Age Of Consent: Too Many Definitions, Too Little Meaning

Age of cosent

Freedom will forever be sought after, even onto the matters of sexual liberation.

By general definition, the age of consent is the age that must be attained before a young person is legally able to consent to sexual activities.

As it should be, it’s a very delicate subject – and a method to curb child abuse – which have stirred up controversial in-country and in-house debates worldwide. For instance, a recent argument with a colleague on the age of consent, age of majority, driving age etc., had us trying to argue down each other without reaching any visibly sensible ground. What i learnt, however, was that whatever pertains to setting a particular age mark with respect to liability is almost always an issue of individual, tribal, regional, constitutional or religious leanings.

Since being brought into constitution over seven centuries ago, the age of consent has been slowly indefinite; from 12 to 13, and then to 14, 15, 16 and so on. These slight changes were forced through by modernisation and, i think, that since man would continue to evolve, there would be more of these ‘age changes’ coming our way.

Of course, each country has its own laws regarding this issue but even within each country, the laws are still slightly different when the partners (two people who are, in most cases, below the stated age of consent) are of similar age. Even upon this, there’s usually still a minimum age below which sexual activity is always illegal.

You should know that there’s no settled age globally applied for young persons under this category. And if there clearly can’t be a fixed age, it only shows how bias-coloured this part of the law is.

What if I’m in a country where the age of consent is 16 and at 15, I’m already developed emotionally and have become matured enough to handle sexual relationships, do i have to get involved in a court proceeding because of my precocious nature (even though i’ll be tagged the victim)? I think not.

More disturbing than the variations in the age subject, however, are the influences factored in deciding a particular age to be generally accepted.

From a legal standpoint, the age for sex depends on certain factors such as: gender, orientation (homosexual or heterosexual), nature of sex (some countries deem kissing as a form of sexual contact while some others do not), and age difference.

Biologically, men possess an upper hand in handling, or adapting to, pre-sexual/after-sex activities than most women. As the case is, some jurisdictions grant an earlier age of consent for the average male teen than the female.

On a traditional viewpoint, it’s much more diverse. The law don’t seem to have much deciding hand here. The age in question is determined here by three major factors: family, religion, and culture.

Interestingly, the traditionally set age usually coincide with puberty. For example, Family A may decide that their 14-year old daughter is fit for sexual relationship as soon as she begins to menstruate and develop breasts. Family B, on the other hand, may think it’s not a very good idea for their 15-year old son to engage in sexual acts because he hasn’t developed pubic hairs yet. We can see how bias-coloured this concept is. Culture sets a rather fixed age of consent as it involves a communal agreement by which individuals are expected to live by. When any small group of people or a large community agree upon an issue (which is, in this case, the age of consent), it becomes expected of everyone not to break faith with the agreed upon subject.

So with religion. Although it can sometimes be rather taken to the extreme, most religions have serious rules regarding sexual behaviors.

In view of all these, it can be seen that the instability of this subject only proves that it has little bearing when compared to other matters, and even of itself. In a country where the age of consent is 16, i can solely decide at age 14 to involve myself in a sexual relationship without fear of been tried or grounded. This is mostly possible in underdeveloped and developing countries, although the statistics soar in developed countries, too. In poorly constructed and sweetly posh neighbourhoods, for instance, sexual relationships between an adult and a young person under the jurisdiction’s stated age of consent still happen like daily living. How many people do youknow have been tried for statutory rape or in your country?

It merely seem as a concept that differs in itself, and yet don’t do the majority of the population any good.

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