Among mothers aged 15-17 who had a child in 1988, 27% had a partner at least five years older than themselves.
In addition, since 23% of minors with older partners were married at the time of the infant's birth, 21% of babies born to unmarried minors were fathered by substantially older men.
Although statutory rape laws vary from state to state, they always pertain only to minors—individuals younger than age 18, but the age threshold is lower in many states.
Further, most states specify a minimum age that the "perpetrator" must be to be charged or specify a minimum age difference between the partners.
After weighting, 34% of these young women were black, 18% were Hispanic and 48% were white or of "other" races (Asian, Aleutian Islander and American Indian).
Almost equal proportions lived in households with an annual income of less than ,000 and in households with an income of more than ,000 (51% vs. The NMIHS data were also used to identify 5,040 22-30-year-old males who fathered a child in 1988.
Table 1 (page 62) describes the statutory provisions prohibiting sexual intercourse between adults and minors aged 15-17 for five states with the greatest annual number of births.
Finally, how do the socioeconomic characteristics of the older men who father children with minors differ from those of other adult fathers, and from those of younger fathers?
To more accurately reflect the policy issues, we limit our analysis to mothers aged 15-17.
(Comparable data for mothers aged 14 and younger were unavailable.) In addition, we focus on young women whose partner was at least five years older; such men are referred to as "older" partners throughout.
The median age difference appears to be five years.
Statutory rape laws are not uniformly enforced, however.