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.
If you're concerned about breaking laws on underage dating, the first thing to know is that no such laws exist. However, you should be aware of statutory rape laws if you're dating someone younger than the legal age of consent in your state. Such laws are there to punish adults who take sexual advantage of minors. If your date is below the legal age of consent, you could be charged with statutory rape, even if the sex is consensual. Statutory rape is sexual intercourse with a person who is younger than the statutory age of consent, as determined by state law.
What is the Age of Consent in Texas? | Texas and Federal Consent Law
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