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Age of Consent Laws [Table] (2 Viewers)

billionbd2024

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Information on the ages used historically in western age of consent laws is not readily available. This table has been compiled from a combination of historical and contemporary sources. By 1880, the first date chosen, many western nations had established an age of consent for the first time, typically of 12 or 13 years. By 1920, when the influence of reform campaigns that established a new link between the age of consent and prostitution had run its course, most had revised their age upward, to 14 or 15 in European nations, and 16 in the Anglo-American world. In the last decades of the 20th century, states, and nations with ages below those averages amended their laws to move closer to them. In Europe that growing conformity owed much to moves toward greater European integration. Given that the rationale for the age of consent has remained essentially unchanged in its emphasis on the need to protect 'immature' children, the table highlights the shifting and various definitions of childhood employed across time and cultures.

Source
Date compiled from the following sources: Hirschfeld, Magnus. The Homosexuality of Men and Women. Translated by Michael Lombardi-Nash. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books, 2000; Killias, Martin. "The Emergence of a New Taboo: The Desexualization of Youth in Western Societies Since 1800." European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 8 (2000): 466; Odem, Mary. Delinquent Daughters: Policing and Protecting Adolescent Female Sexuality in the United States, 1885-1920. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995; "Worldwide Ages of Consent," AVERTing HIV and Aids, www.avert.org/aofconsent.htm (accessed November 29, 2007).

Primary Source Text
Age Limit in Age of Consent Laws in Selected Countries

188019202007
Austria141414
Belgium-1616
Bulgaria131314
Denmark121215
England & Wales131616
Finland-1216
France131315
Germany141414
Greece-1215
Italy-1614
Luxembourg151516
Norway-1616
Portugal121214
Romania151515
Russia101416
Scotland121216
Spain121213
Sweden151515
Switzerlandvarious1616
Turkey151518
Argentina-1213
Brazil-1614
Chile202018
Ecuador-1414
Canada121414
Australia
New South Wales121616
Queensland121716
Victoria121616
Western Australia121416
United States
Alabama101616
Alaska-1616
Arizona121818
Arkansas101616
California101818
Colorado101815
Connecticut101616
District of Columbia121616
Delaware71616
Florida101818
Georgia101416
Hawaii--16
Idaho101818
Illinois101617
Indiana121616
Iowa101616
Kansas101816
Kentucky121616
Louisiana121817
Maine101616
Maryland101616
Massachusetts101616
Michigan101616
Minnesota101816
Mississippi101816
Missouri121817
Montana101816
Nebraska101817
Nevada121816
New Hampshire101616
New Jersey101616
New Mexico101617
New York101817
North Carolina101616
North Dakota101818
Ohio101616
Oklahoma--16
Oregon101618
Pennsylvania101616
Rhode Island101616
South Carolina101616
South Dakota101816
Tennessee101818
Texas101817
Utah101816
Vermont101616
Virginia121618
Washington121816
West Virginia121616
Wisconsin101618
Wyoming101616
 

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