25 It is important to note that this report does not address state laws governing the age at which persons may marry. Most often, however, all acts are illegal (with the same age requirements), but the severity of the punishment depends on the type of sexual activity. In Kentucky, for example, sexual activity with children under the age of 12 is illegal, regardless of the age of the accused. If the activities result in sexual interference, the defendant is guilty of first-degree sexual abuse (a Class D crime); If it is sexual intercourse, the defendant is guilty of first-degree rape (a Class A crime). 27 While the reporting requirements in many states relate to one or more of the state`s statutory rape laws, California is an exception in that the reporting requirements are contained in the same section of the laws (Penal Code) as the criminal laws on sexual activity with minors. In general, the age of consent is defined as the age at which a person – in the eyes of the law – can legally consent to engage in sexual activity. Each state has different rules, and the law can change due to various factors. If you plan to date a minor or have sexual behavior with a minor, it is important to know the age of consent in that state. Oberman notes that the rise of feminism has greatly influenced changes in legal rape laws.
The laws remained in place until the end of the 19th century. In the nineteenth century, feminists attempted to raise the age of consent to protect young women from potentially forced relationships. As a result of these efforts, the average age of consent has increased from 12 to 18 years. Traditionally, many age of consent laws have mainly concerned men who perform sexual acts with underage girls and boys (the latter often fall under sodomy and laws). This means that in some jurisdictions, problems with women who have sexual contact with underage partners have rarely been recognized. A young person aged 14 or 15 may consent to sexual activities provided that the partner is less than five years older and that there is no relationship of trust, authority or dependence, or any other exploitation of the young person. This means that if the partner is 5 years of age or older than the 14- or 15-year-old, any sexual activity is a crime. Enforcement practices of age of consent laws vary according to the social sensitivity of each culture (see above). Often, enforcement is not carried out to the letter, and legal action is only taken if there is a sufficiently socially unacceptable age difference between the two persons or if the perpetrator is in a position of power over the minor (e.g. B a teacher, a minister or a doctor). The gender of each participant can also influence an individual`s perception of guilt and thus the application of the law.
 10 There are cases where a state`s laws regarding sexual intercourse do not coincide with one or more of its laws governing other types of sexual acts. For example, in South Dakota, sexual penetration with a person between the ages of 10 and 16 is illegal unless the defendant is less than 3 years older than the victim. .