Do you agree that a 16-year-old can consent to sex?

I know there are some states in the US that has their age of consent at age 16. Here's what I do not understand: Why look down on an 18-year-old wanting to have sex with a 16-year-old? They are both around the same age only by 2 years. Why prevent a teen from having consensual sex with another teen? What's the logic in that? You're still a teenager when you're 19 so why should there be a law restricting a certain age for teens to have consensual sex? But who even follows the law anyway? What's stopping them from having consensual sex when it is out of our control?
My 13yo sister's friend, who is a 17yo that has had sex with my 20yo cousin. Heck, I even had sex with him, and I was 17. Though that is different from what I'm trying to state. What's the point of having a law that nobody is going to follow?
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Yes... If sufficiently educated but, as an adult and as someone kn their late 20s, I'm not willing to have sex with anyone under 20. In fact, id prefer someone 21 and up. People have varying levels of knowledge about sexual health. 16 isn't too young for sex but i highly advise you choose a partner within 2 years of your age max.

    • I'm not asking for myself. I was asking in general. I understand where you're coming from, though.

    • Oh yeah I didn't mean to seem as though I was targeting you. Just contributing as best I can.

  • I think they're old enough to know what they're doing. I was at 16. And these days, many are having sex way before that. You see questions on here asking when people's first time was and it's mind blowing how many say 12! Especially women. I don't know if it should be any lower than 16, but I think 16 is fine.

    • It is okay for kids as young as 12 to have sex with someone in their age group. My first time was with a girl my age; we were both 12. Lost my V card months 2-3 months before I turned 18. I think that 16 is when they can have sex with anyone older than them. Then we have the 16yos who aren't even mature enough for sex. They may have it without a protection or have it and go around telling people that they were raped when it wasn't. That's not mature at all.

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  • In California, the AoC is 18, with no exceptions. A 17-year-old having consensual sex with a 15 year old, for example, means both have broken the law - though it's only a misdemeanor, and in practice, it's almost never enforced (we're talking about single-digits per year in a state of 38M people).

    However, if you are an adult, ages 18 and older, having otherwise consensual sex with a minor, that can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony (this law is also rarely enforced, and felony convictions are incredibly rare).

    If you are 21 or older, and having sex with a minor 14 years or younger, that's an automatic felony. This law is enforced more often than the others, though typically the person will plea bargain to a lesser charge - felony convictions are rare. It's an open secret that this happens fairly often in poorer communities, and it's almost never reported - in fact, some moms actively encourage their young daughters to seek older guys. It's the middle-class families that are likely to report this, and even many of those don't, because the daughter was obviously pursuing the guy, at least for attention.

    in my opinion, there should be a "Romeo & Juliet" provision as many other states have, where teens above 16, within a 3 year window of the other person, can legally consent. This would mean a 16-year-old can consent to someone 19 or younger, and a 17-year-old to someone 20 or younger. This would keep older adults from having free rein, while still allowing older teens to do what older teens have always done. in my opinion, writing laws that are understood to be routinely broken and not enforced just erodes respect for the law.

  • Your last paragraph is concerning. I’m not even gonna say my thoughts about that…


    Obviously they can “consent,” but they are not considered an adult yet. 18 year olds are considered an adult in almost all OECD countries, however it depends on certain states and countries. You can look that up if you please.


    A 16 year old is consider a minor, in most countries. The age of consent may be 16 in some states and countries, however, that still does not make them an adult, (unless you live in a country that considers 16 y/o adults… A handful of countries). Depending on the state’s law, a 16 year old and an 18 year old having sex could be considered statutory rape.


    Even if it is legal, people have morals. People personally decide if it is morally correct or not. I personally don’t find it morally right for a 16 year old to have sex with an 18 year old because age of consent in my state is 18, and legal adult is 18. I do not think a minor should have sex with an adult, as it is morally wrong in my opinion… Therefore, I disagree with you.

    • What I don't understand is why 16 is still considered as a minor when they can get a driving license and get a job. What's minor about that when they have sense in driving and getting a job?

    • @Youryeodongsaeng Well, in my country it's the other way around. Age of consent is 16 but drivers licence is 18. People walk or bike before that, or they get a scooter/moped (as the license for that is 16). We don't see it as a problem for a 16 year old having normal consensual sex with someone. But then we're a secular country and things like condoms and birth control is available from the school nurse etc without parents having any right to know anything, abortion is freely available from the state, again with patient confidentiality. There's very little (if any) stigma involved, so it doesn't ruin someone's life if anything happens. Sex ed includes a ton of information about consent and not letting anyone pressure you into anything you don't feel comfortable with, with sex ed also freely available on the state TV channel and adapted for young viewers. And just in general our children are taught to be independent, responsible and risk aware from a young age. Still, filming anyone younger than 18 or involving them in more than basic sex (think BDSM etc) isn't permitted from what I understand. And people are expected to show care when interacting with below 18s.

    • The idea of a 16 year old behind the wheel of a car really is horrifying. They could kill not just themselves but others in one of those things.

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  • Age of consent here is 15.

    Sure I think they can consent but I don't think they fully understand the consequences it can have. & sadly many adults take it as a golden ticket to play with kids.

    • damn 15

    • @dovendyret Where is that? Denmark? Here in Norway it's 16. Iceland raised it to 15 in 2017, I believe it used to be 13 prior to that.

    • @Losalt Yes, in Denmark. - I know, I'm disgusted by my country allowing the age of consent to be that low - for so long. (I'm Icelandic).

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  • I’ll just leave you with a statistic. There are countries in Europe where age of consent is 14. These countries have the lowest rates of teenage pregnancy. Leave the kids alone, they will do alright if you don’t try to control their sex life. Also offer proper sex ed in schools.

    • I was already well aware of there being aoc lower than 16 in Europe. The law is trying to control their sex lives with having to worry about their lover going to prison for rape. I don't see 16 as a minor nor a child. They have sense. Though some 16yos aren't even mature enough. Nowadays, parents have to teach their teens about the birds and bees and go into full detail rather than telling them that the birds and bees is sex without explaining farther.

    • It’s not only that AoC is lower. In the same countries people have a better relationship with sex, because it’s something that is normal when you grow up. I think the US could learn from these examples. And it’s true that some younger people are still not mature at 16, but it’s not like sex is forbidden for adults who are immature. All laws that try to regulate sex too strictly are a sign of bigotry.

  • Age of consent in my country is 16, and the age of consent of the country where my passport is registered is 15.
    So yes, I think that a 16 year old *can* give a informed consent to sex.

    That however doesn't mean that all of them can.
    Different people mature at different rates, some can probably able to give informed consent earlier then 16, some really are not ready for it even after 16.
    16 works fairly well in my part of the world because children tends to be raised while given a lot of trust and quiet a bit of independence.
    So they learn to look after themselves early and to be responsible early.
    And we also have good sex ed.

    Helicopter parenting is more of a issue in the anglophone world, and an age of consent of 16 might not be as helpful there.
    Furthermore there's a lack of adequate sex ed in some anglophone countries.
    As a result 18 might be more suitable there.

    • I agree with some 16 year olds aren't mature enough to consent to sex. They would be signing up for something that they don't want.

  • I agree with you.
    When I was 16, my first girlfriend was 13 or 14. My next few girlfriends were under 15 or 16. They were all fully blossomed, ripe, and eager. I had girlfriends who were under 18 when I was in my early 20s. The threat of being tried for statutory rape is insane when the sex is consensual.

    • I don't approve of a 16-year-old dating and having sex with a 13–14-year-old. I also don't approve of a person in their 20s dating anyone 15 and younger. Just because they looked "fully blossomed, ripe and eager" does not mean that they are mature enough for sex. My little sister is 13 and she has a big butt, and I will yell that she's 13 to anyone who tries to flirt with her.

    • @youryeodongsaeng. I said I had girlfriends who were under 18 (meaning 17), not under16, when I was in my early twenties (age 20-21). Also, I never had to seduce anyone. Teen age girls are horny. In some cultures and throughout history, women typically got married in their early teens and started making babies. "The first recorded age-of-consent law dates from 1275 in England; as part of its provisions on rape. The Statute of Westminster 1275 made it a misdemeanor to "ravish" a "maiden within age," whether with or without her consent." "In 1880, the ages of consent were set at 10 or 12 in most states, with the exception of Delaware where it was 7. The ages of consent were raised across the U. S. during the late 19th century and the early 20th century." So age of consent laws are arbitrary and don't correspond with everyone's mental, emotional or physical "readiness". Nature determines those things. The only thing women/girls should be protected against are rape and coercion. I do have a problem with older guys who pursue girls in their younger teens. But I don't have a problem with younger girls who like older guys. And I have zero problem with teen boys having sex with teen girls. It's all part of exploring their new bodies and growing up. It's common for kids in middle and high school to have boyfriends and girlfriends.

    • @Liam While I agree that the numbers are set arbitrarily it's not true that that's all they need protection from. While some *do* mature earlier then others all of us go through a early stage of life where we're incapable of expressing consent, or for that matter a lack of it. Also both sex and pregnancies can be dangerous at various ages, especially for girls with potential for physical damage. And part of the motivation of these laws is also to avoid those issues. Personally I feel like more education would allow teens to avoid more of these issues then any laws prohibiting sex ever can, but that's my personal opinion. But *some* kind of laws are still needed, I just don't know exactly what those should be. In the meantime the current 15-16 year age of consent limits used in most of Europe will have to do.

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  • Yes they can consent.

    They can also get married with permission.

    They can join Army, Navy or Air Force.

    they can also have alcohol with a meal

  • It is there to allow legal action to be taken against an older individual pressuring someone younger into having sex. If it is consensual then it is not an issue unless it would be seen as inappropriate.

    • And yes at 16 you can consent. Personally I consented a year before that.

  • No. 16 is too young. A 16 year old will surely regret having had sex with the person.

  • Personally, I think 16 is too young to consent. In some European countries, the age of consent is 14 and it's quite scary.

  • Yes, I think so.

  • Yep I agree with my countries consenting age and they can.
    Your country is weird let's be honest and has also complicated different state laws making it even worse. Should just be universal for the entire country whether it that be 18 or 16 that's for you all to vote on as one country I say than weird state laws.

    But I am sure some big state law fans would disagree with me on that and welp it's their country so I don't have to care tbh.

  • The age of consent might differ in countries with different laws but it still doesent mean you should do it

  • Laws are in place for when you bring people to court. They are also in place to punish the poor, since most can be payed to have your "sins" forgiven.

    • Wait, you want me to ignore the fact you fucked your cousin?

    • Cousins are legal in a number of countries.

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  • Age of consent simply means the age a state allows a person to choose sex without penalty to themselves. Age of consent is not the same as the age to be a legal adult. An adult can only legally have sex with another adult, regardless of the age of consent. Just because you can consent to sex DOES NOT negate statutory rape laws. If a 17 year old and 16 year old consent, that is fine by the law since both are minors.

    • That depends on the country. In some two minors having sex *will* both be prosecuted.

    • @Losalt True. I'm assuming U. S.

    • Gag is a bit more international then that. ;-)

  • Yeah because it's legal here and I consented to my 18 year old girlfriends whilst drinking their vodka or anything I could lay my hands on

  • In PA the age of consent works weird. At age 13 you can consent to sex, with someone who is NO more than 4 years older. So 13-17 14-18, 15-19, 16-20, 17-21. Over four years is an F2 Sexual Assault. More than four years is an F1 sexual assault. Eight years or more is Statutory Rape.

    • Is more than 4 years a F1 or F2? And what does "PA" mean?

    • @Losalt Yeah I wrote that while multitasking, sorry. Over four years is an F2. 6 years, an F1. 8 years is statutory rape. And PA is pennsylvania

    • Alright, thank you. But what does F1 and F2 *actually* mean?

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  • If it’s two teenagers sure. But if an old mother fucker thinks it’s ok to get consent from a 16 to fuck? Hell nah

    • Like, they need to draw a line between teenagers and adults. If you're 16 or 17, you can have sex with 18 and 19. But never 20. 20 years old isn't a teen. This is where the line has to be drawn.

  • Can a 16 year old consent to playing Monopoly?

    There's your answer.

    16 years olds aren't dumb.

    99% of the brain is finished growing at 14.

    Even today, the AOC in Japan is 13. The average of consent in the EU is 14.

    It used to be 13 nationwide in the US.

    • Even though some 16yos aren't mature enough to consent to sex..

    • There are 30 year olds too immature for sex... Your point?

    • My point to when you said that 16 year olds aren't dumb.

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  • Because minors are not able to legally give consent and the line needs to be drawn some where. Teenagers brains are not fully developed which makes the impressionable, impulsive, easier to groom, manipulate, and abuse.

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