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Am I too young to have sex?

The law in Australia says that young people can decide to have male-female intercourse once they are 16 years old.

Please read the question about, "What is the right age to lose your virginity?" first.

The law in Australia says that young people can decide to have male-female intercourse once they are 16 years old.

The law for male-male intercourse is more complicated. In some states, a male has to be 18 to have sex with another male, but only 16 to have sex with a female. The rest of this answer is focused on male-female sex, where the age of consent is 16.

The law assumes that young people under 16 do not have the emotional or intellectual maturity to decide for themselves whether or not to have intercourse. Of course, there are some people just under 16 who are mature enough to decide for themselves. And there are some people aged 16, 17 or older who do not have the maturity to decide for themselves.

If you are aged 14 or under, you are probably too young to have intercourse. If you are 15, you may have the personal maturity to make the decision to have sex for the first time. But you should make sure that you are deciding to have sex for good reasons, not bad ones. (See "What is the right age to lose your virginity?".) Even if you are 16 or older, you may be too young to have sex.

It is especially risky for you to have sex for the first time with someone who is much older than you - e.g., if you are female and with a guy who is four or more years older than you. Because you are younger and less experienced, an older and more experienced guy may find it easier to have power over you. Often when older guys go out with younger girls, there is more pressure on the girl to have sex. And the girl may be under more pressure to get drunk and to take other drugs.

This doesn't mean that every older guy going out with a younger girl is out to take advantage of her. And it doesn't mean that every girl going out with an older guy is being used or exploited. But it is worth thinking about these issues, so you can make it as likely as possible that your sex life is fair and pleasurable.

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