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Why not lower age of consent to 14?

(107 Posts)
CustardSliceAndAMugOfCoffee Fri 11-Jan-13 12:20:56

Becoming sexually active - why not lower the age of consent to 14?
This was one of the topics for discussion on The Wright Stuff on channel 5 this morning. What are your opinions? I personally think the age of consent should remain 16 years of age.

Xenia Sun 13-Jan-13 16:59:33

I think 14 is acceptable (particularly with the caveat that your partner is no more than 2 years older). 14 is the age in Italy i think (and indeed in the Roman Catholic religion which says 14 or the age of consent in the country where you are based if higher).

In Saudi there is none and that is unwise and ought to be changed.

HopAndSkip Tue 15-Jan-13 17:29:30

Personally I think it should be 18.

GunsAndRoses Wed 16-Jan-13 00:14:11

Age of consent should be 18! To suggest 14 is ludricous.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 17-Jan-13 23:42:35

I think 16 is Ok, as long as it's interpreted as a guideline rather than an absolute. People can be naive, gullible and vulnerable to predators at any age, depending on their circumstances and history. People can also be emotionally resillient, physically mature and thoroughly competent at a younger age than their parents would believe. But if you start by teaching children that sex is enjoyable and it you're doing it but not enjoying it then there's something wrong, that would be good as well.

Trekkie Fri 18-Jan-13 17:20:06

Current law in the UK is here

From that source, CPS guidance says this:

"In addition, it is not in the public interest to prosecute children who are of the same or similar age and understanding that engage in sexual activity, where the activity is truly consensual for both parties and there are no aggravating features, such as coercion or corruption. In such cases, protection will normally be best achieved by providing education for the children and young people and providing them and their families with access to advisory and counselling services. This is the intention of Parliament."

There is no such thing as "statutory rape" in the UK - that is not a term used anywhere.
A child under 13 cannot in law consent to sexual acts. So any sexual act with a child under 13 is by definition an offence, and there is not supposed to be a defence of "they looked older" although in practice this seems to happen confused.

For children 13-15 the law is designed to protect against coercion, predators etc. It is not there to prosecute children of a similar age in a consensual sexual relationship - that is written in black and white.

Personally I am happy with age of consent being set at 16.

Trekkie Fri 18-Jan-13 17:22:30

Oh I say "the UK" but thinking about it I think Scotland have their own laws and NI is probably different too.

The above is correct for England & Wales though so hopefully helpful in clarifying some of the points raised on the thread.

That is good to see Trekkie - some flexibility in the law !
Where it says "it is not in the public interest to prosecute" ...
you'd hope they mean it is not in the young people's interest either - or in the interest of their well-being

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