Age of consent laws vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18.
In some places, civil and criminal laws within the same state conflict with each other.
The age of consent is the age at which a person is considered to be legally competent to consent to sexual acts, and is thus the minimum age of a person with whom another person is legally permitted to engage in sexual activity.
The distinguishing aspect of the age of consent laws is that the person below the minimum age is regarded as the victim, and their sex partner as the offender.
While the general age of consent is now set between 16 and 18 in all U. states, the age of consent has widely varied across the country in the past.
In 1880, the age of consent was set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7.