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An adult thing? Young people's perspectives on the heterosexual age of consent

Thomson, Rachel (2004). An adult thing? Young people's perspectives on the heterosexual age of consent. Sexualities, 7(2) pp. 135–152.

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Historically, the heterosexual age of consent in Britain has enshrined in law an asymmetrically gendered model of sexual agency. This legislation is currently under review as part of a wider review of the law on sexual offences premised on gender neutrality. In this article young people’s own perspectives are explored, through discussion of the proposition that the age of consent for heterosexuals should be lowered to 14. The ensuing focus-group discussions with 11–16-year-olds reflect the active way in which young people encounter and negotiate the institutionalization of heterosexuality represented by such legislation. The article explores young people’s perspectives through themes of legality, protection and timeliness, seeking to distinguish between how young people may evaluate or use the existing legal framework and the factors that they believe make sex legitimate.

Item Type: Article
Copyright Holders: 2004 SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1461-7382
Keywords: consent; heterosexuality; law; young people
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 19638
Depositing User: Katy Gagg
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2010 10:59
Last Modified: 04 Oct 2016 10:32
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