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What is age of consent in Korea?

What is Age of Consent in Korea?

South Korea has a unique set of laws when it comes to age of consent. This article seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding of what age of consent is in Korea and the different factors that come into play.

Understanding Age of Consent

Age of consent refers to the minimum age at which a person is considered legally competent to give informed consent for sexual activities. In South Korea, the age of consent is the same for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

The Age of Consent in Korea

The age of consent in South Korea is 20 years old. This means that sexual activities with individuals below the age of 20 are considered illegal, regardless of their level of consent.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are certain exceptions to the age of consent rule in Korea. For instance, if both parties involved in a sexual act are under 19 years old and the difference between their ages is less than three years, then there will be no legal repercussions. However, if one party is over 19 years old, then it will be considered a crime.

Risks Involved in Breaking the Law

Breaking the age of consent law in Korea can have serious consequences. Those found guilty can face imprisonment for up to ten years, depending on the severity of the crime.

Cultural Influences on Age of Consent

Korea has a strong Confucian culture that places emphasis on respect for elders and authority figures. As such, many people believe that anyone under 20 years old is not yet mature enough to make decisions about sex, hence the high age of consent.

International Comparisons

The age of consent in South Korea is relatively high when compared to other countries around the world. For instance, in the United States, the age of consent ranges from 16 to 18 years old depending on the state.

Controversies Surrounding Age of Consent in Korea

There have been debates about whether the age of consent in Korea should be lowered to 18 years old. Those advocating for this change argue that it would bring Korea in line with other developed countries and reduce incidents of sexual assault among young people. However, others believe that lowering the age of consent would encourage promiscuity and undermine traditional values.

Impact on Relationships

The age of consent law can have a significant impact on relationships in Korea. Couples with an age gap may have to wait until the younger partner turns 20 before engaging in sexual activities. This can be frustrating for many couples and may lead to them breaking up or engaging in risky behavior.

Importance of Consent

Regardless of the age of consent, it is essential to remember that all sexual activities should be based on mutual consent. It is important to ensure that both parties are aware of what they are getting into and are comfortable with it.

Education on Sexual Health

Experts believe that education on sexual health should be made more accessible to young people in Korea. This can help them make informed decisions about their sexual lives and reduce the incidence of sexual assault.

The Way Forward

While there is no denying that the age of consent law in Korea is strict, it is essential to remember that it is meant to protect young people from exploitation and abuse. As society evolves, there may be a need to review these laws and make necessary changes to ensure that they are fair and effective.


The age of consent in Korea is 20 years old. While this may seem high, it is essential to remember that it is meant to protect young people from exploitation and abuse. It is important to ensure that all sexual activities are based on mutual consent and that education on sexual health is made more accessible to young people.

Is 18 a minor in Korea?

A child is defined as someone who is younger than 18 years old.

What is Japan’s age of consent?

A panel within the Japanese justice ministry suggested increasing the age of consent from 13 to 16, as Japan currently has the lowest age of consent among the G7 nations and it has not been changed for over a century. This proposal was made on February 22, 2023.

Can a 16 date a 20 in Korea?

In South Korea, it is illegal for individuals under the age of 19 to give their consent for any sexual activity. If such activity occurs, it may lead to legal action for statutory rape or other related laws.

Can I drink in Korea if I’m 18?

In Korea, the legal age for drinking alcohol is 19 years old. While drinking in public is allowed, causing trouble while under the influence can result in high fines and being taken to the police station.

Why is Japan’s age of consent so low?

During that time period, it was common for 13-year-olds to be seen as mature enough to give consent. Additionally, the legal age for marriage was 15 years old, making 13 seem like a reasonable age for consent. This is why Japan’s age of consent is 13, despite being two years younger than the legal marriageable age.

What is age of consent in China?

In mainland China, the legal age of consent is 14 years old, while the two special administrative regions, Macau and Hong Kong, have their own laws regarding age of consent. Similarly to China, the age of consent in Macau is also 14 years old.

It is also important to note that the age of consent law in Korea applies to all forms of sexual activities, including heterosexual and homosexual acts. While homosexuality is legal in Korea, there is still a significant amount of stigma surrounding it, which can make it difficult for individuals to seek help or support if they are victims of sexual abuse.

Furthermore, the strict age of consent law in Korea can create challenges for young people who may be exploring their sexuality. It can be challenging for them to find resources and support to navigate their sexual experiences while ensuring that they are within the bounds of the law. This highlights the need for open and honest discussions about sexuality and relationships in Korean society.

To address these challenges, there have been efforts to improve sexual education in Korea. The government has implemented programs aimed at providing information on sexual health and protection, as well as promoting healthy relationships and consent. However, there is still a long way to go in terms of breaking down cultural taboos and promoting open conversations about sexuality.

In conclusion, the age of consent law in Korea plays a crucial role in protecting young people from exploitation and abuse. While it may seem strict, it is important to remember its purpose and ensure that all sexual activities are based on mutual consent. There is also a need for more comprehensive sexual education and open conversations about sexuality to help young people navigate their experiences safely and confidently.

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