The age at which a person can normally legally consent to sexual
intercourse is 16. At that age as far as the Sexual Offences
Act is concerned they are to all intents and purposes an adult.
There are however a few exceptions to this. A 16 year old
cannot consent to sex with someone who is in a position of trust
with them. For example a 16 year old could not have a sexual
relationship with their teacher, care worker, youth group leader,
scout leader, minister, sports coach, etc. This list is not
exhaustive. See more about positions of trust below.
In addition, it is illegal for a 16 year old to appear in any
form of pornography which includes naked or semi-naked
It is also illegal for any person under the age of 18 to receive
payment in return for sex. The payment does not have to be money -
it could also be gifts or the cancellation of a debt.
The law permits group sex for those over the age of 16
years in private as long as everyone consents. Encourage
everyone to practice safer sex.
Positions of Trust
It is a criminal offence for anyone in a position of trust to
force sexual relations on an individual within that trust, or to
take advantage of that position of trust in order to encourage
sexual relations with individuals in their care. The age of
consent rises to 18 if one of the partners is or has been a carer,
teacher, youth worker or in any position of trust over the