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Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions

Esquivel-Quintana v. Sessions, 581 U.S. ___, is a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 8–0 that in the context of statutory rape offenses that criminalize sexual intercourse based solely on the ages of the participants, the generic federal definition of" sexual abuse of a minor” requires the age of the victim to be less than 16. Justice Clarence Thomas delivered the majority opinion.

                                               

Age of consent reform in Canada

Age of consent law in Canada refers to cultural and legal discussions in Canada regarding the age of consent, which was raised in May 2008 as part of the Tackling Violent Crime Act. This applies to all forms of sexual activity. In May 2008, the Canadian government passed a bill to raise the age of consent from 14 to 16, while creating a close-in-age exemption for sex between 14–15 year olds and partners less than 5 years older, and keeping an existing close-in-age clause for sex between 12–13 year olds and partners less than 2 years older. The initiative also maintains a temporary exception for already existing marriages of 14 and 15 year olds, but forbids new marriages like these in the future. In June 2019, C-75 passed both houses of the Parliament of Canada and received royal assent; it repealed Section 159 effective immediately and made the age of consent equal at 16 for all individuals.

                                               

Rind et al. controversy

The Rind et al. controversy was a debate in the scientific literature, public media, and government legislatures in the United States regarding a 1998 peer reviewed meta-analysis of the self-reported harm caused by child sexual abuse. The debate resulted in the unprecedented condemnation of the paper by both chambers of the United States Congress. The social science research community was concerned that the condemnation by government legislatures might have a chilling effect on the future publication of controversial research results. The studys lead author is psychologist Bruce Rind, and it expanded on a 1997 meta-analysis for which Rind is also lead author. The authors stated their goal was to determine whether CSA caused pervasive, significant psychological harm for both males and females, controversially concluding that the harm caused by child sexual abuse was not necessarily intense or pervasive, that the prevailing construct of CSA was not scientifically valid, as it failed empirical verification, and that the psychological damage caused by the abusive encounters depends on other factors such as the degree of coercion or force involved. The authors concluded that even though CSA may not result in lifelong, significant harm to all victims, this does not mean it is not morally wrong and indicated that their findings did not imply current moral and legal prohibitions against CSA should be changed. The Rind et al. study has been criticized by many scientists and researchers, on the grounds that its methodology and conclusions are poorly designed and statistically flawed. Its definition of harm, for example, has been subject to debate because it only examined long-term psychological effects, and harm can result in a number of ways, including short-term or medical harm for example, sexually transmitted infections or injuries, a likelihood of revictimization, and the amount of time the victim spent attending therapy for the abuse. Numerous studies and professional clinical experience in the field of psychology, both before and after Rind et al.s publications, have long borne out that children cannot consent to sexual activity and that child and adolescent sexual abuse cause harm. Anna Salter comments that Rind et al.s results are "truly an outlier" compared to other meta-analyses. The Rind paper has been quoted by people and organizations advocating age of consent reform, pedophile or pederasty groups in support of their efforts to change attitudes towards pedophilia and to decriminalize sexual activity between adults and minors children or adolescents, and by defense attorneys who have used the study to minimize harm in child sexual abuse cases.

                                               

Age of consent reform in the United Kingdom

Since the 1970s, a number of movements have taken place in the United Kingdom in favour of reforming or abolishing the age of consent, in support of childrens rights, gay liberationism or, more recently, "as a means to avoid unwanted pregnancies, and sexually transmitted infections via education and health promotion".

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