With the advent of the Criminal Code in 1892, the strict prohibition against sexual intercourse was retained for girls under 14 (not married to the accused) and the law was strengthened to make an accuseds belief about the young womans age irrelevant.
That age limit has not changed and remains in place today, with narrow exceptions for consensual activity between young persons less than two years apart in age. For example, the Badgley Report notes that seduction of a girl over 12 and under 16 "of previously chaste character" was made an offence in 1886.
Furthermore, the offences of unlawful sexual intercourse did nothing to protect young women from other forms of sexual contact short of intercourse.
The lack of protection for girls between 14 and 16 who were not of chaste character or who were found more to blame for an offence was also seen as a serious limitation on the laws ability to protect young women from pregnancy or to maintain standards of morality, assuming that was the motivation behind it.
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The history of age of consent laws in Canada has evolved considerably in the past century so that the existing Criminal Code prohibitions against sexual contact with children bear scant resemblance to those that were in place as recently as 20 years ago.
A number of documents and publications published prior to those 1988 Criminal Code amendments suggest a variety of reasons for those changes in the law.
The Law Reform Commission of Canadas Working Paper 22 recommended the repeal of the seduction offences relating to young women over 18 and under 21 because they assumed "a general sexual immaturity among women" and attributed to men "the sole responsibility for making sexual decisions." The Commission said those were incorrect and unjust assumptions that should not be reflected in the criminal law.”Because its highly technical and quite complicated I think that we need an awful lot of public education to make sure young people, fearing they are doing something illegal, don’t hide and fail to seek the medical help they need and fail to get appropriate treatments and appropriate counselling,” said Martha Mackinnon, the group’s executive director. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, there are some people who cannot consent to sexual activity based on their age and the age of their partner. This table tells you how old you have to be to consent to vaginal or oral sex.However, the Working Paper took a different view of the unlawful intercourse offence relating to those under 16.In addition to supporting the retention of a "total prohibition" of sexual intercourse with female persons under the age of 14, the Law Reform Commission expressed the view that intercourse between adults and young persons under 16 should continue to be prohibited by the criminal law.