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Southampton Children and Young People's Information Service

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Southampton
SO19 0SG  

0800 169 8833 cypis@southampton.gov.uk


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Sexual health

Sexual health is not just about using contraception or avoiding infections. Sexual health means enjoying the sexual activity you want without causing yourself or anyone else suffering, physical or mental harm.

Making positive choices about contraception and sexual health is important not just for your physical health, but also for your general well-being. If you're anxious about your sexual health or feel unwell, this can have a knock-on effect on all aspects of your life - your work, your studies, your future and your relationships with your partners, family and friends.

The law says it's legal for you to consent to have sex from the age of 16. In Northern Ireland, you have to be 17.

However, it's not quite as simple as it sounds. While a girl under 16 isn't committing a criminal offence if she has sex, the man she's having sex with is - even if she has given her consent.

Gay sex is legal if you're 16 or over in England, Wales and Scotland. In Northern Ireland it's 17, and 18 in Jersey.

If you are under 16 you have the same right to confidential services as adults and can seek advice about sex and relationships whatever your age. 

Visit the NHS Choices website for further information about sex and the law.


In partnership with
Southampton City Council logo Southampton Connect logo Southampton Safeguarding Children Board NHS Southampton City Southampton Children and Young People's Alliance Hampshire Constabulary
© Southampton Children and Young People's Trust 2011