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Should the age of consent be lowered from 16 for heterosexual couples and to 18 for homosexual couples?

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Introduction

Should the age of consent be lowered from 16 for heterosexual couples and to 18 for homosexual couples? What is the right age for sex? This is a topic that has no doubt been debated for many years, by countless people around the world, and the pros and cons of `under age sex' have probably been well argued from all sectors of society. Under current UK law, it is illegal for a heterosexual person under the age of 16 to participate in full sexual intercourse and the same law applies to a homosexual man under the age of 21. But why does such a law exist. Hopefully, the following examines the commonly voiced arguments for and against `the age of consent'. Whatever the law passed in any country, there will always be supporters and opposers of it. Opposition can be for a number of reasons ranging from a sense of lost liberty to outright anarchy. The subject of sex however, is one that affects different individuals differently and amongst the popular arguments for under age sex are: that some young people might be mature and mentally as well as physically ready for a sexual experience a lot earlier than the prescribed age of 16; it may be the platform they need to progress from childhood to adulthood; it is a potentially enjoyable experience that they are ...read more.

Middle

lot of young people who are eager to rush into the experience of having sex with another, based upon all they have heard or seen from others. The flip side to this argument in some cases however, is that sex and particularly first experiences, rarely live up to expectation and are often disappointing some times to the point where a young person may, through a bad experience, be put off the act of sex for many years afterwards, because they were simply not yet ready. There is also the resulting stigma or name calling, that can have devastating consequences on young girls in particular, when it becomes common knowledge that she is having `under age sex'. E.g. Sarah Platt on Coronation Street Amongst the popular arguments for keeping the age of consent where it is were: "teenage pregnancies - requiring many girls to drop out of school, give up their education and 'rob' themselves of their youthful and social years" - of course having a child, particularly in your early teens would alter your lifestyle. After all, you would suddenly be responsible for another human being. However this doesn't necessarily mean the end of your life or freedom. Today there are many resources available that young or single mothers or fathers can tap into for help and assistance, such as school cr�ches, parent groups, further education, careers guidance and financial advice. ...read more.

Conclusion

Typically such an individual could grow into her teenage years yearning for the love and affection that she was denied as a child and unwittingly participate in sexual activity as a means of substituting this. I should point out that either of these cases could end up with dire or pleasurable consequences. The former girl could well turn out to be too overprotected and unable to fully commit to someone emotionally outside the family, or even rebel from what she has been brought up to be the `norm' - digressing into anti-social behaviour. By contrast, the latter girl could possibly meet and have a child with a man who would love and look after her for the rest of her life, although there are many examples to suggest that the likelihood is that the former role would probably have the more happy or acceptable ending. In conclusion, I believe there are individuals that can cope with teenage sex and those that it is simply not right for and the law is there to strike a balance between the two. As it is not possible to vet each person individually to see whether they are `ready' or `mature' enough for sex, the law must intervene and say, base upon society's experience and other precedents, that it is acting in everyone's collective interest in keeping the age of consent to 16 for heterosexuals and 21 for homosexuals, until society can demonstrate otherwise. END ...read more.

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