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Some states have age of consent provisions in their statutory rape legislation that stipulate that sexual relations between teenagers or young adults should not exceed a certain age gap.
For example, the state of New Jersey defines the age of consent as anyone between ages 13 and 16 may not legally have sex with someone 5 years or older than them.
There remain states, however, that still do not have such provisions, including Kansas.
These states have statutory rape legislation like Montana that defines the age of consent as 16 years of age.
Anyone who is 16 and over may not have sexual relations with anyone under 16.
Statutory rape law is designed to protect naive youths from the sexual advances of older adults who may use their advanced age to take sexual advantage of youths.
The law is designed to curb the passive coercion that is inherent in sexual relationships having a great difference of age.
The legal age at which lawmakers believe a child is capable of making a reasonable decision and consent is referred to as the age of consent.
Lawmakers decide on the age of consent based on the advice of developmental psychologists and from child advocacy organizations.
Those who break the law have committed statutory rape.
Statutory rape laws are premised on the assumption that minors are incapable of giving informed consent to sexual activities.
Statutory rape, by definition, does not entail any use of force in the initiation of sexual intercourse.
Instead, statutory rape is a sex crime that solely considers the age of both sexual partners.
Therefore it is legal for an older female to have sex with a teenage boy.