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The ages of consent in North America for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction. The below is a list of all jurisdictions in North America as listed in List of sovereign states and dependent territories in North America. The ages of consent in the countries of Central America range from 14 to 18.The punishment for anyone who had sexual intercourse with someone younger than 14 was life imprisonment and whipping, while the punishment for anyone who attempted to seduce an underage girl was two years' imprisonment and whipping.Canada had also laws against "seducing" minor girls who were over the age of consent.This passed before the 2008 amendments, and they were not repealed so they are still in effect and can apply towards adults in these situations with young persons over the age of consent and under 18 (16-17). 173(2) (Indecent acts), or is charged with an offence under s. 272 (Sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third party, or causing bodily harm), or s.Where an accused is charged with an offence under s. 273 (Aggravated sexual assault) in respect of a complainant under the age of sixteen years, it is not a defense that the complainant consented to the activity that forms the subject-matter of the charge.
These exceptions do not apply if a third person is present, or if the anal intercourse takes place anywhere but in private.
Modern laws vary, and there may be multiple ages that apply in any jurisdiction.
For instance, different ages may apply if the relationship is between partners of the same sex, or if the sexual contact is not strictly vaginal intercourse. The Sexual Offences Act of 1995 raised the age of consent from 14 to 16 years of age. (1) Where a male person has sexual intercourse with a female person who is not his wife with her consent and who has attained the age of fourteen years but has not yet attained the age of sixteen years, he is guilty of an offence, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for ten years.
(2) A male person is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) – (a) if he honestly believed that the female person was sixteen years of age or more; or (b) if the male person is not more than three years older than the female person and the court is of the opinion that the evidence discloses that as between the male person and the female person, the male person is not wholly or substantially to blame. (1) Where a female adult has sexual intercourse with a male person who is not her husband and who is under the age of sixteen years, she is guilty of an offence, whether or not the male person consented to the intercourse, and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for seven years.
A female adult is not guilty of an offence under subsection (1) – (a) if she honestly believed that the male person was sixteen years of age or more; or (b) if the female adult is not more than three years older than the male person and the court is of the opinion that evidence discloses that as between the female adult and the male person, the female adult is not wholly or substantially to blame. It is determined in Part 14 of the Criminal Code - SEXUAL OFFENCES -Sexual Offences Against Minors - by Article 143.
Non-violent sexual contact with persons under the age of consent may be punished with varying degrees of severity, ranging from a misdemeanor with a simple fine, to a felony with a punishment equivalent to rape.