Is sex between minors OK? | india | Hindustan Times
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Is sex between minors OK?

The government is considering the possibility of exempting consensual sex between minors from the purview of criminal offences, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2007 03:38 IST

The government is considering the possibility of exempting consensual sex between minors from the purview of criminal offences. This has been prompted by a government study which found that a number of those below 18 years experiment with sex or engage in sexual activity with people in the same age group.

Abuse or not

•A study says sex or sexual acts between ‘young children’ may not always be abuse

•An official says a minor cannot be prosecuted if there is neither a victim nor a perpetrator

•Experts say it will be difficult to distinguish between abuse and consensual act. A minor could abuse a younger child in the name of exploring sexuality

The Offences Against Child Bill drafted by the Women and Child Development (WCD) Ministry enumerates sex with a child — defined as anyone below the age of 18 — as a criminal offence. The report, ‘Study on Child Abuse in India’, says sex or sexual acts between young children may not always amount to abuse.

The study says sexual abuse is highest among children in the age group of 15-18. Up to 38.5 per cent children said friends or classmates had fondled them or touched their body parts while 24 per cent said the same had been done to them by relatives.

“Many children were also of the opinion that they may not have been in an abusive situation, giving credence (to the assumption) that it may have been consensual sexual activity,” the report says.

An official told HT that the WCD Ministry wanted to revisit the bill in the light of the study’s findings.