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The common-law presumption relating to girls under 12 was replaced by a general presumption that children under 12 cannot consent.
The act also fixed the age of consent at 16 for all sexual acts.
Although sex between men was already illegal, prohibited by the common law as "sodomy" or "unnatural sexual acts", the Immorality Act also criminalised sexual intercourse between a man and a boy under sixteen.
In certain cases, including relatives and homosexuals, it is 21 years.
The Immorality Amendment Act, 1988 inserted mirror provisions applying to women, prohibiting intercourse between a woman and a boy under 16 or a girl under 19.
It also renamed the Immorality Act to the Sexual Offences Act, 1957.
Early childhood marriage is especially common in rural areas, where some girls are married as young as 7 years old.
During the Gaddafi government, the regular age of consent was 18, but 16 years old women could be married as long the parents consented. After the 2011 revolution, the age of consent limit was removed.