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To Sam


My girlfriend just told me you can have sex at 13 as it's just said on the news but I didn't see it could you tell me if this is true? I'm 13 and live in Scotland uk thank you.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

The age of consent in the UK is 16. This means that it is illegal to have sex if you are under the age of 16.

Sometimes things can be reported in the news or online which are not true.

Some young people do decide to have sex under 16 which may be what your girlfriend was talking about.

It’s important to know that the law is there to protect you, not punish young people. Your girlfriend's age can have an impact on how having sex would be viewed in the eyes of the law. If your girlfriend is over 18, she would be considered an adult and it would be likely that she would be prosecuted. This means that the police could get involved as this would be considered as sexual abuse. If your girlfriend is 16 or 17, although she is at the age of consent, you are not and it would be illegal for her to have sex with you.

Having sex is big decision. It is not something than you should feel pressurised into doing. Both people involved should feel comfortable and ready to take this step. Your girlfriend should care enough about you to respect your feelings.

It’s good that you are asking questions about this. If you would like to talk more please get in touch with one of our ChildLine counsellors.

Take care,

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