Protecting All Young Love, Not Just Heterosexual Love: How States Discriminate Against Adolescent Homosexual Intercourse

During the teenage years many individuals develop and start to discover their identities. Part of that discovery is sexual discovery, but social scientists agree that the point at which sexual identity emerges is unclear. Regardless of when sexual identity occurs, the government notices sexual identity and regulates it. In order to protect adolescents engaging in consensual sexual relationships, many states have amended their laws to excuse or lighten the sentences of minors who violate statutory rape laws.