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In some jurisdictions (such as California and Michigan), if two minors have sex with each other, they are both guilty of engaging in unlawful sex with the other person.
The act itself is prima facie evidence of guilt when one participant is incapable of legally consenting.
As written, however, this law did not apply to same-sex couples, leaving them subject to higher penalties than opposite-sex couples for the same offense.
Resulting in higher statutory rape convictions, larger fines, and sex offender registration for teens in the LGBTQ community.
Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sexual contact with minors under the age of consent, it is a generic term, and very few jurisdictions use the actual term statutory rape in the language of statutes. In statutory rape, overt force or threat is usually not present.
Statutory rape laws presume coercion, because a minor or mentally handicapped adult is legally incapable of giving consent to the act.
This is normally accomplished by making acts involving these circumstances separate crimes to which the "Romeo and Juliet" defense does not apply. It provides an affirmative defense to a charge of sexual assault if all of the following apply: A similar affirmative defense exists in the Texas Penal Code for the related crime of "continuous sexual abuse of a young child or children".
Only two studies to date show positive reactions to adolescent female/adult male relationships, with one saying 44.4% viewed these relationships as predominantly positive. A Star-Ledger analysis reported that, for various reasons, men average longer jail terms.
An analysis of 97 cases in New Jersey over a decade showed that 54% of male suspects were sent to prison vs 44% of female suspects, with an average of 2.4 years vs 1.6 years respectively.
Thus, many jurisdictions prohibit allowing a juvenile to be tried as an adult under this law (most jurisdictions have separate provisions for child molestation or forcible rape which can be applied to juveniles and for which a minor can be tried as an adult).
Some jurisdictions also specify a minimum difference in age in order for the offense to be applicable.
Consensual teenage sex is common in the United States. In fact, it is estimated that there are more than 7 million incidents of statutory rape every year.