Carnal knowledge and Sexual intercourse
Carnal knowledge is an archaic or legal euphemism for sexual intercourse. Examples of this usage include the first part of the Bible, the Book of Genesiswhich describes how Adam and Eve conceived their first interludes.
In interludes lawthe term has had different meanings at different times and in different jurisdictions. While commonly a mere euphemism for sexual intercourse not necessarily unlawfuldifferent jurisdictions have defined carnal knowledge as well as sexual intercourse as a specific sex act such as contact between a penis and vaginasome laws elaborating this to include even "slight penile penetration of female sex organs ".
The definition sometimes includes a set of carnal acts that include sodomywhile some statutes specifically exclude such acts. Some laws do not define the term, and leave it to the courts to give it meaning, which also allows them to take into account changing community standards.
Carnal knowledge has also sometimes meant sexual intercourse outside girls sucking foreskin marriageand sometimes refers to sex with someone under the age of consent. The phrase is often found in this sense in modern carnal usage, being equivalent to statutory rape in some jurisdictions, as the term rape implies lack of consent.
A related term is carnal abusewhich is defined by Dictionary. Usually, but not always, this does not involve penetration.