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Both partners must be of legal age to give consent, although exceptions to the age of consent law exist in some jurisdictions when the minor and his or her partner are within a certain number of years in age or when a minor is married to his/her partner.
Persons below the age of consent may not, by law, give consent, and sexual relations involving such persons may be punished by criminal sanctions similar to those for rape or sexual assault.
For example, in Indiana the age of consent is 16 but it is illegal for a person over 18 to have sex with anyone under 18 if they work at their school, are their parent or a stepparent, or are a person recruiting them to join the military.
Historically, the age of consent applied to male-female relationships; same-sex relationships were often illegal regardless of the ages of participants.
Typically, Mexican states have a "primary" age of consent (which may be as low as 12), and sexual conduct with persons below that age is always illegal.
The age of consent is the age at or above which a person is considered to have the legal capacity to consent to sexual activity.