Age law dating under 18
It is a common and normal part of sexual development for young people to explore and experiment in sexual interactions with their peers (Araji, 2004; Barbaree & Marshall, 2006; Eade, 2003).
If you require assistance or would like to talk to a trained professional about the issues described in this paper, please call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
If you believe a child is in immediate danger call Police on 000. Information is current up to the date of publication.
The widespread use of mobile phones has led to a number of legal interventions that attempt to protect children from sexual exploitation in online environments.
Sexting laws provide a good example of how digital sexual activity does not necessarily align with broader age of consent laws in Australia.
Four areas of knowledge are required in order to give consent: understanding of what the physical act(s) involve, their meaning, society's laws and cultural norms, and possible consequences (Mc Carthy & Thompson, 2004).