Sexual behavior and aggression can be so deeply intertwined that the legality of underage consensual sex is sure to have an effect on teen dating violence.Significant research has been done on the causes behind violent behavior in adolescent dating relationships with the intention of guiding the creation of dating violence prevention programs, and in turn has provided findings on the roles of nature and nurture in the development of such behavior with a strong favor towards nurture factors.It is important to note that although male and female adolescents do not differ in "overall frequency of violence in dating relationships," females are subject to "significantly higher levels of severe violence".This fact begs the question of whether abuse should be evaluated based on “severity” and how that can and should be measured, or if all abuse should be considered equally harmful.A study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examined the potential association between a spectrum of childhood adverse experiences and physical violence in relationships before age 21 for both members.
Teen dating violence [PDF 187KB] is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking. Teen dating violence (physical and sexual) among US high school students: Findings from the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. As teens develop emotionally, they are heavily influenced by experiences in their relationships.The 2013 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey found approximately 10% of high school students reported physical victimization and 10% reported sexual victimization from a dating partner in the 12 months* before they were surveyed. Teens receive messages about how to behave in relationships from peers, adults in their lives, and the media. Risks of having unhealthy relationships increase for teens who: Dating violence can be prevented when teens, families, organizations, and communities work together to implement effective prevention strategies.All too often these examples suggest that violence in a relationship is normal, but violence is never acceptable. That is, young people who are labeled as or considered to be violent and aggressive at any point in time are then assumed to be dangerous for the rest of their lives.This is a contentious issue because there is a desire to protect both parties involved (or that have the potential to become involved) in teen dating violence.