California state laws dating minors definition of validating feelings

Statutory rape occurs when a person over the age of consent engages in sexual intercourse with someone under the statutory age of consent, also known as a minor.In most states, the age of consent has been arbitrarily designated by statute.

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Requirements for parental consent (and the presence of a parent when obtaining a license) may be waived if the parent has abandoned the family, is out of the country, or no longer living.

Even in states where there are statutory limits on how old individuals must be to get married (with parental consent), exceptions are made in certain situations -- including pregnancy or the presence of a child.

Federal law makes it criminal to engage in a sexual act with another person who is between the age of 12 and 16 if they are at least four years younger than you.

Each state takes a different approach as the age of consent has ranged from 10 to 18.

In general, most people agree that a young child should not be treated the same as adults when it comes to punishment or legal accountability. Since young children are still developing an understanding of social and ethical norms, the law usually does not hold young children accountable for their actions -- that is, young children lack something called “legal capacity.” While the law cannot assign legal responsibility to an individual who lacks the mental capacity or maturity to understand the consequences of his or her actions, at what point does someone legally become an adult?

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