Overall, because children are exposed to relationships early in their life through their parents and being so malleable at a young age, most evidence points to an adverse experience or experiences in childhood as fodder for such behavior in adolescence.The literature on IPV among adolescents primarily focuses on Caucasian youth, and there are yet no studies which focus specifically on IPV in adolescent same-sex romantic relationships.While dating, domestic and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.Young people ages 12 to 19 experience the highest rates of rape and sexual assault, and people age 18 and 19 experience the highest rates of stalking.
There are a number of states in which "age of consent statutes are used to prosecute consensual sex between two persons both under the age of consent." This type of prosecution has been deemed unconstitutional in some states by citing violation of privacy rights, but remains in effect in other states.
Age of consent is an issue that cannot be ignored in the discussion of teenage dating violence.
Teenage sex is regulated in such a way that "age of consent laws render teenagers below a certain age incapable of consent to sexual activity with adults, and sometimes with peers".
While classifying the perpetrator as a threat may be detrimental to his or her life and future relationships, not classifying the perpetrator this way may put future partners at risk.
There is considerable debate over whether we as a society have an accurate picture of the prevalence and severity of teen dating violence by gender.