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According to theoretical and practical understandings of consent, those key elements include: Equality relates to the balance of power and control between those involved in sexual activities.A reasonable degree of equality needs to exist between the parties engaged in sexual activities, whether that pertains to relationships (authority and dependency), physical and/or intellectual capacity, or age (Conroy, Krishnakumar, & Leone, 2015; Craig, 2014; Mc Carthy & Thompson, 2004; Ryan, 1997).However, when both parties are close in age, identifying whether the sexual activity is abusive is more complex.Ryan (1997) proposed three factors that must be considered in order to evaluate sexual interactions between two or more children: consent, equality and coercion.Sexual interaction that is harmful and abusive between two young people under the legal age can be difficult to identify and determine.In situations where there is a clear age difference - for example a teenager and a young child - any sexual interaction is sexual abuse, as there is a definite power imbalance.
An important distinction should be made between "willingness" and "consent".Gender and gender inequality also play a role in sexual consent. 1294) find that "adolescent sexual values, personal beliefs and expectations about sex are deeply shaped by gendered behaviours regulated by their peer and social environments." Coercion can be described as the peer pressure put on one child by another to achieve compliance (Ryan, 1997). The lower end may include implied authority, manipulation, trickery or bribery.The top end of the continuum may include physical force, threats of harm and overt violence.Public concern about young people's healthy sexual development now includes debates regarding their use of information and communication technologies, the majority of which are internet-enabled.The widespread use of mobile phones has led to a number of legal interventions that attempt to protect children from sexual exploitation in online environments.