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So if you’re a little lost, think of it this way: Romeo and Juliet laws are in place to protect teens and young adults within a certain age range from getting in trouble just because they’re getting it on.

One thing that sucks about these provisions, however, is that some less progressive states or countries make sure that Romeo and Juliet laws don’t apply to same-sex couples. But if I was hooking up with, say, my soccer coach or something then– Yeah, going to protect your (creepy) coach in that case. Because like I said earlier the law also acknowledges power play.

I was mature for my age as a teenager, people always thought I was older than I was.

The fact that I was tall and was an only child (SO MANY ADULTS ALL THE TIME) helped, on top of the fact that I was well spoken and pretty smart; I was talking to adults about politics and current events all the time!

Isn’t it sort of stupid for a law to determine how old I have to be to consent to sex? Everyone matures at different ages; some 16-year-olds are more mature than 20-year-olds and are able to make smarter decisions about sex than their elders, that’s true.

But one of the best ways to understand why statutory rape laws are in place is to look outside of how mature you think you are and think about things a little more generally.

Honestly, your teacher, coach, whatever should know better than to engage in a relationship with you if you’re underage. If one of your underage friends is in a relationship with a teacher, please tell someone. Now multiply that and you’ll get a better idea of the weirdness.