Consent. What really is it? And how can we begin to understand it in the eyes of the law. Sexual consent has been a topic of discussion over the years and has been exposed and speculated over in our media regarding laws across the globe.
In an article written by Micheal Richards for an online magazine 'The Conversation', he states
that the age of consent for children is 16. However, more and more teenagers are having sex before the age of 16, does this mean that the age of consent needs to be reconsidered?
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2003, it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with anyone under the age of 16, yet where is the fine line between wanting and being forced to. The dilemma here is anyone aged 16 and above who have had sexual relations with a 'minor' are often put on the sex offence register and are sentenced to a minimum of 5 years imprisonment.
However, Consent expands beyond the law and folds into culture, history and religion in most cases. Perhaps the laws of consent need to be more flexible and realistic to ensure that young people are protected. At the same time, there must be an appreciation that many reach sexual maturity quicker than others and therefore are able to make choices about their own bodies.For example, in Canada, while the age of consent is 16, the legislation is constructed in such a way that older sexual predators would be prosecuted rather than young teenagers who might be in established relationships, even if they have not quite reached the age of 16.
With the above said, can Consent be resolved? With it being an emotive and delicate topic for discussion, the UK should start to re-address there consent laws and perhaps find a way to combat this issue once and for all.
For more information on consent please click here.