United States Age of Consent & Sex Laws Age of Consent in United States

What is the United States Age of Consent?

The Age of Consent in United States is 16 years old. The age of consent is the minimum age at which an individual is considered legally old enough to consent to participation in sexual activity. Individuals aged 15 or younger in United States are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law.

United States statutory rape law is violated each state in the United States has local laws setting an age of consent and associated laws such as close in age exemptions. In all states, the age of consent is between 16 and 18 years old. For more details, see Age of Consent in the United States.

United States has two territories that have their own local age of consent laws. These territories are listed in the following table:

Territory of United States Region Age Of Consent
Puerto Rico North America 16
United States Virgin Islands North America 18

United States has a close-in-age exemption. A close in age exemptions, commonly known as "Romeo and Juliet law" in the United States, is a law designed to prevent the prosecution of underage couples who engage in consensual sex when both participants are significantly close in age to each other, and one or both are below the age of consent.

Depending on the situation, the United States close-in-age exemption may completely exempt qualifying close-in-age couples from the age of consent law, or merely provide a legal defence that can be used in the event of prosecution.

Age of Consent across the world

The Age of Consent ranges from as low as 11 to as high as 20 years old across the world. Click any country for details, or view countries with the highest & lowest ages of consent.

Age of Consent Map:

Must be married
< 13 years old
14 years old
15 years old
16 years old
17 years old
18 years old
> 19 years old

Back to list of international ages of consent View state ages of consent in the USA

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Source: http://www.ageofconsent.net/world/united-states