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Sexual Assault & Statutory Rape





Does Age Matter?
The Real Deal About Dating Older Partners
Author: Claudia Ramos





You might ask yourself, “Why do young men and young 
women date older partners?” To find out some of the 
reasons, I asked several Watsonville teens why they 
like dating older people. The female teens I asked 
said they date older men because they are more mature, 
they don’t act childish, they have more experience, 
they take relationships seriously and they tell us 
what we want to hear. Other girls I asked said that 
they date older men because when you are sad they know 
what to do. They call you up or send you roses and 
give you chocolates. “Young guys don’t do that,” they 
say. And then there’s the “chisme” that some girls 
date older men for their money, their car or to show 
them off to their friends. 

Not only do young women date older men, but young guys 
also date older women. According to the guys I spoke 
with, they said they like dating older women because 
they have nicer bodies, they are more experienced, 
they teach younger men romantic “stuff,” and they 
listen better. Some guys said that older women don’t 
have them “on check” all the time.

Sound good? Well, not everything seems like heaven 
when teens date older men or women. Most people can 
understand why a teen might want to date someone 
older, but why would someone older want to date a 
teen? We spoke with Captain Manny Solano of the 
Watsonville Police Department, who broke it down for 
us. 

According to Captain Solano, most adults date teens 
because we sometimes are less mature, less experienced 
and easier to take advantage of.  For example: when a 
fine looking older guy approaches you and talks sweet, 
it’s common for a young women to want to do what he 
says. You want to please him, and he knows it. That is 
precisely the problem. 

Another issue to keep in mind when dating someone 
older is that they might be at a different place in 
their lives. They might be ready to start a family and 
pressure you into doing something before you are 
ready. Or, they might already have a family and have 
you on the side.

The Law Says Age Matters When Sex Is Involved
Did you know it’s actually against the law for anyone 
under the age of 18 to have sex unless they are 
married? And it is considered “statutory rape” for 
anyone who is over the age of 18 to have sex with 
someone under the age of 18.

Legally, the police can’t get involved unless they 
know that the two people are having sex, and one, or 
both, of them are minors. Still, it usually takes an 
angry parent to get the police involved. Caption 
Solano says the police usually don’t get involved when 
the age difference is less than two years even though 
it’s still against the law. However, the greater the 
age difference, the more serious the crime. When 
someone is 13 years old or younger, it becomes a case 
of “child molestation.” 

The Law at a Glance:
If you are thinking about dating or having a sexual 
relations with someone several years older than you, 
here are some things to know:
· Sex with a minor is against the law. Anyone under 
the age of 18 cannot legally have sex unless they are 
married to that person.
· Your parents have the ability to post a restraining 
order against your partner (a legal document which 
binds a person to stay a certain distance away from 
someone else).
· If someone is over the age of 18 and has sex with 
someone under the age of 18, this is 
considered “statutory rape.” If found guilty, the 
older partner can be put in jail
· If someone has sex with someone who is 13 years of 
age or younger, this is considered “child molestation.”