Is It Illegal To Have Sex If You’re Under 18-Years-Old?

Hi Heather,

This sounds like a stupid question, but is it illegal to have sex with someone if I’m under 18-years-old?

worried

That doesn’t sound like a stupid question! Statutory rape laws in general as well as the many variances in them from state to state can make underage sex confusing. If it’s illegal for someone under 18-years-old to have sex with someone over 18 because that’s considered statutory rape, does that mean anyone under 18 is breaking the law? It’s a legitimate concern.

But, good news (or maybe not?): it is not illegal for you to have sex if you’re under 18-years-old. It is illegal for someone who is under 18 (or 17, or 16, or another age depending on the state) to have sex with someone over 18-years-old. But if you’re under 18 and you’re having sex with someone who is also under 18 (as long as they aren’t a child), it’s perfectly legal. No worries!

If you’re thinking about having sex with someone who is over 18-years-old, and you’re under that age, you should look up the statutory rape laws in your state. Like I said, it varies, so you should always make sure to be on the safe side. Statutory rape is serious business.

I know that sometimes parents tell their kids that to scare them out of having sex. Sometimes it’s an urban legend that floats around to freak people out. But you’re fine having sex under 18-years-old! If that was illegal, a disturbing amount of people would be in jail.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to have sex any time soon. There’s no right age or time that works for everyone. You should do it when you feel ready and comfortable! Totally up to you. Just make sure you’re staying safe.

Good luck!
Heather

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