Teenage sex is regulated in such a way that "age of consent laws render teenagers below a certain age incapable of consent to sexual activity with adults, and sometimes with peers".
In some cases, the adult may be just a few months older than the minor.
The subjects were asked questions about violence in their adolescent relationships, as either victim or perpetrator, and their childhood surrounding twelve different adversities: parental death, parental divorce, long-term separation from parent, parental mental illness, parental substance abuse disorder, parental criminality, inter-parental violence, serious physical illness in childhood, physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and family economic adversity.
The results demonstrated a strong positive correlation between ten out of the twelve childhood adversities and physically violent behavior in a teen relationship, with 13.8% responding with experiences of sexual violence, and 11.6% experiencing inter-parental violence.
They also provide some content and inspiration for any education and awareness activities you have coming up!
Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been a well examined and documented phenomenon in adults; however, there has not been nearly as much study on violence in adolescent dating relationships, and it is therefore not as well understood.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.
Overall, because children are exposed to relationships early in their life through their parents and being so malleable at a young age, most evidence points to an adverse experience or experiences in childhood as fodder for such behavior in adolescence.
Though there has been little explicit study of the relationship between nature and teen dating violence, there has been proven correlation between testosterone levels and violent tendencies that could come to fruition in adolescent dating relationships.
Higher testosterone levels “manifests itself in various intensities and forms from; thoughts, anger, verbal aggressiveness, competition, dominance behavior, to physical violence.” A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism reported, “Testosterone plays a significant role in the arousal of these behavioral manifestations in the brain centers involved in aggression and on the development of the muscular system that enables their realization.
There are a number of states in which "age of consent statutes are used to prosecute consensual sex between two persons both under the age of consent." This type of prosecution has been deemed unconstitutional in some states by citing violation of privacy rights, but remains in effect in other states.
Sexual behavior and aggression can be so deeply intertwined that the legality of underage consensual sex is sure to have an effect on teen dating violence.Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month (TDVAM) brings national focus to the issue of teen dating violence, highlights the need to educate our youth about healthy relationships, raises awareness among those who care for them and provides communities with a critical opportunity to work together to prevent this devastating cycle of abuse." Their website is a great resource to find information, fact sheets and monthly campaign materials.