The state jurisdictions that provide a legal defence when the sexual interaction is between two young people close in age (Western Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory) are attempting to find a balance that protects children and young people from adult sexual exploitation in a way that does not criminalise them for having sexual relationships with their peers.Sexual interaction that is harmful and abusive between two young people under the legal age can be difficult to identify and determine.It is a common and normal part of sexual development for young people to explore and experiment in sexual interactions with their peers (Araji, 2004; Barbaree & Marshall, 2006; Eade, 2003).
According to theoretical and practical understandings of consent, those key elements include: Equality relates to the balance of power and control between those involved in sexual activities.
If you are a young person seeking advice on sexual relations please refer to some of the following websites: Age of consent laws attempt to strike a balance between protecting children and young people from exploitation and other harms, and preserving their right to privacy and healthy sexual development.
Young people at the age of consent are viewed by law to have general sexual competence to enforce personal boundaries and negotiate the risks involved in sexual activities.
Mc Lelland (2016, p.4) points out that, "in many jurisdictions provisions aimed at protecting young people from sexual predation and exploitation can also be used to criminalise and prosecute the sexual self-expression of those under the age of 18" - even when the young person is at the age of consent.
A survey of Australian teens and their sexting behaviours finds that, "16-17 year olds must navigate sexual practices that can be both consensual and legal, but illegal to visually record" (Albury, Crawford, & Byron, 2013, p. This can present challenges to young people and those who work with them.