The dictionary meaning of consent refers to giving your acceptance to something. When we talk about consent in sex and related endeavours, we refer to the mutual agreement between the parties involved. Although the necessity to consent before going forward with sexual activities is required virtually across the whole world, the legalities related to the same may differ from country to country. For instance, the legal minimum age below which practising any sexual activity would be statutory rape differs in different countries.
An individual younger than that age is considered a minor in this sense. The guardians or next to kin take decisions on behalf of the minors. If the person passes this age, their word should be taken as the final consent. If the consent has been taken back, as per the law, the other parties involved have to abide by their decision.
The Ages Of Consent
Given Below Are The Ages Of Consent In Some Places:
- Japan: 13
- Michigan: 16
- India: 18
- Canada: 16
According to The Age of Majority Act, one can become an adult upon turning 18 years old. But as is evident, the ages at which one’s consent for sexual activities will be considered viable in the eyes of the law can differ across the countries. There can also be a discrepancy in some places between these two ages.
For instance, the age of consent in Michigan is 16, while the age of turning an adult is 18. Also, in certain places like Afghanistan, the ages differ between males and females. The age of consent for males is 18, while for females, it is 16.
Need For Consent
- To abide by the law, sexual activity without consent is considered rape. In some cases, where the consent is not viable, such as if the individual is younger than the minimum age, there may be repercussions for the older person involved.
- To ensure open communication and honesty in relationships or between individuals
- To respect the boundaries of other individuals. Remember, it is always better to ask and confirm before initiating any moves when backing out would be difficult
- To take into account the needs and wants of another individual. It ensures a sense of trust between the people.
Overall, taking proper consent ensures both parties that the sex is wanted and not forceful under any circumstances.