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.
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".
A survey conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited stated that " percent of teens have been threatened physically via e-mail, IM, text messaging, chat rooms, etc." A 2008 meta-analysis, which examined 62 empirical research studies between 19, relating to domestic violence in heterosexual intimate relationships from adolescence through to adulthood in the United States, reported on research findings that consistently show that adolescent females commit significantly more acts of domestic violence in intimate relationships than adolescent males.Intimate partner violence (IPV) in adolescents is an important realm of study as, in addition to the usual negative effects of abuse, this violence occurs at a critical period in the social and mental development of a person.This is also an important topic from a gender studies perspective as almost 32% of male adolescents engage in some form of violence, whether sexual, physical or emotional, towards their partners while adolescent violence from females is nearly half of that rate.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 warning signs that a teen may be involved in an abusive relationship include While dating, domestic and sexual violence affect women regardless of their age, teens and young women are especially vulnerable.