Sexual activity includes kissing, sexual touching, and sexual intercourse e. Partners must give and get consent every time they have sex. Sexual activity without consent is sexual assault. When the time comes to think about having sex, everyone has the right to make their own choices. Consent laws are to protect you and help you enjoy healthy relationships.
Jump to content. This factsheet summarises some of the key points of UK law relating to sexual behaviour. It does not constitute legal advice. The age of consent to any form of sexual activity is 16 for both men and women.
The ages of consent vary by jurisdiction across Europe. The ages of consent are currently set between 14 and The vast majority of countries set their ages in the range of 14 to 16; only three countries, Cyprus 17 , Ireland 17 , Turkey 18 do not fit into this pattern.
The age at which a person is deemed legally competent to consent to sexual activity varies widely around the world - and even within Europe. Most countries prohibit sex with unders or unders, but in some places the age of consent is as low as 11, or as high as However, even within counties this can vary widely between males and females and in cases of heterosexual and homosexual sex.