Legal dating age chart
In addition to class, the intersection of race and age also gave the law a regulatory character.
In India, for example, the prevalence of the custom of child marriage among Hindus led the British colonial authorities to apply the age of consent to married as well as unmarried girls, thereby creating a crime of marital rape that did not exist in British law.
Moreover, they argued, by late adolescence girls possessed sufficient understanding about how to use the law to blackmail unwary men.
Historians have argued that increasing the age of consent also gave the law a more pronounced regulatory dimension.
An underage girl did not have to physically struggle and resist to the limit of her capacity in order to convince a court of her lack of consent to a sexual act, as older females did; in other words, the age of consent made it easier to prosecute a man who sexually assaulted an underage girl.
The statute, Westminster 1, made it a misdemeanor to "ravish" a "maiden within age," whether with or without her consent.
In western law, the age of consent is the age at which an individual is treated as capable of consenting to sexual activity.
Consequently, any one who has sex with an underage individual, regardless of the circumstances, is guilty of a crime.
Narrowly concerned with sexual violence, and with girls, originally, since the 19th century the age of consent has occupied a central place in debates over the nature of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and been drawn into campaigns against prostitution and child marriage, struggles to achieve gender and sexual equality, and the response to teenage pregnancy.
This module traces the shifting ways that the law has been defined, debated and deployed worldwide and from the Middle Ages to the present.The 1860 Indian Penal Code set the age at 10 years; in 1891 the age of consent but not the age of marriage was raised to 12 years.