Can a 16 date an 18 year old?
Teenagers often ask if it is legal for a 16-year-old to date an 18-year-old. This usually happens when two teenagers are dating before one person turns 18 years old. When two people are dating, one is sixteen years old, and the other is eighteen years old, it is legal – with a serious caveat. The focus word is “dating.”
So long as the 16-year-old and the 18-year-old are “dating.” When the dating relationship becomes sexual, the law sees it as an adult having sex with a minor, considered statutory rape. A person who is 18 years old is considered an adult. A person who is seventeen years old or under is considered a minor. A minor – a person under 18 years old – cannot consent to have sex with an adult. The word sex has a broader meaning than intercourse.
|Cannot Consent to Sex
An adult should be aware that there are laws that make certain conduct with a minor illegal. In most states, it is unlawful person who is over 18-year-old to:
- Molest a minor/child.
- Sexting with a minor.
- Kidnapping a minor.
- Lewd conduct or communicating with a minor.
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
- Interfering with a parent’s custody and control.