The legal age of consent varies depending on the state/country. A 40 year old is an adult and a minor is under the age of consent and a child. There are no laws for dating just for sex and that is where the age of consent comes in, not when it comes to dating. The only age limits concerning dating are that a legal adult (18 ) should not date a minor (18-), but as it stands, if they have been dating since the adult was still a minor it doesn't matter.
(At the time, the Georgia law allowing similarity of age to be taken into account applied only to vaginal sex, not oral sex.) Both sets of parents could have helped to avoid this horrendous incident by training and teaching their teens about the law, but more importantly about boundaries, and about building healthy relationships through respect for themselves and respect for others.
At sexlaws.org, Aurelia Williams talks about different things that parents can do to help their teen avoid pitfalls in dating and form healthy relationships.
Yvonne Johnson is a graduate of Georgia College & State University.
She carries a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in teaching.
Until a person reaches 18, or the age of majority, they must have parental permission for all social activities, including dating.