Sexual consent and human rights

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One essential requirement of justice is that the laws be sound and consistent (ECtHR: X & Y vs. NL 1985; B. & L. vs. UK 2005). If we apply this to the notion of a minimum age limit for sexual contact ("age of consent"), no matter what that age might be, we find that it should be the same as (but not higher than) the age of criminal responsibility. For example, if one punishes an adolescent boy for raping a woman, one cannot on the other hand reasonably claim that he is too immature to consent to wanted sex with the same woman.

source: Article 'Sexual Consent and Human Rights' by Helmut Graupner (prominent human rights attorney and President of Rechtskommittee Lambda, the leading Austrian organization promoting gay rights); Thymos, Journal of Boyhood Studies, Vol. 4, No. 2; Special Issue: Boys' Sexuality and Age of Consent; Fall 2010