A leading health expert says the age of consent for sex in the UK should be lowered from 16 to 15, but limits around the world differ wildly. The age of consent has been 16 in the UK since when it was raised to fight against child prostitution. But the debate has picked up again after France said it would revisit it.
The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts. Consequently, an adult who engages in sexual activity with a person younger than the age of consent cannot claim that the sexual activity was consensualand such sexual activity may be considered child sexual abuse or statutory rape. The person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim and their sex partner is regarded as the offender, unless both are underage.
Statutory rape is a strict liability crime, meaning that the consent of the younger person or mistake about their age is not a defense. For example, a state might set the age of consent at In these states, such as Texas, the age of consent is determined by age differentials between the two persons and limited by a minimum age.
The arguments against such a change in the law are summarised and shown to lack validity. It is regarded by many as a preposterous idea. When, inthe then President of the Faculty of Public Health, Professor John Ashton, made the proposal that the age of consent should be reduced from 16 years to 15 or even 14 years, it was immediately rejected by both government and opposition spokesmen. It is the case that there are many cogent arguments against such a move.
The legal age of consent for sexual activity varies by jurisdiction across Asia, from age 12 to 21 years of age. The specific activity engaged in or the gender of participants can also be relevant factors. Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject.
The legislation defines various types of sexual offences against children and provides penalties for such acts. The law has been viewed as a welcome step by most activists since it is gender neutral both male and female children are coveredit clearly defines the offences and includes some child friendly procedures for reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences. However, the issue of age of consent has generated some controversy.
The law in Victoria sets clear age limits for when you can legally have sex. This is called the age of consent. A person can be charged with a sexual offence if they perform a sexual act that breaks these age limits, even if the younger person agrees to it.
This section focuses on laws addressing sexual intercourse. As the first column in Table 1 shows, the age of consent varies by state. In the majority of states 34it is 16 years of age.
The age at which a person is deemed legally competent to consent to sexual activity varies widely around the world - and even within Europe. Most countries prohibit sex with unders or unders, but in some places the age of consent is as low as 11, or as high as In the UK, the age of consent stands at 16, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. So how does this compare with the rest of the world?