The age of sexual consent in Germany

Sometimes, even I get a question that I haven’t had before and which I need to research. For example this week, when a young guy asked:

Is it true that 14 years is the age of consent in Germany?
Is it legal, for example, for a 19-years-old guy to have sex with 15-years-old girl?

My reply:

Yes, the age of consent is 14 years in Germany (§ 176 StGB). As with other statutes in Germany, 14 is the age when a child becomes a juvenile.

For the partner of the 14- or 15-year old, there is no strict age limit, but § 182 III StGB makes it criminal for an over-21-year old to have sex with a below-16-year old if the older partner “abuses the lack of capacity for sexual self-determination” of the younger partner. But this is normally only prosecuted if the victim – or his or her parents -asks for prosecution (§ 182 V StGB).

The “lack of capacity for sexual self-determination” is a rather vague term, of course. In general, the more experienced and the more intelligent the younger partner is, the less risk of committing a crime. If the older partner is dominating or manipulating in the relationship, this can be an indicator for a crime. The age difference can also play a role. For example, a 19-year old boyfriend with a 15-year old girlfriend is less of a problem than a 48-year old dude with a 14-year old girl.

It is also a crime to have sex with a person under 18 if you exploit their predicament (§ 182 I StGB), for example if the girl missed the last bus home and has to stay at your place.

So, to your original question: If they know each other for some time, maybe are even in a relationship, there is no predicament situation, and the girl knows what she wants, then it’s legal. Obviously, force is always illegal, regardless of age.

Have fun! ;-)

It’s nice that young people nowadays seek professional legal advice before embarking on a romantic adventure.

“Don’t worry, honey! Mr Moser said that everything is legal.”

I guess I might hear from them again in a few months with questions about establishing paternity, child support and child custody.


  • More useful information about German law.
  • And about law in general.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a writer, a spy or a hobo.
This entry was posted in German Law, Germany, Law, Love and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The age of sexual consent in Germany

  1. Conrad says:

    Yes, and they will also expect it for free, or for 5 dollar :)

  2. Dino Bragoli says:

    I was surprised as I was for the Italian age also at 14. The UK is 16, which is better?

    • vint says:

      Neither is “better”: humans are STILL children at the age of 14…15…16…even 17 and 18. And, let’s face it, even science has determined that most of us don’t mature until the mid- to late 20s. So for ANY country (or state in the USA) to approve of a child having sex with an adult is a moral and ethical crime.

    • Steffen Schuchardt says:

      The law in Germany states that they are not children from the age of 14, so it is perfectly safe to have sex. The age of criminal responsibility is 14 too, so they can be younger. Your american morals are outdated. So is your development.
      It is sick to put children into prison for having sex with each other. I would move out of the US to protect my children.

  3. Mohamed says:

    My girlfriend will be 18 years July 11 and I’m 23 years. it’s a crime have have sex after her birthday?

  4. Anna says:

    So, I’m 15 right now, turning 16 in July, my boyfriend is 13 (I feel kinda guilty for that game gab) and he lives in America and I am in Germany, we of course planned on meeting up at some point in our life and I wanted to ask when exactly it would be legal for us to have sex when let’s say he flies to Germany at some point.

  5. Bobby says:

    hello i’m from UK i’m 26 is it legal for me to date a girl who’s 16 and somewhere near under or something like that cause i don’t want to get in trouble

  6. Pingback: Vor hundert Jahren sollte Homosexualität entkriminalisiert werden – April 1922: § 175 StGB | Der reisende Reporter

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  8. German says:

    I want to start a relationship with a person of 14 years and 8 months in Munich.
    I have all the good intentions in the world, but I would like to know the reality and not the confirmation, so I would appreciate the maximum honesty from her and I will present the most exaggerated scenario possible.
    The parents find out, they don’t agree, they report me and I have the bad luck that they hire a very harmful —of those who misrepresent everything lawyer— what are the chances of being I imprisoned because he manages to manipulate the law to present that the mere difference in ages is “a abuse of her self-determination”, even if it was obviously consented to, she declares in court that she wanted it and has proof of being in a formal relationship?

  9. German says:

    The previous question was of a relation of sexual nature, of course.

  10. German says:

    I would do with her everything that any other normal couple does, including a sexual relationship.

    • How do you know that when you just “want to start a relationship”?
      Take your time, don’t rush, get to know each other!
      The longer you will have been in a relationship, the easier it will be to tell if there is a “lack of capacity for sexual self-determination” or not. Also, it will increase the chances that the relationship will fail (or fail to commence) before you do anything that might land you in prison.

    • German says:

      To be honest, it seems to me that you are responding in a way that makes you believe that the laws conform to your moral views.

      Investigating further, I have realized that German jurisprudence does not presume that age or the lack of sexual encounters are relevant in configuring this, and that the probability not of conviction, not of prosecution, but of complait is 0.75%, so now I’m not worried.
      Go to bed from the first date, if the girl wants to! hehehehe.

    • Millions of readers of this blog would be interested in you sharing the source of that statistic.

    • German says:

      …Dass der bloße Hinweis auf das Alter der 14- oder 15-jährigen Person für eine Verurteilung des erwachsenen Beschuldigten nicht ausreicht. Die individuelle Fähigkeit oder Unfähigkeit des Jugendlichen zu sexueller Selbstbestimmung und gegebenenfalls das Ausnutzen letzterer durch den Täter muss vielmehr in jedem Einzelfall überprüft werden.

      …Auch aus der sexuellen Unerfahrenheit der jugendlichen Person kann das Fehlen der Fähigkeit zur sexuellen Selbstbestimmung nicht abgeleitet werden

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