Statutory Rape or "Normal" Teen Love?

Psychological Investigations of Adolescent Sexuality and the Law

The production of legal responses to try to protect youth from sexual predators has spawned vexing legal and social issues related to adolescent relationships. In many cases sexual activity between an adolescent and their near same-age partner could result in classification as a sex offender. There is dire need for illumination about the developmental and social issues that affect and are affected by the intersection of youth and sexuality in this legal context. This support provides an opportunity to being shedding some light on this controversial but important issue. The planned effort seeks to address teens’ and young adults’ comprehension and perception of existing laws; to understand parents’ or guardians’ perceptions and knowledge of statutory rape laws; and adolescents’ competence to consent to sex.

Associated Cross-University Faculty
PI: N. Dickon Reppucci, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Psychology