they remained largely unchanged for several centuries, the laws began to morph in the late s and early s as other aspects of societies and the role of women changed. And what does all of this say about how society handles teen sex? The law was revised in when the Sexual Assault Reform Act raised the age of a child from less than 16 to less than 17 years old. And it is our responsibility as adults to fix it.
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