What is the legal age for sex in Singapore? What are some common sexual offences in Singapore?

Pursuant to section 376A of the Penal Code, sexual penetration of a minor under 16 is an offence even if the minor had given consent. Both male and female minors are covered within this provision. In addition, according to the definitions of the aforementioned section, sex is consists of sexual penetration, and includes vaginal, oral or anal sex.

In addition, commercial sex with minors under 18 is also a punishable offence pursuant to section 376B of the Penal Code. Furthermore, under section 376C of the Penal Code, Singapore citizens or Permanent Residents who engage in commercial sex with a minor under 18 will still be liable even if the acts were done in a location outside of Singapore.

With regard to the commonly-heard protest of “I did not know she was below 16!”, section 377D of the Penal Code clearly states that:

  1. If the offender is above the age of 21, he cannot claim that he mistakenly believed the minor was not underage as a defence.
  2. If the offender is below the age of 21, he may claim that he mistakenly believed the minor was not underage as a defence, but only if the minor was of the opposite sex, and if the offender has not previously committed any similar sexual offences before.

In Singapore, pursuant to section 375 of the Penal Code, rape is committed when a man has sexual intercourse with a woman without her consent. Sex is also rape when the victim is a girl under the age of 14, regardless of whether she had given her consent.

Molest is prosecuted as the offence of outrage of modesty in Singapore when it involves criminal force, pursuant to section 354 of the Penal Code.

Incest, sex with animals or corpses, child prostitution, and child pornography are also punishable offences in Singapore (refer to the section on sexual offences in the Penal Code for more information). Intercourse between two men is also prohibited under section 377A of the Penal Code. This controversial section has received much attention from the public, with some calling for its repeal due to its alleged discrimination against gays.

The quantum of punishment for each respective sexual offence, such as the length of imprisonment or sum of fine, can be found in the Penal Code under the relevant sections for each offence. The exact punishment that will be handed down by the judge depends on the nature of the offence committed.

The above is only a summary of some of the offences related to sexual conduct in Singapore. It does not necessarily mean that sexual acts not cited here are legal.

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