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consentual sex and the age of consent watch

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    I always think about it this way: How would you feel if you found out your 14 year old daughter was planning on having sex with a 16 year old boy?
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    (Original post by Markus)
    A 14 yr old knows the facts of life as well as a 16 yr old. I dont think it's a problem, as long as they dont start producing mistake kiddies into the world.
    :dito: I agree with Markus....they know what they are doing girls have been offered sexual education since they were about 10 or 11 years of age (well in my school we were anyway...nurse came in had to watch a video etc...) boys havent and well they should know if they think they are old enough for sex well its their business not ours to debate upon xoxo
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    Finally some sensible people on TSR. xx
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    (Original post by mousey)
    Finally some sensible people on TSR. xx
    No sensibility there....

    16 year olds discussing what's the right age :rolleyes: ... of course when you're 16, 17, 18, you think you're all grown up.

    The age of consent is only there, not to say that anyone under 16 will make a mistake if they have sex but they're more at risk. Hell, even past the age of 20, we make mistakes... It's to reduce the risk of making mistakes that there's an age of consent, not to indicate that all kids under-16 are immature.
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    I just wrote a really long post and got logged out, so this my re-writing of it.
    mousey, thank you (for your comments, the rep which I assume you gave me (if not, thank you, my secret admirer!), and having one of the coolest avatars I've seen).
    Back on topic, what is the problem you guys have with the 14-year-old/16-year-old relationship? Is it the sex, the age...? I had sixteen-year-old boyfriends when I was fourteen, as I'm sure did other people, and I really don't see a problem therein. I know fifteen-year-olds more mature and responsible - and making fewer mistakes! - than some twenty-year-olds, and that's one of the main reasons I really don't like age limits, on anything. It just seems really unfair.
    My stance on sex (underage or otherwise) is the same as my stance on most things: it's fine as long as you know what you're doing and you're fully aware of the risks and how best to minimise them. Kids are always going to experiment, be it with sex, alcohol, drugs, whatever. All we can do (bloody hell, that makes me feel old. I used to be one of the kids experimenting. When did I become a responsible adult?) is help them to make such experiments as safe as we possibly can, by offering both information and practical help. Sex education in schools is currently a hell of a lot better than it could be, but it still definitely needs improvement (as does the Catholic Church's policy on contraception, but that's another issue). I personally advocate handing out free condoms in schools. If kids are having sex, at least they'll be doing it safely.
    I find the age of consent quite a difficult issue. As I said, I'm not convinced that doing something like this on the basis of age alone is particularly fair, but I can't think of a different way. I suppose it depends on just how strictly these things are enforced. A lot of people have sex before they're sixteen, just as a lot of people drink alcohol before they're eighteen, and those who don't tend not to be put off by the illegality of it.
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    You know 15 year-olds that make fewer mistakes than 20 year-olds? So? That's not surprising but it's pretty obvious that by the age of 20, you're more equipped with the necessary knowledge to understand relationships than you are when you're 15. Some kids have a political opinion by the age of 15 year old so should we declare that all teenagers should be allowed to vote? No, because the majority don't...

    The age of consent is there as a reference to tell us that MOST British kids before the age of 16 are NOT prepared for sexual intercourse and in the case of the UK, it couldn't be more true. Unlike other European countries, British culture is quite reserved about sex. Young adults are probably less informed than in most other European countries, yet are convinced they are.It's not just a couple of safe sex lessons that will make someone totally informed about relationships. Countries which are much more open and liberal about sex have similar ages of consent anyway. What does this ignorance lead to? High levels of STIs, teenage pregnancy... but those are the main health problems. In addition to that you have all the emotionally affected people...
    It's not because one 14-year old person out of 100 is fully equipped to confront 99% of situations that we should declare that it is fine for all 14-year olds to have sex.

    In the typical situation of the older, more mature guy who's 17 or 18 with a girl who might be 14 or 15, sometimes things go smoothly. The guy actually has feelings for his girlfriend and wants to be close to her. Any person who's been in that situation will think that such a relationship is fine. But for every perfect scenario, there's the scenario where the guy sees the opportunity to convince a young impressionable girl and the girl doesn't know better than to give in to whatever the guy asks since logically: the more you give what a person wants, the more they respect and love you right? :rolleyes: When the guy isn't too clever himself, that leads to unwanted pregnancies, unexpected STIs...

    I'm speaking mostly from experience, especially from friends who made mistakes in the past when I was still at high school. Apart from an unwanted pregnancy and a couple of STIs, the saddest stories were those where my friends/relatives were emotionally affected.

    Sure, if you're 14/15, you might be ready to have sex. But the key word here is "might". You must never forget to tell people that age that it's mostly likely they're NOT ready. If they're not ready, what might happen is just disappointment but if you're less lucky, it can be a lot more upsetting...
    Another thing to underline is never give in to social pressure: the vast majority of kids are dishonest about losing their virginity. If you're less than 17/18 and still a virgin, you're perfectly in the norm, no matter what all your mates claim.
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    I actually do think 16 year olds should be allowed to vote. If you're old enough to work and pay tax, then you should be able to vote.

    Anyway.... It actually wasn't me Madelyn! But i'll rep you now. I also agree with everything you said in your above post. xx
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    And actually many countries with a lower age of consent (Spain for example) have a lower teenage pregnancy rate than we do. Spain's teenagers also lose their virginity on average later than we do. xx
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    (Original post by mousey)
    And actually many countries with a lower age of consent (Spain for example) have a lower teenage pregnancy rate than we do. Spain's teenagers also lose their virginity on average later than we do. xx
    Spain also has a totally different culture. I had a lot of Spanish friends at Uni and been to Spain many times. They have a religious, family-orientated society and yes, people there lose their virginity probably about 2 years later than people in the UK and the reason they do is that they understand sex at an earlier age, they're exposed to nudity/sex. Sex isn't just something naughty you giggle about and then just like drugs, you "dare" to do it one day.

    You're missing the point about the age of consent anyway: it's not because some kids under 16 don't have a bad experience of underage sex that it's ok for ALL kids under 16. For MOST, it isn't. I had some friends back in high school who were experts in getting young girls into bed. Younger girls are more impressionable, easy to convince...They might think they're mature and know what they're doing but quite often, they haven't got a clue. That's why there's a law, to protect them.
    If a 14 or 15 year old is in a relationship and is convinced they know what they're doing, MAYBE they're right but it's older people's duty to protect them and tell them "No, you probably don't know what you're doing".
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    But noone listens to the law. I don't know one single person who took that into consideration when they were deciding to have sex. I don't think the age of consent protects anyone, just alllows people to be persecuted afterwards. As you said, in Spain the children understand sex at an earlier age. I believe that this is the key in protecting our youth, giving them the necessary knowledge to enable them to make the right decisions. xx
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    So why are sixteen-year-old girls suddenly mature enough to have sex when those a couple of months younger aren't? I don't think I was any more ready at sixteen than I was at fifteen, unless it was through my further experience of relationships. And that's how you learn. No one is born knowing which guys you can trust and which you can't, you have to find out. Being told that you don't know what you're doing generally makes you only more determined to carry on doing it, especially at that age, so the only way for most people to find these things out is to make their own mistakes. Like I said before, of course they will make mistakes. I have, no doubt you have. But if they know what they're doing and they know how best to avoid pregnancy, STIs (I'm intrigued, incidentally, by the phrase 'unwanted STIs'. Are STIs ever wanted?), and so on, then those mistakes are far less likely to have such bad consequences. Of course there'll still be all the emotional fall-out, but that'll happen, to a greater or lesser extent, whatever the age.
    I also advocate lowering the voting age. If we can get kids engaged in politics from an earlier age, there would be so much less 'apathy'. Separate debate though, and one which probably doesn't belong in H&R.
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    (Original post by chazzinio)
    ok. i just read an article about a 16 year old boy going out and having consentual sexual relations with a 14 year old girl. this sparked a debate as to what matters more- it being consentual or there being one member under the age of consent. do u guys think this is right for the 16 year old to be with the 14 year old like this?
    if it is really consentual, and they are ready, then go for it, but young girls can be quite easily manipulated or pressured into sex, and at tht point i believe that it is wrong.
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    (Original post by Madelyn)
    So why are sixteen-year-old girls suddenly mature enough to have sex when those a couple of months younger aren't? I don't think I was any more ready at sixteen than I was at fifteen, unless it was through my further experience of relationships.
    The age of consent should be seen as an "indicator". If you continue in that logic, what does a couple of months change, then what's the difference between having sex when you're 15 and 1/2 and when you're 16, what's the difference having sex when you're 15 and when you're 15 1/2...until you end up saying that 12 year olds are ready to have sex. It's an indicator, that's all it is.

    Experience of relationships: that doesn't mean sleeping with people to find out who you can trust. I think there are people out there who like to value their attitude towards who they choose to sleep with. If you make mistakes with the first people you sleep with, it kind of ruins the whole thing doesn't it?

    That's the trouble with a lot of underage sex, they see having sex as getting experience when they haven't started to understand the first thing about relationships. There's a lot to learn before jumping into bed.


    (Original post by Madelyn)
    And that's how you learn. No one is born knowing which guys you can trust and which you can't, you have to find out. Being told that you don't know what you're doing generally makes you only more determined to carry on doing it, especially at that age, so the only way for most people to find these things out is to make their own mistakes. Like I said before, of course they will make mistakes. I have, no doubt you have. But if they know what they're doing and they know how best to avoid pregnancy, STIs (I'm intrigued, incidentally, by the phrase 'unwanted STIs'. Are STIs ever wanted?),
    The term was "unexpected STIs". I was referring to the situation where you catch something and go "I thought I was being safe. I didn't know I could catch something that way".

    (Original post by Madelyn)
    and so on, then those mistakes are far less likely to have such bad consequences. Of course there'll still be all the emotional fall-out, but that'll happen, to a greater or lesser extent, whatever the age.
    I also advocate lowering the voting age. If we can get kids engaged in politics from an earlier age, there would be so much less 'apathy'. Separate debate though, and one which probably doesn't belong in H&R.
    You missed out on a very important point: maturity and experience. You can't replace that.
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    I wasn't trying to use my no-more-mature-at-sixteen-than-at-sixteen argument to suggest lowering the age of consent. I have already stated that I don't like the entire system of age limits. The age of consent may be an 'indicator', but it still isn't fair. Moreover (as mousey said), in this country at least the age of consent means little to most kids, most of the time.
    Of course experience of relationships isn't just about sex. But my sexual relationships have had more effect on me than my non-sexual ones. When I was fourteen, I considered sex to be an important and necessary stage in any serious relationship. Sex is also viewed as a massive issue. Obviously that culture needs to be combatted, but at the moment, growing up in this society, the way for kids to find out that sex isn't actually all that big a deal is to experience it for themslves.
    Doesn't everyone have regrets about the first person with whom they slept? I do, but it hasn't stopped me enjoying subsequent sexual relationships.
    Apologies for the 'unwanted STIs' thing. I guess that's what comes from skimming text.
    Maturity generally comes from experience. Experience is just that - trying things for oneself. Sure, they'll make mistakes, but hopefully then they can learn from them.
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    (Original post by Madelyn)
    I wasn't trying to use my no-more-mature-at-sixteen-than-at-sixteen argument to suggest lowering the age of consent. I have already stated that I don't like the entire system of age limits. The age of consent may be an 'indicator', but it still isn't fair. Moreover (as mousey said), in this country at least the age of consent means little to most kids, most of the time.
    Of course experience of relationships isn't just about sex. But my sexual relationships have had more effect on me than my non-sexual ones. When I was fourteen, I considered sex to be an important and necessary stage in any serious relationship. Sex is also viewed as a massive issue. Obviously that culture needs to be combatted, but at the moment, growing up in this society, the way for kids to find out that sex isn't actually all that big a deal is to experience it for themslves.
    Doesn't everyone have regrets about the first person with whom they slept? I do, but it hasn't stopped me enjoying subsequent sexual relationships.
    Apologies for the 'unwanted STIs' thing. I guess that's what comes from skimming text.
    Maturity generally comes from experience. Experience is just that - trying things for oneself. Sure, they'll make mistakes, but hopefully then they can learn from them.
    Well if we had a law student he would probably explain that the age of consent is not an indicator. It's not even there to tell young people from having sex at a younger age. It's there to protect them just in case a young child is groomed into having sex by an older person.

    Well that's the thing, sex doesn't help you understand relationships one bit. Understanding guys/girls better, learning to develop proper feelings about someone, learning to interpret those feelings better, learning to be intimate without sexual acts, are far more important in a relationship.

    The trouble is, you probably had sex at a young age and didn't have a bad experience but you can't take your experience and think that everyone else's will be just the same. Maybe you were in a serious relationship but for a lot of people, they had sex because they thought that would make their relationship more serious and make their partner respect/love them more. A lot of some of the posts here are confused and badly informed (some people saying it's ok to have sex when you feel ready but most of my friends would say they were too young..).

    If I'm giving advice, it's to help out some people here, not to defend the age of consent since I think that 16 is still far too young for a lot of people, not everyone but for a lot. Waiting until you're more mature and you don't have to regret your first experiences so much is a wise decision. The girls/guys I know who have that attitude are more respected, have better relationships and are usually more pursued.
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    What about people 16+ being groomed for sex by older people?
    But sex is seen as an important part of a relationship, so having sexual relationships suggests to most younger people that they're having serious relationships, so they're more likely to take seriously any lessons they might be able to learn from that relationship. Equally, sexually active younger people tend to take relationships advice from the sexually inexperienced less seriously.
    Please don't make assumptions about me or my sexual history.
    If you don't have sex when you feel ready, how do you know when you are ready? The only way to find out is to try it, and as long as you're trying it safely and taking appropriate precautions, I don't see a problem with that.
    Most of the people I know who waited still regret their first time or partner. I don't think it's about waiting so much as having a mature attitude to sex. Recognising that it's not the be all and end all, but does have its part in relationships, is an important stage in developing such an attitude and in my experience, people need to have sex for themselves in order to understand that.
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    Well I addressed that point before: a 16+ year old will be less vulnerable to an older guy. Such a person has already been warned by friends, seen all those guys who say they like them but as soon as they don't give in right away, bugger off...

    It's naive to think that you need sex to make a serious relationship and even more naive to claim that you will learn more from a relationship if you have sex. You learn more about your partner by saying "no not yet" than by just giving in. There's A LOT to learn about relationships before you can confront sex. What you write in your thread seems to be quite confused: you claim that kids think that having sex makes your relationship serious. Well THAT's the problem. A true friend who might be more mature should tell such a person that's not the case.
    Kids won't take relationship advice from sexually inexperienced people? Well that's most unfortunate because the people I know who have the most successful relationships, who are the most pursued and popular at my age are those that have high standards when it comes to sex: they'll only sleep with someone if they've been with them for a long time.

    When it comes to feeling ready, I don't believe in some intrinsic feeling that tells you you're ready. It's also a lot about the people surrounding you and social pressure. What makes the difference is how you react to that.

    How old were those people who regret their first time? That's what I'd like to know. People who decide to wait until they're in a serious long-term relationship and wait a while tend to regret it less. The big big problem about having sex at 14 or 15 is that serious relationships at that age are rare.

    Being a guy gives you a totally different perspective to sex and relationships. When you've heard mates say "Go out with her. She's a virgin but stupid enough. She'll be easy to convince to get into bed" and it's naive to think that there are only a couple "*******s" like that. There are plenty, plenty...
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    Now trying to get out of the cycle...maybe we should have more of an official buddy scheme in schools, so that older kids help look after the younger ones and offer them advice and so on.
    Of course it's naive, it's naive to think pretty much anything hard and fast and relationships. That's what makes them interesting! But children and young people are naive and they do think these things. Of course that culture needs to be combatted, but right now it's more important to do as much as we can to protect the current generation of kids growing up and starting to think about sex. Yes, more mature friends might tell someone that relationships aren't really like that, but if (as you say) the more mature people aren't the ones having sex, the sexually active kids tend to ignore such advice, assuming that less sexually experienced people know little about relationships. Of course it's unfortunate, but it's the way kids are. I get more respect - and more heed paid to my opinion - from the kids when I discuss my experiences (be they to do with sex, drugs, school) frankly, acknowledging that I've done the same things that they do and made mistakes, than by getting up on the moral high ground.
    Most people seem to think they're doing the right thing when they first have sex and turn out to regret it. I don't think it's age that matters so much as the circumstances - I agree with your point about serious relationships being rare at a younger age.
    Of course there are plenty of ********s around, but again, the only real way to find that out is to experience it.
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    (Original post by Madelyn)
    Now trying to get out of the cycle...maybe we should have more of an official buddy scheme in schools, so that older kids help look after the younger ones and offer them advice and so on.
    Of course it's naive, it's naive to think pretty much anything hard and fast and relationships. That's what makes them interesting! But children and young people are naive and they do think these things. Of course that culture needs to be combatted, but right now it's more important to do as much as we can to protect the current generation of kids growing up and starting to think about sex. Yes, more mature friends might tell someone that relationships aren't really like that, but if (as you say) the more mature people aren't the ones having sex, the sexually active kids tend to ignore such advice, assuming that less sexually experienced people know little about relationships. Of course it's unfortunate, but it's the way kids are. I get more respect - and more heed paid to my opinion - from the kids when I discuss my experiences (be they to do with sex, drugs, school) frankly, acknowledging that I've done the same things that they do and made mistakes, than by getting up on the moral high ground.
    Most people seem to think they're doing the right thing when they first have sex and turn out to regret it. I don't think it's age that matters so much as the circumstances - I agree with your point about serious relationships being rare at a younger age.
    Of course there are plenty of ********s around, but again, the only real way to find that out is to experience it.
    The trouble is that throughout your posts, experiencing it means having sex. What kind of advice is that? Find out which ones are the *******s by shagging them.... :rolleyes: You'll find out a lot more by saying "no" as I already mentioned.

    You're still young and your posts seem to follow that "Well kids I know think that way so there" logic. When you're young, it's hard to realise that your friends aren't necessarily the "norm". In some groups, 13 or 14 seems like the normal age to lose your virginity. For some people at Uni, it's 20.

    It's true the main influence on young adults are their peers. If your mates all claim they're sleeping with whoever (even if half of them are talking crap), you start thinking it's time for you. Unfortunately that's the more common approach than the "when it feels right" approach.

    If I was in a position where I could give advice to a young adult, it would be to not have underage sex unless it seemed like they'd been in some long term relationship for a long time then maybe you could tell them "It's up to you". I'm in a position where I've made mistakes but mostly I've seen friends get very hurt because of sex and bad decisions. Telling kids to just go ahead and make mistakes is not a constructive approach, mainly because of the consequences it can have: teenage pregnancy and STIs, emotional distress and even later problems with relationships, and sometimes even, a pretty crap sex life.

    There's still a lot to learn in a relationship before sex has to be on the agenda. The whole "well kids my age think like that" logic doesn't work.
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    (Original post by Madelyn)
    Of course there are plenty of ********s around, but again, the only real way to find that out is to experience it.
    I'd beg to differ - or at least to differ on the meaning of "experience" - I knew from a long time ago that there are guys who will manipulate girls, not necessarily entirely maliciously (i.e. intending to mess them up) but because they find it an easy way to get sex. I didn't learn this by doing it myself, I was almost 21 before I lost my virginity and I don't regret that for a second.

    Having been there, done that does not always make you the coolest/the authority on things.
 
 
 
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