Anomalies abound in Ireland's age of consent

Lowering the age of consent is under debate at present, but would a change really affect behaviour? Overseas experience suggests not, writes Susan Mitchell.

Susan Mitchell

Deputy Editor and Health Editor @susmitchellsbp
12th January, 2014
Dr Caitriona Henchion, medical director at the IFPA.

Together with Malta, Ireland has the highest age of consent in Europe: 17. For a handful of European nations, the age of consent is 16. In France, Greece, Iceland, Denmark, Croatia, and the Czech Republic, it is 15. In Hungary, Germany, and Italy, the age of consent is 14.

In the United States it varies between 16 and 18, by state. It also varies from 17 to 18 across territories in Australia. In neighbouring New Zealand it is 16.

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