Discrimination between countries on the legal age of consent

Other Names:
Relaxation of legal restrictions on under-age sex
Legalization of adolescent sex
Active prejudice towards juvenile sexual relations

In Western society there is enormous peer pressure, reinforced by films, TV, magazines and advertising, on 13- or 14-year-olds or younger to become sexually active. Children, in the vulnerable age between physical maturity and emotional immaturity, are increasingly confused and disoriented. The concern is that if the law also endorses a downward trend in sexual activity, a culture will be produced where children have no innocence.


In 1990, the Dutch Parliament approved legislation which reduced the age of consenting adolescents to legally have sex with one another to 12 years old. This is the lowest of all European countries. Twelve European countries have an age of consent which is 14 or lower for both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Broader Problems:
Excessive legalization
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
F: Fuzzy exceptional problems
Date of last update
04.10.2020 – 22:48 CEST