Young People

It is legal for young men and women to have sex once they are 16 years of age. This is the case whether you're straight,lesbian or gay.

The age of consent in Scotland for young men and women is 16. So if you’re both 16 or over and both want to have sex then its legal. If one of you is under 16, then the other is breaking the law. If you’re 13-15 and having sex, then you or your partner or both of you might be at risk of being prosecuted.

However this is not common if both young people are happy and one person is not forcing the other to have sex.

To protect young people the age of consent rises to 18 when your partner is or has been in a position of trust eg someone who has cared for you like a teacher or youth worker.


If you are unsure at all, please chat to an adult you trust about your relationship. This may be a parent, carer, guardian, school nurse, Dr or nurse at a sexual health clinic. Young people also have the right to say no to sex or any other behaviour that makes them uncomfortable. Abuse can be emotional, physical or sexual. Abuse can also take the form of neglect. It can happen in different types of relationships and is to do with power. Abuse of any kind in any relationship is never the fault of the person being abused. You can talk to someone in complete confidence at Information on the law and your rights is available at cypcs Or from the Scottish Child Law Centre Freefone: 0800 328 8970 If you have answered yes to any of the above questions, maybe you should think about why you are having sex, do you really want to have sex? It is ok to say no, especially if you feel that you are not ready.

More information about consent can be found by clicking this link disrespectnobody


This website has a lot of information on it about sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy and contraceptives. One way that is almost guaranteed to protect you from most sexually transmitted infections and definitely from an unintended pregnancy is to abstain or not have sex at all. Despite what your friends may tell you, not every young person is sexually active, only one in three young people aged 16 have had sex. Being aged 16 or over does not mean that you have to be sexually active, choosing not have sex is a valid, acceptable, positive and responsible decision. Many young people wait until they are in a loving and stable relationship before having sex. A high number of people who had sex when they were younger report that they regretted the experience because they were not ready for it. If you feel that you are being pressurised into doing something that you would rather not do, talk it over with a friend or trusted adult.


Most people wait they’re 16 to have sex.

Being ready means that you are emotionally prepared, and feel comfortable with your sexual orientation whether lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual. There are lots of ways of enjoying being together with someone that don’t involve sex, so you need to decide what’s right for you. This may mean talking it over with your partner and being prepared to take precautions against getting pregnant or from an infection. This means making sure that the girl is using some form of contraception and that condoms are used to prevent transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Abstaining from sex till you are older and more ready and prepared for the experience also means that you may actually enjoy it more. Having sex should be fun and enjoyable, you should feel that you respect and care for your partner and that they respect and care for you and that you are both ready. If you are not sure about having sex, ask yourself some questions first:

  • Do you feel that you are being pressurised into having sex?
  • Is it easier to say yes than to say no?
  • Do you think that you will lose you boy/girlfriend if you don’t have sex?
  • Do you think that you will need to be under the influence of drugs or drink before you can have sex?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then talk about it with someone you trust.

Pornography and Online Safety

Computers and mobile phones are part of everyday life and help us all stay connected. But its important to stay safe and make sure you don’t share things that you’ll later regret or could put you in danger.Its best not to send anything you would not like to be made public.

Pornograghy or “porn” usually means sexy images that are intended to get someone sexually aroused or “turned on”.

What are the risks ?

  • the images portrayed are not the same as real life
  • sometimes people may begin to think that real sex should be like porn
  • gives people a warped sense of what sex and relationships should be
  • objectifies people, especially women
  • people can become addicted to porn which may lead to problems in real life with sex and relationships
  • have a look at this website to learn more about the harmful effects of porn  pleasurevsprofit

Check out these sites for information about staying safe online.



Child Sexual Exploitation

This terms been in the news a lot over the past few years. But what does it mean ?

Its a form of child abuse. It occurs where anyone under the age of 18 is persuaded, coerced or forced into sexual activity in exchange for money,drugs, alcohol, gifts, affection or status.Consent is irrelevant and exploitation does not always involve physical contact and may occur online.

Click on these links to learn more