Dating Age – a Matter of Opinion for Teens

Have you ever heard this directive from your parents?

“You’re just a kid, you don’t understand dating requires a lot more than you think. It’s as simple as you live in my house you go by my rules.”

According to, a parenting website, the majority of parents say teens should start dating at the age of 16 and up.

But a recent informal poll at Penn Manor high school was conducted, with the question, “what age do you think is appropriate for teens to start dating?” – with dramatically different results.

11 out of 25 people interviewed said between the ages of 12-14.

The recommended ages ran from 7-18.

Chandler Miller, a junior, stated “14, it’s stupid to have a kid start dating at 16 when they can drive and lie about where they are going.”

“Age 10 when they start liking girls, you get more experience at an early age and get better at it,” said Jon Zeigler.

Luke Harvey and Jill Wiley walking to class together. Photo by Miriam Karebu and Kelly Owens.

Misha McIntyre said, “16, because their minds aren’t fully developed before then.”

Brittany Scott said “It varies between girls and boys, but dating on a serious scale should be at the beginning of high school and the parents should know and approve.”

Throughout the poll, male students normally stated a lower age then females did.

Felix Santo Domingo Gonzalez said “13, because curiosity is at its peak. They don’t have the ability to tell between right and wrong.”

Gonzalez explained his first serious relationship started at the age of 15.

“It was definitely hard to balance school and my social life, my grades suffered a lot.” said Gonzalez.

Genny Leonards’ said between the ages of 13-16, “My first serious relationship is now and I’m 16.”

She feels that she is not too young to be in a serious relationship because she learned how to balance school and her social life.

“My grades are actually better now that I am with him because he helps me with my homework,” said Leonards.

Contrary to Leonards’ love story, Gonzalez said, “I didn’t come to school for two weeks straight after we broke up, I just sat and stared at the TV.”

The faculty’s answers were very different from the student’s responses.

“When they’re out of the house,” said Principal Jason D’Amico.

Krista Cox, an assistant principal, responded, “When they’re 18, out of my house and an adult.”

Even though adults and teens may not agree, in the end it’s the teen’s choice.

By:Miriam Karebu and Kelly Owens

2 thoughts on “Dating Age – a Matter of Opinion for Teens”

  1. Boys should only be allowed to date once they have sufficient funds to pay for child support.

  2. my kids wont date until ive met the person and i know they wont turn my children in the wrong direction. on the other hand i started dating long before my mom would have liked. in all fairness, if the kid can keep up a good GPA, stay in whatever sport they were in before the relationship and not drop their family just to see the boyfriend/girlfriend, then they should be allowed to pursue the dating world.

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