The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women, so that any sexual activity between an adult and someone under 16 is a criminal offence.
The age of consent is the same regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
Guidance from the Scottish Government acknowledges that not every case of sexual activity in under-16s will have child protection concerns, but young people may still be in need of support in relation to their sexual development and relationships. A range of specific offences protect children under 13, who cannot legally give their consent to any form of sexual activity.
The maximum penalty could be life imprisonment for rape, sexual assault, sexual assault by penetration, or causing a young child to participate in sexual activity.
This particular sexual offence can only be committed by a man.
A woman cannot be charged with the offence of rape as this is defined as penile penetration, but she could be charged with another offence such as causing a person to engage in sexual activity without consent, sexual coercion or assault, or assault by penetration.
The age of consent is the same regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of a person and whether the sexual activity is between people of the same or different gender.
It is an offence for anyone to have any sexual activity with a person under the age of 16.
Touching covers all physical contact, whether with a part of the body or anything else, or through clothing In Scotland the range of sexual assault offences relating to ‘sexual touching’ is similar, with the addition of sexual penetration of the vagina, anus or mouth; ejaculating semen onto someone; spitting or urinating onto them.Each specifically states that it is not an offence provide information, advice and/or treatment if it is in order to protect the young person’s sexual health, physical safety or emotional wellbeing.In each UK country, a man would commit rape if he intentionally penetrates with his penis the vagina, mouth or anus of another person, male or female, without that person’s consent or if they are under 13, as young people aged 12 and under are not legally able to give consent to any sexual activity.There is no defence that the accused believed that the child was older.The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women.