I started to make a reply to this thread , but once it was done I realized it was not so much a reply, but a complete derail. So I make this thread. So without further adieu, here is my thoughts on "age of consent" Personally? I think the magic number of "18" we have here in the US is retarded. I will agree that trying to have a relationship with someone who is 18 or younger is just looking for trouble (I'd know, I made that mistake 10 years ago); honestly, I'd go as far as to say no less than mid 20's (obviously there can and will be exceptions *grins*). But for no strings consensual sex? As long as the girl/guy knows what they are getting into, nobody is getting hurt. It's just 2 people engaging in something we all know damn well is enjoyable. To me it becomes an issue when the older person resorts to force, manipulation, or drugs to meet such ends. None of those is true consent, IMO, and manipulation I think shows mental issues on the manipulators part. Those who manipulate also tend to have a kind of radar that allows them to pinpoint people who are likely to be more susceptible to said manipulations. I'd say manipulated "consent" is not true consent. It is "manufactured", for lack of a better word. Checking the age of consent website, you'll notice that Chile, Mexico, and Malta all have a confirmed age of sexual consent of 12. I'm sure plenty of the members here will immediately cringe and have all kinds of negative thoughts and reactions. To be honest, even I think that's quite young. But then one has to think: not that many centuries/lifetimes ago, people got married as young teens. Of course you can argue that then life expectancy was shorter, etc. but that doesn't really change much. If anything we know even more at a young age now than we did then. One could argue that we are much more capable now of handling all of that at a young age than they were then. Add to the fact that due to many things (depending on who you talk to t's the hormones/chemicals in our foods, or it's just plain better nutrition and quality of life) humans are maturing sexually at ever earlier ages. In most other places it seems ages closer to 16 are the norm, which I think is probably more realistic anyway. But in the end, it seems to be a matter of opinion based on upbringing. Most of us in the US will sneer and wrinkle our noses at the thought of some "dirty pedophile (don't even get me started on how often that word gets used incorrectly these days)" having sex with someone younger than 18. What makes us more right than any other country and their population? Does that mean the countries that have ages of consent at 12 or 13 or 14 are full of sick and disgusting sexual perverts? Do we really have that right to make such a distinction? If so, why? What makes our Federal rule of 18 (individual states have different ages of consent, most are 16 with some being 17, and less at 18. South Carolina has a consent age of 14) the correct one, especially in the face of most other countries in the world being more in line with state consent rules?