History and Societal Notions
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Why is it important?
10 interesting facts about the age of consent in Canada
By now, you are aware of the concept of the age of consent and why it is important in society. Many of the offenses in Canada revolve around the age of consent.
1. First Criminal Code of Canada in 1892
“The age considered as capable of consent to sexual activity is fourteen years or above.” That is, the minimum age bar set to consent to sexual activities was 14 years old.
In the year 1892, the Canadian Parliament laid down the criminal code. This was the first such code in the British Empire to be enacted by a self-governing jurisdiction.
It came into force a year later, on July 1, 1893.
This set age bar is the minimum age to consent to nonexploitative sexual activity.
A nonexploitative sexual activity is the one that doesn’t involve:
i) a relationship with the position of authority
ii) or position of trust between the partners.
It also includes the noninvolvement of pornography or prostitution.
A teacher, leader, coach, or any family member falls under persons in a position of authority or trust.
An exception was introduced into this criminal code in the year 1987. It then allowed people of the age group 12 years-14 years for consensual sexual activity.
2. Amendments of 1987
3. Reforming Laws: new legislation in 2008
4. Close in age exemption
5. Peer group age exceptions: Ages 16 and 17
“Sixteen or seventeen-year-olds can have consensual sexual activity. But the other person involved must be a minimum of fourteen years old.”
So a person who is below 16 years and is close in the age group can agree to sexual activities.
But someone below 16 years old has sexual activities with a person older than their peer group. It is then considered a criminal offense.
It doesn’t matter whether the teen agreed or not. Legally their consent is not valid.
6. Non-valid consents
7. Consents to exploitative sexual activities
8. Laws for anal sex
Finally, the Government of Canada put forward a bill to decriminalize anal intercourse in November 2016. This legislation would abolish section 159 of the Criminal Code, making anal intercourse illegal until 18 years otherwise.
Changes to section 159 of the Criminal Code would mean considering all sexual activities as the same by law. It simply means people are free to be engaged in anything they want regardless of gender and preferences.
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