This module traces the shifting ways that the law has been defined, debated and deployed worldwide and from the Middle Ages to the present. Historians have argued that increasing the age of consent also gave the law a more pronounced regulatory dimension. The Standards cover the following areas: Behind the inconsistency of these different laws was the lack of an obvious age to incorporate into law. Rather than focusing strictly on age, they made judgments about whether the appearance and behavior of a girl fit their notions of a child and a victim. Legislators, however, did not reduce the legal age of consent. As of , Canada, Cyprus, and the British territories of Gibraltar and Guernsey were the only western nations without a uniform age of consent for heterosexual and homosexual acts. Where a treatment involves major, invasive and irreversible surgery not for the purpose of curing a malfunction or disease, e. The following vaccines are also free of charge for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children: This debate foreshadowed a new link between the law and teenage pregnancy in the s.
While those ages were well beyond the normal age of menstruation, proponents justified them on scientific grounds that psychological maturity came later than physiological maturity. Behind the inconsistency of these different laws was the lack of an obvious age to incorporate into law. Maximum penalty of twenty-five years imprisonment. The outcry it provoked pushed British legislators to raise the age of consent to 16 years, and stirred reformers in the U. This debate foreshadowed a new link between the law and teenage pregnancy in the s. Age of consent laws applied only to heterosexual intercourse. Laws and regulations based on age were uncommon until the 19th century, and consequently so was possession of proof of age or even knowledge of a precise date of birth. More than years after the first recorded age of consent laws, the one constant is the lack of consistency. 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. They also argued that the age of consent should be aligned with other benchmarks of development, such as the age at which girls could enter into contracts and hold property rights, typically 21 years. Supreme Court decision decriminalized consensual sodomy, opening the way for the invalidation of unequal laws, a process started in Education - Special Needs In accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act Cth DDA it is unlawful for any person including a child to be discriminated against by an educational authority on the basis of a disability. Aiming to challenge stereotypes of female passivity and growing concern about male victimization, they made it clearer that the laws concerned all youth—male and female—and that the laws protected them from exploitation rather than ensuring their virginity. By , Anglo-American legislators had responded by increasing the age of consent to 16 years, and even as high as 18 years. Historians have argued that increasing the age of consent also gave the law a more pronounced regulatory dimension. Legislators, however, did not reduce the legal age of consent. Under pressure from the European Commission on Human Rights, the former Soviet states and the United Kingdom were the last to revise their legislation at the beginning of the 21st century. Yet reformers at the time saw no distinction between protection and regulation: A small group of Italian and German states that introduced an age of consent in the 16th century also employed 12 years. Nor did Anglo-American law apply to boys. At the end of the 20th century, outside the U. Promoted as a means of formalizing equality between men and women, gender-neutral language won support as a means of protecting boys. That Indian law set the age lower than British law reflected ideas that non-white races "matured earlier," in part because of the environments in which they originated. Although scientists and physicians had established that menstruation and puberty occurred on average around age 14 in Europe at this time, different individuals experienced it at different ages -- a fluid situation at odds with the arbitrary line drawn by whatever age was incorporated into law. Revelations of child prostitution were central to those campaigns, a situation that resulted, reformers argued, from men taking advantage of the innocence of girls just over the age of consent. Nations, such as Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Swiss cantons, that adopted or mirrored the Napoleonic code likewise initially set the age of consent at years and then raised it to between 13 and 16 years in the second half of the 19th century.
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