Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. Section of the Criminal Code criminalizes anal intercourse, but provides exceptions for a husband and wife, and any two persons 18 years of age or older. These exceptions do not apply if a third person is present, or if the anal intercourse takes place anywhere but in private. During the 19th century, the age of consent for heterosexual vaginal sex was 12; in , the Parliament raised the age of consent to In , a law was enacted that made the "seduction" of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" a criminal offence; the "seduction" of a female under 18 "under promise of marriage" was also made illegal in , and amended in to apply to females under The new measures still allow for close-in-age exceptions between 12 and Anal sex remains illegal with exceptions for those over 18, if they comply with the restrictions set out under section Female homosexuality was never illegal in the former British colonies; oral sex was legalized in with the same age of consent as vaginal sex.
Also introduced in were the exceptions regarding criminal anal sex effectively legalizing it , but with a higher age barrier set at 21, under section ; in , the age barrier for these exceptions was lowered to As of there are no plans to repeal section , even though it has been ruled unconstitutional in some Canadian provinces.
The age of consent in Cayman Islands is Before prosecution, the public attorney will, if possible, allow the minor to indicate if prosecution is deemed desirable. Clipperton Island is an uninhabited nine-square-kilometre approx. The laws of France where applicable apply. The age of consent used to be 15, but it was increased in recent years after legal reform. The age of consent in Cuba is For children prosecution only takes place upon a "complaint" by the minor, his parents, teacher, or the guardianship board. The age of consent in the Dominican Republic is In El Salvador , the age of consent appears to be 18 although the laws are not clear cut in regard to sexual acts with persons aged between 15 and Article makes it illegal to "promote, facilitate, manage, finance, instigate or organize in any way the use of persons under eighteen years of age in sexual or erotic acts individually or organized, publicly or privately".
Similarly, anyone who knowingly authorizes the use or rents a property to perform any of the activities described in the preceding paragraph, incurs criminal liability. Article makes it illegal to "promote or facilitate the corruption of a person under eighteen Anyone who performs or makes others perform acts of lewd or lascivious exhibition, or indecency in a public place or a place open to the public or to minors under eighteen years of age or mentally handicapped, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years.
The laws of Denmark, where applicable, apply. The age of consent in Grenada is Penalties are 30 years' imprisonment if the victim is less than 14, and 15 years' imprisonment if the victim is 14 to 16 years of age. The Law against Sexual Violence, Exploitation, and Trafficking in Persons was passed in February , and provides sentences ranging from 13 to 24 years in prison, depending on the young persons age, for sex with a minor.
The age of consent in Haiti is Honduras , the age of consent is considered to be The stupor of a person older than fourteen 14 and under eighteen 18 years taking advantage of trust, hierarchy or authority, is punishable by six 6 to eight 8 years of imprisonment. When rape is committed by deception is punishable by five 5 to seven 7 years of imprisonment. The sexual intercourse with parents or children, brothers, or relationship between adopter and adopted, with stepparent, when the victim is over eighteen 18 years constitutes the crime of incest, will be punished with four 4 to six 6 years of imprisonment and shall proceed under complaint by the injured party or his legal representative.
Whoever for sexual character and by force, intimidation or deceit abducts or retains a person shall be punished by imprisonment of four 4 to six 6 years. In Mexico , criminal legislation is shared between the federal and state governments. The federal law establishes the age of 12 as the minimum age of consent, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities is 18 sex with someone is not illegal per se , but can still be open to prosecution under certain circumstances.
Local state laws may override the federal law.
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In practice, the decision as to whether or not to prosecute is left to state authorities regardless of the younger person's age. At state level, the minimum ages of consent vary between 12 and puberty in a few states and 15, while the age at which there are no restrictions for consensual sexual activities vary from 16 to 18 most common Estupro is a crime existing across Mexico, as well as in other Latin American jurisdictions.
For instance the law of Aguascalientes reads: Traditionally, estupro applied only to acts committed with a girl, and required "chastity" or "honesty" of the girl. The vast majority of Mexican states have modernized their laws by removing the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty" and by making the laws gender neutral. However, traditional laws still exist in some states: All states but Baja California have removed the requirement of "chastity" or "honesty" and the definition of estupro as applicable only to girls.
The exact type of coercion that must be used varies by state, for example the Federal Law only makes reference to "deceit", omitting "seduction" it reads: If the offender uses moral or physical violence, an extra half term is added to the initial time. Article refers to the previous article , which covers the rape of adults in general and establishes a term of 8 to 14 years in prison for sex obtained through physical or moral violence.
Article then states that: The 3rd Clause of this article punishes with the same penalties also "the vaginal or anal introduction of objects, without violence and with lascivious goals", in a person under 12 or in a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the fact, or for any reason cannot resist. If any of the aforementioned acts is performed with physical or moral violence, the sentence is raised in up to a half. A further article, Bis, determines an extra penalty of up to a half under certain circumstances — a when there are multiple offenders; b when the offense is committed by a parent, legal guardian, stepfather or "companion" amasio of the mother; c when there is an abuse of authority of someone as a civil servant ; d when the crime is committed by a person who has the minor under his or her custody , guard or education, or yet through the abuse of trust.
There is another crime in Article for consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through deceit. The penalty is 3 months to 4 years in prison. Article prohibits the "corruption" of a minor under All Mexican states as well as Mexico City have corruption of minors statutes that can, upon complaint of the family or minor , be used to punish sexual relations with persons under eighteen.
Although actual prosecutions for violations of Corruption of Minors statutes and age of consent statutes in general tend to be sporadic, regional, and very situation dependent, many Mexican states nonetheless classify Corruption of Minors as a "Delito Grave" Major Crime in their penal codes.
Additionally, all the states have "Estupro" laws that can, upon complaint of the family or minor , be used to prosecute adults who engage in sexual intercourse with minors by seduction or deceit the exact definitions of this crime vary by state, see section estupro , above. In some Mexican jurisdictions prosecutors have chosen to prosecute consensual sexual activity involving adults and underage minors only upon complaint by the minor, or a custodial complaint.
The age of consent in the Federal District Mexico City is 12, one of the lowest in the world, and the overall criminal legislation of Mexico's capital is close to that of the federal law regarding this subject, although tougher in some aspects — higher penalties and broader definitions.
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Article of the Federal District Criminal Code refers to the previous Article , which stipulates a term of 6 to 17 years of prison for the rape of adults, while defining copulation as "the introduction of the penis in the human body through the vagina, anus or mouth". Article covers " sexual abuse " and punishes other acts referred as "unintentional" acts —"who without purpose of reaching copulation, performs a sexual act with a person under 12 or a person that has no capacity of understanding the meaning of the act or that for any reason cannot resist it, or that demands that such act is observed or performed, will be punished with 2 to 7 years in prison".
In both Articles and , there is an extra half term in case of physical or moral violence. And according to Article , there is also a punishment of an extra two thirds of the term under the same circumstances foreseen in Article Bis of the Federal Law see above , added by two new circumstances — clause V when the victim is inside a private vehicle or a public service vehicle ; and clause VI when the crime is committed in a desert or isolated place.
There is a crime called estupro stipulated in Article , which refers to consented sex with adolescents aged 12 to 18, when consent is obtained through any means of deceit. The penalty is 6 months to 4 years of prison. This crime needs a complaint querella to be prosecuted. There is a Corruption of Minors statute Article that can be used to punish by imprisonment, for seven to twelve years, adults who engage in sexual relations with persons under eighteen.
This situation exists all over Mexico, and can be prosecuted upon complaint of victim or the victim's family. The age of consent in Montserrat is In Nicaragua , the age of consent is 18, although, in regard to young people , the law Article is not clear cut. Anyone who is married or in a stable de facto union or who is of age and who, without violence or intimidation , has or allows carnal access with a person aged between 14 and 16 shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of two to four years.
Anyone who induces, provides, promotes or uses persons aged under 16 or a disabled person for sexual or erotic purposes , forcing them to witness or participate in an act or show in public or in private, even if the victim consents to witness or participate in such an act, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of five to seven years, or four to six years if the victim is aged between 16 and Anyone who has or allows carnal access with a person aged under 14 or who, for sexual purposes, inserts or forces the victim to insert a finger, object or instrument, by way of the vagina, anus or mouth, with or without consent , shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 12 to 15 years.
Anyone who engages in lewd acts with or improper touching of another person, without their consent, In no circumstances shall the victim be considered to have given consent if the victim is under the age of 14 or has a mental disability or illness. In Panama , the age of consent is in general 18, although sexual conduct with children aged 14 to 18 is not always illegal.
Whoever, using a condition of advantage, achieves sexual intercourse with a person over fourteen and under eighteen , even with consent, shall be punished with imprisonment from two to four years. This does not apply if the age difference is less than 5-years and the partners are in a stable couple relationship.
The sanctions provided in this article do not apply if there is a couple relationship duly established between the victim and the agent, and the age difference does not exceed five years. The age of consent in Puerto Rico is There is a 4-year close-in-age exception subject to a minimum age of The age of consent in Saint Kitts and Nevis is The age of consent in Saint Lucia is The age of consent in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is The age of consent in Sint Maarten is 15, as specified by the Criminal Code of the Netherlands Antilles which Sint Maarten did not change after the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles , Articles , which reads:.
Prosecution for the violation of the above article only takes place upon a "complaint" by the minor, his parents, teacher, or the guardianship board Art , 2. The age of consent in Trinidad and Tobago is 18, as per the Children Act, Subject to section 20, a person who sexually penetrates a child commits an offence and is liable on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for life. In the United States , the age of consent laws are made at the state, territorial , and federal district levels. There exist several federal statutes related to protecting minors from sexual predators, but none of them imposes an age limit on sexual acts.
On 26 June , both heterosexual and homosexual sodomy became legal in all U.
Age of Consent Laws By Country
Supreme Court decision Lawrence v. Texas  between non-commercial, consenting adults in a private bedroom. Limon , the Kansas Supreme Court used Lawrence as a precedent to overturn the state's "Romeo and Juliet" law, which proscribed lesser penalties for heterosexuals than homosexuals convicted of similar age of consent related offenses. As of August 1, , the age of consent in each state in the United States was either 16 years of age, 17 years of age, or 18 years of age. The most common age of consent is The age of consent is There is however a close-in-age exemption that allows minors 16 and 17 years old to consent with someone no more than five years older than themselves and minors 13 to 15 years old to consent with one another, but not with anyone 16 or over.
Aggravated rape in the first degree bans sexual intercourse or sodomy with a child under Sexual acts with minors are aggravated by the use of force, intimidation, or the perpetrator's position of authority, and by the fact that the minor, being under 16 and not the perpetrator's spouse, is residing in the same household as the perpetrator. Any person under 18 years of age but over 16 years of age who perpetrates an act of sexual intercourse or sodomy with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is under 16 years of age but over 13 years of age, under circumstances not amounting to rape in the first degree, is guilty of rape in the third degree and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Family Division of the Superior Court.
A person who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse—.. A person over eighteen years of age who engages in sexual contact with a person not the perpetrator's spouse who is over thirteen but under sixteen years of age is guilty of unlawful sexual contact in the second degree and shall be imprisoned not more than 1 year Paraphrasing Virgin Islands Code: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
The specific problem is: Section relies solely on a permanently dead link. Please help improve this section if you can. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. This section needs to be updated. Please update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. In the 16th century, a small number of Italian and German states set the minimum age for sexual intercourse for girls, setting it at twelve years. Towards the end of the 18th century, other European countries also began to enact similar laws.
Statutory Rape: The Age of Consent
The first French Constitution of established the minimum age at eleven years. Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Swiss cantons initially set the minimum age at ten to twelve years. Age of consent laws were, historically, difficult to follow and enforce: In Christian societies, sex outside marriage was forbidden. Older children were themselves often punished for being complicit in sexual interaction with an adult.
By the midth century there was increased concern over child sexual abuse. A general shift in social and legal attitudes toward issues of sex occurred during the modern era. Attitudes on the appropriate age of permission for females to engage in sexual activity drifted toward adulthood. While ages from ten to thirteen years were typically regarded as acceptable ages for sexual consent in Western countries during the midth century,  by the end of the 19th century changing attitudes towards sexuality and childhood resulted in the raising of the age of consent. English common law had traditionally set the age of consent within the range of ten to twelve years old, but the Offences Against the Person Act raised this to thirteen in Great Britain and Ireland.
Early feminists of the Social Purity movement , such as Josephine Butler and others, instrumental in securing the repeal of the Contagious Diseases Acts , began to turn towards the problem of child prostitution by the end of the s. Sensational media revelations about the scourge of child prostitution in London in the s then caused outrage among the respectable middle-classes, leading to pressure for the age of consent to be raised again.
The investigative journalist William Thomas Stead of the Pall Mall Gazette was pivotal in exposing the problem of child prostitution in the London underworld through a publicity stunt. In he "purchased" one victim, Eliza Armstrong , the thirteen-year-old daughter of a chimney sweep , for five pounds and took her to a brothel where she was drugged. The "Maiden Tribute" was an instant sensation with the reading public, and Victorian society was thrown into an uproar about prostitution.
Fearing riots on a national scale, the Home Secretary , Sir William Harcourt , pleaded in vain with Stead to cease publication of the articles. A wide variety of reform groups held protest meetings and marched together to Hyde Park demanding that the age of consent be raised. The government was forced to propose the Criminal Law Amendment Act , which raised the age of consent from thirteen to sixteen and clamped down on prostitution.
In the United States, as late as the s most states set the minimum age at ten to twelve in Delaware, it was seven in The campaign was successful, with almost all states raising the minimum age to sixteen to eighteen years by In France , Portugal, Denmark, the Swiss cantons and other countries, the minimum age was raised to between thirteen and sixteen years in the following decades.
In France, under the Napoleonic Code , the age of consent was set in at eleven,  and was raised to thirteen in In Spain , it was set in at "puberty age", and changed to twelve in ,  which was kept until , when it became 13;   and in it was raised to In the 21st century, concerns about child sex tourism and commercial sexual exploitation of children gained international prominence, and have resulted in legislative changes in several jurisdictions, as well as in the adoption of several international instruments.
The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children , which came into force in , prohibits commercial sexual exploitation of children.
The Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings which came into force in also deals with commercial sexual exploitation of children. Several Western countries have raised their ages of consent recently. These include Canada in —from 14 to 16 ; and in Europe, Iceland in —from 14 to 15 , Lithuania in —from 14 to 16 , Croatia in —from 14 to 15 , and Spain in —from 13 to Sexual relations with a person under the age of consent is a crime in most countries, exceptions to this include, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
Jurisdictions use a variety of terms for the offense, including child sexual abuse , statutory rape , illegal carnal knowledge , corruption of a minor ,  besides others. The enforcement practices of age-of-consent laws vary depending on the social sensibilities of the particular culture see above.
Ages of consent in North America
Often, enforcement is not exercised to the letter of the law, with legal action being taken only when a sufficiently socially-unacceptable age gap exists between the two individuals, or if the perpetrator is in a position of power over the minor e. The sex of each participant can also influence perceptions of an individual's guilt and therefore enforcement. The threshold age for engaging in sexual activity varies between jurisdictions see above.
Most jurisdictions have set a fixed age of consent. Ages can also vary based on the type of calendar used, such as the Lunar calendar ,  how birth dates in leap years are handled, or even the method by which birth date is calculated. The age of consent is a legal barrier to the minor's ability to consent and therefore obtaining consent is not in general a defense to having sexual relations with a person under the prescribed age, for example:.
A growing number of countries have specific extraterritorial legislation that prosecutes their citizens in their homeland should they engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with children. This applies in cases where any of the partners travels into or out of the United States, or from one state into another, for the purpose of an illegal sexual encounter.
There is debate as to whether the gender of those involved should lead to different treatment of the sexual encounter, in law or in practice. Traditionally, age of consent laws regarding vaginal intercourse were often meant to protect the chastity of unmarried girls. This has led to gender-neutral laws in many jurisdictions. In the US, in Michael M.
Traditionally, many age of consent laws dealt primarily with men engaging in sexual acts with underage girls and boys the latter acts often falling under sodomy and buggery laws. This means that in some legal systems, issues of women having sexual contact with underage partners were rarely acknowledged. For example, until , in the UK, before the Sexual Offences Amendment Act , there was no statutory age of consent for lesbian sex.
The age at which a person can be legally married can differ from the age of consent. In jurisdictions where the marriageable age is lower than the age of consent, those laws usually override the age of consent laws in the case of a married couple where one or both partners are below the age of consent. Some jurisdictions prohibit all sex outside of marriage irrespective of age, as in the case of Yemen.
What Is Statutory Rape?
In many countries, there are specific laws dealing with child prostitution. In some countries, states, or other jurisdictions, the age of consent may be lower than the age at which a person can appear in pornographic images and films. In many jurisdictions, the minimum age for participation and even viewing such material is As such, in some jurisdictions, films and images showing individuals under the age of 18, but above the age of consent, that meet the legal definition of child pornography are prohibited despite the fact that the sexual acts depicted are legal to engage in otherwise under that jurisdiction's age of consent laws.
In those cases, it is only the filming of the sex act that is the crime as the act itself would not be considered a sex crime. For example, in the United States under federal law it is a crime to film minors below 18 in sexual acts, even in states where the age of consent is below Jailbait images can be differentiated from child pornography , as they do not feature minors before the onset of puberty, nor do they contain nudity.
When questioned regarding their legality legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin stated he thought it was not illegal, though legal expert Sunny Hostin was more skeptical, describing jailbait images as "borderline" child pornography which may be illegal. The human immune system continues to develop after puberty. For example, a risk factor for HPV strains causing genital warts is sexual debut at a young age;  if this extends to the cancer causing strains, then sexual debut at a young age would potentially also increase risk of persistence of HPV infections that cause the very HPV induced cancers that are being diagnosed in spiking numbers of relatively young people.
Age-of-consent reform refers to the efforts of some individuals or groups, for different reasons, to alter or abolish age-of-consent laws. These efforts advocate five main positions:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Age of consent disambiguation.
Dagenhart History of youth rights in the United States Morse v. Adam Fletcher activist David J. Males Neil Postman Sonia Yaco. Marriageable age and Child marriage. Child pornography and Jailbait images. Age of consent reform. Sexuality portal Law portal. The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexuality and Citizenship. Archived from the original on 28 September Retrieved 25 August Archived from the original on 17 January If one over the age of seven takes a prepubescent wife of less than seven and transfers her to his house, such a contract gives rise to the impediment of public propriety.
Archived from the original on 27 June Retrieved 30 June By birth or consent: University of North Carolina Press. Retrieved 29 June Australian Institute of Criminology. How the age of consent was raised to 16". Archived from the original on 27 July The New York Times. University of North Carolina Press,