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What Is The Legal Age To Consent To Having Sex?

Published: May 20, 2013
Dear What Is The Legal Age To Consent To Having Sex?,

What is the Legal age to conscent to sex?


Dear What Is The Legal Age To Consent To Having Sex?,

Sex, etc. does a great job of defining age of consent:

In the eyes of the law, teenagers of a certain ages cannot consent or agree to sex until they reach a specific age. This is called the “age of consent.” These laws are meant to protect minors from being manipulated or forced into sex with older people. Get familiar with these laws, so you and your partner know what is or isn’t legal in your state. Keep in mind that the laws may be different depending on the type of sexual behavior – vaginal, anal or oral – and the gender of your partner.

Age of consent varies from state to state in the U.S. (and from country to country around the world). To find the age of consent in your state, clinic on your state on the map provided by Sex, etc. Sex in the States. For example, when you click on New Jersey you will see that a person can legally consent to sexual intercourse when that person becomes 16 years of age.

Legalities are one important consideration when it comes to being sexually active, but there are lots of other important things to think about such as protecting yourself from unwanted pregnancies and the transmission of STDs, making sure you are emotionally ready to be sexually active, knowing what to do if you think you could be pregnant, and being educated on things like how pregnancy occurs. If you are considering becoming sexually active, make sure you have the knowledge you need to make sure you are making a healthy decision when it comes to your physical and emotional well-being. You can get links to all of this information and more in our Resource of the Month: Planned Parenthood Resources on Safer Sex.  

If you have any questions about becoming sexually active, speak to a trusted adult (such as a parent or counselor at school) as well as your doctor. If you don't have a doctor and live in northern New Jersey, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973-971-5199 for an appointment with an adolescent medicine specialist or contact your local teen health center or Planned Parenthood. You can also contact your insurance company for a list of in-network providers.

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