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Legality

What is the legal age of consent to have sex?

young women 16
young men 16
lesbians 16
homosexual men 16

We realise that young people are having sex under the age of consent, but there are problems related to having sex at an early age. Some of these are unintended pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted infections (STI’s), infertility and cervical cancer. The earlier a girl is when she first has sex the more risk she has of having cervical cancer later in life. With the STI Chlamydia 70% of women and 50% of men may not show any symptoms of the infection, if untreated there is a risk that it can lead to infertility if left untreated. You can get free Chlamydia screening (see the Chlamydia section).

There appears to a lot of peer pressure on young people to be sexually active or it may be an older person persuading them to have sex. Young people should not be pressured into taking a decision without thinking it through or having sex when not ready either emotionally or physically. One reason that young people have unintended sex is that of alcohol, a person may not make the same decision when under the influence of alcohol as when they have not had alcohol.

It is important that they realise that the most effective way of preventing pregnancy and not getting a sexually transmitted infection is by not having sex. If a young person is going to have a sexual relationship they must practice safer sex and realise that there is no such thing as safe sex, there are always risks.