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Age of Consent to Sexual Activity
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The Bible calls us to care for the vulnerable. The Old and New Testaments include instructions to care for "the widow and the orphan," those who were powerless and vulnerable in their society. Children are among our society’s most vulnerable persons. They need adults to protect, guide and provide for them. Children’s size and impressionable nature make them vulnerable to abuse. A child’s trust is violated when they are abused by adults. Children need and deserve nothing less than full protection under the law from all forms of exploitation. 

Biblically, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage, in part because of the emotional and spiritual effects that are described as the woman and man becoming "one flesh." Young teens may not have the foresight or maturity in judgment to choose a sexual partner wisely or to understand the importance of commitment. The breakdown of the relationship or manipulation within the relationship are heavy burdens for ones so young to carry. 

The Issue

A country’s legal age of consent to sexual activity reaches beyond the question of sexual activity among young teens into areas of child abuse and sexual exploitation, child prostitution and child pornography. Children must be protected from engaging in exploitive sexual relationships with adults.

Children are specifically protected in many sections of the Criminal Code. This includes prohibitions against child pornography (Section 163.1ff), corrupting children (Section 172), sexual touching (Section 152), as well as the requirement for parents and guardians to provide the necessities of life (Section 215). The Criminal Code sets up a framework for the protection of children and the duty to care for them.

Protecting children means both protecting them from the actions of others and from undertaking serious or dangerous activities before they have attained the appropriate level of maturity. Many rights and responsibilities accrue to Canadians at the age of 18. Lifestyle choices which entail some risk, such as purchasing cigarettes or alcohol, are regulated according to age and prohibited for those in their early to mid-teens. Other activities which require mature forethought and responsibility, such as operating a motor vehicle or joining the military, are similarly prohibited for those considered too young. Early sexual activity has the potential to bring devastating, life-long consequences and should be reserved for those who have reached an age of maturity.

Children are also vulnerable to sexual abuse by adults, child prostitution, and particularly to sexual predators over the Internet. Many young people have unsupervised access to the Internet where adult predators can pose as young "friends" and gain the trust of unsuspecting children.

Issue: Age of Consent

Current Status
What You Can Do

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Helpful Links

Statistics Canada and Age of Consent

EFC Applauds New Age of Consent

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