Re: Question (not a Merkin)
just to clarify one minor detail. Yes. Americans are subject to the rules of the country they are in. Yet.. There are laws that apply to Americans OUTSIDE the US. Of these there are several, one of which is the PROTECT ACT.
So.. for example... even though it is legal in the UK to have sex with someone from 16 (as long as a position of trust is not involved)... it is ILLEGAL for US citizen or resident to do so. And subject to prosecution in the United States.
Crimes Against Minors Abroad
U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of foreign countries. Furthermore, some laws are prosecutable in the United States regardless of local law.
Under the Prosecutorial Remedies and Other Tools to End the Exploitation of Children Today Act of 2003 (PROTECT Act), it is a crime, prosecutable in the United States, for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to engage in illicit sexual conduct in a foreign country with a person under the age of 18, whether or not the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident intended to engage in such illicit sexual conduct prior to going abroad.
Under the Protection of Children from Sexual Predators Act of 1998, it is a crime to use the mail or any facility or means of interstate or foreign commerce to transmit information about a minor under the age of 16 with the intent to entice, encourage, offer, or solicit any person to engage in any criminal sexual activity, among other things, the production of child pornography.
Other laws of course are for foreign nationals (physical as well as corporate) that 'violate' USA embargo's against Cuba... Iran... etc...
The United States is a complex country....