In the western culture, the age of consent refers to age for which an individual is considered to be capable of having sexual relations or one of which an individual is able to consent to sexual activity when asked. This is the rule that guides people having sexual relations with individuals’ underage individuals. Such an action is considered illegal regardless of the circumstances for which the activity took place. It is important to understand the age of consent law to avoid getting into trouble.
The first time the age consent was introduced was as a way of protecting against rape. Engaging in sex without consent is considered rape. The same applies when one of the parties involved is underage regardless of whether there was consent or not. In most cases, teenagers come into an age where they are confused about almost everything. Relationships become complicated as teenagers only consider emotional, social and physical consequences. In most cases, the legal aspect of this situation is often ignored.
Most teenagers become sexually active before reaching the age of 17. This means that any person having sex at the age of fifteen or sixteen may be doing it against the law. However, in certain states, this is considered within the law, as sexual activity cannot be controlled at all times. Lawmakers factored this in when creating the consent law whereby any person below the age seventeen but above fifteen can consent to sexual activity with a person that is not four years their senior.
A crime is only considered third degree rape when it a person that is more than 21 years of age has sexual activity with a seventeen year old or younger individual. The severity of the punishment increases with how young the culprit is. This means that if you are 13 years or more you can never consent to having any sexual activity even if they want to. It does not matter if the person you are having such relations with is of the same age or older.
Consequences and punishment
If the victim is below the age of fifteen then the punishment expected is seven years in prison. Unfortunately, even with these severe punishments older men and women still choose to have sex with younger girls and boys. This has caused more parents to become sensitive with their children’s whereabouts and wellbeing. It is common for the state’s attorney general to receive calls from angered parents concerning their children being take advantage of by knowing adults.
With the changing lifestyles in today’s world teenagers need to be aware that it can get a bit complicated. Whenever one decides to get into a relationship with a grown up then they should be ready to deal with the legal consequences.
Taking this for granted could attract serious repercussions. Teenagers need to understand that even though it seems exciting and adventurous to have sexual relations with an older person; the legal consequences can be dire. Parents and other related individuals can sue the concerned adult for rape. Just because the relationship seems exciting at the time does not mean it is safe to pursue it. You will need the assistance of a good lawyer to help you navigate the case.
Understanding that there is an age consent and spare someone a lot of trouble. What may be considered acceptable in one part of the country may not be acceptable in another state. Do not make assumptions when it comes to sexual relations especially when different ages are concerned. It can get even more complicated and messy when an underage individual is involved. Parents should talk to their children to make things easy for them.