The gap between the age of sexual consent and the age of marriage leads to various problems associated with several health effects. Due to the problem of sexual experimentation and the inability to insist on safe sex at age 16, youth are at high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and human papillomavirus (HPV) . Girls who are unable to cope with the shame and stigma associated with pregnancy at this age resort to unsafe abortion because most of them are unaware of accurate SRH information. This action sometimes leads to unwanted health complications, disability, and death. Nevertheless, the prevalence of unsafe abortions and abortion-related complications and deaths would have been much worse if the age of sexual consent and the age of marriage had been aligned. Indeed, young people cannot resort to abortion in such circumstances, as health professionals providing such services would practice illegally . At the age of 16, however, the biological makeup of the girl can pose a threat to childbirth. Girls who engage in sexual activity are more likely to become pregnant and, if they do, are at risk of stillbirths , miscarriages  and low birth weight children  due to the young maternal age at birth. We have a lot of fans who aren`t of age or just don`t want to bet, but our goal is to give every fan the opportunity to have the best possible experience at the baseball stadium. Meanwhile, there is no legal age for sexual consent in some jurisdictions. This trend is due to the fact that many societies traditionally link the age of sexual consent to the time of puberty .
However, as the age of puberty has decreased recently, there are concerns about the age of sexual consent and its impact on SRH in young people. Therefore, this review examines the missing link between the legal age of marriage and the age of sexual consent and its implications using Ghana as a case study. There is an international consensus that child marriage is a violation of children`s rights that disproportionately affects girls worldwide [4,5,6]. Among the international agreements that have led the discourse on the age of marriage are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); and the Convention on the Rights of the Child . This is why the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs  has called for the elimination of child marriage by 2030. The question remains, what constitutes child marriage? According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, child marriage includes any marriage in which both or one partner is under the age of 18, with or without consent . Parsons et al.  Also suggest that child marriage includes any legal or habitual union involving a boy or girl before the age of 18. Thus, child marriage can be a formal or informal union; it may be legal or customary; it involves marriage before the age of 18; and may be forced or voluntary. The issue of the legal age of marriage is closely linked to the legal age of marriage. The age of sexual consent refers to the minimum age at which a person is considered legally capable of consenting to sexual intercourse .
Unlike marriage, there is no universally accepted standard for the age of sexual consent. As a result, the age of sexual consent varies widely around the world. In Angola and Burundi, for example, the age of sexual consent is 12, while in Bahrain it is 21 . Figure 1 shows the legal age of consent and marriage in ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa where the fertility rate is above 5.0. As shown in Figure 1, with the exception of girls in Mali, Uganda and Nigeria, the legal age of sexual consent is lower in the ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa where fertility rates are above 5.0. In some countries (e.g. Angola, Burundi and Niger), the difference between the legal age of consent and marriage is between 5 and 6 years. The question is what happens between the legal age of consent and marriage. Approval by low age may explain the high birth rate in most sub-Saharan African countries. Fig. Figure 2 shows the legal age of consent and fertility rates for the ten countries in sub-Saharan Africa with fertility rates above 5.0.
The BBC reported that OnlyFans has not done enough to ensure that its creators are of legal age or that all content published on the platform is legal. The legal age is also called the age of majority. This is the age at which a person acquires the legal status of an adult. The legal age is determined by state law and may vary from state to state. However, almost all states set the basic legal age at 18. This is the age at which a person takes control of their own actions and affairs and becomes responsible for the decisions they make. People over the legal age of majority are generally tried as adults when charged with crimes. Once this age is reached, all existing maintenance obligations of parents, guardians and children are deemed to have ended.
However, minors may acquire the status of legal majority before reaching the age of majority if they obtain a court decision on emancipation or if they meet exceptions defined by law, such as marriage as a minor or the acquisition of certain qualifications. Unless otherwise indicated, Ghana`s specific problems are highlighted. Ghana, like other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, attaches great importance to the needs and concerns of young people in relation to SRH. Therefore, the country has set the legal age of marriage and the age of sexual consent in order to protect young people from sexual abuse and the effects of early marriage or early sexual initiation. Legally, the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) sets the age of sexual consent at 16. On the other hand, the legal age of marriage under section 14 (2) of the Children Act 1998 (Act 560) is 18 years . This imbalance implies that in Ghana there is a two-year gap between the legal age of sexual consent and the age of marriage. So it is legal to have sex at 16, but criminal to marry at 16 or before 18? This paradox in the legal and regulatory framework regarding age of marriage and sexual consent poses a social and legal conundrum. In addition, this discrepancy between the legal age of marriage and the age of sexual consent has raised concerns about raising the age of sexual consent to the legal age of marriage in Ghana. However, we should be concerned about what happens between the gap period provided for in the two legal frameworks. For sub-Saharan Africa, it is important to find ways to ensure equal access to SRH services for sexually active youth. According to Petroni, Das and Sawyer , sexuality is an intrinsic component of man and increases with the onset of puberty.
Since the age of puberty has dropped significantly worldwide , this implies that many young people are sexually active. Therefore, equal access to SRH services such as family planning and comprehensive abortion care would be key to addressing issues related to the current state of the legal age of marriage and sexual consent in Africa.