Everything comes with a price.
In a no-internet era, things were a little slow and the lifestyle was way different than today. Those who have grown up without the Internet would remember that getting a piece of information was quite a difficult task. One has to go through books and newspapers to get the facts right.
Even growing up was different. As kids, we were not aware of a lot of things, unlike today’s generation who are exposed to both, the good and bad things, on their fingertips.
Today’s kids have a plethora of information on their handy device.
All they have to do is reach out for them. Whilst this may have made them smart, it also leads to pre-age maturity. Today’s generation is getting mature way before their physical age. They’re also getting sexually active at quite an early age.
This has led the governments from various countries to bring out some stringent rules for the age of consent to sexual activities to protect young citizens.
Here are some insights to these rules from some of the prominent countries in the world.
What does the age of consent to sexual activities mean?
To tackle rapes and exploitation of minors, government considers a certain age below which it is considered illegal to have sexual acts.
An adult, who will be involved in such sexual activity, can’t rule out the sexual activity as consensual and will have to deal with rape charges. The one below the age limit will be considered as a victim. This was introduced to safeguard teenagers and young citizens.
England is the first country to have recorded the first law, which dates back to 1275. The minimum age to the consensual sexual activity was considered the age of marriage, which at that point in time was 12 years of age. The Americans, then, followed and adopted this. Gradually, in the 16th century, Germans and Italians incorporated the law and by the end of 18th century, various European nations had similar laws; though they had their own age of consent.
However, things are different in tech-age.
Today, the younger generation needs protection from commercial sex exploitation and sex tourism, which has risen in recent years and has become a matter of concern.
Countries revisited the old existed law and raised the age bar to between 14-18 years of age and came up with severe punishments if someone found guilty.
The United States of America
In the States, the age of consent to sexual activities is generally governed by the state legislative or at territorial or district levels.
Since each state has the power to decide their own age of consent, they’ve come up with rules and punishments for the citizens within their jurisdiction.
However, the age of consent is between 16-18 years of age and the most common age of consent is 16 years of age.
Canada has the same age of consent as the US, which is 16 years of age.
Nonetheless, there are few exceptions. Like, if there is a relationship of authority, dependency or trust, the age of consent is higher. Another exception is the age group between both individuals.
If one of the partners is 14-15 years of age and the other partner is less than 5 years of age gap and there is no relationship of dependency, trust, or authority, the sexual activity will be considered consensual.
Likewise, even 12-13 years old can give consent to sexual activity, only if the one of the partners is less than 2 years older, and there is no relationship of trust, dependency and authority.
The United Kingdom
The United Kingdom, which includes England and Whales, has considered 16 years as the age of consent sexual activities. It is free from sexual orientation and gender. The law also states individual under the age of 16 will not be prosecuted if caught in such activity. They have stated in their Sexual Offences Act 2003 that the individual would be given life imprisonment if found guilty for getting engaged with someone under the age of 12.
Similar age of consent is considered in the Scotland and Northern Ireland, with some exceptions to the treatment of the crime.
The age of consent in most European countries are between 16-18 years of age. Initially, Spain had the lowest age of consent, 13 years of age, but increased it to 16 years in 2013.
The same age of consent is been followed by other countries, which includes Russia, Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and Finland. However, countries like Austria, Portugal, Germany, Italy and Hungary have 14 years as the age of consent to sexual activities.
The highest age of consent can be considered in Turkey and Malta, which is at 18 years of age.
Most countries in the rest of the world have the age of consent around 16 years, but there are exceptions as well. The age of consent in South Korea is 20 years, where once found involved in sexual activity with an individual below that age can be prosecuted for statutory rape.
Japan has the lowest amongst the Asian countries (13 years of age). Middle East, however, doesn’t have an age of consent if individuals are married. The highest age of consent is in Bahrain (21 years of age), while it is 18 years of age in Iran.
We understand that there are certain physical needs. In a non-internet era we were exposed to the idea of sex once we have crossed our teenage years. But today, when teenagers are exposed to a lot of sexual information online, they’re achieving early puberty and don’t shy away from exploring the sexual world.
Hence, it’s important that government to laid down the certain strict rule to safeguard them and provide protection in every way possible.