What is the age of consent in China?

Photo by Muramasa

The age of consent for sexual relations varies from country to country, but where does China draw the line? Read on to find out.


What is the age of consent for men and women to have sex in China?
The age of consent for females in China is 14; having sex with female who is under that age is considered rape, irrespective of whether it was voluntary on her part. This is a criminal offense and the offender is liable to face a severe punishment. At the time of writing, there is nothing regulating the age of consent for males. 


Is the age of consent related to marriage laws?
No. The age of registered marriage is above 22 for men, and above 20 for women, both of which are well above the age of consent. 


Do people have to be married to have sex legally?
Voluntary sexual behavior between people above the age of consent is not considered an illegal act in Chinese law. 


What is the age of consent for gay or lesbian sex in China?
There is no law regulating gay or lesbian sex in China. 


Is it the same across the country, or are there different provinces and autonomous regions?
No. The entire country of China uses the same criminal law, and no differences are allowed in different provinces and autonomous regions. 


Does the age of both parties affect the legality?
Chinese criminal law says that if a person is fully aware a female is under age 14 and still has sex with her, regardless of whether the sex is voluntary, the person will be charged with rape. Also, in China, anyone over 16 can be held liable for criminal acts. If a person is above 14 and under 16, and has sex with female under 14, but does not cause “severe damage”, it is not considered a criminal offense. “Severe damage” is not clearly defined, however, and could mean physical and emotional damage.


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