In the GDR, Articles 175 and 175a applied until the reform of criminal law in 1968. Therefore, Article 151 of the Penal Code (GDR) prohibits homosexual acts between an adult and a teenager of the same sex until 1988. When Article 151 was repealed, Article 149 was recast and subsequently provided for a uniform age of consent for homosexual and heterosexual acts: according to the version of Paragraph 182(1) of the StGB in force from 11 June 1994 to 5 November 2008, the age of consent for the exploitation of a difficult situation and the granting of remuneration was 16 years, Only an author who is at least 18 years of age could be subject to prosecution. In the case of the exploitation of the lack of capacity for sexual self-determination of a victim under 16 years of age by an author who is at least 21 years of age (§ 182 para. 2 StGB a.F.), the wording of the provision was identical to the wording of the current version (now in paragraph 3). The attempt to violate all the provisions of the paragraph was not punishable. In Switzerland, the age of consent is 16 years. Below this age threshold, a sexual act is not punishable if the age difference between the parties concerned is not more than three years (Art. 187 SCC).

The age of consent is the age at which a person is legally considered capable of giving consent to sexual acts. Sexual acts with persons under the age of consent will be prosecuted. The age of consent in different cultures and legal systems is very different and can depend on a number of influencing factors (age, age difference, gender, marriage, dependency relationship, …). People who have reached the age of consent are described as sexually mature. Über die Bestimmungen des § 182 StGB Abs. 1 and 2 (difficult situation, remuneration) with regard to the age of consent of 18 years, which also apply to victims under 16 years of age, sexual acts committed by adults over 21 years of age with minors under 14 and 15 years of age may be punished in accordance with Article 182(3), if a legal representative of the minor files a criminal complaint and, in the context of criminal proceedings, the court considers that: that the adult has taken advantage of a “lack of capacity for sexual self-determination” of the adolescent to be determined – for example with the help of an expert. In 1996, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that the mere reference to the age of the person aged 14 or 15 is not sufficient to convict the adult accused. On the contrary, the individual capacity or inability of the adolescent to engage in sexual self-determination and, if necessary, the exploitation of sexual self-determination by the perpetrator must be considered in each individual case.

[2] Even from the adolescent`s sexual inexperience, the lack of capacity for sexual self-determination cannot be inferred. [3] Thus, in Vatican City, the age of consent valid in Italy in 1929/1924 was 12 years and in the case of dependency 15 years. In Austria, the age of consent is 14 years. With this age, maturity begins (§ 74 Abs. 1 Z 1 öStGB). This means that, in principle, all forms of sexual contact with which both agree are allowed as long as both have reached the age of 14, unless one of the people involved has not yet reached the age of 16 and is not yet mature enough for certain reasons to “see the meaning of the process or act according to this intuition” and the author takes advantage of this lack of maturity and its age-related superiority (§ 207b para. 1 StGB). For prostitution, the age of consent is 18 years, i.e. the suitor of a prostitute under the age of 18 is liable to prosecution (§ 207b Abs. 3 StGB). A peculiarity of the legal situation in the United States is the gap between the sometimes strict regulation of the age of consent and marital maturity in the United States, which is sometimes (Massachusetts) under certain conditions only twelve years.

[37] With the exception of the following special cases, the age of consent in Germany is 14 years according to § 176 StGB. Sexual acts with children under the age of 14 are generally prohibited in Germany as sexual abuse of children. Any perpetrator who is at least 14 years of age is criminally responsible in this regard; the attempt is punishable. Since 1 July 2021, however, the court may, in accordance with Article 176 para. 2 StGB refrains from punishing if the sexual act is consensual between the perpetrator and the child and the difference in age and level of development or maturity is small, unless the perpetrator exploits the child`s lack of capacity for sexual self-determination. The Catholic Church condemns extramarital sexual relations and sets the minimum age of marriage according to the Codex Iuris Canonici at 16 for men and 14 for women, with local episcopal conferences able to adjust this amount upwards. [45] In the Republic of Ireland, the age of consent is 17. On 26 August 2006, the Federal Cabinet decided to amend a number of laws as part of the implementation of an EU directive on better protection of young people against sexual exploitation. Among other things, the amendment also affected the increase in the previous age of consent in accordance with § 182 (1) StGB. According to the Federal Government`s draft, the age of consent should be raised from 16 to 18 years in the case of sexual acts for remuneration or profit from a difficult situation.

In § 182 sec. 1 StGB, the lower age limit of 18 years for the criminal liability of the offender should also be omitted. This would have meant that in the future, a person from the age of 14 (criminal responsibility) could be punished if he performs sexual acts with another person under the age of 18 taking advantage of a difficult situation or for remuneration. Another novelty, the attempt to violate § 182 StGB should be criminalized. [8] The final deliberation in the Bundestag scheduled for 27 April 2007 was removed from the agenda because the Bundesrat had proposed a further tightening of the provision. [9] [10] Therefore, sexual acts committed by persons under the age of 14 against persons under the age of 18 should be punishable as abuse even if they do not take place for remuneration, but for “other” benefit. This would have meant, for example, that an investigation could be opened against a 14- to 17-year-old girl for sexual abuse who invited her boyfriend from the same age group to the cinema if caresses occurred. This reinforced project was supported by the CDU/CSU and SPD parliamentary groups and was due to be voted on in the Bundestag on 13 December 2007. Youth associations, social scientists and opposition parties FDP, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and Die Linke have strongly criticised this criminalisation of young people`s sexual acts among themselves, which is described as a “caressing paragraph”[11][12]. The vote was removed from the agenda, a new reformulation of the bill was adopted by the Bundestag on 30 October 2008 and entered into force on 6 November 2008.

This version of § 182 StGB, which has been in force since then, has also been the subject of criticism from opposition politicians. The spokesman for the legal policy of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen in the Bundestag, Jerzy Montag, described parts of the new regulation, such as the possibility (allegedly) introduced for the first time in German legislation on the age of consent that the perpetrator may be younger than the victim (for example, if a 14-year-old who offers shelter to a 17-year-old with sexual intent in his room, to “exploit a difficult situation”), such as “a significant criminalization of consensual sexual contact with young people.” [13] [14] In India, the age of consent was 16 years until June 1, 2012 and 18 years since then. [16] In addition to several years of imprisonment, convictions threaten the loss of the right to vote, public registration on the Internet as a sex offender and rigid probation conditions (prohibition of contact with young people, prohibition of apartments near schools, kindergartens and parks).