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Children younger than 14

In Germany, it is forbidden for adults or young people to have sex with children younger than 14. If adults and young people do this anyway, they become liable to prosecution.

If two children engage in sexual acts with each other, they will not be punished. This is because under German law, children younger than 14 have not yet reached the age of criminal responsibility.

Young people aged between 14 and 16

Young people aged 14 and over are granted a certain amount of sexual maturity and personal responsibility. Therefore, young people aged 14 and 15 are allowed to have sex with each other. Of course, this only applies if both people voluntarily consent.

http://www.zanzu.de/en/age-consent

Is it correct?

14

Your statement is absolutely correct.

Presumed it's the wish of the younger person, it is not set under pressure, and is not paid, the situation is as follows:

  • Any kind of sexual activities with a child below 14 is forbidden. (StGB
    §176: Sexueller Mißbrauch von Kindern)
  • But a child under 14 can not be punished for anything it did, because it lacks the necessary guilt-consciousness. (§19: Schuldunfähigkeit des Kindes). Due to this, sex between children under 14 is somewhat OK. In principle, the parents must not allow it and could be punished, but they can't (and are not requested by law) to have an eye on their children of that age 24/7.
  • If one is under 16 and the other over 21, it depends on the capacity for sexual self-determination of the younger person, and will be prosecuted only on application. (StGB §182 Sexueller Mißbrauch von Jugendlichen, (3), (5)) It is difficult to say when it's OK in this situation, but in general, it's said that it's OK when the parents say it's OK (in the interest of the child)
  • There are no further restrictions.

So yes, 14-15 year olds can have sex with each other, they can also have sex with persons up to 21, and they can also have sex with people over 21, when it is "OK".

One problem is that the Criminal Code only forbids thinks, it does not allow them. But since §189 handles this 14-15 and over 21 years old case, it would also include if sex between two 14-15 year olds would be prohibited. And if the first case is legal, how can the last one not be legal?

I've added the laws below and tried my best to translate them:

Strafgesetzbuch (StGB)
§ 176 Sexueller Mißbrauch von Kindern

(1) Wer sexuelle Handlungen an einer Person unter vierzehn Jahren (Kind) vornimmt oder an sich von dem Kind vornehmen läßt, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe von sechs Monaten bis zu zehn Jahren bestraft.
(2) Ebenso wird bestraft, wer ein Kind dazu bestimmt, daß es sexuelle Handlungen an einem Dritten vornimmt oder von einem Dritten an sich vornehmen läßt.


Criminal Code (StGB)
§ 176 Sexual abuse of children

(1) Any person who carries out sexual activities on a person under fourteen years of age (child) or let the child carry them out on her is punished with imprisonment for a period of six months to ten years.
(2) A person who determines a child to perform sexual acts on a third party or who is made by a third person is also punished.

There is even more in this law, saying what else is forbidden, but no restrictions to this sentences.

Strafgesetzbuch (StGB)
§ 19 Schuldunfähigkeit des Kindes

Schuldunfähig ist, wer bei Begehung der Tat noch nicht vierzehn Jahre alt ist.


Criminal Code (StGB)
§ 19 Incapabiltity of guilt of a child

Incapable of guilt is who is not fourteen years old at the time of the commission.

and the law about adolescents:

Strafgesetzbuch (StGB)
§ 182 Sexueller Mißbrauch von Jugendlichen

(1) Wer eine Person unter achtzehn Jahren dadurch missbraucht, dass er unter Ausnutzung einer Zwangslage

  1. sexuelle Handlungen an ihr vornimmt oder an sich von ihr vornehmen lässt oder

  2. diese dazu bestimmt, sexuelle Handlungen an einem Dritten vorzunehmen oder von einem Dritten an sich vornehmen zu lassen,

wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu fünf Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.
(2) Ebenso wird eine Person über achtzehn Jahren bestraft, die eine Person unter achtzehn Jahren dadurch missbraucht, dass sie gegen Entgelt sexuelle Handlungen an ihr vornimmt oder an sich von ihr vornehmen lässt.
(3) Eine Person über einundzwanzig Jahre, die eine Person unter sechzehn Jahren dadurch mißbraucht, daß sie

  1. sexuelle Handlungen an ihr vornimmt oder an sich von ihr vornehmen lässt oder

  2. diese dazu bestimmt, sexuelle Handlungen an einem Dritten vorzunehmen oder von einem Dritten an sich vornehmen zu lassen,

und dabei die ihr gegenüber fehlende Fähigkeit des Opfers zur sexuellen Selbstbestimmung ausnutzt, wird mit Freiheitsstrafe bis zu drei Jahren oder mit Geldstrafe bestraft.
(4) Der Versuch ist strafbar.
(5) In den Fällen des Absatzes 3 wird die Tat nur auf Antrag verfolgt, es sei denn, daß die Strafverfolgungsbehörde wegen des besonderen öffentlichen Interesses an der Strafverfolgung ein Einschreiten von Amts wegen für geboten hält.
(6) In den Fällen der Absätze 1 bis 3 kann das Gericht von Strafe nach diesen Vorschriften absehen, wenn bei Berücksichtigung des Verhaltens der Person, gegen die sich die Tat richtet, das Unrecht der Tat gering ist.


Criminal Code (StGB)
§ 182 Sexual abuse of adolescents

(1) Whoever misuses a person under eighteen years by using a compulsory condition

  1. to carry out sexual activities on her or let the person carry out sexual activites on her [the suspected]

  2. to intend her to carry out sexual activities on a third party or let a third party carry out sexual activities on her

will be punished with imprisonment for up to five years or with a fine.

(2) A person over eighteen years of age who misuses a person under eighteen years of age by paying her for the purpose of carrying out sexual acts on her or letting her carry out sexual activities on her [the suspected] is also punished

(3) A person over twenty-one years who misuses a person under the age of sixteen,

  1. to carry out sexual activities on her or let the person carry out sexual activites on her [the suspected]

  2. to intend her to carry out sexual activities on a third party or let a third party carry out sexual activities on her

using the victim's lack of capacity for sexual self-determination, will be punished with imprisonment for up to three years or with a fine.
(4) The attempt is punishable.
(5) In the cases referred to in paragraph (3), the offense shall be prosecuted only on application, unless the law enforcement authority considers it necessary to intervene on its own initiative because of the special public interest in prosecution.
(6) In the cases referred to in paragraphs (1) to (3) above, the court may refrain from imposing punishment under those provisions if, in the light of the conduct of the person to whom the offense is committed, the wrongful act is small.

  • 1
    I would use "exploit" to translate "ausnutzen". Also, regarding gender in the laws, the German version refers to "die Person", which just means gender-neutral "person", but is grammatically female. Such a thing doesn't exist in English, so depending on your preferences, you might want to translate it as "they". – Sebastian Redl Oct 24 '16 at 11:12
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    There are some additional age restrictions in § 174 ("Sexueller Missbrauch Schutzbefohlener") which applies to sexual contact between people under 16/18 with people in a position of authority over them. This is important for anyone who works with teenagers professionally or as a hobby (like leading a youth group). – Philipp Oct 24 '16 at 13:04
  • @SebastianRedl You are absolutely correct. About the grammar, I have trouble writing this correctly and not too far from the original. Maybe, someone can help to edit this? – sweber Oct 25 '16 at 9:47
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I am not a lawyer. This is a laymans interpretation of German criminal code.

The applicable parts of German law are § 176 (sexual abuse of children) and § 182 (sexual abuse of adolescents) of the Strafgesetzbuch (criminal code).

§ 176 forbids sexual contact to children (persons of ages less than 14). The attempt is punishable.

§ 182 (3) forbids sexual contact to adolescents (persons of ages less than 16) by persons of age 21 and up if the older person exploits the younger person's lacking capability for sexual self-determination with regard to the older person. The attempt is punishable.

Non-consensual situations, situations involving states of dependency by the underage person, etc. are handled differently, but I take that to be outside the scope of the question.

To answer the question as asked:

Are “young people aged 14 and 15 allowed to have sex with each other” in Germany?

According to my interpretation of the law, yes.


Implied question:

Have persons under the age of 14 not yet reached the age of criminal responsibility in Germany?

§ 19 of the StGB considers persons under the age of 14 to not be criminal responsible. Yes.

  • You seem to interpret the absence of laws to answer the question. – user22865 Oct 24 '16 at 10:21
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    @JanDoggen: The quoted laws define rather precisely which age combinations are forbidden by law. I struggle to understand what else than "there is no law against it" would answer the question in the affirmative. You expect me to prove absence? – DevSolar Oct 24 '16 at 10:40

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