Definitions 2

Prohibited Sexual Behavior and Sexual Violence

Adult Sexual Contact with Children: Definitions 2

The matter becomes even more complicated when one considers the age at which an individual becomes legally competent to agree to sexual intercourse. This “age of consent” is different in different countries. It ranges from 13 (in Spain) to 20 (in Tunesia). Moreover, some jurisdictions establish different age limits for different forms of sexual contact and also differentiate between heterosexual and homosexual activity (completely illegal in many countries, even for adults). There may also be a higher minimum age for commercial than for non-commercial sex. However, no matter how the age of consent is defined, sexual contact with a female or male “under age” is a crime. (In everyday language, people sometimes refer to such contact as “sex with a minor”, and this can be confusing. Strictly speaking, a “minor” is an individual who has not yet reached adulthood, but the age of entering legal adulthood is usually higher than the “age of consent”.) At any rate, consent given by someone under the age of consent is legally invalid, and the contact therefore amounts to “statutory rape”, i.e. rape as defined by legal statute.
Finally, there is often a great discrepancy between the law and public opinion. In some countries the general population regards the legal age limits as too strict and unrealistic. As a result, people ignore them in good conscience. In other countries, people find the laws too lenient. Often, they are even unknown to most citizens and are only rarely or selectively enforced.
In short, a general introductory course like this one cannot go into every detail of this very large topic and has to restrict itself to some general observations.

[Course 6] [Description] [How to use it] [Introduction] [Development] [Basic Types] [Variations] [Prohibited Behavior] [Sex with Children] [Prostitution] [Sexual Violence] [Additional Reading] [Examination]