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This applies to men and women, and applies to both heterosexual and homosexual conduct.
However, as in many other states, New York has allowances for minors who are below the age of consent but are close to the same age.
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In New York, it is illegal for an adult (someone 18 or older) to have sex with a minor (someone younger than 17), even if the sex is consensual.
It is not meant to punish individuals who are close in age for engaging in consensual, non-exploitative sexual conduct.
Their incapacity is written into the statute—hence the term, “statutory” rape.
The age of consent can vary among states, and some states differentiate between consensual sex between minors who are close in age (for example, two teenagers of the same age), as opposed to sex between a minor and a much older adult.
This often arises when a child commits a serious crime and prosecutors must decide whether to charge the child as an adult.
It also applies to everyday situations that require the consent of a parent, such as most contractual agreements.