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Although Landry and Forrest provided a number of measures of age-gaps between fathers and mothers, often just one combination is cited—that of mothers aged 15-19 with partners aged 20 or older; in their study, 65% of 15-19-year-old mothers had a partner aged 20 or older.
Grouping together 15-19-year-olds and their partners ages 20 and older may misrepresent the issue of adolescents bearing children with older men.
The role of adult men in adolescent childbearing has received heightened attention in recent years, and new policy efforts have focused on statutory rape laws as a way to reduce adolescent childbearing.
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.
Only statutes that describe felony offenses are included.
While births to young mothers and older men raise social concerns, these births make up a small share of all teenage childbearing: Only 8% of all births to 15-19-year-olds are to unmarried minors with a partner five or more years older.
(Family Planning Perspectives,-66, 1997) Public attention has become focused on the role of "predatory"* adult men in teenage childbearing.
The median age difference appears to be five years.