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Copulation; the act of a man having sexual relations with a woman.
Penetration is an essential element of sexual intercourse, and there is carnal knowledge if even the slightest penetration of the female by the male organ takes place. It is not required that the hymen be ruptured or the vagina entered.
n. from Latin carnalis for "fleshly:" sexual intercourse between a male and female in which there is at least some slight penetration of the woman's vagina by the man's penis. It is legally significant in that it is a necessary legal characteristic or element of rape, child molestation, or consensual sexual relations with a girl below the age of consent ("statutory rape"). Age of consent varies from 14 to 18, depending upon the state.
carnal knowledgesexual intercourse. Originally used in English law and now found in the USA, the phrase sometimes denotes an offence in itself or maybe part of a wider definition.
CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, crim. law. This phrase is used to signify a sexual connexion; as, rape is the carnal knowledge of a woman, &c. See Rape.