Age of majority

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The age of majority is the age at which, usually by law, a 'child' becomes and 'adult.'

Different countries set the age of majority to different ages, and even within countries different ages may be set for different things - even to the point of contradiction.

For example, in the UK, it's permissible for a 16 yr-old to engage in sexual intercourse[1], but it's not legal to photograph the act until they reach 18[2], nor are they permitted to possess pornography until they reach 18[3].

United Kingdom

In general, the age of majority is 18, but as mentioned above, the age of consent is 16. The age for purchase and consumption of tobacco is 18, for purchasing alcohol 18, but consumption is legal in private from the age of 5, and in public with a meal from 16[4].

Adamson & Templeton (2012)

Silent Voices: supporting children and young people affected by parental alcohol misuse is a particularly obnoxious piece of research, in part by taking the following shortcut:

1For reasons of brevity the term ‘children’ will be used as a generic term throughout this report to refer to ‘children and young people’ and ‘adolescents’.


References