What is the right age to become sexually active?What is the right age for sex?

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree with post #2.  There is no magical age to *poof!* be ready for sex.  It has everything to do with your mental, physical, and emotional maturity as well as your spiritual convictions.  You should be fully educated on the pros and cons--dangers and otherwise.  You should be in love with your partner and know all you can about him/her (for example, are you his first?  If not, how long has he been sexually active and with whom?  The more partners he's had puts you at greater risk for STD's and AIDS, not to mention you could become pregnant...even the FIRST time).

The question I always tell my students to ask themselves is this:  Can I see myself married to this person?  If the answer is "no", then don't become active with this person.  Wait until the right one comes along.  Of course, as you probably gathered, I am old school.  I believe that sex should only occur after you have committed to one another in marriage.  You and your spouse will appreciate this decision since your self-esteem will be strong and intact.  True love waits.

Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Entering into a sexual relationship is far more than a physical act for many people, men and women alike. It brings with it strong emotional issues concerning love, trust, and commitment. Heartache often results when one partner feels a deep emotional tie to his or her lover, while the other does not. To engage in a sexual relationship is to risk a great deal, physically and emotionally. Too often young people fail to realize this until they have suffered the pain of being rejected. Breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend is hard enough in a non-sexual relationship; breaking up with a lover is far more intense and painful. There is no "right age" to become sexually active, but there are a lot of wrong ones. Sexual relationships are for adults who are mature enough to be able to take care of their own health, both physical and emotional.

ask996 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are several things to consider when one chooses to become sexually active. First and foremost would be the legal age of consent in your state. Different states have different ages at which one can legally agree to be sexually active. They also have different ages at which a person cannot consent. Add to that factor the law regulating the age difference acceptable between partners, and you can see why there is not one good answer for you question. Keeping all those things in mind, one should not have sex before the legal ages of consent, and even then one might be socially or emotionally too young. The fact that you ask, indicates that the time is not right for you either legally or socially/emotionally.



Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a fairly powerful topic and reflects much about where we are and where we see ourselves heading.  I think that that previous posts were quite lucid about elements in terms of the age of sex.  Biological numbers are a poor benchmark for such a complex notion.  The larger issue would be how we can find a way to ensure that sexual activity is broached with a full undertaking of implications and comprehension of consequences.  While young people today are privy to more information and more "data," they still possess the same level of uncertainty about the topic, in general.  I believe that being able to educate them that knowledge and awareness is still parts of the whole equation is critical.

Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It is my opinion that there is no "right" age for a person to have sex.  However, I believe that a person should not have sex unless and until he or she is able to be responsible for the possible consequences of having sex.  Generally, that means that a person should have completed an education, be gainfully employed, have some savings in the bank, and have the maturity to make good decisions.  I do not know why anyone should have sex before those conditions occur.  It is also my opinion that sex should be an outgrowth and reflection of love between two people, and that a sex act that does not reflect these circumstances and emotions is of no worth. 

drmonica eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is no one “right’ age to begin sexual activity. My advice to both my children, who are now adults in college, was that sex should involve serious long-term commitment at the very minimum. The act of sex unleashes powerful feelings that can be difficult to deal with if the relationship founders. This is hard for mature adults, much less impressionable teenagers. Additionally, there are issues of possible disease that must be contended with. Without trying to scare the daylights out of a young person, I would nonetheless strongly recommend that teenagers wait until they are at least in college and in a long-term relationship to start having sex.

dancer7 | Student

Sex, sex, sex, sex and more sex. That is what all people really want. But they are too scared to say so because it is 'dirty' and 'wrong'. So we aren't allowed sex and we get guilt instead. Bleah. What a rip-off.

frizzyperm | Student

While we can all agree that children in their early-to-mid teens are not ready to deal with the emotional side of sex, once they reach a certain maturity, why shouldn't they sleep with lots of people? 18 is old enough. Maybe we don't want to encourage meaningless one-night-stands with strangers (although there is nothing imoral about that). But if we want the next generation to make good choices for their life partners, shouldn't they get lots of experience at adult sexual relationships? Why shouldn't they 'shop around' and learn about sex and love???

Young people will have sex, that much is obvious. Why not let them enjoy it? Why give them huge scare stories about diseases and immorality without ever once telling them that SEX IS GREAT! Sex is absolutely wonderful. It is the most exciting and satisfying human activity. And we WANT it. All of us. In fact we NEED it.

Repressing human sexual urges is very unhealthy. We have had millenia of sexual control enforced by religious dogma. Maybe in the past, before contraception, that control was needed. But now we can use contraception to ensure sex doesn't result in conception and young people can get lots of happiness and self-esteem from jumping into bed with each other. As often as they like.

Unless you'd prefer to make them guilty and unhappy about their sexual urges instead, by passing on the cheerless sexual repression that has been handed down for generations.

frizzyperm | Student

The question I always tell my students to ask themselves is this:  Can I see myself married to this person?  If the answer is "no", then don't become active with this person...  I believe that sex should only occur after you have committed to one another in marriage. - Amy Lepore

*sigh* so, as a 'teacher', you use your position of social responsibility to defend your idyiosncratic religious beliefs and thereby fail to provide them with any genuine mature awareness of human sexuality. What right do you have to pseudo-moralise at children and to label whole areas of human behaviour as 'immoral'? 'True love waits'??? Nice one Amy. Just tell them that sex is nasty and bad and should be put in a locked box labelled "DO NOT OPEN WITHOUT A STRICT RELIGIOUS ADVISOR"

Make sure you ram as much fake moral guilt as possible into their young minds and instill the ancient unsupportable idea that having sex without first seeking permission from a religious organisation (ie marriage) is very very bad and will make God very very angry.

If you tried to tell my kid what you claim you tell your students, I'd have you in front of a tribunal PDQ. Your job is NOT there for you to push your religious views on children.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Children become more physically mature and more fit for sexual activities as they grow into adults. There is no universally fixed age defined for when this happens. In general women become sexually mature earlier than men. But the exact age of maturity depends on each individual's body or health characteristics. But on average we can say that women mature at of eighteen while men mature at the age of 21.

Having sex before a person is fully mature has several negative impacts as listed below.

  1. It affects the health of the individual adversely. The ill effects of child bearing can be really serious on the health of mothers who are not fully mature can be very serious.
  2. It has ill effects on the health of children born.
  3. It reduces the enjoyment of sex. Enjoyment of sex initiated on maturity is much more. People who engage in sex earlier never reach that level of enjoyment.
sid-sarfraz | Student

Well I think you should give sex place in your life when you are married. There is no exact age for sex. You can sex with your husband at whatever age you marry. 

A lot of people take sex as enjoyment but really it is not that. It is for married people to keep them glued to each other. One should not have sex before marriage as it has side effects like it finishes face innocence if done before marriage.

The world is created that way that sex is only for married people and people should follow it to be healthy and happy. If not then its your life but one day there will be a moment when you will regret your wrong doings that cannot be undone.