To our surprise, the age of consent in many countries can be as low as 12. This is on grounds of the physical maturity of the girl, rather than emotional maturity as seen in the US. What’s even more surprising is that this just isn’t the case in underdeveloped countries; the stats being stated are those of many developed countries. Having said that, it’s also interesting to examine how different societies and countries see this issue. Here are a few countries and the respective ages of consent:
- Canada: 14 years of age
- France: 15 years of age
- Japan: 13-18 years of age – depending on the region
- Hong Kong: 16 years of age
- USA: 14-18 years of age – depending on state
- Italy/South Carolina/China/Lithunia: 14 years of age
- Mexico: from as low as 12
- Australia: 16 to 18 years of age – depending on state.
- Germany: 14 to 16 years of age
- Pakistan: Due to religious and social norms, the girl and the man must be married in order to have sexual relations legally.
- Denmark: 15 years of age
- United Arab Emirates: Due to religious and social norms, the girl and the man must be married in order to have sexual relations legally.
- Argentina: 13 to 16 years of age – depending on the region
- UK: 16 years of age
- India: Due to religious and social norms, the girl and the man must be married in order to have sexual relations legally/16 years of age.
- Switzerland: 16 years of age.
As the above stated numbers indicate, in many countries, a man can LEGALLY have sexual intercourse with girls as young as 12 years old whilst in other countries, any such act may be categorized as child molestation/sexual abuse. This has given rise to many unprecedented social issues with early pregnancies being the most prevalent. This is because, although girls have been observed to become sexually mature at an earlier age, there is really no saying that they are as mature emotionally and ready to face everything that comes along with being sexually active. The promiscuous lifestyle they are introduced to at a very early age does more harm to their mental and physical health than good.
Researches have shown that the best age for a woman to conceive is in her 20’s. Therefore, if a country makes it legal for men to have sex with “women” of ages lower than 20, there is nothing anyone can do to avoid issues such as early pregnancies and consequently, unhealthy girls who grow old and see their bodies deteriorating before it’s time. Alternatively, countries such as Pakistan and India, sticking to their religious and social reservations, consider it almost illegal for two people to engage in sexual activity unless they are married, and so, elders (parents and guardians) shall have a say in their issues of such nature and handle it properly.