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To more accurately reflect the policy issues, we limit our analysis to mothers aged 15-17.(Comparable data for mothers aged 14 and younger were unavailable.) In addition, we focus on young women whose partner was at least five years older; such men are referred to as "older" partners throughout.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.After weighting, 34% of these young women were black, 18% were Hispanic and 48% were white or of "other" races (Asian, Aleutian Islander and American Indian).
The minimum age difference required for a felony offense ranges from three to seven years, with Florida not specifying an age restriction for men who engage in sexual intercourse with women younger than 16.
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.
Second, what are the characteristics of these minors and of their relationships?
Finally, how do the socioeconomic characteristics of the older men who father children with minors differ from those of other adult fathers, and from those of younger fathers?