In addition to class, the intersection of race and age also gave the law a regulatory character.
In India, for example, the prevalence of the custom of child marriage among Hindus led the British colonial authorities to apply the age of consent to married as well as unmarried girls, thereby creating a crime of marital rape that did not exist in British law.
They also argued that the age of consent should be aligned with other benchmarks of development, such as the age at which girls could enter into contracts and hold property rights, typically 21 years.
Opponents remained focused on physiological maturity, however, and argued that girls in their teens were sufficiently developed not to need legal protection.
Like France, many other countries, increased the age of consent to 13 in the 19th century.
Nations, such as Portugal, Spain, Denmark and the Swiss cantons, that adopted or mirrored the Napoleonic code likewise initially set the age of consent at 10-12 years and then raised it to between 13 and 16 years in the second half of the 19th century. laws did not change in the wake of England's shift. Behind the inconsistency of these different laws was the lack of an obvious age to incorporate into law.
S, such as the Women's Christian Temperance Union, the British Empire, and Europe to push for similar legislation.
The French Napoleonic code provided the legal context in 1791 when it established an age of consent of 11 years.
The age of consent, which applied to boys as well as girls, was increased to 13 years in 1863.
Jurist Sir Matthew Hale argued that the age of consent applied to 10- and 11-year-old girls, but most of England's North American colonies adopted the younger age.
A small group of Italian and German states that introduced an age of consent in the 16th century also employed 12 years.