Dutch lower age of consent to 12

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In November, 1990, the second chamber of the Dutch Parliament, by a vote of 145 to five, changed the law relating to sexual contacts with minors. Sexual contacts with youngsters between 12 and 16 years remain forbidden, but can only be prosecuted if the youngster or the parents (or guardian) or a social worker officially sign a charge of accusation. No charge, no prosecution, and no work for policeman. This law thus gives a bit of freedom for consensual contacts, if the parents agree. [...]

In my analysis, four constituencies influenced the Parliament. First were the women who had suffered through incest. They plead for stronger penalties and a longer statue of limitations if the child is in a dependent situation. Second was the gay movement. It sought a law that applied equally to men and women, boys and girls, hetero- and homosexual contacts. It was the gay movement, in fact, that petitioned the government in 1985 to lower the ages of consent. Third was the influence from scientific publications, such as Dr. Theo Sandfort's works. His research on consensual and non-consensual sexual contacts may have helped the Parliament appreciate the nuances between penetrating and touching, and between consensual and non-consensual contacts. Fourth was the pedophile movement. For twenty years, it has plead for the distinction between consensual and non-consensual contacts, and penetrative and non-penetrative sex.

source: Article 'Dutch lower age of consent to 12' by Frans Gieles (of the Dutch sex reform group NVSH); NAMBLA Bulletin, Vol.12, n.1; January/February 1991