null When is the right age to be in a sexual relationship?

When is the right age to be in a sexual relationship?

In Western Australia, the legal age for consent to sexual activity is 16 years and older. This does not mean that young people have to start sexual relationships at this age and it is important to remember that it is possible to be in a romantic relationship without engaging in sexual activities.

Family values, culture, religion and personal beliefs can all play a part in deciding what the right age is to have a sexual relationship.
Everyone is different and it is important for young people to have their own personal list of considerations when they are working out if they are ready to begin having sex.

Some considerations for young people:

  • Am I over 16? Is my partner over 16?

  • Do I want to have sex? Have I said so?

  • Am I sure the other person wants to have sex with me? Have I asked them?

  • Does this feel right?

  • Have I pressured my partner to ‘give in’? Has my partner pressured me?

  • Do I feel pressured by anything or anyone else?

  • Am I doing it to gain acceptance from my friends?

  • Is anyone coercing me? Is anyone forcing me?

  • Am I doing it just to keep my partner?

  • Am I doing it because everyone else is?

  • Do we both want it for ourselves, not just to please the other person?

  • Do we care for each other and agree that we want to take this next step?

  • Do I respect my partner? Does my partner respect me?

  • Do I understand how to get consent? Do I know how to communicate my consent?

  • Do I feel comfortable with the person I want to have sex with?

  • Do I feel I could stop at any point, and that would be OK?

  • Do I have any anxieties or fears?

  • How will feel about this decision tomorrow?

  • Do I know how to prevent a pregnancy?

  • Do I know how to get contraception and which one is best for me? Have I discussed contraception with my partner?

  • What would I do if my partner and I got pregnant?

  • Do I know to protect myself and my partner from getting an STI? Do I have condoms and know how to use them?

  • Do I know how to get an STI test? 

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