General thoughts about the 16 year age limit on sex, right or wrong?

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  1. Dear_hubs profile image59
    Dear_hubsposted 13 years ago

    It has been a gray area for a long time that in the UK, sex below the age of 16 is illegal and many frown on it. I'll be honest, I lost my virginity at 15, however I am not a criminal, I have lead a community driven life and am a law abiding citizen.

    In this day and age, children are exposed to sex at a very low age, wether it be through the tv, parents or Siblings and their partners. Growing up around sex is normal, and in my opinion is healthy, although it needs to be controlled.

    Having an age limit on sex seems a bit crazy to me, it always has. When I was 15 and was enjoying attention from the opposite sex, I didn't once think, "I'm breaking the law". It just doesn't bother the kids that are doing it. In my opinion, I would abolish the sex limit and focus purely on educating children from a young age to love their bodies and to wait until the time is right.

    Now I'm not saying remove all guidelines, that would be foolish. There are some sick people out there, so keeping the laws of no sex in a position of trust would be a must. I see no problem with a well educated 17 year old boy, with a condom, sleeping with a 16 year old girl, and neither does the law. They are both of legal age. Is it so different if the boy is 16 and the girl is 15? How many people have actually slept with an under 16 out there? Millions, it's a day to day occurrence. Getting slapped on the sex offenders registry is wrong.

    I am in now way saying sex with a minor is ok though, a 21 year old sleeping with a 16 year old is questionable, and most would find it disturbing. But a 18 year old sleeping with a 13 year old IS disturbing and the 18 year old should know better and be punished for abusing their position.

    I still really fight with myself about it, I know I don't want my kids to be sleeping around when they are 14-16, but if they want to, i know I can't stop them, I would rather they be careful and at peace with themselves than do it to break the rules and be cool.

    Governing your children's sexual behavior is one of the hardest things in life. But parents must remember, children pick up on parents every move, even if it was before they were born. If you had sex and 15, chances are, your child will follow suit if you haven't changed your ways. Personally, I think if the child is 14+, is educated, and is with someone the same age, I don't see a problem. But that's just me, I would like to know your views to help better my advice I give to people.

    The current advice I would give to a mother of a 14 year old is to try and stop your child having sex, in a non physical way of course. Virginity is pure and you only get one shot, so save it. Explain about STI's and how they don't want to be a parent yet.

    That would be the basis of my advice, but I still feel like we are telling children that sex is bad unless your 16 and it's not, it's all about are they ready!

    Please, your views? I am sorry if I have offended anyone with my views.

    1. Shadesbreath profile image78
      Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I'm curious, is the law in the U.K. that it is illegal to have sex if YOU are younger than 16, or that it's illegal to have sex WITH someone that's under 16?

      My understanding of the laws here in the U.S. is that the point is not to deter kids from having sex, but to keep adults from seducing (or worse) gullible kids with delusions of maturity.

      1. Greek One profile image62
        Greek Oneposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        tells us again where you stand on fetuses dating, Shades smile

        1. Shadesbreath profile image78
          Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          LOLOL, I've made myself clear on that matter, thank you very much, and we all know you are an inveterate supporter of fetal promiscuity and a general state of free-for-all orgy in the womb.

          1. Greek One profile image62
            Greek Oneposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            you forget to mention that I am opposed to any sexual contact whatsoever from birth to age 57

      2. John Holden profile image61
        John Holdenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        It is illegal to have sex with somebody under the age of consent, 16, and as somebody under the age of 16 is unable to give consent the older, usually male, lays themselves open to a charge of rape even if the girl forced him into it.

        A few years ago there was a case involving a boy of sixteen and a girl still 15. They'd been going out with each other for several years, planned to marry eventually and remained entirely chaste until the evening of the  girls 16th birthday when it would be legal for them to do it.
        The girl decided that a few more hours weren't worth bothering about and ping, they lost their cherries, right on the back of the girls 16th birthday.
        Her father found out.
        He reported the event to the police.
        The police prosecuted.
        The court found guilty.
        The lad was put on the sex offenders register.
        The lad was no longer able to pursue his chosen career as a teacher!

        What the hell did that prove?
        Who did it protect?
        Sick sick sick!

        1. Shadesbreath profile image78
          Shadesbreathposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          So it was not illegal for HER to have sex.  It was only illegal for him to have sex with her.

          What happens if two 15-year-old kids have sex?  I guess that's what I'm asking.

          1. John Holden profile image61
            John Holdenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

            No, but highly likely that she find her self taken into care, or not very many years ago locked up in a mental hospital.

            Two 15 year olds and he would almost certainly be prosecuted as the girl would still be under 15 and such is the law that had the 15 year old boy seduced a 17 year old, he would then become the victim and the girl the criminal. . . go figure!

        2. kerryg profile image82
          kerrygposted 12 years agoin reply to this

          I am not positive, but I think some US states have rules where if the couple is less than 2 or 3 years apart in age, the older can't be prosecuted even if s/he is technically legal and the younger is technically underage. I think that's reasonable. I wouldn't be thrilled about a 13 year old going out with a 15 or 16 year old, but it's much more palatable than an 18 year old! And couples of 15 and 17 are common.

    2. Lisa HW profile image61
      Lisa HWposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      My kids know nothing about anything I did or didn't do when it comes to sex.  All they know for sure is that I gave birth to two out of three of them, and had a pregnancy that result in a fourth child for me.  There are boundaries about what I'll share about my personal business with them; but at the same time, I wouldn't ever think in terms of "governing" a young son or daughter's sexual behavior (because I believe their sexual behavior is their business, just as my own is mine).

      Having said that, though, I think, rather than "governing", it's important to try to raise a kid with good self-esteem, common sense, and the intelligence to realize he's young, and there are sound reasons to wait until one is over 14 or 16 before getting involved with sex.  Kids aren't stupid.  It's completely possible to point out reasons why waiting is better for them without sending the message that "sex is bad".  All you do is say, "Sex is natural and part of life, and it's a fine and healthy thing; so it isn't 'bad'".  At the same time, there are solid reasons for believing it's better to be a little older, and here they are.....".

      I remember a couple of conversations I had with my best friend when we both 15-year-old girls.  It was at time when "the big question" in society was, "Is premarital sex wrong?".   My 15-year-old friend and I talked for hours and agreed that we didn't think "premarital sex" was wrong, but we thought people should be old enough to be in a relationship that was more serious than most 15-year-olds have. We knew there was a difference between the reasons kids are own age would want to be involved in a sexual relationship, and we knew that 15/16-year-old boys weren't exactly people to be interested in more than "just sex".  We knew they might believe they were "in love" with a girl because they found her attractive, but we also knew that a lot of the "nice" or "emotionally mature"/"smart" boys might not to be all that ready for a "serious" relationship (beyond just sex) either.  We figured that those boys who deemed themselves plenty ready and didn't consider what might be best for their girlfriend or dates weren't the kind of boys we were interested in anyway.

      I remember saying to my friend how I wouldn't want to take a relationship to that level because I could never be sure the boy really cared about me and who/what I was, and wasn't just in it for "what he could out of it".  I said to my friend how I thought that if a couple "got too serious" when they were too young, there would never really be a way (or a reason, sometimes) for them to get to know each other "as people" as well as people in a couple ought to know each other.

      Knowing that 15-year-old boys are so often at the mercy of their teen hormones, and knowing how immature they tend to be in so many ways; I didn't want to take any relationship with a kid that age "to the next level".   Then, too, at 15, I saw people like 19-year-olds and 20-year-olds as way too old for me.  If someone that age had been interested in me I would have thought they were really creepy.  So, the "selection" of possible "intimate partners" was, in my opinion, not in my own best interest

      In those days there wasn't a lot of talk about STDs (some - but not a lot).  Generally, "nice kids" didn't have to worry because they usually only had sex with a nice boyfriend or girlfriend they'd gone out with for at least awhile (even the youngest ones).  In those days, it was something that was more "the likely outcome" if kids "went steady" - not something kids who weren't going steady with someone got involved with.  At the time, I believed that at my age, I was far more likely to "be used" (even if a boy didn't really plan it that way) by a boy I'd be going out with, than if I were older and dating guys who were past the "hormonal throws" and immaturity of the mid-teen years.  Besides, I just didn't want "the complication" having to worry about all the things there are to worry about and wonder about when kids take things to that next level.

      One BIG thing, though, was complete and utter fear of risking pregnancy.  At 15, I (first) knew how disappointed and upset my parents would be.  Also, I knew they'd end up getting involved with taking care of baby, and I knew it wasn't fair to bring a baby in and "decide for them"  that they'd be raising a grandchild.  Besides, I was a tiny girl and couldn't imagine EVER having a baby (although I believed I could be a very good mother when the time was right).  At 15, I had big plans for a career and for the kind of life I wanted to bring my future children into.  Because "The Pill" was a relatively new invention at the time, I would not have considered taking it because "I didn't want to mess up my own hormones and maybe risk my own health or even future fertility", so The Pill was out, and I knew all other methods would have meant taking a far bigger chance that The Pill would mean.

      So, for these and any number of other reasons that seemed "legitimate" and sensible, my best friend and I agreed that even thinking considering taking our respective relationships with any boyfriends to "the next level" was something we weren't about to do.  It was justn't my friend and me, though.  It was pretty much how most of the girls I knew thought. 

      Heck (probably to my parents relief), my friend and I wanted to be spending our time enjoying high school and imagining going to one prom or another with one kid or another.

      At 15, I thought, "I'm a kid.  That's something I'll be involved with sometime in the future, but I'm too young to get involved with that kind of thing right now."

      When I had my own teen sons and daughter I pretty much talked about these and other, similar, issues with them.  I talked about having self-respect and respecting the other person; and I talked about how, if they cared about that other person, they wouldn't want to see that other person ruin his own future by risking a  pregnancy and possibly having to give up on, or at least postpone, education.  I joked to my daughter (when she was 15) that if she had a baby "I'd say, 'thank you for giving me this baby, because the baby would be pretty much like my own, since I'd be the one taking care of it."  We both laughed, but we both knew that's how it can really be when a kid has a baby.

      Between the time any of them was 14/15 and now, I don't know what any of them has done in their "personal business".  I have reason to suspect nobody was 14 or 15, but mostly because none of them had a steady boyfriend or girlfriend; and they weren't, for the most part, "fast" kids who'd be "sleeping around with any-old-body".

      Today, I have sons and nephews who are all between 29 and 35 and with varying education beyond high school, and who are all more interested in building financial stability and career prospects than in starting a family "yet".   At this point, my daughter would be at least 26 if she had a baby in the near future.  I'm pretty happy with not yet being sent into the "Grandmother Phase" of my own life yet (it lets me continue to still feel "too young" and delude myself into thinking I actually am too young).  Most young men aren't interested in, or ready for, a family until they're at least 30.  The way I see it, by the time my kids have their own kids we'll all be more ready for them.   smile

      Medically/scientifically, it's now understood that young people's brains aren't even finished maturing until they're in their early to mid twenties.  A not-quite-mature prefrontal cortex can mean they don't think in the same way that they will later.  Besides, I'd think Nature tells us that 14/15 isn't always "ideal" because some girls don't even have a reproductive cycle "up and running yet".  The higher risks in pregnancy at 15 or 16 can mean someone way too young to deal with the consequences that can happen (premature delivery, for example).

      I think it's a rare person whose hormones won't, under the right circumstances, lead to his/her "feeling ready".  I think it may be a rare kid who's in a hurry to grow up and do the things that all grown-ups do.  I don't think the matter of age has to do with "teaching kids to like their bodies".  I think it has to do with trying to raise kids who know that there's more to their own wellbeing, health, and future to "just liking your body" (or liking someone else's body, for that matter).

      Somewhere between the 60's and now, people have seemed to come under the impression that believing in a little self-control or thinking young kids should wait before having sex is a matter of "having a hang-up" or "thinking sex is dirty or wrong".  It's not about hang-ups.  It's about common sense and understanding the mental/ emotional development of human beings.

      When I was a teen I had the benefit of a society that at least let me know it was reasonable and feasible for a teen to be able to live quite nicely but also wait before getting involved in "anything serious".  Somewhere between then and now, it's as if the message everyone (including adults) gives young people is, "OMG - there can't possibly be any such thing as a young person who chooses to wait (except, of course, for all those people with 'weird religious beliefs' and hang-ups.  Make sure Santa Claus leaves some condoms in the stocking of every child over seven!")

      Rather than help kids know that they, themselves, can define how they want to manage their own behavior, and whether the option to wait is a perfectly sound one; adults send the message about how "impossible" it is to even imagine any teen waiting for sound reasons that are actually appropriate for kids' developmental level.

      I don't think "just because they think they're ready" is what ought to determine whether sex at 14 or 16 is a great idea or not.  It's not a great idea.  They're too young.  They don't think anything bad is going to happen to them, and when it does it happens before they ever even get the chance to grow up.

      My childhood friend used to laugh because she said every time she asked her mother about something related to having babies or sex, her mother would say, "Oh, honey.  Think of something nice - like snow. "  lol  lol   I don't know....    lol  lol    I'm not sure there wasn't something to that approach.   smile

    3. jimmy yang profile image60
      jimmy yangposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I have to say that there should be no any age limit on sexual ! 
      we should abey the nature and purcuit the desire what we should be or should do !
      I think  that is our right and freedom !
      we have the right to love, and we have the right to make love !And we have the right to do whatever we think it is right !But we should respect other's right and freedom !

  2. prettydarkhorse profile image54
    prettydarkhorseposted 13 years ago

    There are studies that concluded with the fact that when one starts sex early other risky behaviors follow, like early smoking, drugs and having multiple partners.

    Other problems are that : young people are confuse about their sexuality, young girls lack self worth and both sexes lack sexual responsibility bec they are still young and not properly taught about it. That is where the family comes in, parental guidance which is a gray area like when is the age you should teach your kids contraception etc.

    I don't know if limiting the age to first sexual initiation and is punishable by law will serve as deterrent for them not to engage in sexual encounters. If their body needs it -- help from parents are needed -- from school as well. It is a debate actually if you allow them to take contraception etc. as their body is still too young for it. Most of the contraception are hormonal, unless girls are empowered to tell their partner (which is likely to be a teen ager like them) to wear condoms.

    The consequence of early sex is that there is the probability that one can get pregnant and then the future of the youth is somewhat derailed, some stopped schooling etc and needed to get a job and thrown into the world of having a family at an early age when in fact they are still a baby. "Babies having babies". I remember a participant of a survey we conducted way back in the Philippines in 2004, we interviewed a woman who is a grandmother at the age of 24, her daughter gave birth at the age of 12.

  3. Ohma profile image60
    Ohmaposted 13 years ago

    How many different career paths did you chose between 14 an 17? How many different best friends or favorite foods or well anything else in life did you make up your mind about only to change it later during that time?
    Kids that age tend to believe they know everything and have an absolute understanding of their lives but they are wrong. They cannot make educated choices about sex at that age because they do not have all the facts about who they are and who they are becoming.

  4. lady_love158 profile image61
    lady_love158posted 13 years ago

    Muhammad consummated one of his marriages with a nine year old. Societal norms have changed since then, well, at least in the civilized world. The law is foolish and for the most part unenforceable, but I don't think kids should be having sex unless they have the resources to deal with the consequences. I also don't think you can tell your 13 year old not to have sex with anyone older than 15, certainly to craft such a law would be almost impossible. Your views however, are your views and all that matters is how you choose to raise your children, not how the government thinks you should raise them.

  5. Dear_hubs profile image59
    Dear_hubsposted 13 years ago

    Lady_love, you've got it right when you say that it's up to us to tell our children, not the government. If someone of a similar age slept with my 13 year old, I wouldn't punish either of them, but I would sit them down and talk to them about it, no matter how uncomfortable it made them. I would be disappointed, but I wouldn't feel any less of a parent.

    However, if a 20 year old slept with my 13 year old I would get the police involved. Yes I know there's no difference in ages, but I feel a 20 year old is capable of judging situations for themselves at a higher level than a 13 year old, and he has taken advantage of a young teenage girl who is curious about sex

    1. lady_love158 profile image61
      lady_love158posted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Not all 20 year olds are mature, or even adult. You are perfectly willing to drop the arbitrary age requirement for having sex, yet you still want to keep that arbitrary line for defining an adult. Each case is different, every one is different. It's quite possible for a 13 year old girl to be a sex addicted slut and seduce a 20 year old male into having sex with her even to the point of lying about her age.

  6. Urbane Chaos profile image89
    Urbane Chaosposted 13 years ago

    If a fifteen year old kid wants to get frisky, I don't think that there's really any way to stop it.  It's just a fact of life: kids like to experiment.

    But, I think that if they are well educated and have parents that are really involved in their lives, they will be less likely to experiment.  Personally, I think the laws should be geared more towards the parents than towards the kids.. say, for example, it should be required by law to spend a certain percentage of your free time bonding with your kids.  I know, it's unrealistic, but it'd have more of an impact that many other laws out there..

  7. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    The problem you have is that you can't have a law that differentiates.  That is silly.  The experience of a twenty something is all a matter of how much experience they are willing to gain over what period of time.  Sex is not always one way and lies get told.  Not everyone who is of age is thinking clear enough to card their date.

  8. eventsyoudesign profile image60
    eventsyoudesignposted 13 years ago

    It all starts with good parenting. Many times TV is the parent. First of all I believe that our government should crack down on welfare babies. You have more than one and we will cut off all of your money. Too many unwanted kids in this world who are neglected by a parent who cannot take care of themselves let alone a baby. Their kids tend to grow-up following in the parents foot steps. Second I think kids should be taught in school about sex and the consequences of having unprotected sex. Thirdly I do not believe a thirteen year old should be having sex with anyone and if they are where are their parents? Anyone over the age of eighteen that wants to have sex with a thirteen year old should be punished. A young person is not capable of making a good judgment call on the matter of sex. Parents need to spend quality time with there kids and talk to them and also listen.

  9. psycheskinner profile image80
    psycheskinnerposted 13 years ago

    You have to draw the line somewhere to avoid abuse by adults and egregiously bad parenting.  16 is as good as anywhere to draw it.

  10. Greek One profile image62
    Greek Oneposted 13 years ago

    sex is something that should be something special and involve only an adult male and old videos of Baywatch

  11. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    lol a little haste makes much waste.   I agree it didn't prove anything.  Lets make a new rule, arrest anyone who has sex out of wedlock.  That way you wouldn't split hairs once the laws are broken even by a hair.  Once one takes such matters out of the hands of the servants of God and puts it in the hands of the servants or masters of men these things happen.  Then we have no one but ourselves to blame.

    1. John Holden profile image61
      John Holdenposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Why not make it so that if there is no complaint no law is broken!

  12. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    lol at least no complaint on the part of either partner, screw the parents.  Although that may mean that they will actually have to stay together and not cheat or be unfaithful to avoid being ratted on..... that works for me.

  13. kmackey32 profile image62
    kmackey32posted 13 years ago

    I think it should be under 18 honestly.....

  14. Lisa HW profile image61
    Lisa HWposted 13 years ago

    A few years ago Diane Sawyer (ABC) did that thing on 16-year-old drivers.   The program (or the experts they consulted) pointed out that 16 year olds are prone to taking risks (more than 15 year olds or 17 year olds).  It's just something at that's part of being 16.  My thinking is that if "experts" know that 16 is still an age where kids are in "going through a phase" stages developmentally; even if 15 is a different phase, obviously 15 isn't finished growing up either.

    Even people 18 tend to have a certain kind of thinking that they probably won't have at 24, but at least 18 years old have their heads together a lot better and tend to have their feet a little more on the ground than 15 or 16 years olds.  When it comes down to it, all the good parent-talk in the world is no guarantee.  Parents just have to cross their fingers and hope their kid gets to be 18/20 without any big disasters.  It's a scary age, and worse (I think) for parents of teens today.   hmm

  15. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    People who engage in premarital sex aren't thinking of the children that are the purpose of the act.  They are only in it for sex and body lust.  So why not ban it.  Thinking and rationalization aside, it is only just and only hurts those who have no self control.

  16. Jaggedfrost profile image60
    Jaggedfrostposted 13 years ago

    true, once married there are other purposes to sex other then children but sense we are talking about lines, marriage seems fine to me.  Just about all cultures who enforce such things don't have nearly as many social problems as we do in the US or in any other casual sex nation.  Precedence, and end result following, it seems reasonable and rational.  :-D

  17. elordmayor profile image57
    elordmayorposted 12 years ago

    someone said "have to say that there should be no any age limit on sexual". but my tradition as an Ibo man from Nigeria condenms such age and tags it as abomination. for others it may be right.but the true is that one has to get matured before eating mature people's food.

  18. Sneha Sunny profile image84
    Sneha Sunnyposted 12 years ago

    things should be done in right time.... involving in such activities effects studies and can also divert mind from the goals and if it leads to pregnancy (as even condoms and emergency pills doesn't gives 100% protection from pregnancy) then it may be harmful for girls because at younger age female's body achieves sexual maturity but to carry a baby is not that easy at younger age...they are not strong enough to carry a baby at younger a result many teenagers dies while delivering their baby.... i don't think that 12-17 years is the age to have a baby....its the age to have fun, enjoy their life, to think about future..... that is why sex below 16 and marriage below 18 is a crime.....

  19. Joy56 profile image67
    Joy56posted 12 years ago

    Difficult subject....  I don't think we would ever want to encourage children to take on responsibility they are totally not ready for.  Out of a kindness to children, we would not want to encourage dating, at too young an age.  I know boys no longer seem to get embarrased when they are said to have a girlfriend, at age 8... Children should enjoy being  children, as long as possible.  I met my husband at 14, it was a terrible turmoil for my family, then my son repeated the same process.  We wish we had met the right person at a later date..... I am glad my parents did not agree for me to have a relationship at this age, i went ahead anyway, but it does bring problems......

  20. needful things profile image64
    needful thingsposted 12 years ago

    Sweet 16. It should not be illegal. BUT.  Everything should be in its own place and time. BUT.

  21. Str8up Hookups profile image42
    Str8up Hookupsposted 12 years ago

    Hard for me to reply in this day and time because times are so different.

    I married early @18 because I was raised you didn't have sex until you were married. Needless to say I wasn't married for very long 3 months.

    In today's world,yes I'm telling my son the same because that's how I was raised.But I'm also arming him with all the other info he needs to know today,protected sex,veneral diseases,HIV,teen pregnancy I would be negligent in my duties as a parent if I didn't.

    Peer pressure,taunting and other factors plague our teens today.

    My son will be 13 soon I am not looking forward to these teen years because these girls today are alittle more advanced than the boys.

    I would love for my son to remain a virgin til he marries,but I know it's probably not going happen.

    But I will still pray for it.


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Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)