On 1 July 2015, the age of consent in Spain rose from 13 years to 16. Previously, Spain had been one of the most permissive countries in Europe with regards to the legal age of sex, but the 2012 murder of a 13-year-old girl by a 39-year-old man she had been in a sexual relationship with finally sparked a debate. The parents of the girl had previously reported their relationship to police, but nothing could be done because she was considered to have given her consent.

Many European countries with low ages of consent have been reconsidering their positions in recent years. In 2013, Pope Francis ordered that the age of consent in Vatican City be raised from 12 (which was, at the time, the lowest in Europe) to 18 years.

Nevertheless, there is a great deal of variety in the age of legal consent in different European countries; from 14 in Austria, to 15 in Croatia, 16 in Belgium, 17 in Cyprus, and 18 in Malta. Last year, a Catholic priest was prosecuted in Norway for underage sex, his defence being that he did not realise it was illegal to have sex with a 15-year-old (the legal age of consent in his home country of Germany is 14 years).

So, at what age should sex be legal? We put this question to Peter Tatchell, a well-known human rights campaigner who has worked extensively in the field of LGBT rights, youth rights, and sex and relationship issues (and you can see an index of his articles on the age of consent on his website). We asked him: what was the right age of consent?

peter-tatchellAll across Europe, there are a range of different ages of consent, mostly in the bracket between 14 and 18. And, in all those countries, the age of consent is out of kilter with people’s actual lived lives. Whether we like it or not, most young people are having sexual relations well before the lawful age of consent.

What I’m suggesting is that perhaps the age of consent should be lowered to bring it into line with young people’s lived experience, to end the threat of criminalisation, and so that teachers or social workers who provide help and support to young people under the age of consent would not be at risk of prosecution. But I’m saying that should only happen if it goes hand-in-hand with earlier, better quality sex and relationship education to give young people the skills, knowledge and confidence to make wise, responsible sexual choices.

So, at the end of the day, it might be a good idea, for example, to have a uniform age of consent at 16 all across Europe, but also to have a caveat that where sex involves someone under the age of 16, providing there is no more than 2 years difference in their ages, there should be no prosecution. So, that would not crimimalise people of similar ages, but would protect them against predatory exploitation by people much older.

To get a response to Peter Tatchell, we also spoke to Dr Sarah Nelson, a prominent child sex abuse specialist, researcher, writer and media commentator who has advised the Scottish government. What would she say?

Well, I respect that view, I respect Peter very much, and in fact he’s shifted his position – he previously didn’t believe [the current age of consent] should be retained. I work with sexual abuse and exploitation, and I’m not suggesting that most sexual activity between teenagers is coercive, but there are enormous pressures. The point about having an age of consent at 16 is that it is protection there when it’s needed.

Now, working in the field that I do, I’m aware that unfortunately it is quite common for someone to be sexually abused by a sibling in a coercive way well before the age of 16. I’m not suggesting that children under 16 should receive heavy penalties, but unfortunately it is very possible that coercion occurs and, of course, there is a much greater degree of social pressure, particularly from boys pressuring girls into sex. I mean, every girl growing up has been aware of that. And I think that we need to retain the possibility of criminal action on a case-by-case basis. I don’t think it’s true to say nobody is harmed by this activity…

We also had a comment sent in by Christos, arguing that he would like to see compulsory sex education, including relationship and LGBT education, in schools. In some European countries, sex education is already compulsory but, again, there is a great deal of variety.

How would Peter Tatchell respond to Christos?

peter-tatchellEducation is about preparing young people for adult life, and one of the most important things for most adult people is love and relationships. And it’s very important that young people are prepared to know and understand sex and relationships, to secure fulfilment for themselves and their partners, so that they can have happy, healthy, emotionally-fulfilling sexual and emotional lives. So, I think that sex education and relationship education ought to be compulsory in all schools, and ought to be inclusive of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues as well, because those young kids who are LGBT also deserve information, support and advice.

We also put the same question to Dr Sarah Nelson, to see how she would respond:

Yes, I agree there should be sex education in all schools. I think the more important debate is what that education should consist of, and I think many people have made the point that it shouldn’t simply be about the mechanics of contraception and so on, but it should include relationship education. And I would actually include within that education about keeping safe from sexual abuse and exploitation…

And I think that we have to include within sex education a great deal about mutual respect and about how the kinds of images that children now have access to, including hardcore pornography, do not represent how we should be treating each other. So, this has to encompass a very wide area, and I think if the emphasis is on respect and keeping safe, then that is much easier for a number of religious groups – Catholics, Muslims, and other groups who are perhaps quite wary of conventional sex education – to sign up to…

Finally, we had a comment from Catherine, arguing that despite promoting sex education classes, the UK has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Western Europe. She suggested we should rather be encouraging teenagers to wait, and have sex only when they are old enough to cope with the consequences.

How would Peter Tatchell respond to Catherine?

peter-tatchellWell, the problem is that in Britain, as in many other European countries, sex and relationship education is of very, very poor quality. Young people themselves say, time and time again, that it was not explicit and informative enough, it fudged around the issues, it was vague and euphemistic, it was about biology, it wasn’t actually about sex and relationships, and so on.

I think one of the problems is that if we had better quality sex and relationship education, then perhaps the rate of teenage pregnancies and abortions in Great Britain would be much lower. And, ultimately, that’s what I’d like to see. But, of course, I’ve always said that I’m not about encouraging young people to have sex. I think it’s good for them to wait, but if they don’t wait, they should not be criminalised, and they should be prepared with the knowledge to make wise choices, to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections.

Young people should be encouraged to recognise that sex and relationships should be based on mutual consent, respect and fulfilment; that they have a right to say ‘No’ to sex; and that abusive sexual relations are wrong and should be reported to the police.

And, finally, what would Dr Sarah Nelson say?

If children are to be persuaded to wait, it’s no good preaching at them and giving them religious or moral reasons why they should wait. I think it’s particularly important to encourage girls to have the confidence to wait, especially as this is what most of them really want to do anyway, rather than being forced into having sex behind the bike sheds or whatever.

So, education should give girls the confidence they need to say ‘No’, as well as giving both genders a really wide appreciation and respect for one another. If you simply hand out contraceptives then you’re not just saying these things don’t matter, you’re saying we don’t really mind if it’s coercive or not. So, I would say people should wait not for moral reasons, but because I think it does demand a bit of age and maturity before people are ready to cope with a sexual relationship…

What should the age of consent be? Should it be the same across Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – martinak15

262 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • avatar


  1. avatar
    James McManama

    To be honest, 16-year-olds are still probably too young to deal with the potential consequences of a sexual relationship. Of course, most 30-year-olds are probably still too young to deal with the conseqeunces…

    16 might seem arbitrary, but it seems a decent compromise that accepts the realities that teenagers do have sex, but also offers a legal framework to protect them from abuse.

  2. avatar
    James Campbell

    There’s no reason for the age of consent to be the same across Europe or, for that matter, the whole world. Cultural norms vary and happily, this is at least one area where the tentacles of the EU do not reach.

    My view is that parents should take the lead in sex education and not abdicate responsibility to schools. Certainly, parents and schools could work together, however, I have not seen this happening anywhere in Europe.

    • avatar

      I agree,

      Also when traveling one should always respect the legislation of the country that they are a guest of.

  3. avatar
    Vincent Kleijn

    if the choice is between 13 and 16 then for sure 16. Otherwise sex under 12 is absolutely forbidden and in my eyes adults who do it with children under 12 should get the death penalty. 12-18 only for other 12-18 and of course when both parties want, above 18 when both parties want

    • avatar
      Filipe Macedo

      So, in your opinion, when a 17 year old boy and a 19 year old girl do it, the girl should go to prison?

    • avatar
      Julian Bakker

      Well, in the Netherlands this is somewhere between 15 and 16, so this differs per country. That is also the core problem, should we make this a European rule or not? In my opinion, it should be 15 with a range of 1 year.

    • avatar

      Yep that’s true, I would say from 14

  4. avatar
    Mila Begova

    18. “Doing it” at 14 means creating a real possibility of getting pregnant at that age. Then facing some hard choices (that someone will most probably make for you) with physical and psychological consequences for a life time.

    • avatar

      Ya I agree with you on that

  5. avatar
    Ricardo Costa Silva

    Is there a law which defines how old you should have for having sex? Please… we can’t regulate the life of all the citizens at this scale! If a couple with 13 years old want to have sex, let them have sex. Don’t make laws, at this scale on the private life. This is worse than the Soviet dictatorship.

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquar

      @Ricardo Costa Silva •
      No, but 13 is physically and mentally too soon for most children.

    • avatar
      Paulo Mendes

      Da cana bro… Aqui na ja foram uns quantos de saco por se relacionarem com miudas de 15 que realmente ja sabiam a escola toda…

    • avatar

      Yes too micro-managing, governments should respect individuality.
      P.S. Adults (by the physical age definition not adults as in being responsible) often underestimate youths intelligence to boost their own ego.

  6. avatar
    Ferenc Lázár

    I grow up under a communist dictatorship, where many young boys life was destroyed because they were jailed for having sex with their age group at 15! Decision makers must be aware that some girls just want and enjoy to start a sexual relationship before their “adult age”. The age consent should be 15- 16..

  7. avatar

    How about treating sex like a healthy, natural part of existence and not making girls feel so ashamed and leaving them open to pressure and scorn about it? Teaching kids what sexual relations do to your mind and body, what to expect in terms of coping mentally (hormones, oxytocin, etc.), that it’s just as ok to say “yes” as it is to say “no”? Treating sex like some pariah that needs to be kept secret and locked away doesn’t give growing adults the chance to really understand themselves and their feelings on the subject. Biological education should begin before puberty, the rest comes as they’re going through their changes.

    Consent shouldn’t be all about age. It’s the individual preparedness for a sexual relationship that matters. I agree with statutory limitations (a 39-year old dating a teenager? Really?), but otherwise, educate, talk to, and trust your kids to make the right decisions on these issues.

    • avatar

      This is exactly what needs to be done! I really hope “we adults” mature enough to have the guts to “educate, talk to, and trust your kids to make the right decisions on these issues.”

    • avatar


  8. avatar
    Costi Ciudin

    reminds me of a House MD episode where a 17 Y.O. girl tells the guy: “Now I am jailbait but in 6 months anyone can do anything to me. Will l be that different in 6 months?” (in the US the age of consent is 18)

  9. avatar
    Ryan Lee

    It’s impossible to regulate and a perfectly natural thing to do, just educate around safe sex and go from there.

  10. avatar
    Artur Pereira

    In Portugal girls can marry at the age of 14,boys at the age of 16.Both can’t vote or drink alcohol under the age of 18.Both can be arrested in jail at 16.

  11. avatar
    Vera Cardoso

    18. And I still have my doubts about the maturity of a person of that age in order to use those organs responsibly.

  12. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    18 should be the legal age. Anything younger and you are still a child, and even 18 is young.

  13. avatar
    Costin Halaicu

    I don’t think it is the state’s business to regulate when people have sex. It’s an intrusion in the private life.

    • avatar

      It.s not about that. It.s about preventing abuses at early ages. 13 is not a phissically and mentally too soon for each children. You re still a child and this means creating a real possibility of getting pregnant at that age. Then facing some hard choices (that someone will most probably make for you) with physical and psychological consequences for a life time.

  14. avatar
    Laura CJ Brendle

    In Switzerland it’s 14 if the partner is less than 3 years older, and from 16 it’s legally a free-for-all. I think the system is good but the ages a bit young

  15. avatar
    Gururaj Bhat

    The europian or white people are considering the sex organ as just organ of the body but in india hindus consider it as a sacred or respectable organ of the body in a purest sense .that is difference between to two regions anf its people

  16. avatar
    Suzie Szabo Newbury

    If the KIDS are a similar age they’ll do it anyway. The 16 year limit is to protect vulnerable children from being preyed upon by much older men…..funnily enough there’s not many women!

  17. avatar
    David Soutter

    This is the wrong question. Teenagers have been having sex above and below the current age of consent for millennia. The question you should be asking is at what age can some one consent with a person of similar age. The problem with fixed ages is it can criminalise people who should not be criminalised. It is a field littered with mines that can be touched off by badly thought out laws and overly strict enforcement for all the wrong reasons. The same problems have occurred with changes for all the wrong reasons to the rape laws. These have been ‘played’ with for political reasons rather than legal reasons. Trying to drive a political agenda in the area of personal relationships is not just bad politics but very bad law.

  18. avatar
    Julia Jonson

    In what age is person capable to bear the conseqeunces of sex??? I mean it is the full age and sometimes even this age is too soon !!!

  19. avatar
    Alexandre Simões

    I think an exact number is unrealistic since everyone matures very differently.
    But 14 seems a good age.
    At least for me.. I’m 20 and for what i’ve seen/heard and experienced 16-17-18 are really unrealistic consent ages.

  20. avatar
    Alexandre Simões

    I think an exact number is unrealistic since everyone matures very differently.
    But 14 seems a good age.
    At least for me.. I’m 20 and for what i’ve seen/heard and experienced 16-17-18 are really unrealistic consent ages.

  21. avatar
    Oleguer Van Der Rivier

    The two main worries I’m seeing here are the consequences of teenagers having unprotected sex and minors getting abused. How about we establish an early age for consent (as honestly… 16, really?) and increase sexual education for teens in highschool? That would also include telling them their rights so as to avoid abuses. Education is always the answer, not prohibitions.

  22. avatar
    Oleguer Van Der Rivier

    The two main worries I’m seeing here are the consequences of teenagers having unprotected sex and minors getting abused. How about we establish an early age for consent (as honestly… 16, really?) and increase sexual education for teens in highschool? That would also include telling them their rights so as to avoid abuses. Education is always the answer, not prohibitions.

    • avatar
      Luis Lourenco

      Kids need sexual experiments to mature.
      They all start at different ages.
      By closing this door and criminalizing you are not helping the kids you are creating generations of frustrated youth
      How can we assume that just because you are 18 you ready for sexual relations when your experience is zero in this field
      Sexual relations grow with time and they start building up with your physical feelings
      Education it’s ok restrictions are an invasion of human privacy

  23. avatar
    Stefan Vasilev

    What does the law has to do with it?

  24. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    The age for drinking in Portugal was raised to 18 y.o. However, there is no minimal age for listening to boys bands, eating junk food or watching television, all of which are far worse than some good drinks…

  25. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    The age for drinking in Portugal was raised to 18 y.o. However, there is no minimal age for listening to boys bands, eating junk food or watching television, all of which are far worse than some good drinks…

  26. avatar
    Omid Ashabi

    At its nature, everybody has different puberty age. So base on Natural Law, it should be considered by Government, to issue three times the national I.D. card for everybody. First one at birth, second one after age of maturity confirmed by doctor, third one when somebody is old and unfunctional to do anything !

  27. avatar
    Omid Ashabi

    At its nature, everybody has different puberty age. So base on Natural Law, it should be considered by Government, to issue three times the national I.D. card for everybody. First one at birth, second one after age of maturity confirmed by doctor, third one when somebody is old and unfunctional to do anything !

  28. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Sex should be promoted based on the actual levels of one’s physical development, communicational difficulties, knowledge of anatomy, infection prevention techniques and mutual understanding in this very order.

  29. avatar
    Μάριος Γεωργίου

    It should not exist a specific age by the law in order to have sex..but ..if i shall choose an age .. I think 17.. BUT IT shall exist the correct education so that to have sex when people are 18 at least

  30. avatar

    The system for this should be graduated, taking into account maturity and school age range at time of sexual maturity.
    Set the age for legal consent as an adult at 18 years of age; Juveniles may consent to sex with other juveniles as long as they are over 12 years of age and there is no more then 4 years difference in their ages.

  31. avatar
    André Alves Figueiredo

    16 years old, right to vote ? that doesn’t make any sense. I remember when I was 18 years old. I always had some degree of political awareness…. but…. boy….was I a complete ignorant regarding politics! (even though I thought otherwise). The fact is, very, very few people have an adequate political awareness at age 18. At age 16……yes…you guessed it. It’s even worse

  32. avatar
    catherine benning

    Between age appropriates, meaning, teenagers of similar age, 14. All others 16 years.

    Females are matruijng earlier with raised health levels and of course genetic probability. Many beginning menstruation at the age of eight. (I do realise this can often be created by eating hormone stuffed animals from intensive farming) and to expect them to withstain for eight years is absurd. Especially as you are forcing sex education on children as young as 5 years.

    However, the exploitation of people over the age of eighteen on children up to their sixteenth year must be seen as a far more serious crime than of present and the incarceration of those who take this chance must be increased to at least ten years. A female teacher who had sex with boys of fourteen was sent to prison in the UK for eight years last week. Although, my male friends tell me, those boys taught by that woman must have been in their glory, thinking they’d died and gone to heaven.

  33. avatar
    Alice Says

    I’m torn between abolishing the thing altogether, and maintaining the age of consent at 16.

    You see, a mature conversation is needed about just how effective the age of consent is as a means of child protection. The effectiveness of this 1885 law at deterring those bent on abuse, has to be in doubt. A different approach is needed.

    Age appropriate sex education is a key tool in equipping kids with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage unwanted and wanted attention. Law reform is another area which should be examined. The law shouldn’t be about blanket criminalisation, but more directly about empowering young people. Careful thought should be given about how to accomplish this. This might mean scrapping the age of consent, and replacing it with a new set of child and youth-centred legal proposals.

    Should the law serve the function of simple preservation of received social norms? Or should it be about ensuring young people live safe happy and fulfilling lives?

    Just what do we mean by sex anyway? Sure, the legal culture in this day and age is unequivocal about what constitutes abuse/sex, and other social codes and guidelines in the classroom workplace or home indicate strongly what constitutes inappropriate. We as adults are all hyper-aware of this ever-expanding agenda, to the point of paranoia. But the negative and inflexible nature of it all takes no account of children and young people developmentally or socially – as Peter says; in their lived experience. Lived experience varies according to socio-economic background and a variety of factors including biology, but the law takes no account of this reality. It’s not about bringing things down to the lowest common denominator, but about heightening awareness and strengthening status. Not in the interest of the state, the guardian, the abuser, but in the interest of young people. It is their temple after all.

    If kids are kept in ignorance it has the opposite effect. The Catholic Church has always been about a secretive guilt-ridden attitude to sex and sensuality – it is no accident therefore that it is a body singularly responsible for the abuse of children on an industrial scale. The power dynamics thoroughly stacked in favour of a patriarchal hierarchy.

    To return to Peter’s suggestions, Holland had what I’ll call the shallow pool experiment in the early 90’s, the age of consent was lowered to 12, under the proviso that neither partner was over the age of 16. It was innovative stuff, and this is one reason why average age of full sex in Holland was higher than in the UK, by informed choice instead of legal prohibition. It contributed to Holland having an unwanted pregnancy rate SIX times lower than in the UK…

    ….Then came crusading American pressure, and a wave of immigration from patriarchal Islamic Christian and Roma origins. I’m certainly not anti-immigrant. Just that these things have to be factored.. after all, how effective was the age of consent law in Rotherham or Oxford.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Alice:

      Yes, the age of consent had no effect in Rotherham and Oxford. But, what you are missing is, all those around those children refused to give them any credibility when they tried to find help in their situation of abuse. And the reason for that most dreadful of all crimes, ignoring their please, was because of political correctness. Agencies feared their employers would be exposed if they were to tackle the fact of it being rampant ‘Asian’ practice. Look at what goes on with very young girls in their own countries on a daily basis. Rape by adult men on girls in broad daylight on a bus and not one adult steps in.

      However, what the true underlying issue here is, why did our politicians feel opening European borders to millions of immigrants with cultural practices considered barbaric would be good for our social cohesion? Why were these men brought into our countries in such numbers when they new full well what the cultural practices were in their homeland? Did they belive that they would suddenly adhere to a European way of life and values? Of course they didn’t. On top of the horror of this policy, they denied the abused children the right to a voice, in order to cover up their unfit for office idiocy.

      And please cut out blaming Christianity. Christianity, as a dogma, did not sanction child abuse. The vast majority of those abused in the Catholic Church were boys by homosexual men. And again it was covered up to hide the fact that so many Roman Catholics carried out these acts knowing full well it was ‘against’ the teaching of their sworn faith. They were not encouraged by their faith to carry out such practices. They were encouraged by the cover up of their superiors.

      This is not so with Islam, it is in fact encouraged by that faith. We all know the story and even I know I would be censored if I wrote of the versus in the Koran. By doing what you did, by writing it as you did, means you too are guilty of doing what all those who fear the truth do. They simply won’t infringe on the politically correct dogma we have had shoved down our throats for the last twenty or so years without a break.

      The politicians we have still in office, were the cause of this tragedy and yet, as with all the other horror stories we are finally coming to terms with, they blame the ordinary man in the street who simply goes along with what is shoved at him/her by their leaders.

      So the corruption seeps from the top down. Not the other way around.

    • avatar
      Alice Says

      @ Catherine Benning

      For the lack of meaningful sustained solutions in countries of origin, it is quite understandable why many make their way to Europe. In truth, we have a historic moral obligation to these peoples as former colonial powers, and a humanitarian duty under international obligations. Women in particular are treated in a shameful and humiliating manner at detention centres such as Yarlswood. Roma have been robbed of their way of life, and persecuted for not conforming to the geo-political paradigms that have been imposed upon them. So I am not blaming those who bring their cultural baggage and drop it on Holland or Denmark or Sweden’s doorstep. It is a natural inheritance. However, hegemonic powers such as America, China, and Russia have a duty to offer progressive and sustained solutions, but have not done so. In Europe, Roma are continually subjected to segregation stereotyping and rights denial.. Exploited by populist political movements like Jobbik in Hungary, who mean them harm, rather than accommodated and validated as peoples. Evangelical churches in America sponsor much of the rampant homophobia we see in countries such as Uganda. American churches are strong in Peru and South Korea, and so on. The point I was hinting at in a previous reply is that the religious right and American activists are quick to distort figures. They have fought hard to extinguish progressive European models, with social-problems THEY (and Britain) are responsible for – indifferent to poverty. And yes to satisfy any pedant.. I refer to US and UK governments, commerce, religion, and lobbying, everyday citizens.

    • avatar
      Alice Says

      That should read, NOT everyday citizens.

  34. avatar
    Alice Says

    Just to point out that political pressure from the United States was put on Holland to reverse it’s reduction in the age of consent. Holland has faced regressive social cultural pressures from all sides.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Alice:

      Why did the electorate not rise up against a government or agency who put the policies of the United States before what was right for the people who are their neighbour or electorate? Why didn’t the citizens of your state complain bitterly that they did not vote for US intursion or its President to have any influence or demand over the values and preferences of the Dutch people?

      Who were these people who bowed to this pressue and were they paid for their compliance by this other country that had no business interferring in their daily lives? The USA is not the kind of country Europeans should admire or want to emulate, so why did your voters accept this?

      The only saving grace in your post is, at least you and your citizens knew who was pushing this demand on your people. We in the UK are denied that information. Our government pretends to us that they are running the show, not outsiders. So, in essence you are fortunate people as you could, if you chose to do so, demand your rights not to have a foreign state ruling over you.

      If only our government were as open as yours. But, that would mean they wouldn’t get the pay offs they sit waiting for with hands out for. We even have documentary films showing our politicians asking for and taking bribes and not just from the Americans. All countries are acceptable to our disgraceful creeps.

  35. avatar

    The age of consent is a puritanical feminist law that should not exist. Around the world millions now suffer the consequences of puritan age of consent legislation. This has absolutely nothing to do with protecting children; that is a pure lie for these dangerous bigots to enforce their puritanical agenda. The real motivation for why these people do what they do is unclear however it has been suggested, and does seem likely, that sexual jealousy plays a role. Older women in particular are driven into a stage of rage and hate when they see a man with a younger girl so they want to jail the man, torture him, punish him and kill him. Their motivation is entirely selfish not “selfless” as they claim.

    It is impossible for consensual sex to be “abuse” of minors. If it is consensual; it is consensual. I do not see any reason to need to be “informed” as there’s really relatively little to be informed about! It is not rocket science, and as with most things in learning the best way is to try :) (I might add, that even for rocket science we do not have laws to prevent minors from engaging in it)

    • avatar
      Alice Says

      It is not correct to say that age of consent laws are a feminist invention. Very many feminists in the 2nd wave pioneered positive perspectives on liberation, choice, and protection. They were not all spouting from the Dworkinite prohibition and victim manual.

      Consent should be informed, the absence of informed consent perpetuates ignorance and inequality in relationships, leading to anything from STI’s to unwanted pregnancy, to emotional abuse, violence, extortion, coercion, and misery. Sex and relationships should be about happiness pleasure and fulfilment. And if someone is mistreated, they should leave that unhappiness behind, and be able to do so. There is no informed consent in FGM, or when a grown man marries a girl of 8 or 11 years of age, such as occurs in some Islamic customs. It is about tradition and trophy’s. That’s the old morality. Entirely patriarchal in power. The girl in that situation has no power whatsoever. And these conditions are not restricted to Islam, or religious latin America, they are global and have to be challenged wherever they are encountered. Informed consent and female liberation are inextricable allies.

      Informed consent consists of knowledge practice and pleasure, and is characterised by respect and affection.

  36. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    If the events in Greece have taught us only one thing it is the fact having common policies is a mistake.

    Leave it up to the Nation States.

  37. avatar
    Oli Lau

    Why should europe take care of it? Or more precisly why should it intervern in all matters? There are already plenty of democratically elected representatives debating these issues at the national level ?

  38. avatar
    Dorothea Karaburjidou

    No…… as it is up to individual cultural backgrounds and family situation that is all depence to….usualy ubder 18 is illigal everything ( drink ,drive, work, vote etc etc …..to have an opinion on it and it is up to parents and those that look after kids under 18 and ‘ bigger kids’!! Hope that make a sence!!So better finish the college first and after individuals have a better clear idea what they want??? ….. Good luck everyone!! ;)

  39. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    IF europe passes a low on «the age of consent», how does europe expect to enforce it? O policeman behind every child?

  40. avatar
    Joachim Finlay

    My instinct would be to say between 16 & 18. Over 18 is too high, and below 16 is a bit too young.

  41. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    Some situations of dependency may make it «a crime» or «an abuse» to have sex with a «fragile» person. Age, I believe, is not an issue PER SE. To have sex with a drugged or drunk adult is an abuse; regardless of age. Marrying 9 yo girl to 70 yo men is an abuse, not because of the girls age but because of the inherent dependency. Would it be any less abusive if the girl was 19 and the man 80? At the limit, at what age can an adult «consent» to being raped or prostituted? That IS what we are talking abbout, isn’t it?

  42. avatar
    Costi Ciudin

    here it is 15 and I have 2 opinions regarding that: 1) 15 is too young 2) this is a national issue, not an European one

  43. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Sex should be promoted based on the actual levels of one’s physical development, communicational perception, knowledge of anatomy, infection prevention techniques and mutual understanding in this very order. Already mentioned this the first time this was asked.

  44. avatar
    Taline Babikian Angelidou

    I think this is a decision or discussion that has many angles…family/parents, cultural background etc,…you all know the number of teenage parents/mothers..I personally think if we are going to look at it from a legal point of view..18 is ok..considering that kids at that age have better understanding about their bodies, health and how to prevent illness, and know between consented sexual relationship and abusive relationships..by 18, even if they get active, in general their focus will be more on education and have a relationship on the side..for me, ages 10-15/16 years old are a big NO NO for me..even though it happens:( It just that, puberty makes kids curious and probably it’s normal, as long as it does not cross the line and they end up sick or with a child and risk their whole future:(

  45. avatar

    16 with sexual education at schooll from early age

  46. avatar
    Theoni Kapeta

    What age should sex be legal. Who are they who will decide at what age I want to have sex at?

  47. avatar
    Nicola Tosolini

    before this we had to include sex-ed in schools and obligatory gynecolocic and andrologic visit before 13 , in italy sex-ed is like a mirage. with a good sex ed i think 14 could be a reasoneable age for minor to have but i also think that over 21 can’t legaly have sex with under 16.

  48. avatar
    Miroslav Mavroff

    In my opinion a reasonable age is 16 especially as in some minorities you even have illegal marriages at the age of 15. But this should be tied to sexual and family education in school explaining not only the risks but also the responsibilities that come from such relationships.

    In regards people bellow the age of 16 I agree that if one of them is below 16 and the other is below 18 that should be OK as long as the consent is legitimate. Otherwise charges should be pressed (having the option to press charges as an exclusion but not as the rule).

  49. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    I think people who are saying 15 are pedos , we should not allow children to think its OK , stupid decisions like having sex not really ad fully knowing how to deal with it.

  50. avatar
    Steffen Ehrecke

    Of course it should be the same across Europe!

    Secondly I found Mr Tatchells compromise quite charming: 16 with a non-prosecuted age range of say 2 years if there is an age-difference. The real issue here is sexual education and that doesn’t mean explaining how the penis stiffens and such. But explaining what sex can be about, how it can be fun and great and how it can be horribly horribly wrong…. That it is indeed a matter of two-party consent and not some kind of achievement that “has to be accomplished”

  51. avatar

    Article 1 (definition of the child)
    Everyone under the age of 18 has all the
    rights in the Convention.

    Rights of the Child came into force in 1990 any country not protecting child under 18 is failing in it’s duty

    • avatar

      Children are easily exploited as seen in numerous Child Sexual Exploitation Cases. Children themselves are not incapable of exploitation as anyone with knowledge of bullying will know.

  52. avatar
    Katerina Margeti

    Sex education should be introduced in ALL 100% schools in Europe private or public . But of course you cannot regulate by grades if you can have sex or have license to have sex , but all I am saying is that sex education is equal to what age is se legal ….. I mean ok you pass your 15 years of age and you know nothing about sex except for porn … How is it possible to have knowledge on important issues if you haven’t learned them ?

  53. avatar
    Radoslav Bozov

    19+, psychologic maturation more important than that of physiological experimentatiom, an apple is ripe when it falls doen by wind of change! There is a mandatory obligation of a full physical development!

  54. avatar

    Probably the same age you’re allowed to vote or to drive a car without supervision… That’s it! What dou you thought, having sex means less responsibility than driving a car??? Wake up guys, if a child will come out of this, who’s gonna take care of him and his mother? Or make it al least be legal starting the age a person can start work and earn money.

  55. avatar
    Stelios Peppas

    The first step of adulthood in European civil law is at the age of 15 because after that age you are referred as emancipated teenager.

  56. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    Again with the pedo question ?

    It is 16, if you have sex with someone below that age you are a paedophile and should be locked up to protect children.

  57. avatar

    Sex education is basic. It should take place in every school and classroom in every country on Europe.
    Steffen Ehrecke I definately agree.

  58. avatar
    Chaibi Belhassen

    Wtf are those questions why u don’t talk about important subjects like education environment labors future for new qualified students
    U fucking talk about satanic things like having sex with a doll

    • avatar

      Are you 12? Seems just a bit young

  59. avatar
    Nicholas Papastamatiou

    Over 16 minimum. Civilized society needs time to intstill the character structure needed for the future adult to handle all the ancestral hormonal mess.

  60. avatar
    Joachim Finlay

    I would tend to agree with Tatchell : “a uniform age of consent at 16 all across Europe, but also to have a caveat that where sex involves someone under the age of 16, providing there is no more than 2 years difference in their ages, there should be no prosecution.’

  61. avatar
    LilyRose Kelly

    It’s complicated and I can imagine will cause many an argument… Some are mature in thier mid teens, some not until later…

  62. avatar
    Mikaël Florent Darsigny

    On a certain point of view, not everyone is ready to have enough judgment at the same age and please, don’t ridiculously make the mistake of saying or believing that girls are always ready before the boys. All is matter of where the young come from.

  63. avatar
    Alkis Mavridis

    If two 14years old persons want BOTH to have it, who am I to stop them?? Does not have a sense. Just let natural selection decide.

    Illegal should be FORCED sex, like everything forced. If it is a choise of both, should not be illegal.
    Regulate ONLY big age difference, with one under 16.
    If both persons are under 20, should be allowed from the natural age (something like 13).

  64. avatar
    Johanna Mentani

    In my opinion, it should be legal at 14 to have sex with someone up to 4 years older and at 18 to have sex with anybody, provided that he/she is no more than 4 years younger (if not yet 18) and, of course, that he/she consents.
    It should be illegal for anyone to have sex with anyone under age 14 and anyone between age 14-18 while he/she is under the influence of alcohol. Sex with someone of age 18+ under influence of alcohol should be legal, proved that he/she is able to consent.

    I don’t necessarily think that AGE is the problem, as I believe a boy/girl could be able and should be able to CHOOSE to have sex, at least when they are older than 14. Of course 14 is arbitrary, but it seems to me like a good compromise.
    Big age differences are the problem–when we speak about someone that young.

    Sex education should be mandatory in school and it should be done when kids are still young (11-12) from a biological and emotional point of view, like “this is something that adults do”; then, when they are older (14-16), they should be taught about it like something that really does concern them–not just “someone else”–including topics like STDs and undesired pregnancies.

  65. avatar
    Hidalgo Yann

    no sex no drugs no festivals & low-libido pills. I don’t mind, too much video games!

  66. avatar
    Jean-Pierre Rosa

    Focus on sex ed ASAP rather than subjective American styled idiocy. This should be noted on a case by case basis, and please allow access to birth control without parental information. The last thing any society would want is obligatory parental involvement.

    • avatar
      Radoslav S. Bozov (@Radobozov)

      That is not true, seven years after experiencing the first menstrual cycle!

  67. avatar
    Radoslav S. Bozov (@Radobozov)

    Objecting to ‘idiots’ who obviously have failed in following up the physics of mind, body and spirit, it is certain that full and absolute physical development of a body continues until age of 19+ to women and 21 + to a man kind! Some following up interpretation in relation to first ovulation have been missing the concept of ripening both physical wise and consciousness wise! An apple although green is not ready for consuming unless it has been fully ripped falling under soft wind under gravity by weakened connection to the stem it holds it up! We do not follow up falsely interpreted holly books, we follow up the rightful science behind the process of time and space! The truth don’t give a dam about your opinion! We learn by our own mistakes through wisdom of physics beyond mechanics!

  68. avatar
    Radoslav S. Bozov (@Radobozov)

    And by the way, stay patient girls, you’d be having plenty of time consuming your time when your time has come! Likewise to boys! There is time that is absolute, albeit space is a relative choice!

  69. avatar
    Zachary Merriam

    21, anyone who over 21 who has sex with anyone under that age should be executed and anyone under 21 who has sex with anyone under 21 should face prison time.

  70. avatar

    We need education more than legislation.

    Schoolchildren need to start learning about good relationships from an early age (what makes a happy home, what are the characteristics of a good friend, how pupils can contribute to constructive relationships in the classroom) and the sexual component of adult relationships can be introduced around puberty – not in isolation, but by sensitive exploration of what it means to be physically intimate within a wholesome and affectionate encounter.

    Pupils should be taught about the physical risks of disease, damage & pregnancy, as well as the emotional risk, primarily borne by girls. This should not be presented as a demonisation of boys, but as a factual discussion of biological and emotional differences at that age. Pupils should feel as free to say ‘No’ as ‘Yes’.

    Where we need legislation, and action, is against sexual predation. I agree that framing any law differently for sex between two peers, and sex involving an adult, is essential, but informed consent is the key, even between peers. I would like to see parents and children discussing this openly, so that when they are ready, two youngsters could be together in the safe space of the home. First sex shouldn’t occur in the grubby context of a toilet or shed. It should be special.

  71. avatar

    Abuse is abuse, and needs a solid definition that hasn’t been shown over the years to be ineffective. I do not advocate for the age of consent, straight forward education is what is needed on a step by step basis.

    Children need to be shown from early ages (toddler) that their bodies are theirs and theirs alone, that no one can force them to be touched or made uncomfortable if they don’t like it. The individual and only the individual chooses who, when, and where and how any area of their body is touched.

    Consent is consent, not consent that is coerced. Yes means yes, meaning if the person is silent but goes along with it that doesn’t have to constitute consent. These are the kinds of definitions we need across the board.

    Then we need comprehensive education about birth control and stds, and what sort of curiosity and exploration will naturally occur.

    These barbaric laws about age defining your individual maturity and body is oppresive, and tells the young that they do not control their own bodies, which is a very dangerous message.

    Empower children, and educate, not criminalize.

  72. avatar
    Matthieu Gougeon

    STOP THIS BARBARISM UNIFORM age of 16 STOP THIS NOW … An age of consent by its very nature IS ABUSE !!!!!!!!! LET PEOPLE and in particular children MAKE THIER OWN DECISIONS !!!!!

  73. avatar

    21 yr for adult consent. Scientists showed that is the age when the frontal lobe is reaching full maturity in humans. So before that we are irresponsible and can not be consenting to anything.

  74. avatar

    16 for when both are under 20 and 18 if one is over 20. 21 for prostitutes, 18 is too young for a person to make that choice.

    Sex between 14 and 15 year olds should be looked at on a case by case basis as happens in the UK.

  75. avatar
    Philip Morgan

    So, let me get this straight, in an age in which people think it is okay to just get an abortion as if choosing whether or not to buy a product in a supermarket, as if they can decide if the pregnancy is ‘convenient’ to them or not, and can ‘legally’ send the baby’s life off into the ether and ever-after, if a thumbs down, the ‘doctors’ and analysts in this article would, in response, have the age of consent lowered, and/or not worry about attempting to enlighten young people, for reasons of them not listening anyway? This shows little trust in young people, for a start.

    Apparently, education in schools consists of lessons that may as well be education in lust, and so if there is any education, it needs to change, and instead be about marriage: the importance of waiting for marriage; the beauty in waiting for your spouse. Yes, people will still be attracted to one another, and do things, but this also puts a certain percentage of the responsibility back onto the parents, to enlighten their offspring, and be strict if they have to be. The need is there to introduce conversations into the family about religion and the importance of marriage.

    Another error easily spotted in a certain element of this article, is where it is suggested that religion shouldn’t be taught in schools, which is a militantly atheistic and troublingly secular viewpoint, as it is precisely such Christian ethics and principles that bring stability, love, commitment, value, meaning, goodness, virtue, appreciation of the sacredness of life, and the awareness of need for conscientious engagement into subjects, into the hearts and minds, the lives, of the young. Such stability is a grounding for young people who can then find what is good in a growing sense of beauty amongst normality, rather than alternative living, escapism, broken family norms, and sterile environments.

    It might be the case that young people rebel against these structures, initially, but this doesn’t mean the need is there to do away with the structures, it means being patient with the young people, and it is furthermore, not due to Christian ethics that young people lose trust in the model-family set-up, but the fault of secular society, in taking away the young people’s education into, and knowledge of, ways to live with more substance, religion included, and simultaneously does nothing to fill the leftover void in which the intellect craves to be fed and enlightened, and yet is left open and vulnerable to hungry wolves, which includes the sensationalist media and its promotion of celebrity-styled self-indulgence, persistently clamouring for attention, and portraying this lifestyle as an attractive proposition; instead, and exactly how Communism and Fascism always progresses, countries with no religious teaching become places of false ideals, and in some cases, oppression and death.

    The West is oppressively capitalist, its gone crazy, and Consumerism, consumes at such a rate that it is consuming its…consumers, and by chewing away at the foundational supports for stable living that, in the least, do give young people a way back, and a destination to reach, a place of safety, leave in its sterile wake only clinically bleak choices, and despair, injury, death, and lives of misery, following these clinically bad ‘choices’.

    Religion ought to be taught because life is not separate from the intellect – this is what makes us human – and is integral to everyone’s well-being.

    The overall hypocrisy in the idea that religion shouldn’t be taught, is present because this notion stems from the ‘pro-choice’ premise, and yet, this apparently ‘fair and ‘pro-choice’ viewpoint doesn’t give people the right to be educated in, and right to choose, a religion.

    If young people did engage in religious discussion, then there would be a significant drop in apparent need for discussions such as these on age limits, because young people would be more likely to respect their bodies, and minds, and those of others.

  76. avatar

    should be 15 because WE ALL HAVE SEX EDUCATION

  77. avatar

    Write your message…marriege before sex

  78. avatar
    John Harrison

    16. The age at which sex is legalised isn’t really for the young who engage in coitus with each other I think its more so it protect young teens from older individuals.

  79. avatar
    Peter Ayolov

    Това не ваша работа, има си национално законодатлство и традиции във всяка държава. Що за мания да се налагат евро-универсални принципи? С какво право? Я се осъзнайте. Да не сте в Съветсия съюз?

  80. avatar
    Limoc X Mihai

    Should be illegal if the age of the partners it is too far apart like 8 years till 30. And 2 years till 20.

  81. avatar
    Stef Kostov

    18. Reseaech has shown that postponing sex at a young age can lead to healthier relationships in life.

  82. avatar
    Hugo Dias

    My opinion is 18 when the age difference is more than 5 years but can be 14 if both are within 2 years.

  83. avatar
    Liz Lyz

    Stef Kostov, torna in Bulgaria! Sei troppo ignorante per restare!

  84. avatar
    Abdillah Adhi Sam

    Lol mind your own business. Even the age of puberty of every person is not always the same in different places.

  85. avatar
    Zap Van Der Berg

    From 12 to 17 for minors between eachother, 18+ for the rest, lets be real folks after 18 its all the same: your a pedo (unless your 18 and the other 17, the SOLE exception, if its 16 or 19, NO)

    • avatar
      Zap Van Der Berg

      Idk depends, if its 12 and 12 or 12 and 14 idk, maybe that can be arranged too, ….. Yeah thanks :) great point Zeljka but my point was in any case if your 18+ anything under is Vetoed… And you know in general relations between different age groups many time involves a difference in power and maybe abuse, but between 2 consenting adults… Wel wev already got LBGT, good luck going for that, we should however strive for the greater age limit (18) and also work so minors dont abuse betweem themselves

  86. avatar
    Blagovest Blagoev

    In my opinion the so called “age of consent” should be abolished altogether. Such decisions are strongly within the holy of holies of the individual’s domain and different people start seeking sexual contacts at very different age (and some never do). It is a sacred personal right to say “yes” or “no” and disregarding the statement in my view is equally inappropriate. And if disregarding the “no” statement comes to be the crime (and rightfully so), how disregarding the “yes” statement comes to be a protection?

  87. avatar
    Tony Muñiz

    WOW some comments at 12 – 14? Pedophile much? You can tell they don’t have children, let alone daughters. Kids will start exploring when ever, for what ever reason. Some for peer pressure, others out of ignorance. I see a proper age to be 18, when you are considered an adult. But I would prefer even later. Especially for the stupidity of having a boyfriend/girlfriend at such a young age. Such stupid drama and even domestic abuse goes on it’s not even funny. Or to get pregnant at that age, or some disease. It is insane. I know I won’t allow my daughter to have a boyfriend anytime before 18. And even then, I would advise her to not have one until later on. Focus on studies, yourself and then when matured look for a proper person who is equally matured and responsible.

  88. avatar
    Ilina Taneva

    If one is capable of giving consent at 16, being allowed to work at 16, then age of criminal responsibility should also be raised in countries where it is too low. Otherwise where is the so called equal treatment ?

  89. avatar
    Tadas Gyvas Tikras

    1.if a person has the bodily properties of an adult (pubic hair, breasts, etc), the person is no longer a kid.
    2.if a person understands about sex, why he or she wants it and understands the potential consequences (pregnancy, STDs, career vs kids), then the person is a grown up and that shouldnt be considered paedophilia.
    Both of these parts must be satisfied for sex (and relationship) with that person to be legal. Otherwise we could start punishing for having sex with obese people, sex with old people. Sex with persons, who dont have the properties of adults and dont understand what is that and what are the consequences, must be prohibited-thats clear abuse/paedophilia.

    • avatar
      Zeljka Jeramaz

      If a person has a pubic hair it doesn’t mean that she or he is okd enough to have sex. Where do you live? In Middle East?

    • avatar
      Tadas Gyvas Tikras

      Thats just an indicator, one of many. I am not saying, that “the adult must have a hairy forest”, but its just that there are body properties, that are either common to a person considered a child or a person considered not a child.

  90. avatar
    Panos Kontogiannis

    what do you mean legal? Its always legal for the person who does it. Its his/her body. The question is for the sex partner? Its called consent. What persentage of 13 year olds have had sex? In most countries I know about 50%. This answer your questions. Are 50% of young people criminals? no way. Its just that politicians want to put their nose where it doesnt belong.

  91. avatar
    Dimitar Nazarov

    Age of conscent in Bulgaria is 14 with a slight clarification in the law which states that a person between the age of 14 and 18 should be aware of the significance of the act and is fully aware and willing to commit to it. That’s mostly because of the romani minority who typically marry and bear around the age of 14. Of course you can’t exclude them from the law, so you adapt said law. I’m against it but hey, who am I

  92. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  93. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  94. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  95. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  96. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  97. avatar
    Dan Cristian Sala

    Well this is the problem…it’s not like Europe is submerged in a chaos,economy’s down,politics are failing us,corruption is a real problem,we don’t manage to fix anything without a war aaaaand the “future” the young generation are interested in legalizing drugs and festivals…‍♂️

  98. avatar
    Georg Blaha

    1) Being mentally adult and being physically adult can be very different. I presume we are talking about both boys and girls and breasts develop much earlier than a serious beard. Maybe it would be the age of shaving?
    2) Regulating the private life of persons, prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes but allowing them to vote and drive a car at young age does not fit together.
    3) I see a European culture of youth cult and sex rites. At the same time an overshooting preoccupation with the vulnerable female individual (looking is harassing, touching is violence).
    When young persons feel like having sex with other young persons I dont see a great issue there. It is a different matter when the age difference is being bridged by other incentives than wont, adventure or love – say: Money or equal rewards – the young person should be given the right to turn to the law for a couple of years when they feel abused.

  99. avatar

    You might want to reassess the claim in the piece that Peter Tatchell is a human rights campaigner (SJW), the left have disowned him for not being progressive enough whereas his support of adults having under aged sex with minors (he may not like the word but it is by definition paedophilia) alienates him from the broader society. So at the end of the day Peter Tatchell only represents the views of Peter Tatchell.

  100. avatar

    There ought to be age brackets from 13 to 18 limiting consent to peers within two years of age. It’s unreasonable to criminalise sexual experimentation in teenagers. For anyone beyond the brackets (older than 20), make it 18. Not perfect, but these things rarely are. Perhaps impose harsher penalties for violations with wider age differences as well. 50 and 17 could be penalised more harshly than 21 and 17.

    We need to get to it. We’re pretty good at coming up with this kind of bureaucratic regulatory nonsense in Spain. There’s no reason not to complicate sexual consent at least as much as driving into the centre of Madrid.

  101. avatar

    sex is for people who can cope with the consequences, physical and otherwise. In a word, adults.

  102. avatar

    If you are old enough to be trialed as an adult you are old enough to have sex, it is that simple.

  103. avatar

    18, because if both parties agree, then it shouldn’t become a problem. No one is going to legally procecute a young couple, because they had sex. Even conservative parents are more than likely to just ground their children. This law is there to prevent the people in need of it.

  104. avatar

    In the UK the age of consent is 16 although persons at the age of 10 can be sent to prison. In Hungary it’s 14 but persons of the age of 12 can be put to prison. If someone is mature enough to evaluate his acts and forsee the consequences then he should be mature enough to give consent

    • avatar

      Where did you get the idea 10 year old can go to prison in the UK when they can’t ? You either have no idea what you are talking about or you are deliberately lying for personnel reasons.

    • avatar

      Ivan I actually studied English and Welsh criminal law at uni. The lowest age for criminal conviction is 10

    • avatar

      Ivan wikipedia shows 8

    • avatar

      Peter – nevermind Ivan, once, as always, again he is the one who doesn’t know what he is talking about….

    • avatar

      Jack – his voting rights should be denied

    • avatar

      Péter Then you need re-educating comrade, In the UK only children convicted of rape are incarcerated & even then it is not in a prison.

    • avatar

      Ivan Burrows 10 is the minimum age of criminal liability.

  105. avatar

    I remember being 14 and at that age I would consider sex as exploiting a child even if there was only two years difference and both consented. 16 is more mature to make such decisions.

  106. avatar

    I know people who had sex at age 13, who had no problems and I know people that started having sex at 20 and who were barely able to cope with the matter… It’s complicated. I’d say an age of consent and minimum age of “untouchability”, except by peers with consent (If this is even a thing, but I literaly have no idea what to call it).

  107. avatar

    Sex as you called it is a merchandise. Love is a union of people who love each other. It must take place when a person is adult who is able to take his responsibilities that is not before the age (which is 18 years old) and is not enough. Not all boys at 18 are in the material or sentimental conditions of being adults and in love. Any act of sex with a minor is a violence that ruins their growth in a harmonious and peaceful way. Society has the duty to protect minors. Taking advantage of the naivety of a minor is a crime and as such must

  108. avatar

    Education first, and then you have all your live to have fun.

  109. avatar

    It’s should be legal when you are legally allowed to work and support a child should there be one.

  110. avatar

    I agree it should be the same EU wide. I am not sure about the age. Definately not under sixteen. I also agree that teenagers can feel pressured by their peers too. Maybe we also need to hear the opinion of an expert in the field of psychology to help decide an age.

  111. avatar

    At the age of majority, but there should be sliding age windows for adolescents of the same age group not to be criminalised for experimenting with each other.

  112. avatar

    18 to every one over 18 / 15 to 17 for people in that age

  113. avatar

    When the person is ready… not the governments business.

  114. avatar

    As it was, 18! What’s now wrong with this? All the problems are solved and this is it now?

  115. avatar

    Isn’t this something for the nature to figured out? Or what do you mean? Kinda of a vague question really. And fascist too, how about not writing a law for everything that goes on through our stupid little brain of our, ey?

    • avatar

      Now the question is fascist? 😅🤟 Some people see nazis EVERYWHERE.

    • avatar

      If it is for the nature to figure out, then the girls should be permited to have sex when can have babies and boys when can give babies

    • avatar

      “For the nature to figure out”
      Well for pedophiles it’s natural to be attracted to children…or do you mean at 11 when girls first menstruation appears…? Be specific

    • avatar

      Rumy – You don’t really understand what fascism is. That’s a symptom of living your entire life in europe. And this is only my opinion. You think you are free, well, you are, for a while. Have fun, while you still can.

    • avatar

      Constantinica – yes, that could be an answer too. But from the question it implies that if you have sex “before the written on the paper law”, you will suffer some consequences. That also implies prosecuting minors, or parents…it is a very bold and quite offensive question actually.

    • avatar

      Sárdi – well, if you live in Europe, one should know exactly what fascism is (Italy and Germany in 20th century)

    • avatar

      Constantinica – those are only the extremes. Ceausism in Romania, was also a fascist system. Fascism is a way that the state interferes in private life matters, like in this case, and many other issues that do not necessary concern the state.

    • avatar

      I think It should be defined…its not the same children discovering their bodies, teenagers playing games at their own will or adults interfering with minors…probably the best would be a good sexual education but in some countries is tabú.

  116. avatar

    15. Most kids are having some form of sexual activity by then. So why criminalise it.

  117. avatar

    We have….economic crisis, immigration problems, technology problems, education problems, and yet what desperately needs discussion is when teenagers can legally **** with older dudes

  118. avatar
    Snoop dogg

    so i think that sex should be at 16 unless both participants are minors so it will be 13-16 if both are in that age range

  119. avatar

    the legal age for sex and marrage in every country should be about 13. 13-16’s however should require paperwork from a therapist, who is able to prove she is mature enough. this process should be compulsory, all must meet with licensed dr and pass this test. given that, girls that young and boys at 15 should be able to have sex with who they please

Your email will not be published

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Notify me of new comments. You can also subscribe without commenting.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

More debate series – Ethical Europe View all

By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies on your device as described in our Privacy Policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them.