When does it become legal to have sex? It may surprise you how different the answer to this question can be, depending on where in the world you are.

In France, it is currently illegal to have sex with someone under the age of 15 but there is no legal minimum age of consent. Ministers are now considering making 13 the age of consent, so that incidents involving children under this age would bring about statutory rape charges. This works the same in the UK, except the actual age it is legal to have sex is one year higher, at 16. In 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron rejected an expert's call to lower the age of consent to 15 as Downing Street said the age of 16 had been chosen to protect children.

Meanwhile, in the US, women have been sharing photos of themselves aged 14 after Republican Alabama senate candidate Roy Moore was accused of making sexual advances on several women aged 14 to 18 while he was in his thirties. The allegations raised the issue of consent and whether a girl of 14 could be considered to have consented to his actions.

The legal age of consent, defined in the US as the age at which someone can legally consent to participation in a sexual act, varies between 16 and 18 in different US states, making the issue more complicated. In Alabama, the age of consent is 16.

Some US states have introduced a Romeo and Juliet law. If a victim is aged 14 to 17 and the other party is close in age, usually no more than four years older, no statutory rape charges will be pressed.

Globally, the lowest legal age of consent is in Angola and the Philippines, where children as young as 12 can consent to sexual activity. Many people believe that Nigeria has an age of consent of just 11, perhaps due to unclear wording, but in fact a bill passed in 2015 prescribes life imprisonment for anyone who defiles a child aged under 18.

Five countries in Africa and Asia have an age of consent of 13 - Burkina Faso, Comoros, Japan, Niger and Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. And 32 countries around the world, from China and Brazil to Germany, have the age of 14 enshrined in law. Sixteen remains the most common age of consent globally, at 76 countries.

Age of consent at 14:

Albania, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Chad, China, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Ecuador, Estonia, the Federated States of Micronesia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Leichtenstein, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Montenegro, Myanmar, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, San Marino, São Tomé and Príncipe and Serbia.

Some countries go to extremes in the other direction. Bahrain has an age of consent of 21; anyone aged 20 or under is deemed legally unable to consent to sexual activity and statutory rape charges can stand. South Korea is only just behind, with an age of consent of 20, while Niue sets the age at 19.

Not all countries actually have an age of consent. In 13 countries - Afghanistan, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Maldvies, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine Gaza Strip, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, UAE and Yemen - sex is still only legal in marriage and so there is no age of consent at all.

The United Nations General Assembly's Convention on the Rights of the Child says children have the right to be protected from all forms of sexual abuse and exploitation, but it did not issue any international guidelines on the age of consent.

And, according to Unicef, the Committee on the Rights of the Child argues that countries with a low legal age of consent should raise it, although it is unclear how low the committee considered this mark to be.

Unicef added: "The age of consent, whatever it may be in your country, certainly doesn't mean you should be having sex at that age."