Fact check: No evidence of any attempt to lower the age of consent … – Reuters

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Posts on social media claim some people are trying to lower the legal age of consent to four years old. Reuters found no evidence to support this claim which appears to be another conspiracy theory. Research led to no politician, mainstream publication or public figure credibly arguing for the age of consent to be lowered to 4.
A post shared over 103,000 times on Facebook here reads: “We can’t buy alcohol or cigarettes until we are 21, but there are people trying to make legal age of consent 4 years old. Let that sink in. #SaveOurChildren”. Other posts are visible here, and here .
Most iterations and posts making the claim include the hashtag ‘SaveOurChildren’ which The New York Times reported in August was being shared by followers of the QAnon group that is best-known for spreading a conspiracy theory about a supposed child-trafficking ring at a Washington pizzeria. ( here , here , here )
Some users commenting on the age of consent claim also misleadingly refer to California bill SB-145. Reuters previously debunked the claim that SB-145 legalizes pedophilia here .
Reuters was not able to find this claim outside of social media posts and most iterations do not mention a source, though some ( bit.ly/32ebXtc , here ) referenced the North American Man-Boy Association (NAMBLA) ( here ) . As reported by VICE here in 2016 , membership and activities by the group “appear to have dwindled to nearly nothing.”
A search of the claim on Twitter also brought up earlier tweets ( here , here ) mentioning the Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE), which campaigned in the UK to allow adults to have sex with children ( here ). The group operated between 1974 and 1984 ( here ).
The age of consent in the U.S. varies within states, ranging between 16 and 18 ( here ). The majority of states establish the age of consent at 16 ( here ).
A look into the evolution of the age of consent in the U.S. is available here .
False. No evidence any mainstream voice is requesting age of consent to be lowered to 4 years old, the claim alludes to conspiracy theory.
This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  . 
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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