Age of Consent

Written by on August 14, 2017

Kinkly Glossary Term: Age of Consent

Kinkly Entry

Age of consent refers to the legal age at which a person can engage and consent to any form of sexual activity. Engaging in sexual acts before the age of consent is considered a criminal offence in various parts of the world. The legal age varies from country to country.

Planned Parenthood Term: Age of Consent

Planned Parenthood Glossary

The age at which state law considers a person old enough to decide to have sex with someone.

Sex Lexis Dictionary Term: Age of Consent

Sex Lexis Entry

In law, the age at which a person can legally consent to sexual intercourse or marriage. It varies from age 14 to 19; in most states and countries it is 18.

Wikipedia Term: Age of Consent

Wikipedia Entry

The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts, and is thus the minimum age of a person with whom another person is legally permitted to engage in sexual activity. The distinguishing aspect of the age of consent laws is that the person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim and their sex partner as the offender.

The term age of consent rarely appears in legal statutes. Generally, a law will instead establish the age below which it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with that person. It has sometimes been used with other meanings, such as the age at which a person becomes competent to consent to marriage, but the meaning given above is the one now generally understood. It should not be confused with the age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, the voting age, the drinking age, the driving age, etc.

Age of consent law varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18. The laws may also vary by the type of sexual activity, the gender of the participants, or other restrictions such as being in a position of trust; some jurisdictions may also make allowances for minors engaged in sexual acts with each other, rather than a single age. Charges resulting from a breach of these laws may range from a misdemeanour such as corruption of a minor, to what is popularly called statutory rape (which is considered equivalent to rape, both in severity and sentencing).

There are many “grey areas” in this area of law, some regarding unspecific and untried legislation, others brought about by debates regarding changing societal attitudes, and others due to conflicts between federal and state laws. These factors all make age of consent an often confusing subject and a topic of highly charged debates.

Age of Consent by Country or Region

Synonyms:
Legal Age
Categories: Consent
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