Texas laws on dating a minor
So how is the having a sexual relationship okay, but a picture isn’t? 22.011 of the Texas Penal Code, which covers sexual assault, defines a child as “a person younger than 17 years of age.” But Section 43.26 says defines child pornography as “visual material that visually depicts a child younger than 18 years of age …engaging in sexual conduct.” Sexual conduct includes “lewd exhibition,” so a nude photo of a 17-year-old is illegal, even though having sex with them is not.Teens, in particular, have adopted the practice, making it a rather commonplace activity in their lives.Despite multiple studies which have aimed to identify what percentage of teens participate in sexting, the number has remained elusive due to the way the studies have been conducted and how "sexting" has been defined in each attempt.Understanding that sexting has emerged due to technological advances, and that the practice is nothing more than "part of sexually curious behavior, in a world of technology-mediated adolescent development," many states have recently adopted laws specifically to address sexting by minors.Texas is one of the roughly twenty states that have adopted sexting-specific laws.Still there are indications that sexting is commonplace, as the number of high-profile sexting cases come to light with seemingly more frequency.
Kaiser Family Foundation, June 2017, https://org/womens-health-policy/state-indicator/emergency-room-ec-requirements/ Accessed December 2017.It’s unclear why there is a discrepancy between the age restrictions for these actions, but it could have to do with the evolution of who is considered a minor.A proposed draft of the penal law from 1970 defines a minor as someone under 16, a 1972 draft says under 17, and today, a minor is someone under 18.A 51-year-old math tutor is being charged for an alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student, but not for the reasons you might expect.Aldo Leiva, a staff member at Sharpstown High School, said that he was only a friend and tutor of the student, according to the criminal complaint, but the girl told police that they had a sexual relationship.
Laws against child pornography and related offenses seem to be in lock step with who is considered a minor, as those drafts show.