23 June 2006

How Young is Too Young?

So... Canada is considering raising the age of consent. Right now, it sits at 14, with a "close in age" exception so that if both partners are within a few years of age, there's no issue (e.g. ages 13 and 15), but the government is considering 16, with a "close in age" exception of 5 years. (There is one other exception: in areas where there is a risk for exploitation -- prostitution, pornography, etc. -- the age of consent is 18.)

Oddly, this is one of the youngest limits in the western world -- Spain and Japan are lower, with an age of consent at 13 -- most are 16 (Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, even the very moderate Netherlands); France sets the limit at 15 and the United States varies from 16-18 (there is no federal law).

It's funny, I had always presumed it was 16 here, too. I'm not sure how much effect this will have. I know the goal is to better combat internet predators, but I just don't know if the legal system will be able to use it effectively. Time will tell, I suppose.

I still find it annoying that teens can *have* sex, but are not allowed to see 30 seconds of perceived penetration on screen, to say nothing of the fact that even at 16 they have no vote... don't get me started.

tags: law, age of consent.

No comments: