Legal dating age chart
The broad context for that change was the emergence of an Enlightenment concept of childhood focused on development and growth.
This notion cast children as more distinct in nature from adults than previously imagined, and as particularly vulnerable to harm in the years around puberty.
Moreover, they argued, by late adolescence girls possessed sufficient understanding about how to use the law to blackmail unwary men.
However, since the age of consent applied in all circumstances, not just in physical assaults, the law also made it impossible for an underage female to consent to sexual activity.Laws and regulations based on age were uncommon until the 19th century, and consequently so was possession of proof of age or even knowledge of a precise date of birth.Near the end of the 18th century, other European nations began to enact age of consent laws.The French Napoleonic code provided the legal context in 1791 when it established an age of consent of 11 years.
The age of consent, which applied to boys as well as girls, was increased to 13 years in 1863.In addition to class, the intersection of race and age also gave the law a regulatory character.