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To a young girl, dating an older guy can raise her status among friends, says Steven Kairys, MD, chair of pediatrics at Jersey Shore University Medical Center and an expert on adolescent relationships. At this age, teens are very impressionable and prone to peer pressure. Having sex with an older partner at a young age is also linked to reduced contraceptive use, and higher risk of both teen pregnancy and acquiring a sexually transmitted disease STD.

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One misconception is that most of these relationships involve forced sexual experiences, Scott says. Scott is quick to point out that even if both partners believe the contact was voluntary, state statutory rape laws are based on the age of the parties involved. According to NJ law, the age of legal consent is 16 compared to the national age of consent, which is Teen boys and girls feel pressure to have sex for different reasons, but engaging in sexual activity is a means of validation for both.

Teenagers are known for being impulsive and not always thinking things through.

By the way, High School Dating Advice

The twenty-something men who hung out there treated us like adults, or what we imagined that to mean at They made us feel respected, intelligent, mature. I knew, abstractly, that older men who dated younger women—not women but girls, high school girls, girls not even old enough to drive—were creepy and better avoided. But for some reason it never occurred to me that that applied to my own life.

What to Do If Your Teen Is Dating an Older Guy - Raising Teens - September

We were so wise. They had never met girls like us, girls who knew so much, girls who understood them so well. They told us this over and over, every one of them, like reading from a script: I was dying to feel older, which I accomplished by wearing impossibly short skirts and sky-high platform shoes, carrying a tiny knife disguised as a tube of lipstick in my purse and feeling sly and dangerous. I wanted to feel desired, and the men I met were more than happy to comply—to tell me I was beautiful in my Hot Topic bustiers, breasts hiked to the collarbone, boots laced up to the knee.

On Saturday nights in high school, my curfew was 5am. I told my parents that I spent those early morning hours hanging out in a diner with my friends, girls a year or two older than me who would drive me home. Some nights that was true. We sat awkwardly on lopsided couches making tense small talk while one girl or another disappeared into a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom, giggling, hand in hand with a man five, seven, 10 years her senior.

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When I was 15, I dated a man named Michael. I found this tragically romantic, imagining I might be the one to heal his wounded soul.


I saw your article about underage dating March 6, Journal-World. I have a similar situation. They met at a job where he no longer works. She also had taken a trip to another country, where she was supposedly drugged and sexually mistreated. Neither of them see anything wrong with the relationship, but I have done my best to stop them. Am I out of line? I see her as a pedophile, and she makes me ill to think about. Until then, here are some pointers.

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  7. There certainly are some deeply concerning issues in this relationship, but they are less about age and more about the mismatch in experience this woman brings to the relationship. I am especially concerned about her introduction of sexually laden material — especially involving her own sexual abuse — to a year-old. Additionally, that any woman of this age shows interest in a year-old makes her suspect in my book.

    View from planet bloke: As a teenage boy I was always fantasising about older women

    She is obviously very immature, and as I said in the other column, that does not help matters a bit. That said, there are some serious limits on your influence with an almostyear-old. We see this same situation more commonly with the genders reversed, and it is nearly impossible to pry a year-old away from a relationship with what amounts to a college-age partner. The big difference between this and the last case is that your son is at the age of consent and just over a year short of adulthood himself.