I posted a reel recently on instagram that was all about the legal age of consent around the world. It did so well-over 40K views (!) but of course, there are so many other things to consider when we discuss consent. With regards to the law, here are some more ‘nuances’ to consider:
1️⃣ in some countries (and states in the US) there is a close in age exemption that makes intercourse lawful if the partners are of similar ages or the age difference is not higher than a certain number of years. This “avoids criminalizing adolescents of similar ages for factually consensual and non-exploitative sexual activity”
For example, in Italy where I live, the law provides an exception for consensual sexual activities between persons if neither of them is under 13 years old and the age gap does not exceed three years. Some EU Member States provide higher age thresholds for sexual activity between a child and a recognised person of trust, authority or influence over the child.
2️⃣ In some countries it is illegal to engage in sexual activity unless you are married, however the minimum age for marriage is very low, and it seems, from my research at least, that the minimum age for girls is often younger than boys. So, for example, a much older man could marry a 12 year old girl LEGALLY-and this happens all over the world, also in countries you might considered ‘developed’ -so don’t think this is something that only happens in countries you might stereotype to allow this.
According to the UN, if current trends continue, the number of girls who marry as children will reach nearly one billion by 2030. According to weforum.org, in Sudan, girls can marry at 10 and boys can marry at 15 or at puberty. In the Philippines, Muslim boys can marry at 15 and Muslim girls can marry at puberty. (Remember girls can start puberty as young as 8!) In Tanzania, Muslim and Hindu girls can marry at 12 as long as the marriage is not consummated until the girl reaches the age of 15.
3️⃣In some countries there might be a disconnect between age of consent and marriage,such as Cyprus and Malta, where the minimum age for sexual consent (18) is above the age at which children can get married (16) with the consent of a public authority and/or the parents.

4️⃣And lastly, just because a country has an age limit, many of its citizens aren’t aware of it or assume the age, let alone stick to it.