Beginning to date can be very challenging to tackle, not just for teenagers, but also for their parents. As frightening as this time may be, it could also be a time of training and helping minors form healthy relationships. It is the job of parents in this endeavor to be informed about laws that could affect the choices that they help their young people make to ensure that their first experiences with dating are positive and safe. In general, minors are considered to be people who are under 18 years of age; at 18, people assume most adult legal rights except for the purchase of alcoholic beverages. However, each state has its own laws that define the age of consent, or the time when a person is old enough "to willingly engage in a sexual act.
Ontario Women’s Justice Network
Do You Date Age-Appropriately? | HuffPost Life
Deciding to have sex with someone is a big decision. If you think that you are ready to have sex, it is important that you are aware of the different laws about how old you have to be to have sex, and to understand what the law means by sex. Before you have sex, you should talk to a health professional about how to practice safe sex and to make sure you are fully aware of the risks of practising unsafe sex. It is never okay for a person to have sex with another person who is under 12 years old. If you are aged years old, you can legally have sex with another person who is less than 2 years older than you as long as you both actively agree to it. Once you turn 16, you can legally have sex with another person who is also aged 16 years or older as long as you both actively agree to it.
Do You Date Age-Appropriately?
The age of consent is the age at which a young person can legally agree to sexual activity. Age of consent laws apply to all forms of sexual activity, ranging from kissing and fondling to sexual intercourse. The age of consent to sexual activity is 16 years. In some cases, the age of consent is higher for example, when there is a relationship of trust, authority or dependency. In other words, a person must be at least 16 years old to be able to legally agree to sexual activity.
We are seeing large age gaps in the dating pool and not just the typical old-man-younger-woman narrative. For example, a AARP study reported that 34 percent of women over 39 years old were dating younger men. Add in the popularization of divorce over the last 50 years and the introduction of dating apps, and matters of love, sex and how we connect are utterly transformed.