HomeLifestyleThe Age of Consent by State: A Concise List

The Age of Consent by State: A Concise List

Laws about the age that a person has to be to consent to sexual acts are designed to help protect children from sexual abuse. These laws can be used to prosecute individuals who engage in sexual acts, by preventing them from claiming that the individual consented to what occurred.

Like many laws, the laws that surround the age of consent vary from one state to the next. Every state in the U.S. has decided for itself what age an individual must be in order to consent to sexual intercourse or sexual acts.

The age of consent varies anywhere from 16 to 18 years of age. While this might seem like a minor difference, the difference of just a year or two can have big legal consequences for an individual accused of a sexual act with a minor.

Keep reading as we explore the state.

Age of Consent By State

  • Alabama: 16
  • Alaska: 16
  • Arizona: 18
  • Arkansas: 16
  • California: 18
  • Colorado: 17
  • Connecticut: 16
  • Washington D.C.: 16
  • Delaware: 18
  • Florida: 18
  • Georgia: 16
  • Hawaii: 16
  • Idaho: 18
  • Illinois: 17
  • Indiana: 16
  • Iowa: 16
  • Kansas: 16
  • Kentucky: 16
  • Louisiana: 17
  • Maine: 16
  • Maryland: 16
  • Massachusetts:16
  • Michigan: 16
  • Minnesota: 16
  • Mississippi: 16
  • Missouri:17
  • Montana:16
  • Nebraska: 17
  • Nevada: 16
  • New Hampshire: 16
  • New Jersey: 16
  • New Mexico: 17
  • New York: 17
  • North Carolina: 16
  • North Dakota: 18
  • Ohio: 16
  • Oklahoma: 16
  • Oregon: 18
  • Pennsylvania: 16
  • Rhode Island: 16
  • South Carolina: 16
  • South Dakota: 16
  • Tennessee: 18
  • Texas: 17
  • Utah: 18
  • Vermont: 16
  • Virginia: 18
  • Washington: 16
  • West Virginia: 16
  • Wisconsin: 18
  • Wyoming: 18

Understanding What it Means to Require Consent

The age of consent dictates the age at which a state has decided that an individual can consent to sexual acts. However, this does not necessarily apply only to sexual intercourse. Instead, it can be applied to any kind of sexual activity.

One gray area around consent is sexting. Many states lack specific laws surrounding sexting. However, in many states, this behavior typically falls under child pornography. As a result, it will have little impact on sexting. A 19-year-old sexting an 18-year-old could still be prosecuted for child pornography.

Click to read more on the consequences of sexting and the laws surrounding it.

It cannot be used as justification for sexual abuse or rape. A person’s age or marital status alone is not considered consent.

Understanding the Age of Consent

While understanding the age of consent by the state can help an individual decide whether having a sexual relationship with another individual is legal, It’s more often used in the context of prosecuting an individual accused of sexual abuse.

Furthermore, It can be determined by either an individual’s state of residency or by the state where the sexual abuse occurred. This often depends on whether the sexual acts occurred more than once over time or in different states.

If an adult is determined to have had sexual intercourse or performed other sexual acts with an individual under the age of consent, they can be charged with a variety of offenses, including statutory rape.

Mian Mudassar
Mian Mudassarhttps://wellhint.com
Mian Mudassar is a well-versed, slightly obsessive, and experienced online marketer specializing in search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing.

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