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When does a girl start dating

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The answer depends on a variety of factors, including personality and maturity level. For one, group dating is more popular than ever not to be confused with double dating, this is when girls and boys hang out en masse, usually at a mall or a restaurant.

As a result, fewer boys are actually asking girls out on one-on-one dates. All but gone are the days when an invite to a movie came by way of a phone call or a shy, in-person meeting. These days girls and boys are more likely to ask each other out via text or direct messages on social media.

Dating is a personal choice....

But while the culture of teen dating has evolved, has the age at which it starts changed, and when exactly is the best time? What the research says.

On average, kids begin group dating at and-a-half for girls and and-a-half for boys, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. By the time they hit 15, most begin pairing up. Boys and girls who start dating between the ages of and-a-half and 13 may experience more academic and behavioral problems than their peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescence.

Researchers also cited an increase in the risk of unsafe sex, alcohol use, and more, according to the Wall Street Journal. Neither of these latter groups appeared to experience any major social or emotional difficulties.

A CDC study found that about 43 percent of teenage girls and 42 percent of teenage boys had had sexual intercourse at least once. What the experts say.

Most recommend 15 and 16 as the ideal ages to begin dating. George Comerci, a Tucson pediatrician, told HealthyChildren.

Setting Guidelines

Some experts warn against waiting too long to allow kids to date. Donna Thomas-Rodgers, PhD, suggests allowing teens to go to group dances and supervised events at 14, on group dates at 15, and on individual dates at What the parents say.

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