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News Link • Sexuality: Sex and the Law

When child sex isn't rape: French to set age of consent

• yahoo.com by AP

That's a question France is asking itself as the government prepares to set a legal age for sexual consent for the first time.

Twice in recent weeks, French courts have refused to prosecute men for rape after they had sex with 11-year-olds because authorities couldn't prove coercion. Amid the public horror at that situation, the French government is drafting a bill to say that sex with children under a certain age is by definition coercive.

Justice Minister Nicole Belloubet provoked consternation and dismay among feminist groups by saying a legal minimum age of 13 for sexual consent "is worth considering."

Activists staged a small protest Tuesday in central Paris to argue that the age of consent should be set at 15. Protesters waved placards that read "for him impunity, for her a life sentence" in reference to the recent two cases that rocked the country.

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