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5. The Age of Consent in Most Countries Worldwide!

35112 2009/06/28 2024/07/18

apart from the european traditions in the medieval ages, if we look at the current era i.e. after 14 centuries from the marriage of the prophet – peace and blessings of allah be upon him – from aisha – may allah be pleased with her – we will find that the age of consent is still early in various places. avert, an international charity organization interested in studying the hiv/ aids diseases, having its headquarters in the united kingdom, and works hard for preventing this disease in all countries worldwide, mentioned a detailed table in its website about the age of consent worldwide i.e. the legal age of practicing the sexual intercourse worldwide or the age which is considered by the countries and governments acceptable for making a sexual relation.
avert stated that the japanese people can practice sex legally in the age of thirteen year. in argentine, it is allowed to practice sex in the age of thirteen. in canada, until 1890, the allowed age of consent was twelve years (6). similarly, the age of consent in mexico is twelve years. in panama and philippine, the age of consent is twelve years. in spain (7), cyprus (8), south korea, the age of consent is thirteen, while in bolivia, the sexual age of consent is the maturity age (9).
if this is the case in the 21st century, why they deny it?
all such cases took place after 14 centuries from the marriage of prophet muhammad – peace and blessings of allah be upon him – and aisha! you can also note that such countries which have several cultural backgrounds allowed practicing sex in early age; so, why some persons refuse respecting the traditions of a nation lived 14 centuries ago? it is not possible or logical to force other nations to follow the western or the american thinking concerning what is accepted or rejected! especially 14 centuries ago. according to the said table in the website of avert organization, the legal consent age is different from state to another inside america itself, for example, the sexual fitness age in aiwa, missouri and south carolina is fourteen while the age of consent in arizona, california, north dakota, oregon, tennessee and weskinson is not less than eighteen.
this means that it is not logical or reasonable to criticize the other nations on the ground of the difference between them and the west or america concerning the age of consent. the states of the united states themselves are different in determining this age; therefore, it is silly or illogical to criticize an early marriage took place before 14 centuries. it is worth mentioning here that several organizations in the west have objected to raise the age of consent. for example, in canada, such organizations corresponded with the parliament members via internet and requested to reject this proposal and demonstrated the dangerous effects thereof (10). one of such letters mentioned:
"dear parliament member,
i write to you in order to express my attitude concerning the age of consent which was increased from fourteen years to sixteen years… the proposal of increasing the age of consent is a backward dangerous movement and will make the young males and females practice sex illegally".
if we return back to the legal age which qualifies the girl to accept or reject the sexual relation or marriage in america and the west, we will find that the age of ten to thirteen was the ideal acceptable age of consent in the mid of the nineteenth century (11).
moreover, the americans should know that the legal age of practicing sex was just ten years in uk and america in 1885, i.e. just one year older than the age of aisha when she married prophet muhammad – peace and blessings of allah be upon him – 13 centuries ago. stephen robertson wrote in this regard: "in 1885, after the scandal which took place upon issuing the book of the maiden tribute of modern babylon, the english writer "sted" unveiled trading in the young girls in london, and these campaigns became part of the war launched against prostitution in the united states. this scandal urged the british parliament to raise the age of consent from ten to sixteen and this attracted the attention of the american reformers to the law of their country" (12).
the western and american people should know the campaign of the christian woman association for preventing alcohol (wctu 1885-1990) and increasing the age of consent, as it was in most of the american states, and after issuing the general law, the age of consent was determined as ten years, while it was before seven years only in the state of delaware (13).
the age of consent in one of the american states was just seven years, just 120 years ago! but the western people did not know that and just criticized islam and muslims for the marriage of the prophet – peace and blessings of allah be upon him – and aisha – may allah be pleased with her –  while she was nine years more than 1400 years ago.
anyway, our modern age, at the beginning of the 21st century, witnessed several early marriage cases in europe itself, for example, the legal marriage age in romania is 16 years. the child ana maria, the roma gypsy princess, twelve years old, married the child birita mihai, fifteen years old. roma king florin cioaba, the father of the bride, told the journalists:
"in fact, this is a happy day in the royal house; the best days of my life… it is better for the children to marry in an early age". fasil eunisko, from roma public policies center, stated: "the marriage of the princess did not happen by force, she was the sweetheart of the king and he cannot act against her wishes. we should preserve our traditions in order to preserve our identity and being. therefore, it is immoral to prohibit the traditions and norms, and no one can prohibit it" (14).
[6] tories move to raise age of consent by terry weber, globe and mail, june 22, 2006.
[7] specified by the spanish penal code, article 181(2)
[8] cyprus penal code, article 154
[9] according to article 308 of the bolivian penal code
[10] see
[11] [waites, matthew (2005). the age of consent: young people, sexuality and citizenship. palgrave macmillan. isbn 1-4039-2173-3, page 7.
[12] stephen robertson, journal of social history, summer 2002
[13] linda r. hirshman and jane e. larson, hard bargains: the politics of sex, oxford university press, 1998, pp124-133, isbn: 0-19-509664-9.
[14] dina kyriakidou, the new zealand herald, october 01, 2003


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