Age law dating under 18
700 BC) suggests that a man should marry around the age of thirty, and that he should take a wife who is five years past puberty. In England, for example, the only reliable data in the early modern period comes from property records made after death.
Charges resulting from a breach of these laws may range from a misdemeanor such as corruption of a minor, to what is popularly called statutory rape (which is considered equivalent to rape, both in severity and sentencing).
There are many "grey areas" in this area of law, some regarding unspecific and untried legislation, others brought about by debates regarding changing societal attitudes, and others due to conflicts between federal and state laws.
Age of consent laws vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18.
The laws may also vary by the type of sexual act, the gender of the participants, or other restrictions such as abuse of a position of trust; some jurisdictions may also make allowances for minors engaged in sexual acts with each other, rather than a single age.
These factors all make age of consent an often confusing subject, and a topic of highly charged debates.In traditional societies, the age of consent for a sexual union was a matter for the family to decide, or a tribal custom.In most cases, this coincided with signs of puberty, menstruation for a woman and pubic hair for a man.The ancient Greek poet Hesiod in Works and Days (c.
It has sometimes been used with other meanings, such as the age at which a person becomes competent to consent to marriage, but the meaning given above is the one now generally understood.It should not be confused with the age of majority, age of criminal responsibility, the voting age, the drinking age, the driving age, etc.