Legal age of dating
Limits governing sexual contact between two minors vary from allowing two to four years' difference.
Some states, including Michigan and Georgia, set a definite age of consent.
Even if the dating or intimate relationship your teen wants to get involved with is legal, you should consider the risks inherent in allowing your teen to date someone who is more than a year or two older or younger that he or she is.
The mental, emotional and physical differences between a 14-year-old and a 16-year-old are much more significant than they are between two adults of similar age differences.
Dating rules vary from family to family -- and often, from teen to teen, depending on their maturity level. Set rules that you are willing and able to enforce.
Within the limits of your state's laws, you are the one who determines the limits of what you will or won't allow when it comes to the age difference between your teen and who you allow him or her to date. In some cases, it is better to allow your teen to date someone older or younger as long as they fully understand your state's laws and your family rules.
Age of consent laws are designed to protect children and young people from sexual exploitation and abuse.
Such laws effectively determine that children and young people below the age of consent are yet to reach a level of general maturity enabling their safe participation in sexual activities.
A person in a supervisory role providing "special care" may include: a teacher, foster parent, religious official or spiritual leader, a medical practitioner, an employer of the child or a custodial official.Teens should be informed of these risks and of the risk of venereal disease.State legislatures and law enforcement do what they can to protect younger children and teens from those who would try to get them to engage in sexual activity before they're ready, but at the end of the day, your rules and guidelines as a parent are the ones most likely to protect your teen.Bill Albert of the Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy claims that research has repeatedly shown that teens who date someone older are more likely to engage in sexual behavior and to become pregnant.Studies have also shown that teens who date older people are more likely to be the victims of violence within their dating relationships.