There is much variation among cultures as to what is considered a crime or not, and in what ways or to what extent crimes are punished.
Acts regarded as crimes almost universally include the following non-consensual sex crimes:
- Child sexual abuse or molestation
- Child pornography (definition varies significantly)
- Lust murder
- Rape, sexual assault and other forms of sexual abuse
Liberal western cultures are far more tolerant of acts such as oral sex or transvestism that have traditionally been held to be crimes in some other cultures, but combine this with lesser tolerance for the remaining crimes.
Cultures with highly censorious sex laws regarding adult sex acts often have high levels of concealed sexual abuse, particularly of children.
Some activists also perceive circumcision, a practice common in the U.S., as a crime against children in violation of human rights laws. However, circumcision advocates perceive it as a religious rite, or an essential health measure, and believe it does not violate any child abuse laws. Courts in the United States have tended to favor circumcision advocates in most cases.
Many consensual sexual actions or activities are only viewed as crimes in some jurisdictions, including:
- Anal sex
- Sex among juveniles (usually as Statutory rape)
- Oral sex
- Various Paraphilias/Fetishes such as
- Prostitution and/or pimping
- Ownership of vibrators and other sex toys
Examples of laws in various localities: